You were born an original. Don’t die a copy. John Mason
We’re all complex, unique individuals, born with our own imagination and creativity. We only have to listen to children play to understand that their imagination has no limits!
As educators we need to nurture this, encourage and inspire every child to develop their natural ability. We must be enthusiastic about their ideas, giving them space, time and support to develop them. This will build their confidence to believe that anything is possible.
As an Author I feel very privileged to bring inspiration and wonder into a class of children when I talk to them about my books. Children will, of course, learn about books, authors and illustrators but when a ‘real life’ Author visits their class it’s a special day!
I tell the class about where my ideas come from and how I create my characters. The children listen intently and enjoy seeing proof sheets and original illustrations. Children are encouraged to write a question for my Q&A session. One of my favourite questions is, ‘Can anyone be an Author?’
I love to answer, ‘Yes, they can. Would you like to be an Author?’
It’s very rewarding to see a class full of aspiring authors and illustrators after my talk.
Children never disappoint with funny questions too. One child obviously thought that I was a particularly hard-working author when they asked, ‘Do you ever sleep?’
After listening to my stories about ‘days out’ a few schools have started a creative writing project with the theme, ‘A Day at the …..’ This allows the children to be creative and imagine a day out anywhere!
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
My books feature positive images of disability throughout. Disability isn’t mentioned in the text, this means each character is accepted for who they are, not defined by their disability. Sometimes my books provide an opportunity to discuss disability but sometimes it is just observed and accepted.
Disability is part of life and needs to be reflected in children’s books. All young children accept differences, their curiosity will raise questions and they develop attitudes from the answers they receive.
We must show through our attitudes and actions that we value all children equally.
Author, ‘Hattie and friends’