Yesterday was the 25th World Book Day. I love WBD but this year for me it was tainted with sadness and sweetened with dreams. You see I woke up to a Facebook memory reminding me that the last time one of my children dressed up for WBD was on it’s 20th anniversary five years ago.
WBD was a really event in our house, the children, bookworms, who love dressing up would plan weeks ahead, and we’d beg, borrow, steal and fashion their costumes See my post about it here. Also having worked in bookshops, it’d be big for me too, as I attended in shop author events and assisted school visits across the week. Some years, when I had a contract - I actually did school visits as an author, promoting the love of stories, reading and running writing workshops. When I worked at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre we do celebration too.
But this year, like the past few years, my children are too old and it’s not celebrated at their school, and I am no longer a bookseller or working at the museum, plus I am still pre-published so no author visits for me. So it feels like WBD is a party I’m not invited to. I found myself avoiding social media, as seeing all the posts of children dressed up, and friends preparing for this school visits was making me down.
BUT THEN I STARTED TO DREAM. (Dangerous I know!)
What if, my current WIP was published, what would my WBD look like?
I would like to think I’d be doing some school visits, to KS2 & KS3, so I started to imagine what my author visit would look like.
Firstly - I’d have to look smart – as I work from home in a building site - I dress like a bag lady. This won’t do at all. So either I’d go for my mammoth 50’s skirt with a twin set. Or smart trousers and blazer, with the t-shirts a friend made me featuring the mammoth characters from my book. Either way I’d accessorise with the lovely pin badge my Son’s friend made me of another of my mammoth characters based on my illustrations.
What would I take with me?
- Obviously my PowerPoint on a USB.
- Some markers to draw.
- For KS2 a mammoth plush (I have many to choose from!)
- Some elephant poo paper.
- I’d probably get some inexpensive (black ink on coloured card) bookmarks printed with the book name blurb and my name on, and sign for each child. This way every child gets something even if they don’t buy the book, and if they want to buy it later they have all the details. This is a tip I learnt from Jane Clarke on one of the SCBW Professional Series (now industry insiders) session years ago.
- Time line tape measure.
- Maybe a small fragment of mammoth fossil.
What would my talk be like?
Obviously I’d read an extract from the book. Then I’d do my interactive PowerPoint presentation. Now my current WIP is a STEM Cli-Fi adventure. With an own-vice neuro-diverse element with the main protagonist having dyslexia and dyscalculia. Here’s the Pitch…
Ash and her friend’s, Ruby an escapologist, and Jack a technical whiz, must save the herd of mammoths that have been cloned to help slow global warming, from an evil big game hunting obsessed billionaire with unlimited resources. The children must work together and use their talents and their secret weapon – Ash’s ability to talk to the mammoths - to save the herd, themselves and the world.
The talk would cover, mammoths facts, cloning, how cloning mammoths could help slow global warming. How STEM solutions can help with climate change and to save endangered species. Also about Pliocene Park, in Siberia, where they have reintroduced animals that were native to the tundra to help stop global warming. I’d also cover a little bit about dyslexia and dyspraxia.
I would as I go along, draw illustrations to explain points and use a combination of my own illustrations and other images for the PowerPoint. To end would be Q&A. this is where the elephant poo paper comes in because guaranteed there’ll be a question about Mammoths not being good for the environment due to the amount of farts they do, and I shall say, but with farts comes poo, and look what we can make from it!
Anyways, this is just my little dream of how potential a future WBD may look like or me, and also how a school visit may be! Although I am a long way off, it was nice to spend a bit of time dreaming which made me feel a tad more connected with World Book Day.