On 2 October Malvern St James Girls’ School welcomed author and illustrator Laura Ellen Anderson to talk to a gathering of book fans. Laura stopped off at the school as part of her tour to celebrate the publication of her latest books in the popular Amelia Fang series – Amelia Fang and the Unicorn Lords and Amelia Fang and the Memory Thief.
Pupils from Malvern St James Girls’ School were joined by those from Malvern Parish CofE Primary School and Great Malvern Primary School.
With plenty of audience participation, pupils (and staff!) were
introduced to characters from the Amelia Fang series and given tips for writing their own stories. Everyone enjoyed drawing along with Laura, hearing about her favourite books when she was growing up (The Witches, The Snowman and The Twits) finding out that Laura is afraid of the dark and learning about where ideas for her stories come from. Laura shared her top tip for writing with the children – “Take a notebook everywhere you go so you can write down ideas”.
Highlights for the children included meeting Laura and seeing her Amelia Fang-inspired outfit, learning how to draw Amelia Fang’s pet pumpkin, Squashy, and seeing their ideas come together in a hand drawn book cover design, created by Laura right in front of their eyes. Laura even treated her audience to a sneak peek of the title and front cover for the next Amelia Fang book which will be published next March – Amelia Fang and the Half Moon Holiday.
Some comments from the pupils themselves:
“I liked seeing Laura Ellen Anderson because she was energetic, lively and very kind. Her drawings were really fun, interesting and cute.” Ilana (Year 6)
“Laura was very inspiring.” Freya (Year 6)
“Meeting her, seeing all of her books; it was really fun. And I love her drawings.” Elizabeth (Year 6)
“It was very engaging. I loved it and can’t wait to read the books.” Claudia (Year 6)
Laura Ellen Anderson is the creator of Evil Emperor Penguin and illustrator of Witch Wars, Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Cornelia Funke’s Dragon Rider, as well as many other children’s books. She is also the first female to have illustrated a Terry Pratchett book.