- June 30, 2014
Brighton and Hove Primary School pupils were treated to a novel lesson in silliness this month, as zany picture book author Chae Strathie dropped in to their schools as part of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour. Some 1,500 primary school pupils took part in Chae’s series of interactive shows, which visited ten schools in the area.
Chae put into practice his philosophy that children are encouraged to read and write when they see books (and their authors) as fun. From leading silly sing-a-longs to inventing strange characters and reaching into his magical StoryHat, his interactive events had even the most reluctant readers reaching for a book. To get them started, Scottish Book Trust gifted 30 copies of Chae Strathie’s ‘Jumblebum’ to every school visited.
Chae’s picture books are full of bizarre creatures which spark the imagination of younger readers, including the award-winning ‘The Loon On The Moon’ and ‘The Fabulous Flapdoodles’ (both Scholastic), although he’s currently working on a series of books for older children. His most recent book, ‘Jumblebum’, illustrated by Ben Cort of ‘Aliens Love Underpants’ fame, was released in January 2013 and won a Scottish Children’s Book Award in March this year as well as being Highly Commended at the Sheffield Children’s Book Awards.
Commenting on his recent tour, Chae said: “The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour to Brighton was an amazing experience. I was able to meet and perform to more than 1,500 children over the course of the week – a fantastic opportunity to come face-to-face with the very people I write for. Hopefully the children enjoyed themselves! They certainly seemed to – and I know I did. It’s very important for youngsters to see that authors are ordinary people, just like them, so they understand that books and writing are accessible, are open to all and are not elitist. Scottish Friendly and Scottish Book Trust make that possible through these tours, so we all owe them a huge debt of gratitude. The tour was an experience I will never forget.”
Beth Bottery, Schools Events Manager at Scottish Book Trust added: “Schoolchildren in Brighton and Hove gave the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour a warm welcome last week, and met Chae’s colourful storytelling with enthusiasm. He gave them a valuable lesson in characterisation and story-structure, cunningly disguised in the form of games and songs.”
The main aim of the Tour is to encourage children’s love of literature through inspirational author visits, which bring their books to life.
Photo: Pupils from St Nicolas Primary School, Brighton, showing off their new books with author Chae Strathie.