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That’s the way to do it!

I went with my daughter to see Elen Caldecott at the Book Festival last night and wow were we impressed!  It was the best children’s book event I’ve ever been to.  Like many authors, Elen talked about how she goes about writing a book – but the difference was that she made it so interactive and inspiring.  Getting several suggestions from the audience and then having a vote, she managed (using just 9 words, Emily counted them!) to get a story outline.  Then she guided us through a visualisation of one of the settings and asked us specific questions to get us to imagine it fully, including all the senses.  The way it was done was brilliant, keeping everyone’s attention and making everyone feel involved.  And did I mention how funny she was?  All in all a hugely informative and entertaining experience.

It was an astonishingly small audience – people obviously don’t know what a treat they missed!  But the good thing was that everybody got a chance to contribute and everyone did.

We happened to be sitting next to Julia Donaldson, Children’s Laureate, and she told the organisers how impressed she was too.  So, fans of well-written and entertaining children’s fiction, I recommend you go out and buy one of Elen’s books.  The latest is Operation Eiffel Tower.  And if you ever get a chance to hear her speak, grab it with both hands.

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