Sometimes, working in a school has HUGE benefits …
I was scanning the whole school calendar a while ago, making sure appointments didn’t clash for what was happening in my schedule and the school’s events. Imagine my excitement when I saw Jeremy Strong! What did I do? Yes, you’re absolutely right. I made sure my calendar was clear for Thursday 6th June from 10am for an hour 🙂
The excitement was building to a crescendo the day before (and not only for the children).
On the morning, I casually wended my way along the corridor a little bit before the event was due to start in the hall and saw the member of staff who was responsible for coordinating the visit. She told me that Jeremy Strong was in the Exec Head’s office with his publicist. What did I do? Yes, you’re absolutely right. I introduced myself! although I never once said my name … ‘Hi, I’m a book blogger’ were the first words out of my mouth, despite being in my professional clothes with my ID badge on! I was more than a little star struck, as you can see from my cheesy grin in this photograph.
Once the children were all settled, Jeremy began his talk. He shared a piece of his writing from when he was 6/7 which had been inspired from Jason and the Argonauts. He asked the children what could they see? making sure they realised that he had missed full stops, capital letters and had spelling mistakes (and how awful his handwriting looked).
He shared anecdotes and asked the children questions that caused much laughter (as much from staff as from the children).
All the way through he was inspiring and motivating the children, for example by asking questions such as ‘who writes at home?’ and then responding that they were all authors. He had us all chuckling with questions like ‘where do you write at home?’ and a response ‘on the sofa’ caused much laughter as Jeremy role-played a scene of being caught writing ON the sofa.
Jeremy read an extract from his new book, My Brother’s Famous Bottom Gets Crowned (book number 99!)
The children were from Years 3 and 4 and the talk and interaction lasted an hour … we all know the length of concentration children of these ages can maintain. They didn’t start to get restless until the last 10 minutes. I think that shows just how entranced and captivated the children were. It’s simple to work out why, Jeremy is a master storyteller.
I left while the children were eagerly waiting to buy their books and for them to be signed.
Later, as I passed children in the corridor, they were all coming out hugging their books to their chests and BEAMING.
In staff briefing the next day, the impact the event had on the children was evident from class teacher’s comments.
Oh, and in the words of one member of staff. Jeremy Strong is a LEGEND.
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Puffin (6 Jun 2013)
Nicholas’s neighbours are in a royal frenzy! They’re celebrating the Queen’s coronation (whatever that means) and everyone’s gone BONKERS! Dad’s dressing up as a banana and why has Cheese got a crown on his bottom? It’s going to be the biggest street party they’ve ever had, until a letter from the Prince and Princess announcing the arrival of THEIR very own twins adds an extra-special surprise!
* Jeremy Strong is the bestselling and award-winning author of The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog, My Brother’s Famous Bottom, Cartoon Kid and Krazy Kow Saves the World, Well Almost!
* The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog was the winner of the Red House Children’s Book Award, and Jeremy was a World Book Day author.
* Perfect for reluctant readers, and fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, The Brilliant Wolrd of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon and Andy Stanton’s Mr Gum books.
* Cover illustrations by Nick Sharratt.
Jeremy Strong once worked in a bakery, putting the jam into three thousand doughnuts every night. Now he puts the jam in stories instead, which he finds much more exciting. At the age of three, he fell out of a first-floor bedroom window and landed on his head. His mother says that this damaged him for the rest of his life and refuses to take any responsibility. He loves writing stories because he says it is ‘the only time you alone have complete control and can make anything happen’. His ambition is to make you laugh (or at least snuffle). Jeremy Strong lives near Bath with his wife, Gillie, four cats and a flying cow. Join Jeremy Strong’s Krazy Klub at http://www.jeremystrong.co.uk