2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour and on 21 March, as part of the all-star anniversary celebrations, best-selling children’s author Julia Donaldson will visit The Mitchel Library in Glasgow.
The Children’s Book Tour is sponsored by Scottish Friendly, one of the UK’s leading financial mutuals, and organised by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing. The tour visits both primary and secondary schools, and has enthralled more than 100,000 children since it began in 1998.
The following schools will take part in the event with Julia Donaldson:
• Annette Street Primary School
• Sunnyside Primary School
• Avenue End Primary School
• Lorne Street
• Castleton Primary School
• Balornock Primary School
• St Paul’s Shettleston RC Primary School
• Craigton Primary School
• St Fillan’s Primary School
• Thornwood Primary
• Aultmore Park Primary School
• Pirie Park Primary School
• Sandaig Primary School
• Westercraigs Nursery School
Also, in the afternoon, the author will perform a session at Darnley Primary School and Visual Impairment Unit.
This will be the second time Julia has joined the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour, following her highly popular tour of libraries in 2012, which was attended by more than 1000 primary school pupils.
Julia Donaldson is a passionate advocate of libraries, and has spoken out on numerous occasions about the importance of librarians and the work they do. In 2016, Julia stated that: “Librarians can put the right books into the right hands. They can be up to date, read a lot themselves, and know the children really well.”
Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, recently supported efforts to stop the proposed 50% cut to the number of secondary school librarians in Moray, whose impact, he said, far exceeds the investment made in them.
Julia Donaldson will work with Primary 3 to Primary 4 pupils for this year’s tour through an interactive event. Pupils will re-imagine and re-tell a picture book of their choice, designing props, musical accompaniment, songs and rhyme. Following this, Julia will perform her own musical plays and adaptions of her own picture books, making this a unique and memorable opportunity for all involved.
Julia's first book, A Squash and a Squeeze, was published in 1993, and since then she has become a favourite author of children around the world. Her book, The Gruffalo, has sold over 13 million copies and has been adapted for film and theatre. Her newest title, The Ugly Five, is about a wildebeest, warthog, vulture, hyena and marabou stork that swagger proudly across the savannah, rejoicing in their ugliness.
Two new paperback editions of Julia’s stories, The Everywhere Bear and What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday, have also recently been released.
Julia works tirelessly to promote the importance of children’s performance through drama to improve literacy and personal confidence and is a patron of Scottish Book Trust’s Bookbug programme. She also works on the project PictureBookPlays to support teachers in developing performance in the classroom.
Commenting on the tour, Julia said:
“I’m very much looking forward to joining the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour for its 20th anniversary celebrations. The library tour I did in 2012 was one of the highlights of my time as Children’s Laureate, and it was wonderful to watch the invited pupils performing their adaptations of picture books. Those performances were the inspiration for a website I then created, PictureBookPlays. Libraries and drama are still very close to my heart so I’m delighted that in the space of a week I’ll be visiting lots of libraries and watching schoolchildren acting out yet more stories. It’s particularly good to be able to do something to celebrate not just libraries but also librarians, whose jobs these days are sadly often under threat.”
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