Pupils in Southwick worked with an author to create their own picture book to celebrate World Book Day.
In a rather special day for Glebe Primary School, the children also discovered the winner of an exclusive competition to design a magical creature for the next book in Steven Butler’s popular The Nothing to See Here Hotel series, illustrated by Steven Lenton.
Vashti Hardy has been supporting the school, in Church Lane, as patron of reading and Steven Lenton is its patron of illustration.
Joy Waelend, head teacher, said: “We are incredibly lucky to have our patrons to inspire and challenge the children. I’m immensely proud that one of the children will have their artwork published in a book and that they have all these wonderful opportunities.”
Vashti joined the children for the day on Friday and introduced them to her new book, Wildspark, in a whole school assembly.
Vashti said: “I am so proud of my patron of reading school. They are such a creative bunch. It was an honour to spend the day with them and to see all their inventive book character costumes, especially one girl who had made her own mechanical arm to be Arthur, from my first book, Brightstorm.”
She guided all 18 classes, from reception to year six, in a special challenge, to collaborate on the task of creating a picture book. This included coming up with a concept, plot, illustrations, front and back cover, and finally printing enough copies for every class to read by the end of the day.
Hattie Leeves, year-two teacher, said: “It was a wonderful day, one to remember for a long time. During our golden play time at the end of the day, my class wanted to stay in and write more stories. I think that says a lot.”
Steven announced the winner of his competition in a video message. Eloise Manwaring from year three will have her design featured in book four in the series and incorporated into the story. Book three, Sea-ing is Believing!, is out on March 21.
He said: “I’m honoured to be the UK’s first patron of illustration at such a terrific, enthusiastic school, so full of energy and creativity.
“There were so many brilliant entries, it was very difficult to choose a winner.”
All the classes at Glebe this year have been named after illustrators of children’s books. This has prompted contact with many of them over Twitter, or in person at the school.
Kate Gieler, school librarian, said: “This more personal connection with the illustrators has really taken the children’s enthusiasm and excitement about books to the next level.”