In the last few months I have tried to schedule in a couple of book themed trips, meeting authors and listening to talks at various literacy festivals in my local area. The first literature festival I went to was in Cranbrook, the highlight being a talk from the author Julian Clary and
illustrator David Roberts. As well as discussing and promoting their new book, The Bolds to the Rescue, they interacted with a packed audience of children to create funny new characters as well as different hats for Mrs Bold. Julian read from this new book which I have read myself and think that it is a great sequel to his first. It follows the Bolds and the challenges they face after the rumour that they can help animals blend into human society spreads. Many different types of animals come knocking on their door (and toilet) including a french dog wanting to make it as a singer and race horses who don’t want to race any more.
My favourite bit of the talk was when David Roberts drew an animal in stages, asking the audience for inspiration for the different body parts. He cover the sections as he went along and then revealed the bonkers animal that we had made. Watch this video to see David reveal the mishmash animal which includes a body of a whale and legs of a chicken!
Another author I was lucky enough to meet was award winning William Grill at Sevenoaks Literature Festival. He has written and illustrated another book after his debut of Shackleton – this won the Kate Greenaway medal in 2015. His new book, The Wolves of Currumpaw, is fantastic – the illustrations are beautiful. When William signed my copy, he even drew a little wolf, an original just for me! In addition to this, he even let me have a look through some of his sketch books he used whilst creating his latest book. It was fascinating to see all of his experimentations with patterns, landscapes, people and wolves. This enabled me to get a real insight into the hard work an illustrator has to do in order to create such a stunning book. It was definitely worth a visit to the literacy festival just for this!
I don’t want to name drop or anything, buuuut I have now met four authors this year! Joe Craig, Katherine Woodfine, Julian Clary and William Grill. It’s been a real pleasure to meet them all and find out their inspirations and to say a big thank you for their books!