Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Storytelling with Julia Jarman

On Saturday I had a rather unusual day. The folk at the Lichfield Library Service decided it would be a nice idea to get Julia Jarman and myself together to try a joint storytelling event. We have a similar sense of humour, and up to now have published 3 books together: Class Two at the Zoo, Kangaroo's Cancan Cafe, and the brand new Class Three All At Sea.

I've only done a joint event once before, with Tom Barber, author of Open Wide. It's a bit tricky as, inevitably, you live at different ends of the country, so planning must be done largely by email, and there are no rehearsals. But Julia and I have seen each other strutting our stuff, so we know how we work. We decided to give it a go.

We had 2 sessions in two different libraries, open to local families. They were billed as an hour and a half each, but both ran to 2 hours, because loads of people bought books for signing, which was great! It's so lovely when that happens, as it shows they must have enjoyed themselves. Also, I suppose this event was an unusual opportunity to get a dedication from both parties. Authors and illustrators can buy their books half price, so we make a few pounds on each one, but it's not really the money that's important: I just love knowing that a few more are out there, being read. It's so frustrating that bookshops don't stock many. It is handy though to sell enough copies to make lugging them there in the suitcase worthwhile!

The events went really well and I think Julia and I had as much fun as the children! We managed to tell all three of our stories. We dressed up in our pirate's hats (Julia even had a cutlass) for Class Three all at Sea, and our feather bowers for Kangaroo's Cancan Cafe. We did a bit of cancanning and sang a pirate shanty of Julia's devising, and I drew lots of sneaky anacondas from Class Two at the Zoo for children who refused to go home without one! 

The kids did some great drawings too, of pirates and octopuses, and when I can get my scanner up and running, I'll put some on to show you.

In the meantime, there are a couple of photos from the day on my Picture Gallery blog, and here's one of my octopus drawings, from Class Three All At Sea:

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