Search

Schoolchildren shocked to meet author idol behind How to Train Your Dragon at books project launch

08:00 13 July 2014

Cressida Cowell looks at dragon journals created by the pupils of St Michael

Cressida Cowell looks at dragon journals created by the pupils of St Michael's Primary School in Highgate

Archant

Schoolchildren were stunned to meet one of their idols at the launch of a London-wide project to celebrate reading, by creating dozens of book-shaped benches that capture the essence of Britain’s best-loved stories.

Pupils from St Michael’s Primary School, in North Road, Highgate, travelled to London Bridge last week to see ornately decorated seats that have been dotted around London’s streets for a summer literacy campaign.

They had no idea they were also to meet children’s author Cressida Cowell, whose How to Train Your Dragon series the children have been studying all term.

English co-ordinator Rebecca Austin said: “We didn’t have any idea we were going to meet Cressida Cowell, so they were a bit overwhelmed.

“The questions they were coming out with were incredible.”

Ms Cowell read from one of her books at the launch event on Wednesday of last week before answering questions and looking at pupils’ hand-made dragon journals, which they have been writing this academic term.

Ms Cowell told the Ham&High: “I was so impressed by the St Michael’s children’s journals, each one lavishly covered in decorations and the children’s own illustrations.

“They asked highly intelligent questions, such as, ‘What did I feel about having my books made into movies?’ The answer to which is, I feel wonderful.”

Ms Cowell is one of several contemporaneous authors to be involved in the Books About Town project, which runs until September 15.

Her bench, created by artist Gerard Strong, shows a large blue dragon breathing fire as it raises its head above the ocean and sits near London Bridge station.

St Michael’s has been given its own book bench to decorate in what will become a dedicated reading space for children at the school.

Pupils in each year group will design book covers to decorate the bench, but teachers are calling on any local children’s authors or illustrators to help them design an inspirational seat.

Ms Austin added: “We really want to promote opportunities to read not just in the classroom but outside the classroom as well.

“Research from the National Literacy Trust reveals that children who read outside of the classroom are five times more likely to be above national expectations.”

The other benches, most of which pay homage to renowned children’s authors such as Jacqueline Wilson and J M Barrie, will be sold off at the end of the campaign to raise money for project organisers The National Literacy Trust, a charity that works to raise literacy levels in the UK.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

07:30
Backyard Cinema at Camden Market

Our top five this week includes the start of the Camden Fringe, family craft workshops by the Observer Magazine’s art director, and film screenings aplenty.

Yesterday, 08:00
Justine Gosling, centre, with travel writer Charley Boorman, left, and professional rock climber Leo Houlding, right. Picture: Stewart Smith

A physiotherapist at the Royal Free Hospital is to run, hike and cycle the entire length of the “Iron Curtain” – with a little help from renowned explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and celebrity travellers Ben Fogle and Charley Boorman.

Saturday, August 1, 2015
Councillor Abdul Hai has been campaigner for extended hours at coroner's courts for years

The government has announced a review into out-of-hours coroner services after members of Muslim and Jewish communities complained they were being prevented from providing their loved ones with proper religious burials.

Saturday, August 1, 2015
Lindsey Wylie (centre) with the stars of All That Fall at the Jermyn Street Theatre, Dame Eileen Atkins (left) and Michael Gambon. Picture: Polly Hancock

Lindsey Wylie is the founder of the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation (AWTF) charity for disadvantaged children, which she set up in 2010 following the tragic death of her 17-year-old daughter Alexandra from cancer. She lives in Highgate with her family.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder