This was my first visit to Westcliff and I thoroughly enjoyed my author session.
As I hadn’t visited before, I started off by getting the Key Stage 2 children up to speed with Impossible Tales. I shared an extract from Blown Away and the children laughed at all the right points which was a lovely bonus. I don’t think there are many better ways to kick off a new week than reading a story about a kid with chronic wind. It’s guaranteed to liven up any Monday morning!
I then moved on to explain how Eric Appleby was created. The children saw all of the various edited manuscripts and I think they were a bit shocked at how many times the story had been edited. Fingers crossed they won’t complain next time their teachers ask them to take another look at their own work!
Martin gave me copies of the illustrations at each stage of the process and it was lovely to share them on the big screen with the children. They were able to see how the illustrations started life as pencil sketches right through to the final versions which made the book. It still fascinates me and the children and staff were equally impressed. We tried to spot the changes Martin had made and the pupils got them all! I finished by reading a short extract and the children agreed the text matched Martin’s super illustrations. He’ll be thrilled to bits when I tell him!
To finish off the session I answered lots of questions before signing some copies of the books for some of the pupils and for the school library.
It was an absolute delight to share the books with the fantastic Westcliff pupils and staff. Hopefully I will get to return in the future with the next Tales or Eric 2.
Special thanks go to Mrs Shaw for inviting me in and setting up the session.