We had a fantastic weekend at the National Pet Show at the NEC in Birmingham. We were busy all day for both days and Monty must have said hello to a few thousand people. Lots and lots of book signings, and it was lovely to say hello to friends old and new. It was lovely to finally meet Zoe even though we've done three books together, such is the digital age we live in.
The highlight for me were the children we invited from Villiers Primary School. The idea was to ask them to take part in our storytime sessions to members of the public throughout the day.
There were three children there on Saturday and three on Sunday and they were fantastic. It was a very noisy hall, there were members of the public arriving who they had never met, and they also had family members there.
All in all it could have easily been all too much but they were amazing. I took it in turns with them to read and the deal was that if they didn't want to carry on they could pass me the book but not one of them did that.
In fact I was having to wrestle the book off them at times just to get a turn.
I believe so much in developing this love of reading and stories and also supporting children move out of their comfort zone from time to time, and I can't thank the organisers of the show enough for being totally supportive and letting us invite them.
I also can't speak highly enough of Villiers School, where I have had the pleasure of visiting twice. It is a fabulous school and has a really lovely atmosphere as soon as you walk in. Lisa and the all of the other staff are doing an amazing job which was reflected by the confident and enthusiastic children who came for the weekend.
I had some lovely messages from parents who said how much the children had got out of reading with Monty and the confidence they gained, they were really nice to read.