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

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

Jude Goodall,10, Sawdah Mohamed, 11, with headteacher Kate Frood collect money at the school gate to help pupils at their Ebola-hit sister school in Sierra Leone. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Schoolchildren in Kentish Town are on the frontline of a fight to save an Ebola-hit school in Sierra Leone from permanent closure

Yesterday, 18:12
Ian Campbell outside Hendon Magistrates' Court. Picture: Polly Hancock.

A man who threatened to burn down a bus packed with Jewish women and children has been jailed for five months for his anti-Semitic tirade.

Yesterday, 17:00
Left to right: Jeremy Clynes, Deborah Warland, Hetty Colchester and Jonathan Seres, who all helped to set up Garden Suburb Community Library. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Campaigners who took over running their local library to save it from closure fear that new multi-million pound cuts will “decimate” Barnet’s library service.

Yesterday, 16:45
Will Jenkins, of Highgate School, was a finalist in the 11-14 category at the 50th Wildlife Photograher of the Year Awards

When an 11-year-old Highgate schoolboy leapt out of a swimming pool to capture a striking dragon-like iguana on camera, he had no clue the snap would class him among the best young photographers in the world.

Most read news

The billionaire businessman is joining his team in the Mojave desert.

“Space is hard and today was a tough day.”

One pilot is dead and another seriously injured after the craft exploded over the Mojave desert.

One pilot has died and another is seriously injured after a rocket belonging to billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s space tourism venture crashed during a test flight. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket came down in the Mojave Desert in California. An eyewitness reported that the craft exploded in flight after ignition. A Virgin Galactic spokesman said the […]

Digital Edition

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