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Bloxwich, Books, Children, Libraries

Gruffalo author to visit Bloxwich on national tour

Bloxwich Library

The Children’s Laureate and author of one of the nation’s most popular modern children’s books, ‘The Gruffalo’, will be making a special visit to Bloxwich Library next week as part of her national tour of libraries.

Julia Donaldson will be visiting the library on Wednesday 10 October.  Bloxwich Library has been chosen from hundreds of applications to be one of only twnety-four libraries on the English and Welsh leg of the Children’s Laureate Libraries Tour this autumn.

SCHOOL SESSION

Schoolchildren from St Peter’s Catholic Primary School, Bloxwich Church of England Primary, Elmore Green Primary and Leamore Primary Schools will be attending the invitation-only event, which will see Julia bringing some of her hugely popular stories to life through special dramatisations.

They will also be showing off their own acting and singing skills during a short performance inspired by children’s literature which they will present to Julia.

PUBLIC SESSION

From 4pm until 5pm Julia, along with Waterstones Bookshop staff, will also be available for families from across the borough to come and meet her and purchase signed copies of her books.

Tickets for this event are free and will be issued on a first come first served basis please contact Bookmark Bloxwich, Bloxwich Library on  01922 655900 or e-mail:bloxwichlibrary@walsall.gov.uk to reserve your tickets.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

As part of her Children’s Laureateship, Julia Donaldson – bestselling author of over 150 books including The Gruffalo, What the Ladybird Heard and Zog – is embarking on a tour of libraries that will take in England, Wales and Scotland, from John O’Groats to Lands’ End, over six weeks, commencing on 10 September in Thurso in the Hebrides and finishing on 18 October in Carlisle. The tour will celebrate libraries as a precious community resource at a time when a great many are threatened with closure.

Councillor Anthony Harris, portfolio holder for leisure and culture with Walsall Council Coalition, said: “The Gruffalo is one of the best selling children’s books of all time and the character is adored by children across the country.

“We are absolutely delighted that author Julia Donaldson is coming to Bloxwich and children and parents are getting the chance to meet her,” he added.

Julia Donaldson said: ‘Libraries are very close to my heart, and so is performance. This tour is my way of bringing the two together, by visiting fantastic libraries all over the country, enjoying children acting and singing, and sharing my own stories with them. I want it to be a huge celebration of libraries and of the benefits they offer to communities and especially to children.”

Julia will be joined on the tour by her musical husband Malcolm – who recently retired from his career as a paediatrician – on stage at the events and on the road in the Laureate Libraries Tour van.

The husband and wife duo, who spent their student summers busking in France, will be celebrating their Ruby wedding anniversary whilst on the tour.

To coincide with the launch of her libraries tour, Julia has also launched a new website for teachers www.picturebookplays.co.uk on 10 September to help them to use drama and performance to bring picture books to life in the classroom.

The role of Children’s Laureate is awarded once every two years to an eminent writer or illustrator of children’s books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field. Former Children’s Laureates include Quentin Blake, Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Rosen.

Julia Donaldson is the author of over 150 books and plays for children and teenagers, including The Gruffalo (the animation of which was nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA), Room on the Broom, Stick Man, Cave Baby, Freddie and the Fairy and What the Ladybird Heard – some of the UK’s best-selling picture books – and the award-winning teenage novel Running on the Cracks. In 2010, Donaldson was the most borrowed children’s author from UK libraries. Her latest books Superworm (Alison Green Books) and The Paper Dolls (Macmillan Children’s Books) will be published in autumn 2012.

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