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On Thursday the 16th of May Wesley, John, Aaron, Maia, Daniel, Caleb, Jade, Hannah, Alicia, Emily, Mrs Bell and Mrs Noble-Campbell headed into the Aotea Centre to be a part of the Auckland Writers Festival. We were lucky enough to listen to three amazing authors and an accomplished illustrator.
Our first author was Fraser Smith. He is a school principal of a small school in Kaitaia, a fisherman and a sailor. He is widely known for his book “Awatea’s Treasure” which is based a time in his own childhood. Fraser believes in teaching students to use what they learn to make a difference to others and help build new knowledge. Fraser is an excellent impersonator of birds and enjoys incorporating birds in his books as characters. Fraser also writes songs as well as books and we were fortunate enough to experience two of his songs.
Our second author was Sally Gardner. She is an english writer who suffers from Dyslexia. Despite her learning difficulty Sally has gone on to publish many books and has won prizes for her books, especially one called “I Coriander”. Sally told us about her childhood and her struggles to learn how to read and write. Sally was inspired by other famous people like Walt Disney, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and Hans Christensen Anderson who were also dyslexic but pursued their dreams to reach their potential. Sally told us to “keep our dreams alive”.
Our third speaker was an illustrator called Craig Phillips. Craig is mainly known for his illustrations in the book of “Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beast” which is collection of traditional fairy tales that Craig has turned into graphic novels. Crag loves to draw. He showed us some of his work along with proofs of the stages he goes through to create a storyboard. We learnt about long shots, mid shots, close ups and splash pages. Craig showed us how to add movement to a page through the use of guttering and diagonal lines. We all got to practise drawing some animal faces and Craig gave us three simple tips to help us be successful.
Bren McDibble was our last author and she was very inspiring. Her books “How to Bee” and ” The Dog Runner” are stories based in the future in a time when the land has been attacked by an environmental issue such as no bees or no grasses to provide us with food. She spoke about doing things to care for our earth and making a difference through our actions to ensure that what she writes about in her books does not become a reality in our world. Bren purposely creates creative and courageous characters to help inspire her readers to stand up and do something before it is too late. We all found that Bren’s messages connected well with our current topic of Harmony and left us all with something to think about.
We all found the day thoroughly engaging and learnt a lot to take back into our own lives and our own learning.
A special thanks to Mrs Bell for organising this event for us; we hope we can repay her by showing her what we have learnt through our own writing.