Hundreds of Doncaster youngsters meet big name authors at town centre show

Hundreds of youngsters came face to face with big name authors – as Doncaster launched a new scheme for some of the borough’s youngest school pupils.

Friday, 14th June 2019, 9:42 am
Updated Friday, 14th June 2019, 9:53 am
Author Jeanne Willis, left, and illustrator Liz Million, right, pictured at Cast Theatre with Barnburgh Primary School pupils (l-r) Ateesha Smith, Maddison Grice, and Dylan Nelson.

Writer Jeanne Willis, and illustrator Liz Million took the stage at the Cast Theatre at Waterdale to give performances about their work.

The days was organised for pupils in year one and year two at primary school by the people behind the Doncaster Book awards, which have been running for the last 15 years for older children.

Pupils from Southfield Primary School, Armthorpe, with book illustrator Liz Million, during at Cast theatre, Doncaster

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They have been inviting writers to events in the borough throughout those 15 years.

But book awards secretary Lyn Hopson said they had decided to create an event for the younger pupils as well.

She said: “We decided to stage an event looking at picture books, to help encourage younger children to read too.”

Around 500 attended the talk to see  performances on the stage by both writer Jeanne, and illustrator Liz.

Teacher Phil Sheppard, who brought a group from Atlas Academy, Hyde Park, thought it was a great idea to hold an event for youngsters.

He said: “I think its fantastic. It’s so important to get these children into reading at such a young age.  We’ve got a really well-known author and a great illustrator, which has got the children really enthusiastic.

“Meeting the authors really brings books to life.”

Teacher Cathy Harrop brought a party of youngsters from Castle Academy in Conisbrough. She said: “We’ve brought nine today – they won their places by raising the most money in a sponsored read at the school.”

Teachers Andrea Heaton, Rachael Wright and Adele Shirley brought three classes from Southfield Primary School in Armthorpe – around 70 pupils.

Andrea said: “They’ve been really looking forward to coming to see this.”

Ross Taylor, a teacher at Barnburgh Primary School, who brought 50 pupils, said: “We’ve been involved in events for our key stage two pupils, but this is the first time we’ve done something like this with the younger ones, from key stage one. This is a massive help in getting them reading.”

This years Doncaster Book Awards revealed their 2019 winners in April. The primary schools winner for this year was The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell. The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson won the secondary category, and the classics winner was M G Leonard’s The Beetle Collector’s Handbook.