Today and yesterday, four of our schools were lucky enough to have visits from Will Mabbitt. At my school, he visited this morning and children have been stopping me all afternoon, telling me how funny he was and how much they love his books. Teachers were also captivated by him, calling him ‘inspirational’, ‘amazing’ and ‘fantastic’. But we were not the only school that was so impressed…
This account is from another of our schools who also enjoyed his visit.
Our school positively rocked with excitement this afternoon as we welcomed the marvellous, Will Mabbitt, to talk to our children.
Will was both very funny and extremely inspirational - holding the children in the palm of his hand as he told our audience about where he gets his ideas for his books and how he develops them into stories. The idea of basing your characters on your friends saw some of our collective smaller people turn and look at their classmates - already assessing their potential in stories of the future.
Will’s message that it is ‘OK to make mistakes’ was particularly encouraging and the revelation that he had made over 5000 when writing his first book, ‘The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones’, was greeted with gasps and a few astonished ‘No Ways!’. In a world where the pressure to be immediately perfect is so intense, an established, successful author honestly admitting his struggles with spelling and telling his young audience not to worry about correcting and improving was a rocket to their self esteem.
The session was jam packed with audience interaction- our pupils loved playing the observation game where they had to spot different things in a picture of a rather cluttered writing desk and decide from the objects what the owner may be like. The revelation that it belonged to Will caused much amusement and when he awarded them a ‘gazillion’ points for their beady eyes the resulting celebration nearly took the roof off!
The session ended with Will reading from his hilarious picture book ‘I Can Only Draw Worms’ - which was hugely enjoyed by everyone -especially the staff!
Lots of our pupils bought copies of Will's books from the pop up bookshop provided by ‘Books on the Hill’. Both 'Embassy of the Dead' and 'Embassy of the Dead:Hangman's Crossing'( Books 1 and 2 in Will’s new series) were on offer - and every child got their book signed by Will in our library.
Will took time to talk to every child, asking them a question or writing something unique to them in their book - he made every child he met feel special and those books will be treasured forever.
It has been an absolute joy hearing all the positive comments from our children about the author visit! Lots of them couldn’t wait to start reading their new books; others could wait to start writing theirs! Those super fast readers who had already read a couple of chapters before home time were heard saying ‘It’s proper creepy’ and ‘This might be the best book I’ve ever read!’
Will Mabbit has set off a real book buzz in our school - long may it continue!
Embassy of the Dead: Hangman’s Crossing Will Mabbitt, illustrated by Chris Mould
Orion Children’s ISBN: 978-1510104570
Thank you so much to Will for coming and inspiring so many children! Thank you also to Dom for bringing him and to Books on the Hill for the book sales.
You can read about our last visit from Will here.