UK braced for mischief as schoolchildren get set for "horrid" World Book Day

Press release – 16th February 2012

The world famous author of the Horrid Henry books, Francesca Simon, is to give a very mischievous live broadcast to children across Scotland during a special World Book Day celebration on 1 March at 11am. The Scottish Friendly Meet Our Authors Event, run by Scottish Book Trust, will be broadcast live from Glasgow and will be available afterwards for free from the Scottish Book Trust website.

Fans of the Horrid Henry books are invited to watch live as Francesca discusses why her naughty antihero, who is now a global phenomenon for his relentlessly impish exploits, means to so much to her, as well as treating us to some readings of her work and revealing how she approaches writing. The event is suitable for children in P1-P6.

Francesca Simon commented: “I’m very much looking forward to taking part in the live Meet our Authors event on World Book Day. I’m glad that Horrid Henry won’t be with me in person, as he’d probably turn off all the cameras and run riot, but it will be wonderful to share his spirit of adventure, imagination and creativity with thousands of children across the UK. World Book Day is a celebration of the magic of books, and I hope that this event will reflect that magic -when children enjoy a book, they discover a whole new world of adventure and excitement and marvels.”

The event will not only be attended by children from P4 at St Bartholomew’s in North Lanarkshire, but will also be broadcast live over the internet to over twenty thousand children across the UK at from 11am.

The award-winning Scottish Friendly Meet Our Authors programme includes an exclusive series of authors’ events streamed live over the internet to provide young people, parents and teachers with the chance to get up close and personal with some of the world’s leading children’s writers. Run by Scottish Book Trust, Scotland’s leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing, the programme is the first of its kind in the UK. Anyone can sign up to watch and it is completely free.

Calum Bennie, marketing manager at Scottish Friendly, remarked: “An event such as The Scottish Friendly Meet Our Authors event is the perfect opportunity for pupils across the UK to find out what their favorite authors think about writing. Through having such a renowned author as Francesca Simon take part, our hope is that young people will be inspire creatively, and enjoy improving their reading and writing skills, something that is fundamentally important in life. We encourage fans of all ages to watch online and look forward to seeing the questions people post during the online webchat after her talk.”

Chris Newton, acting children’s programme manager of Scottish Book Trust, added: “Horrid Henry has encouraged many children to explore the pleasure of reading, and to be able to beam Francesca Simon live to her thousands of UK fans on World Book Day is a fitting celebration of the power of books.”

Francesca will be the thirteenth author to take part in the Meet Our Authors programme which began in March 2010 with poet Michael Rosen, followed by author of The Gruffalo and Children’s Laureate, Julia Donaldson. The programme has also seen events from Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Charlie Higson, Eoin Colfer and Liz Lochhead have all taken part, broadcasting to over 450,000 children across the UK during the events.

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