We have had a fantastic week this week meeting some lovely people. On Tuesday we went to Happy Hours nursery here in Wigan and read I'm not a Pandacow to the children and staff which went down very well. What went down better as always was that the children got to meet Monty and they loved their cuddles and kisses. The children had made us a card for our visit which was lovely and very much appreciated. On Wednesday we were up at Blackford Primary school which is just north ...of Carlisle which meant an early start and two hours on the M6 which is always a joy. When we arrived at the school we had a lovely welcome and Monty was very excited to meet everyone but first he wanted to check out the lunch boxes. With Blackford being a small school we read I'm not a Pandacow to everyone at once in the hall after a very lively Q&A session with some great questions. Monty slept through my reading as is pretty usual but became much more interested when the children read from their own story. Inspired by the book they had written 'I'm not a pandadog' which featured a cow from a local farm having a similar journey of discovery to Monty in the book. I have to say I was a little overwhelmed that the children had been inspired by our visit and book to such an extent. I was told that this is the first visit the school have had from a real 'author' and they were very excited. I was given the book as a gift and a four hour round trip instantly became insignificant to be able to spend the morning in such wonderful company. At the end I read the start of Monty and the Slobbernosserus but left the children expectant for our next visit with Cookie after Christmas. Then it was just left to sign some books for the children and we left, booking our return visit on the way out.
I love going into schools, to me it's what it's all about as a children's author. There is no charge to the school and this makes it accessible to all and that surely is the most important thing isn't it? That children may be inspired by a visit from an ageing author and a huge cuddly dog is pretty powerful. Monty enjoys school visits more than you can believe and he actually sulks if he has a few weeks off. Today though he will take a back seat as Cookie makes her solo school debut.....to be continued.