AUTHOR Frank Cottrell-Boyce, from Blundellsands, paid a visit to a primary school in Southport to open its new outside reading area.
The award-winning writer, who has collaborated with Oscar winning director Danny Boyle and was the writer behind the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, made a special appearance at St John’s C of E Primary in Crossens.
The Bootle-born novelist and screenwriter inspired teachers and children alike with stories of his own school-days and they were the first to get a sneak preview of his new book.
He read an excerpt from Noah’s Gold, released on May 12, which tells the story of a boy marooned on a desert island with his friends while on a geography field trip.
Frank chatted to pupils from Year 4, 5 and 6 and answered questions in the playground before officially opening the Seaside Garden reading area and cutting the ribbon.
He told pupils he had spent lockdown re-reading some of his favourite novels and said: “Reading takes me to a happy place.”
Year 6 pupil Marley Hall said: “He was brilliant and made us all laugh. He told us about his first day of school when got teased for wearing a red bow-tie because his mum said he’d look smart and how he thought one of his teachers was actually a Dalek.”
In a bid to give pupils lots of opportunity and a quiet space to read staff at St John’s have been busy creating reading areas all over the school.
The outdoor Seaside Garden is decorated with photographs of Southport taken during lockdown by students and filled with seating made from reclaimed decking and tyres.
Year 1 teacher Charlotte Preston who planned and put together the outdoor area said: “Frank was so lovely. He gave up his time to come and inspire our children which was just wonderful.
“He spoke about first getting into story writing when he was still at primary school and his great love of comics and answered lots of questions from the children like the first book he read and the first one he wrote which was Millions that won the Carnegie Medal.
“There were also lots of questions about Dr Who after he told them he had written a few episodes of the show.”