British author and illustrator Anthony Browne visited the Oasis Centre in Blackwood recently to talk to local school children about his love of books.
Anthony, who has nearly forty titles to his name, became the sixth Children’s Laureate last year – an appointment that recognises the importance of exceptional children’s writing.
Speaking about his appointment he said: “I hope to encourage more children to discover and love reading, but I want to focus particularly on the appreciation of picture books.
“Picture books are for everybody at any age, not books to be left behind as we grow older. The best ones leave a tantalising gap between the pictures and the words, a gap that is filled by the reader’s imagination, adding so much to the excitement of reading a book.”
Caerphilly library service was lucky to be able to offer more than 500 children the chance to spend some time with Anthony during his visit.
His presentation included a slide show of favourite illustrations from his many books, followed by a talk highlighting the power of picture books in promoting visual literacy
Chris Selby, the schools library service manager said: “Meeting Anthony was a wonderful experience for everyone concerned and one that I am sure we will treasure for a long time to come.”
Caerphilly County Borough Council has recently launched a scheme to help aspiring young writers.
The Young Writers Squad is for children who show exceptional talent in creative writing and will help develop their skills and talent throughout their school years.
Children in Years 4, 5 and 6 will be selected to take part and will attend a specialist workshop with a professional writer at least once a term.
Councillor Phil Bevan, cabinet member for education and leisure, said: “Schemes such as this are excellent in that they provide that little extra support to help some of our most talented youngsters to flourish academically.”