Local children’s author and illustrator James Mayhew visited Bungay Library to entertain a group of children from Bungay Primary School and library staff.
The event was held on Tuesday 2 April (International Children’s Book Day) to officially launch the very first Suffolk Libraries Children’s Month – a campaign to encourage more children and families to use their local library.
James lives locally and is best known for the Ella Bella Ballerina books and his illustrations in Gaspard the Fox by Zeb Soanes. James also created the special Children’s Month logo for us, based on the Mouse and Mole series of books by Joyce Dunbar, which are being republished in May.
A group of twenty 6-7 year olds from Bungay Primary School came along to hear James explain how he created his first book Katie’s Picture Show, published in 1989, and how Mouse and Mole inspired the Children’s Month logo. Reading from Mouse and Mole, James brought the grumpy Mr Mole and the more optimistic little Mouse to life, as they argued over what they should eat over the winter.
Afterwards, he told the story of Baba Yaga Bony Legs, based on the Russian tale, and the story of St George and the Dragon, creating illustrations of the stories whilst storytelling. Inspired by these stories, the children then asked James many questions about his work and the creation of his many ideas.
When it was time to leave, James offered the school the currently unpublished very first copy of the new edition of Mouse and Mole for their school library and the two pictures he’d painted during the storytelling.
James said: “Libraries are real creative hubs, full of sorts of activities and events, particularly at the moment with Children’s Month, but libraries are always doing all sorts of interesting activities. Enjoy the fact that it’s free and it’s available to everyone. It’s a wonderful resource, it’s a great community thing. For me libraries are the absolute pillars of civilisation and to not use them you’d be missing out on so much.”