Children’s author leads bagel balancing fun at Sunnylands School

Sunnylands pupils queue to get their books signed by Nick Sharratt. INCT 49-708-CON
Sunnylands pupils queue to get their books signed by Nick Sharratt. INCT 49-708-CON

Popular children’s book illustrator and author Nick Sharratt has been sharing some of the secrets of his art with Carrick pupils.

Mr Sharratt visited Sunnylands Primary School as part of a campaign organised by the reading charity BookTrust with funds from NI Arts Council.

He said: “I’m delighted to be returning to Northern Ireland and working with BookTrust again, helping spread the message to schoolchildren that to develop a love of reading can bring not only enormous pleasure, but will lead the way to all kinds of advantages and opportunities in later life.

“As an author/illustrator I’m also keen to promote picture books as the most fantastic learning tools and to encourage visual awareness and creative thinking. I always enjoy school visits and in the same way that I hope I might inspire and stimulate, I am sure I will return from these visits inspired and stimulated too.”

While reading from ‘Never Use a Knife and Fork’, Nick got children to take part in an activity which involved balancing bagels on their head - one pupil managed a total of 10.

Gareth Hamilton, principal Sunnylands PS, said: “We were very excited to meet a well-known author and illustrator and had a fabulous experience working with Nick Sharratt. We will remember his visit for a long time to come.”

The campaign aims to get more children excited by reading as it builds vocabulary, empathy and confidence, and leads to improved educational outcomes.

Damian Smyth, head of Literature, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: “The importance of introducing children to books and encouraging a love of reading at an early age cannot be overestimated. This tour organised by Book Trust, will inspire and delight schools and children throughout the region.

“The experience of spending time listening to these charismatic and enchanting authors and illustrators will remain with these young people for the rest of their lives.”