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A much bigger event today, at Elgin Library, which is set in a lovely park with a pond and a playground. The large and well-stocked library also houses an information centre and houses exhibitions by local artists and craftsmen.
Hopeman Primary acted out “The Enormous Crocodile”, which was the most ambitious performance so far on the tour, with lots of lines to be learnt by the cast. Not only were they word perfect but they projected really well and put lots of expression into the acting. The props and costumes were great too, including 3D crocodile masks and a beautiful canvas of the universe. The props crew and some cast members hid behind the cardboard scenery, so that it really felt like being at the theatre.
Afterwards, Kinloch Primary did a spirited rendering of “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” – again word-perfect and with lots of expression, plus instruments to represent each landscape (maracas for the swishy grass,, a tambourine for the river, and so on). The performance finished with an impressive cymbal clash.
We did the Nut Tree song (with Beth from Scottish Book Trust starring as a very graceful sapling), followed by “The Magic Paintbrush”, “Paula the Vet” and “A Squash and a Squeeze”.
The signing was long but very efficiently run, and afterwards, over lunch with the librarians, I was impressed when one of them said, “I could spend all my time with children, introducing them to books.” I think it’s so important that this enthusiasm and expertise is recognised and cherished, and that professional librarians are not continuously supplanted by well-meaning but far less knowledgeable council staff or volunteers.
Elgin was our first "short" day, by that I mean only one event. Though, it did have more than twice the usual number of pupils. With a signing queue to match. It was great library and not to mention excellent staff.
I was most impressed by this older kid who was there, I reckon he was one of the so-called "Teenagers," by the stubbly cheeks he was sporting. He's a life-long fan of Julia's work and wanted to get a tattered old copy of the Gruffalo signed. However, he was cool with waiting until the nearly the end, and in fact, he sat and read stories to the very small P-1s at the back of the gallery, keeping the little ones interested and entertained for thirty minutes. Good lad!
Speaking of entertained; Beth reckons that Elgin might be more to her liking. While the woods around Randolph's Leap are very nice, a big city gal like her needs a little urban lifestyle to stay happy.
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