20th Anniversary Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour with Julia Donaldson
In March 2018, the Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour took Julia Donaldson to meet pupils in Dundee, Stirling, Glasgow, Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders for a fantastic week of school events and performances!
Julia had previously toured with the Children's Book Tour in 2012 (to find out more visit our Touring Tales page). As part of the 20th Anniversary Celebrations the tour took Julia back on the road to visit libraries across Scotland and to meet 880 P3-4 pupils.
The Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour started the week with a fantastic event at the Steps Theatre at Dundee Central Library. The theatre was packed with 250 pupils from five schools across Dundee, and all the pupils thoroughly enjoyed Julia and Malcolm's musical renditions of Superworm and What the Ladybird Heard. Two schools had also been working hard to prepare their own performance for Julia and Malcolm.
St Puis RC Primary School had created their own play inspired by the DC Thompson character Oor Wullie. One of the Oor Wullie from the Dundee Bucket Trail even made an appearance on stage! And Our Lady's RC Primary School had created amazing costumes to accompany their performance of Loon on the Moon by Chae Strathie. To see photos from these and more performances across the week, visit our Photo Gallery.
From there, the Book Tour headed to Stirling for a day of events at Raploch Community Campus. Especially memorable was afternoon session with Castleview School, a school for pupils with additional support needs. Musicians from Big Noise joined in the fun, and providing brilliant musical accompaniment for the school's performance of What the Ladybird Heard and the Makaton choir. To hear Julia taking more about this session, watch this interview with Julia.
On Wednesday, the Children’s Book Tour teamed up with the Wee Write Festival at the Glasgow Mitchell Library for a busy morning with 400 pupils from across Glasgow. Annette Street Primary School dazzled the audience with their performance of Mr Wolf’s Pancakes (and their pancake dance!) and everyone was amazed by the fantastic costumes from Sunnyside Primary School, and the ecological message they managed to include in their performance inspired by their NaeStrawAtAw campaign. Pupils enjoyed a performance of some of Julia’s classics and best loved stories, including The Gruffalo in Scots and A Squash and A Squeeze.
In the afternoon, the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour visited Darnley Primary School and Visual Impairment Unit. Julia enjoyed a wonderful renditions of poems (complete with puppets, football kits and skipping ropes) which the P4 pupils had chosen from Julia’s collection Poems to Perform.
From Glasgow, the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour headed south into the Scottish Borders, enjoying performances at Galashiels Library and Eyemouth Library. Many of the school performances had a Scottish twist, with Julia being delighted by Tweedbank Primary School's performance of The Guffalo’s Wain, St Joseph’s Primary School's The Tale of Tam Lin by Lari Don, and Eyemouth Primary School's performance of The Wee Girl Who Swallowed a Midgie by Rebecca Colby.
The tour ended the week in Dumfries and Galloway, with fantastic events in Lochthorn and Kirkcudbright Libraries. Pupils from Holywood Primary School and Lochside Primary School loved performing The Magic Paintbrush with Julia and Malcolm, and you can see a clip from that performance here.
A huge thank you to Julia, Malcolm, Scottish Friendly and all the teachers, librarians, library staff and pupils we visited during this amazing week!
Inspired to develop your own performance in school? Explore these resources to help you develop your poetry performance or picture book play:
- PictureBookPlays offers teachers excellent resources, support and advice on performing picture book stories.
- Scottish Book Trust also has a number of resources on adapting picture books. Take a look at our video by Pam Wardell on How to Turn Picture Books into Plays or Quick ideas for Performing Picture Books inspired by Ed Vere's picture books.
- For performing poems, Perform a Poem offers teacher’s advice on adapting poetry for performance and our Case Study: Inspiring Poetry Across the School has tips on performance from poet James Carter.