‘Drawn into a world of stories’ - Trip to Stormont 27/4/16

‘Awesome,’ ‘fantastic’ and ‘THE best morning ever!’ were the collective responses of three year eight pupils who spent a fabulous morning, courtesy of Book Trust and SLANI, in the Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings, with UK Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell.

Inside Parliament buildings – Callum, Eoin, Vince

Chris Riddell is well known for his wonderful caricature- style book illustrations which accompany works of authors Paul Stewart and Neil Gaiman for example, as well as his own books such as Ottoline and the Goth Girl series and it was a privilege to attend such a prestigious affair in so impressive a setting.

The Laureate had a great rapport with his audience which comprised pupils from some twenty five schools from across the Province, but it was our very own Eoin Bourke from year 8 who posed the first question and in return received a wonderful hand drawn image of ‘the Elf’ from Muddle Earth.

All the boys were interested in the way Chris, by visual interpretation, manages to make his readers think about the emotions of the characters and how their feelings could be interpreted in a number of different ways by an assortment of readers. Intricate detail was definitely the name of the game for Chris, but his ability to create a drawing whilst simultaneously keeping his audience in the palm of his hand was what most impressed Callum Bennett, who concluded that books should definitely have pictures in them, although their inclusion shouldn’t compromise the length of the story which is often the case in picture books aimed at the very young.

SS1030901Chris draws Dr Cuddle

This was, without doubt, a very exciting morning with a friendly, informative and fun-loving individual who has put visual literacy at the heart of his Laureateship. Vince Bui declared: ‘This was the best morning ever. The Parliament is amazing and Chris was really funny and interesting.’ But the last word must go to Eoin who announced-‘ I love the way Chris contacts authors and persuades them that their stories could and should be illustrated –a quick word in their ear or an instagram. I’m definitely with him on that and I’ll be following the Laureate blog.’

Eoin, Chris, Vince and Callum