In short, the visits to Winter Gardens and St Katherine's Primary schools were among the most wonderful and rewarding trips ever. Needless to say the children were the stars, as is usual. These visits are always super-successful when the kids have been well-prepared by their teachers beforehand; if they've read the books and worked on them a bit, discussed the stories and features and have a few questions about ready, it makes our visit really meaningful. Last year, Tidemill Academy had developed a whole routine with actions around London Calls - they made the shape of all the buildings and bridges and London sights - it was magnificent!
And this year, in the first year 2 class at Winter Gardens, the kids read along as I read them the tale of Samuel Drew and we discussed poetry, rhythm and rhyme (thank God I didn't have to spell them...) and we talked about how words and picture sometimes tell a slightly different story, among many other things. In one class, the children had drawn the most amazing pictures inspired by Alex's illustrations. I was quite overcome...
I spent a whole afternoon in St Katherine's in just one class discussing all things London Calls - they had even prepared questions to ask me about the book and some of the characters they drew in the Magic Bus were from Super Broccoli, illustrated by Alex (of course) in the FOOD issue of Okido! (FYI, they drew the chicken drummer, ketchup and Broccoli himself)
Here is a gallery of just a small selection of their work. Alex had better watch out...the next generation of illustrators are a-comin'...