Our Oxfordshire team has just had a fantastic few days at the Oxford Literary Festival, spreading the word about Schoolreaders and meeting lots of children's authors, all of whom were extremely supportive of what we are doing. Children from local schools filled venues including the Sheldonian Theatre, and heard talks from writers including including Lucy Worsley, Kate Pankhurst, Robin Stevens and Lauren St John. Award-winning author of 108 children's books, Jeremy Strong reduced his audience to helpless laughter with tales of the trials and tribulations of a writer's life. He told the children about his latest book, 'Armadillo and Hare', introducing his heroes, cardigan-wearing Armadillo and tuba-playing Hare. Jeremy says ‘It’s a fact that children learn more readily and faster when they are enjoying themselves, which is why I write funny stories.’ We're delighted that Jeremy has agreed to become a Schoolreaders Author Supporter.
The fun continued with a session with performance poet and playwright, Joseph Coelho, who ran an exciting interactive event where he explored the inspiration behind his own writing and encouraged children to write some ‘no rules’ poetry based on their own memories and observations.
Another great success with the children was social historian and writer Antonia Keaney who talked about her book 'Percy at the Palace: A Dog's Eye View of Blenheim Palace'. She was accompanied by the hero of her book, her wire-haired dachshund, Percy Piddle. Percy has had unrivalled access to the secrets of Blenheim, whiling away the hours while Antonia works on research there by exploring the lesser known parts of this enormous baroque palace. Tales of Percy's perambulations had the assembled families in stitches and Percy later signed (paw-printed) books for some very happy children.