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Schoolchildren in Fife and Clackmannanshire are preparing to welcome award-winning illustrator Korky Paul this month as part of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour. Korky (whose real name is Hamish Vigne Christie Paul) will share his talents in drawing and creating colourful characters with 400 pupils when he visits 8 primary schools in the region between 24 and 27 March.
Korky grew up in Zimbabwe and spent his childhood exploring the wild wonders of the African Bushveldt. He developed a love of drawing at an early age, inspired by his grandmother’s paintings of Kalahari Bushmen. After completing a degree in Fine Art he carved out a successful career in advertising, working in South Africa, Los Angeles and London before becoming an illustrator. Korky has illustrated an array of picture and chapter books but is perhaps best known for the Winnie the Witch series, written by Valerie Thomas, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012. His artwork has won him numerous awards and his books have sold more than six million copies worldwide.
Korky is currently working on the latest Winnie the Witch title, Winnie’s Haunted House, and also teaches picture book illustration. His school visits are always extremely popular, giving pupils a chance to enjoy some of the fantastic stories he has illustrated, receive ‘Dinosaur Portraits’ of themselves drawn by Korky and do some drawing of their own.
Commenting on his upcoming tour, Korky said:
"With my Scottish blood I always feel I am coming home whenever I visit friendly, magical Scotland. There seems to be a great love of the arts in Scotland and it’s a pleasure to be a small part of it. I am looking forward to having magic moments with all my fans joined by Winnie the Witch and her cat Wilbur."
The tour is sponsored by Scottish Friendly Assurance and organised by Scottish Book Trust. Every year schools in four local authorities in Scotland and two in England receive author visits to inspire a love of reading, writing and illustration. Destinations for 2015 include Birmingham, Orkney and Shetland, and the Lake District. The tour visits both primary and secondary schools and has enthralled over 70,000 children since it began in 1998.
Commenting on Korky’s tour, Calum Bennie, Communications Manager at Scottish Friendly said:
"Illustrations are a great way to engage young people who may otherwise not be interested in books and with Korky Paul, school pupils in Fife and Clackmannanshire will see first-hand the skills of an illustrator extraordinaire."
Beth Bottery, Schools Events Manager at Scottish Book Trust, which is organising the tour, added:
"We are really looking forward to visiting schools in Fife and Clackmannanshire with Korky. His wonderful illustrations are instantly recognisable and his school visits always prove a real hit with young readers and art enthusiasts."
Scottish Friendly has sponsored the programme for the past 17 years, touring some of the finest children’s authors and illustrators including Malorie Blackman, Michael Rosen, Jacqueline Wilson, Melvin Burgess, Steve Cole, Michael Morpurgo, Chris Riddell and Sophie Mackenzie.
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