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Three literary greats visit ACS Cobham

Published Monday 3rd of March 2014 11:15:57 AM

Axel Scheffler, Carol Ann Duffy and Beverley Naidoo visit students at ACS Cobham

ACS Cobham welcomed three literary giants to the school in February.

Students from the Lower School, aged six to ten, were enthralled by Axel Scheffler, illustrator and co-creator, alongside Julia Donaldson, of childrens' favourite, 'The Gruffalo', as he as he drew a selection of famous children's characters, talked through one of his sketchbooks and read stories.'

Axel has illustrated many other books for young readers including Noisy Farm, The Bedtime Bear and the Pip and Posy series; the modern classic The Gruffalo has sold over five million copies worldwide and been translated into fifty languages.

Anthony Artist, Lower School Librarian at ACS Cobham commented:

'This was a fantastic opportunity for students to see firsthand how some of their much-loved characters, like the Gruffalo, come to life through illustration. The students really enjoyed watching Axel draw and came away brimming with inspiration for their own stories.'

Axel Scheffler added about his visit:

'I had a very nice, warm welcome at ACS Cobham yesterday. I had three sessions with different groups of students where I did some drawings, readings and demonstration of my working methods, which they seemed to enjoy very much. I was particularly impressed by their bright and thoughtful questions. I think meeting authors and illustrators is very important for children and reading and art should obviously be encouraged in every possible way. I hope very much that it was an inspirational meeting for them as well.'

Carnegie-winning author, Beverley Naidoo, also gave a special presentation about the 'The Power of the Pen' to Middle School students. Growing up in South Africa under apartheid, Beverley Naidoo's work is heavily influenced by her childhood experiences and Beverley won the Carnegie Medal for her novel 'The Other Side of the Truth' about two refugee children smuggled to London.

Beverley's presentation gave students a strong sense of how a writer can respond to real life through fiction and examines challenging subjects such as basic human rights.

Heather Martin, Middle School Language Arts Teacher at ACS Cobham, said:

'Talks like these always provide thought provoking material for discussion in class and at home. First-hand encounters by students with authors, such as Beverley, always inspire them to enjoy reading more and even try their own hand at creative writing.'

Completing the hat-rick of literary giants, Carol Ann Duffy, read a collection of poems from her book 'The World's Wife' to students studying the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. She also read a selection of poems the High School students are studying in class. In 2009, Carol Ann Duffy accepted the post of Poet Laureate making her the first female, Scottish Poet Laureate in the role's 400 year history.

Martha Close, High School English Teacher added:

'After reading her work in class, our students developed a great feeling of warmth and respect for Carol Ann Duffy. She read brilliantly from her work, answered questions and encouraged the students to have confidence in their own interpretation because a great poetry depends on having perceptive and receptive readers.'
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