Zoe and I headed off early again on Wednesday morning, this time not too far, to the Toorak campus of Geelong Grammar School. In a tree lined street with a beautiful mix of old and new homes, the school sits perfectly in its surrounds. We met the lovely librarian, Helen Taylor and our bookseller was My Bookshop by Corrie Perkins.
Helen had put together a fabulous display of my book covers and it was clear that the girls were well prepared to meet Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose. Although the school is co-ed, I talked to all of the girls in Years 3-6. This was a special treat that had come about through a connection with one of the girls, Jess, whose aunt is a friend of Margie Seale, who up until recently was the MD at Random House Australia.
The girls appeared in their sports uniforms, which I have to say were one of the prettiest I’ve seen (and I’ve glimpsed a lot of uniforms in recent times). They were an appreciative and enthusiastic audience and it was great to meet them all and sign their books.
We had three events lined up for the day so we jumped in the car and headed across to Camberwell Girls’ Grammar. It’s a lovely school too and having been there around this time a year ago, it was great to see the teachers I’d met previously, as well as the girls. This time I worked with Year 3-5 as Year 6 were out on camp. There was one student in Year 5 who was certainly an avid Alice-Miranda fan – I think she knows more about the books than I do!
The girls howled with laughter at the scene with Mr Sparks from the first Clementine Rose book and it was a pleasure to answer questions and sign their books. I have really enjoyed telling the children about the upcoming Alice-Miranda diary – which will be released in September. It’s been fantastic hearing their ideas for inclusions and one little girl asked me if we could have a page about how to draw Alice-Miranda – a great thought, which I’ll be sharing with my publisher Chris.
After CGG we sped out of town to Doveton where we hit the local bakery for some delicious sausage rolls before arriving at Maranatha Christian School. The children were fizzing – the excitement was palpable and it was wonderful to be met with such enthusiasm. Lynne Mitchell, the librarian had done a fantastic job of preparing the children and they were so keen to learn about Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose. There had been a colouring and collage competition and the lucky winners received signed copies of my books as their prizes. I received a beautiful collection of the children’s work and a goody bag with yummy treats. Lamont Books did a great job too with the sales.
After the session, in the beautiful new school multipurpose hall, Zoe and I were treated to a delicious afternoon tea with Lynne and quite a few of the staff. It was great to take a breath and sit down for a while before driving back into the city.