It sounds awfully serious, doesn’t it, the Federation of Children’s Book Groups? On the one hand, it has a very serious purpose indeed – to share great books for children – but on the other hand…well, we all like a bit of a party, don’t we?
I was invited to speak at the FCBG conference over the weekend – the pre-dinner slot on Saturday evening, just before the Gala Dinner with their special guest, the Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell. At first I was really stumped as to what to do in my half-hour event. The hundred or so librarians had spent the whole day listening to speakers, and I was there to tell them a bit about A STORM OF STRAWBERRIES, out at the end of June. My lovely publisher Piccadilly had produced some sweet little samplers of the first two chapters of the book, so I had to at least mention it – but how to do it without boring the pants off everyone?
Below you can see the results of my ponderings…a Great Big Strawberry Quiz, with three main rounds: a general knowledge round (everything from the ingredients in a strawberry daiquiri to the name of an obscure Shopkins character), a picture round (book covers with titles or author names blanked out) and…(because this is me, and ANY EXCUSE for a dress-up)…a ‘design a Flower Fairy Strawberry Fairy outfit’.
Just as I was getting started, Chris R himself turned up and offered his services as my glamorous assistant, doodling on the scoreboard and providing a tie-break question (that was FAR too easy, in my opinion!). I had an absolute ball 🙂 Photos below of the mayhem and laughter…
Many thanks to the FCBG team for inviting me and to everyone there for participating with such enthusiasm! And thanks to those whose photos I have shamelessly stolen from Twitter 😉 In these days of uncertainty over the future, and the feeling that many of us have that progression with inclusion and diversity are stalling, it is so uplifting and encouraging to be with people who value children’s literature so highly; who pride themselves on being able to provide the right child with the right book at exactly the right time…and who don’t mind dressing up as a strawberry flower fairy if the occasion demands it!