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St Benedict's children 'Dance with the Dinosaurs'

Published on isbi School News dated Friday 9th of March 2012

Jane Clarke, children's author and poet brightened the lives of pupils and staff at St Benedict's Junior School when she visited on Friday 2nd March as part of World Book Day celebrations. Jane has written over forty picture and chapter books including the Gilbert the Shark stories. She kicked off her visit with a delightful and funny performance of her poetry to all the children in the Pre-Preps and Junior School. She emphasised how much of her poetry has its inspiration in ordinary, everyday events such as watching a puppy catch a ball, or events from her childhood for example, when dressing up secretly in her Mum's clothes or teasing a friend with a toy snake. Not surprisingly that friendship never quite got back on track!

Throughout the rest of the day Jane ran lively writing workshops for most of the Junior School and Pre-Preps in which she explained the process of writing a book from first idea to publication, making it clear that success is hard earned. Using her own notebooks as examples she demonstrated that crossings out and second thoughts are all part of the creative process and not to be feared. Indeed, she said stories may have to re- written up to ten times before they are finished and even then can be rejected. She explained the role of the editor, the interaction between authors and illustrators, and her role as a ghost writer in the Dinosaur Cove series. Finally she got the children to create their own stories and poems using word games, pictures and even shining pebbles as inspiration.

Librarian Celia Sweetman said: 'Nursery children were entranced with their own poetry performance in the Library, joining in a reading of Jane's 'Stuck in the Mud'. The day came to an effervescent close with the Prep-Prep 3s 'Dancing with the Dinosaurs' from Jane's latest publication. It was a great day for all!'
St Benedict's children 'Dance with the Dinosaurs' - Photo 1St Benedict's children 'Dance with the Dinosaurs' - Photo 2
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