Authors & Illustrators

Liz Kessler visits North Somerset

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What an amazing two days we’ve had! The wonderful Liz Kessler has visited four of our schools, talking to over one thousand children about her ‘Emily Windsnap’ series. She was incredible and has left a tidal wave of book enthusiasm behind her!

If anyone ever questioned the power of having an author in to speak to children or the pleasure having a book signed can bring, they really should come and see the impact which it has. ‘The joy on some of those little faces was heart warming…’ was one comment. Meeting Liz was ‘a dream come true’ for one child and another declared she used to think J K Rowling was her favourite author but now thinks it's Liz!

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Everywhere I go, I see children clutching copies of the Emily Windsnap books and curled up reading them- boys and girls alike! ‘Liz was wonderful with them’ was the message from one school. ’ The children were captivated by her…’

There are now seven books in the Emily Windsnap series, following the adventures of Emily who is half mermaid. With a strong, feisty main character, the stories are engaging, entertaining and enjoyable for boys and girls alike.

Thank you so much to Liz for visiting us and the lovely Emily from Hachette who came with her. I am so sorry I haven’t included any photos- I left my camera at school! I’ll Tweet some soon!

Putting the 'BOO' into books!

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Today, there was great excitement at school as lots of wonderful book character pumpkins arrived. Five tables were covered in the most amazing range of root vegetables painted, collaged, carved and sculpted to represent hungry caterpillars, pandas, Mr Men and many others!

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Morrigan Crow, Max the Cat, the Tiger who came to tea… the creativity was fabulous! Everyone enjoyed going through the entrance hall and admiring them; parents, staff, children, visitors- all were impressed.

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And then, in the afternoon, the lovely Steve Antony joined us to judge all the entries. We had four categories- EYFS, KS1, Y3-4 and Y5-6. It was a very hard job, but he managed to select a winner for each category. Steve announced the winners at two assemblies and each winner was given a copy of one of Steve’s books which he signed and a book token.

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He spoke to the children about believing in themselves and read his brand new story, ‘Amazing’ which is not out yet. The children were really excited about being the first to hear this.

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What a fantastic day! Huge thanks to Steve for coming to judge all our wonderful pumpkins!

Tracey Corderoy at Cheltenham Festival

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Today, we went to the Cheltenham Festival- it was wet and windy, but it was worth it! Being great fans of the Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam books, we were delighted to see that she had written a book for older children- ‘The Pony with No Name’. Having read this and thoroughly enjoyed it, we were keen to hear what Tracey had to say about her new story.

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Using pictures as a backdrop, Tracey read the section of the story where Bryony (her main character) first sees her new bedroom in the house her family are moving to. Beautifully expressive, it was a real pleasure to listen to her read; there was not a sound from the audience!

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Having set the scene, Tracey told us about the similarities between her and Bryony and how these shaped the story. Living in South Wales, Tracey grew up neat the beach and sadly, her father died when she was a little girl. Both of these things appear as part of Bryony’s story. Tracey also told us about how she had longed for a dog or a cat as a child and how her mother said no- a fish, yes; a budgie, yes- but it was only when a kitten ‘followed’ her home that her mother let her keep it! Bryony has a cat called Blueberry Muffin and loves riding. So that she could write convincingly about this, Tracey went to her local riding stables and had a lesson which she showed us a film of. Such dedication to her art!

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Tracey’s sessions are always beautifully prepared and full of fun. Everyone made a colourful rosette to celebrate the story and then there was a horse-y quiz- which by some miracle we scored full marks on!!

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This was a lovely session- listening to Tracey read is reason enough to go and see her. ‘The Pony with No Name’ is a delightful story and I look forward to reading more books in the series.

You can read our review of ‘The Pony With No Name’ here.

Apologies for the photos- the lighting was not the best!