Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson zooms into 
libraries on her broomstick

JULIA DONALDSON at Galashiels Library with pupils from Tweedbank and Fountainhall primary schools
JULIA DONALDSON at Galashiels Library with pupils from Tweedbank and Fountainhall primary schools

Children’s Laureate and author of The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson zoomed into Borders libraries in Hawick and Galashiels on her broomstick recently.

The visits were part of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour 2012, organised by the Scottish Book Trust. The tour will see Julia visit 14 libraries across Scotland – a total of 35 across the UK.

Using backdrops, costumes and masks they had made themselves, primary school children from Stirches and Trinity schools in Hawick, and Fountainhall and Tweedbank at Galashiels performed the plays Party Animals by Tony Mitton and David Wojtowycz, and Monkey Puzzle and Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson.

Dressed as a witch for Room on the Broom, Julia spoke to the children and involved them in the performance, aided by colleague Michael Merillo, children’s events manager from the Scottish Book Trust, who played the part of the dog.

Commenting on the tour, Julia Donaldson said: “I am delighted to be participating in the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour. I’m always encouraging children to get involved in acting and reading aloud. Kids love participating in storytelling, whether that’s acting out parts or singing choruses. These activities can have a massive impact on children’s reading skills, so are very important.”

Julia Cawthorne, assistant librarian, enthused about the visit. She said: “It was a real pleasure to have Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson visit us in our Borders’ libraries. The children had a marvellous time making their costumes and props, and then joining in performances of some of their much-loved books and plays.

“Joining in these performances is a great way to spark their imaginations and get them reading even more books and I should like to thank Julia for involving them in such a marvellous way.”

Following the fun of all the performances, Julia took questions from the children and signed books.