Children’s Laureate pays special visit to school

DM1712805a.jpg. Children's Laureate Chris Riddell visits Cumnor House School. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-170124-142311008
DM1712805a.jpg. Children's Laureate Chris Riddell visits Cumnor House School. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-170124-142311008
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Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell, paid a special visit to a Haywards Heath school last week.

Pupils at Cumnor House Sussex were very excited to welcome the current Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell, to their school for the day.

DM1712812a.jpg. Children's Laureate Chris Riddell visits Cumnor House School. Pictured with L to R, Oscar, Harvey and Marnie. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-170124-142248008

DM1712812a.jpg. Children's Laureate Chris Riddell visits Cumnor House School. Pictured with L to R, Oscar, Harvey and Marnie. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-170124-142248008

Chris Riddell is the author of such children’s books as Ottoline and the Yellow Cat, The Emperor of Absurdia, and Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse.

Lottie North, English teacher at Cumnor House Sussex, said: “The day was really good fun for everyone.

“Chris was truly inspirational and has been encouraging even the most reluctant of artists to try their hand at attempting a ‘Doodle a Day’ to record daily life.

“The children were particularly excited as he started doodling a character instantly recognisable to us all - a certain Donald Ear Trumpet!”

Chris entertained the children throughout the morning by demonstrating his ‘live doodling’.

As he sketched away, Chris spoke to the pupils about how ‘doodling’ as a child originally inspired him to illustrate professionally.

He told them how his own daughter had been a key influence in the development of some of his own novel’s main characters, such as ‘Ottoline’, her hairy best friend Mr Munroe, and ‘Goth Girl’, who have all become household names in the world of children’s literature.

Chris paused outside one of the Maths classrooms on his way to lunch, and adorned the wall with a fantastical new doodle titled ‘Cumnor Calculus’ - ensuring the children will always be reminded of his visit as they head to their Maths lessons.

Chris said: “I had such a good day with the children.

“They were engaging, great fun and my only regret was that I didn’t have enough time to answer every question put to me during my story-telling, doodling and presentations.”

Pupils from Years Four to Eight were lucky enough to enjoy a drawing workshop with Chris during the afternoon. During the workshop, they created and drew their own characters. Every one of the children was encouraged to delve into their own character’s names and backstories.

Afterwards, they each had the opportunity to showcase their stories and characters at the end of the workshop.

Every child in the school was also given the opportunity to have a book personally signed by the author and illustrator - and many were lucky enough to receive a personalised portrait of themselves as a precious keepsake.

For more information about Cumnor House Sussex, visit cumnor.co.uk.

Find out more about Chris Riddell at www.chrisriddell.co.uk.

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