On July 3, Duncan Beedie finally managed to visit St Michael’s, after his previous attempt on World Book Day was foiled by snow. Of course this time we had a heatwave instead and we were worried that the rails would buckle this time in the sun, but luck was on our side!
Duncan spent the day with us, reading from The Last Chip, his most recent release, and answering excellent questions from the children. These are some of my favourites:
- How do you colour in neatly?
- Did you fly to Oxford by pigeon?
- Will you base a character on Donald Trump?
- Will you put characters from your earlier books into new ones?
- Do you base your books on other authors or illustrators?
- Who are your influences?
- How do you illustrate your books – do you draw in pencil or electronically?
Duncan showing Y2 how to draw Percy
Duncan told us that he’s currently working on his new book, due to be published next year, called The Moth Who Went to the Moon, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing. He also revealed that he’s got plans for a sixth book already! As for how he illustrates, he uses a very technical approach of drawing on a special tablet that produces the pictures on a computer. The initial sketches, though, are done in notebooks. We also discovered that the idea for The Bear Who Stared came from the awful faces we all must have in our passport photos – staring vacantly into the camera. I can certainly see the likeness now I know this!
It appears we have many budding authors and illustrators in the school, particularly in Years 1 and 2. There are some intriguing books on the way, such as Bingo Flamingo and The Girl Who Was Never Bored! One child declared they were writing a book about dinosaurs for the children in Reception, while another said she wanted to be an author and illustrator like Beatrix Potter, whose books she loves. Just take a look at these amazing illustrations and description!
Needless to say, we were delighted to have Duncan as our guest again this year, and he has promised to come back when his new book is out. Author visits are so important to encourage children to read, draw and write as they can be inspired to create their own stories. We saw this with young Hayden in Year 2, who has started writing his own book after Duncan’s visit. He drew the opening illustration and wrote the opening page in less than a week since his drawing workshop, and we can’t wait to see and read more!
If you would like to find out more about Duncan Beedie, you can read more on his website: http://duncanbeedie.co.uk/
What the children said:
“Dear Duncan Beedie: I love your books. I wish you could come every day.” Margot, Year 1
“I like Duncan Beedie’s books. I like The Bear Who Stared because the bear stared at a lot of people, and I liked the lumberjack’s beard in The Lumberjack’s Beard! I like it when he told us about his new book. In the drawing activity, I drew a Manbird, who could lay an egg if he tried. Duncan said it looked like one!” Rebecca, Year 3
“It was fantastic. I also love The Last Chip. I thought it was also really fun. His books are very interesting. The visit was awesome.” Charlotte, Year 1