The Perse School

The Prep goes bonkers for books

6 Mar 2015

The Prep celebrated World Book Day by dressing up as their favourite literary heroes and villains. There were lots of imaginative costumes on display, from Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Hermione from Harry Potter and Wally from the Where’s Wally series.

The day began with an assembly where quotes from famous authors were displayed, and photos of the pupils’ wonderful costumes were taken in the library. Later, the pupils welcomed author Sally Gardner, who gave an inspiring talk entitled ‘Dreams’. Her dream, which at one point seemed impossible, had been to become an author, as writing was and is “the love of her life”. Although she previously worked as a theatre and costume designer, the only thing she has ever wanted to do was write. Sally emphasised the importance of following your dreams regardless of size or shape.

Sally said that she has always loved words and stories but was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 12. Because of this she was bullied at school and called “Silly Sally”, but one way of dealing with the bullies was to tell them frightening ghost stories which earned their respect. She compared having dyslexia to being like a swan who has to paddle much harder than a duck to glide gracefully across the water, and encouraged dyslexic pupils to identify themselves and ask her questions about the challenges of dyslexia. Sally also showed the children photographs of famous people with dyslexia such as Agatha Christie, Walt Disney, Scott Fitzgerald, Hans Christian Andersen and Pablo Picasso.

The children enjoyed listening to Sally read passages from her books I Coriander and Operation Bunny.  The children asked Sally Gardner numerous questions at the end of the talk about her books and life. She told them that her favourite childhood book was Paddington Bear; the book she wished she had written is Great Expectations; she loves naming characters and seeks inspiration from gravestones whilst walking her dog in Stoke Newington graveyard.

A big thank you goes to Sally for taking the time to come and inspire our pupils.

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