10 October 2011 at 09:59
On Friday our office team enjoyed a day out at the nearby Cheltenham Festival of Literature 2011 to attend Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson's fabulous Singalong event.
Accompanied by her husband on the guitar, she engaged 600 schoolchildren in her lively songs and stories. Her sister and great-nieces joined the cast, along with lots of children from the audience, together acting out favourites such as "The Stick Man" and "The Gruffalo", who made a special guest appearance in person!
After the event, we enjoyed chatting to Julia to find out more about her work. Did you know she started her career as a children's songwriter? She was equally interested in hearing the latest news from Readathon, of which she is a great advocate.
"Inspiring children to read is the greatest gift you can give them", she says.
She is also keen on our new Readwell programme, which takes books and storytellers into children's hospitals, not least because her guitar-playing husband Malcolm is a paediatrician.
An interview given by Julia later that afternoon is now available to see here. Her next mission is to collect her MBE later this week, awarded in the Queen's Birthday Honours, a few days after she was made Children's Laureate!