It's not just a book thing!
So, as has been our family habit for the last few days, yesterday we hot-footed it in a mad dash from school (in St Peter’s) to get the library for 3.45. I knew that hearing Chris Riddell, Children’s Laureate (for just one more month) was a golden opportunity that would be too good to miss. I was right. As we crept in, only one or two minutes late, he was already sketching a little girl in the audience and chatting away as he went. This is the lucky girl’s ‘doodle’:
He carried on in this theme, sketching and chatting, as he engaged his young literary audience with the background on his books and beautiful illustrations, including his Goth Girl and Ottoline series. Then he took postcards from the floor with questions on them; I liked this – no one had to jostle with their hand up or make sure they spoke up and Chris picked a random selection which he answered gently and amusingly, sketching all the way. I loved the way he explained how Ottoline gets to meet Ada from Goth Girl in one clever book – but you’ll just have to read the series yourself to find out which.
One child asked whether he based any of his characters on people he knew, which led on to a funny illustrated discussion. You may (or may not) recognise someone on the left-hand side of this little doodle:
If the queue at the end for book-signing was anything to go by, everyone was completely enthralled and thoroughly enjoyed this fitting finale to a wonderful Literary Festival. I kicked myself that, in my rush, I’d left my three year old’s Chris Riddell-illustrated book, A Great Big Cuddle, at home. Just too much to cram in in too little time – that’s the story of my weekend. But there’s always next Festival!