Literary heights for Craigholme students

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Imaginative pupils at Craigholme School may be feeling inspired after a visit from the UK Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell.

The writer enthralled more than 300 boys and girls aged 6-14 when he dropped in to the Pollokshields school on his first visit to Scotland since being appointed three months ago.

The Junior 1 to Senior 4 classes were treated to Mr Riddell’s life story, complete with his own illustrations, to mark the publication of his latest novel, Goth Girl and the Wuthering Fright.

He explained: “My father was a vicar, and I had to go to church every Sunday morning.

“My father’s sermons were very long and to keep me occupied my mother gave me a pencil and paper and encouraged me to draw.

“So while dad was preaching ‘Love thy neighbour’ and ‘Peace on earth’ I was drawing castles on fire and knights getting their heads chopped off.”

After studying illustration at Brighton Polytechnic, Chris became a prolific artist and writer, going on to win numerous awards and write the Goth Girl series, Ottoline series and picture books The Emperor of Absurdia and Alienography.

A spokesman for Craigholme commented: “At the end of his talk, Mr Riddell was almost overwhelmed by the number of questions the children wanted to ask him.

“He concluded by stating that he hopes to be able to emphasise to the children he meets the pleasure they can derive from reading.”