Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Mr Wilkes Saves the Day

Last week was really hectic. As well as my two sessions at the university, I also travelled to Huddersfield to talk the Youth Libraries Group, then on Friday I was out again, taking the train to Lichfield in Staffs, to spend the day at Highfields Primary School in Burntwood. 

The children had ordered 60 signed books, way too many to carry, so I had to post them and the parcel exceeded the maximum postal weight! Since big book orders are always the sign of a proactive school, I had high hopes for the visit.

They didn't disappoint: what a great school. It had a really happy feel about it. The children were so excited. I met all KS1 first, for a mega storytelling, then all KS2, for one of my PowerPoint talks about how books are created from scratch.

At lunchtime I scoffed a jacket potato in the staff room, then set to signing yet more books for all the teachers for Christmas presents. It was probably the most fun and friendly staff room I've been in. What a very silly bunch. I threatened to blog the things they were talking about but most of the banter would be unrepeatable here!

In advance of my visit, Mrs Morris the Literacy Coordinator, had organised a big reading challenge for the whole school. The classes were battling it out to see who could read the most by the time of my visit and the prize was to have an extra session with me in the afternoon.

The winners in KS1 were Class 2, so we had a fun hour together reading Bears on the Stairs and designing monsters. It was a dead heat between 2 classes in KS2. I don't normally do workshops for more than one class at a time, but we broke the rule and I worked with all 60 children together in the hall, showing them how to create animal characters and how to make them run across the paper.

I forgot to pre-order my taxi back to Lichfield Station, half an hour's drive away. The trains were only one an hour and the journey takes nearly 2 hours, so at 3.15pm, when we discovered there were no taxis to be had for another 45 minutes, I was desperate. Step in Mr Wilkes, the Head (yes, that's him on the left), who chivalrously dropped everything and whisked me safely to the station in his car. What a hero! 

As you can see, the long journey each way meant lots of time for drawing. Hope you like them. I was especially pleased with Leopard-skin Coat Woman.


Line Katrin said...

Oh, how I wish I was one of the students listening to you. And how I wish I was the person sitting next to you at the train, watching you draw in your sketchbook. You are truly inspiring!

Lynne the Pencil said...

Thank you Line - how lovely. One day it would be nice to come and draw on Norwegian trains, so you never know...

Debo Boddiford said...

I so enjoyed your wonderful sketches and reading about your FUN day! I also wish I could have been there to listen to you reading your fabulous stories! I once taught Kindergarten many years ago and have always loved children's literature. "Mr Wilkes saved the day"...sounds like a great title for your next book!

Apple-Pine said...

hahaha - what a delightful day and an amazingly textured Mr Wilkes - he can easily be compared to your lady in leopard in many ways!

Gillian Olson said...

Lynne, I really enjoy these illustrated trips you take.

Anonymous said...

The blog is fantastic, thanks for such lovely feedback! The children are still talking about their experience!

Thank you again for such a lovely day.

Nicola Morris