24th February 2020 — What could be more fun for children than a morning at school learning how to write a comic strip, conducting exploding science experiments and listening to a new story told by the longest serving Blue Peter presenter? Children from Chandlings and local Oxfordshire primary school Dry Sandford were lucky enough to be engaged and inspired by Konnie Huq, ex Blue Peter presenter and author who came to present her new book "Cookie and the most annoying boy in the world," at Chandlings.
Konnie's talk had everyone enthralled. She kicked off by building a comic strip story with the children’s input which included Cookie, the protagonist of her book, as the central character; who'd have thought that eating carrots would enable Cookie to see in the dark so effectively that she could spot the UFO living under her bed?
Konnie then invited two children to the stage to don lab coats and goggles as they did one of Cookie's favourite experiments - mentos fountains! Konnie finished by reading a passage from Chapter 4 of her book about spotting teachers out of school and the mysterious lives they might lead.
Konnie ended with a Q&A session where she had to answer questions from the children such as “How long did it take you to write the book and what inspired you to write books?” Konnie replied “I tend to write chunks of 500 words which is about a chapter so in total days it took around 2 months but in reality it took longer as I was busy with other things at the same time.”
Konnie’s inspiration to write came from the first book that she loved called Superfudge which really drew her into reading. During her days on Blue Peter she also had to judge books and met some amazing authors which also drew her towards writing. She sees her latest book Cookie as “Bridget Jones meets Wimpy Kid” and according to her son, “It’s his favourite book because it is brilliant and funny” and she hopes that all children will enjoy it as much as he has!
Nina Brown, Chandlings’ Librarian organised the talk along with local Abingdon book shop, Mostly Books. Sarah Dennis from Mostly Books said "We are so excited to be bringing Konnie to Abingdon! She was an inspiration on Blue Peter and is just full of energy so we knew that she would do a great job of getting children excited about both books and Science. Author events are a massive part of what we do at Mostly Books and we love it!"
Nina added, “We are privileged to be able to have authors visit us at Chandlings. They really inspire the children by bringing the craft of writing off the page and into the children’s day to day life. In doing so, they make reading and writing accessible to all.’