Just taking a moment to think about Judith Kerr as she died today.
Feel free to look back over my old blog posts as it is not that long ago that I visited the superb Judith Kerr exhibition that is currently running at The Discover Children's Stories Centre in East London. If you get a chance to visit I really recommend it. It seems particularly important now, especially if, like me, you have been touched by the amazing contribution that Judith made to the world of Children's Literature. Imagine how poorer the world would be if Mog had never been in it.
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit was a book that I remember vividly from my own childhood and I still own a copy of When The Tiger Came To Tea that both my own children adored (as did I).
Thank you Judith for all your wonderful stories. We will miss you, but your characters will live on.
I have an article in Words and Pictures this week, all about a masterclass I attended on world building that was run by Penny Thomas, co-founder of Firefly Press.
If you would like to take a look please click on this link: Words and Pictures
The trip was still a holiday, I saw and experienced all kinds of amazing things in the three countries I visited, but I wanted to share how useful it was too in terms of making the new book as good as it can be. For me the research was interesting, fun and amazingly useful, even if I've left the rewriting until I got home. You know what I will be doing over the next few weeks. Watch this space!
Love the SCBWI tribe - a quirky, wonderfully supportive and creative bunch. A special thanks to Susan and Phillipa for organising. Definitely be back next year!
More recently I have been reading Young Adult (YA) novels because, whilst I wait to see how my Singapore book does in a competition, I'm busy planning out an idea for a teen romance novel. Some of the books I have been reading to help with this are: Trouble by Non Pratt, The Secret History of Us by Jessie Kirby, 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson, How I live Now by Meg Rosoff, Girl Missing by Sophie McKenzie, Margot and Me by Juno Dawson, You Don't Know Me by Sophia Bennett and A sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood. They are all very different to one another and not just because they are set in different times and places.
Reading lots in this genre is helping me think about the differences in writing for an older audience. I'm going to have to learn to: slow down, get inside my characters heads more, not over-explain and watch the language that I use to make sure I'm not patronising my readers. Tough learning curve, but I'm going to give it a go and step out of my comfort zone.
Quick reminder that I don't, as a rule, review books I have read on my blog, but I do usually review on Goodreads. If you'd like to know my thoughts on a book head on over to Goodreads, find the book and look for my review. Obviously well known books get lots of reviews so you might have to do some digging to find mine. Happy reading everyone!
It is amazing to receive lovely feedback about a visit. Here is what Tess Hackett, the English Subject Lead at Springmead Primary School had to say about my visit to the school on World Book Day:
Q1: Would you say the children benefited from the author visit and if so how?
The children benefited hugely from the visit. The excitement in the air was obvious on the day and we have seen a follow-up effect in the classrooms, with children reading and talking about the books that they bought and discussing the stories that they wrote in class the next day based on the ‘Box of Wonders’.
Q2: Would you recommend other schools invite Camilla to visit, why?
Yes- the children greatly enjoyed the assembly and workshops and were thrilled to meet a ‘real author’. We have been able to follow up many aspects of Camilla’s talks, including the importance of editing and the joy of the writing process.
Q3: Would the children like to say anything to Camilla about her visit?
‘It was the best World Book Day we’ve ever had!’
Q4: Do you have any other feedback for Camilla?
Thank you for all of your hard work on the day. The children really enjoyed themselves and now have a better understanding of the writing process (and lots more imaginative ideas too)!
If you're interested in finding out more, please visit my Author Visits page. All you need to do is Contact Me, I'd love to hear from you!
These pictures are from my visit to the centre yesterday. Even though I was there to deliver a session to teachers about inspiring children in their creative writing in school, I learned just as much from my fellow artists, Paul (Poet) and Genevieve (Story Teller).
The photos are of the Judith Kerr exhibition that is running at the centre at the moment. Such a thrill to look around as I'm a huge Mog fan. It reminds us all that you don't need space aliens and superheroes to craft a great book for kids. Simple stories about every day life are like magic if they're done well (Okay, I do have to admit that it isn't every day that a tiger comes to tea!)
It's not expensive to go, so if you can I would strongly recommend a visit and if you're a school local to London check out the Catching Words Project - it is fantastic. The feedback we are getting is brilliant.
On World Book Day itself I had a wonderful time with all the children at Springmead Primary School in Welwyn Garden City. It is tradition to dress up as characters from children's books so in the photo below you will see me as Lucas Larks from my book, EATS.
The other author is my SCBWI friend, Anita Lehmann who was entertaining the KS1 children whilst I was busy with KS2. We met during break and lunch. It was good fun to share WBD with a friend. Did you dress up for your WBD this year? I saw lots of great costumes.
If you're thinking of inviting me to your school, please take a look at my Author Visit page for more information.
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