On Tuesday I had another fun day, storytelling in Birmingham. Young Readers is a lovely festival that lasts 2 whole weeks, and I was really pleased to be invited to take part.
As you can see, I went back to pencil again for the train journey. There must have been some sort of fertiliser conference on: he was one of several working on fertiliser documents (Nosy Parker Chapman).
At Quinton Library I met the cutest Reception class. They arrived early, and then had to wait ages for their transport back to school, so ended up sitting for well over 1.5 hours, but they were so good. I practised reading Stinky! and we drew smelly things, then I gave them an old favourite: Big Bad Wolf is Good.
At lunchtime, the organisers laid on a really nice buffet in Central Library for all the authors and illustrators to have lunch together, so I got to meet the lovely Steve Smallman: great bloke, fab cartoonist and author of one of my faves: The Lamb Who Came to Dinner (also on Bookaboo - read by Meatloaf, no less!).
The afternoon was in Kents Moat Library with Blakenhale Infants - a bit of a squeeze, as it's only small and the school bought 90 children, but we had a stonking time. I love it when the kids are really up for it. Sometimes you get such a lovely vibe and it simply glows: all the old jokes work exactly right, new fun ideas just appear in the air and the children seem to be completely on your wavelength. Wonderful.
Big thanks go to the teachers, who had done lots of prep work with them. At the end they gave me some great paintings and pieces of writing they'd done in school. Here is a taster (thanks Holly!). There are more in the Picture Gallery.
I drew this man on the train back to Sheffield, but he spotted me half way through and the sketchbook was passed all round. It's always a bit embarrassing carrying on after that, especially when the victim is sitting so close. I stuck with it though and finished him off.
I little while later, when they'd lost interest, I managed to sneak a drawing of his friend (with his wonderfully beardy double chin) although I had to pretend to be drawing the luggage rack above his head whenever he glanced across!