Julia Donaldson celebrates release of three new books with signing in Steyning

Book signing with Julia Donaldson at The Steyning Bookshop as she celebrates the release of three new book. Picture: Derek Martin DM18102798a
Book signing with Julia Donaldson at The Steyning Bookshop as she celebrates the release of three new book. Picture: Derek Martin DM18102798a

Fans of Julia Donaldson were able to meet the popular children’s author in person at a book-signing in Steyning.

The former Children’s Laureate was at The Steyning Bookshop on Saturday to celebrate the release of three new books.

Julia said: “We are very lucky that we have such a wonderful bookshop in Steyning.”

Animalphabet is an educational gift book; The Girl, the Bear and the Magic Shoes is a new story illustrated by Lydia Monk; and Bombs and Blackberries is an illustrated hardback edition of Julia’s play about the Second World War.

Bombs and Blackberries was actually written a while ago but it still means a lot to Julia.

She explained: “It was so fascinating writing it because it is about evacuees in the Second World War and I did a huge amount of research. I did a lot of research in Manchester, which was bombed on Christmas Day.

“They had this special song and they sang it when they got on the train. The song is in the book. It is so beautifully illustrated this time around, by Thomas Docherty.

“It is good for schools and there are enough parts for a class to act it out if they want to but I think it should be possible to just read it as a story.”

Animalphabet is something a bit different, an exquisite exploration of the animal world with peep-through pages and fold-out flaps.

Jula admitted: “Animalphabet I feel is a bit of a cheat. It is a very simple idea and it is not a rhyming one but it has got absolutely beautiful flaps and cut-outs.

“It is a gift book. It is also for children to learn their letters. My own children had a book where there was just a black letter with a picture and that was a very good way of learning the shape of the letter.

“It could have been done very simply but this is sturdy and it is absolutely beautiful. It is a book to share.”

The Girl, the Bear and the Magic Shoes has a colours theme and different shoes for when the girl is in different terrains.

Julia said; “They are looking for a bear and they are quite cheeful about it until they realise they are being chased by a bear. I don’t want to give too much away but there is a reason the bear is following them.”

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