The festival aims to bring authors and illustrators to as many schools and libraries throughout the region as possible. During the course of the week I spoke to well over 700 children and visited Northumberland, Newcastle, Sunderland, Gateshead, Durham and North Tyneside. I was out and about reading my new book BIG (Picture Corgi) and because it's a book all about growing bigger, I incorporated some measuring into my events.
Did you know that most 6 year olds are between 18 and 22 cream crackers tall? And that your average 5 year old is 88 popcorns tall? And the majority of teachers I met last week were 5.5 pizzas tall. Do you know how tall you are in the alphabet? Most of the children I met were between P and V, although one lad did make it way past Z!
So what did the children I met learn about me? Amongst other things,they learnt that as an author/illustrator I have two desks,(each 40 paperclips long) one for writing and one for drawing. They learnt that the only certificate I ever won at school was for 100% attendance (or a failure to catch chickenpox!) and that my career as a picture book creator started by my writing a note to myself which read 'STOP WATCHING EASTENDERS'. Seven years on, 12 books published and I've not watched an episode since.