Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson will be making a special visit to Weymouth Library on 5 October as part of her national tour of libraries. Weymouth Library has been picked from 100s of applications to be one of only 24 libraries on the English and Welsh leg of the Children’s Laureate Libraries Tour this autumn.

 As part of her Children’s Laureateship, Julia Donaldson – bestselling author of over 150 books including The Gruffalo, What the Ladybird Heard and Zog – is embarking on a tour of libraries that will take in England, Wales and Scotland, from John O’Groats to Lands’ End, over six weeks, commencing on 10 September in Thurso in the Hebrides and finishing on 18 October in Carlisle.
Schoolchildren from local schools will be attending the invite-only event, which will see Julia bringing some of her hugely popular stories to life through special dramatisations. They will also be showing off their own acting and singing skills during a short performance inspired by children’s literature which they will present to Julia. Julia will be at signing copies of her books at the event.
Julia Donaldson comments: ‘Libraries are very close to my heart, and so is performance. This tour is my way of bringing the two together, by visiting fantastic libraries all over the country, enjoying children acting and singing, and sharing my own stories with them. I want it to be a huge celebration of libraries and of the benefits they offer to communities and especially to children.’

Tracy Long, Manager for Dorset Library Services comments:

“We are really pleased that Julia has chosen Weymouth Library as part of her tour, and 250 local children will be attending the event.  We are all very excited about meeting Julia and some of her characters and really look forward to the event.

I am sure the show will encourage the children to read more books and hopefully also become regular library customers.”

Julia will be joined on the tour by her musical husband Malcolm – who recently retired from his career as a paediatrician – on stage at the events and on the road in the Laureate Libraries Tour van. The husband and wife duo, who spent their student summers busking in France, will be celebrating their Ruby wedding anniversary whilst on the tour.

Julia embarked on her two year tenure as the seventh Children’s Laureate in June 2011. At the ceremony in which she was awarded the Waterstones Children’s Laureate medal for 2011-2013, Julia announced that her main focuses would be ‘drama, music, stories for deaf children, libraries…. linked to the biggest thing of all – the pleasure and richness to be gained from reading.’

To coincide with the launch of her libraries tour, Julia will also be launching a new website for teachers on 10 September to help them to use drama and performance to bring picture books to life in the classroom.

 The role of Children’s Laureate is awarded once every two years to an eminent writer or illustrator of children’s books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field. Former Children’s Laureates include Quentin Blake, Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Rosen.

Julia Donaldson is the author of over 150 books and plays for children and teenagers, including The Gruffalo (the animation of which was nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA), Room on the Broom, Stick Man, Cave Baby, Freddie and the Fairy and What the Ladybird Heard – some ofthe UK’s best-selling picture books – and the award-winning teenage novel Running on the Cracks. In 2010, Donaldson was the most borrowed children’s author from UK libraries. Her latest books Superworm (Alison Green Books) and The Paper Dolls (Macmillan Children’s Books) will be published in autumn 2012.

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