STOCKTON schoolchildren were treated to creative workshops with a renowned children’s illustrator and author this week.
Pupils from St John the Baptist Church of England Primary School in Ragworth hosted a visit by Nick Sharratt whose notable works include illustrations for Jacqueline Wilson. Nick visited the school on Monday (9 November) as part of the Northern Children’s Book Festival 2015.
The schoolchildren took part in workshops with the author, including full readings of two books from his ‘Shark in the Park’ series and pupils also got the chance to create their own illustrated Viking characters.
Nick decided to return to the school after one of its former pupils, Husnain Javid (now at Egglescliffe School), gave him an idea that inspired his new book, ‘Shark in the Park on a Windy Day!’ – the third installation of his bestselling series.
Nick said: “I’ve been delighted to take part in the Northern Children’s Book Festival over the years and help spread the message to children from all walks of life that books are brilliant, stories are wonderful and a love of reading can bring all kinds of benefits and advantages.
“Stockton Libraries work very hard to get across the same message and I’ve greatly enjoyed the school events that I have done for them.
“I was particularly inspired by my visit to St John the Baptist school in Ragworth and came away with the idea for a picture book, triggered by a fantastically creative morning with the pupils.
“Two years later on it’s a huge pleasure to come back and say thank you and share the new published book with the staff and children.”
Councillor Norma Wilburn, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, said: “To bring an author and illustrator of Nick’s calibre to hold workshops with some of our schoolchildren in Stockton is fantastic.
“His creations have brought joy to so many readers over the years and I’m sure the children at the school learnt a lot from their time with him.
“To inspire young readers in such a creative way through the Northern Children’s Book Festival is hopefully the start of a lifelong love of books and illustration for them all.
“We often bring amazing authors to Stockton across our library branches and there are plenty more planned for the future.”
Inspired by the pop and graphic art of the 1960s, Nick Sharratt has won numerous awards for his work which has been exhibited around the world.
His visit was part of the 32nd Northern Children’s Book Festival 2015 which runs from Monday 9 November to Friday 20 November.
The festival is celebrated across the North East and sees a programme of visits by authors, illustrators, storytellers and poets deliver sessions within schools – reaching around 15,000 children.
For more information visit www.northernchildrensbookfestival.org.uk