Bringing Horrible History to life with Martin Brown!

Martin Brown

In May 2015 the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour visited Primary and Secondary Schools in Orkney and Shetland with the brilliant Martin Brown!

Did you know that one British soldier in the First World War trenches counted 10,428 lice in his shirt alone? Or that it took two attempts for the executioner to chop off Mary Queen of Scot’s head? These are just some of the foul facts from history which Pupils from Orkney and Shetland learnt when Martin Brown, illustrator of the hugely popular Horrible Histories series, visited their schools as part of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour.

Over the course of the week Martin brought the grisly tales and nasty nuggets of history to life for over 1,300 children from 19 different schools. The tour kicked off with two days in Orkney, visiting schools in Stromness, Kirkwall, Dounby and Toab before a very rough and sleepless overnight ferry crossing brought us to Shetland to visit schools in Aith, Brae, Lerwick, Whalsay and Dunrossness. Intrepid pupils travelled from all over the islands to attend one of Martin’s sessions, one school with only 2 upper primary pupils travelled over an hour by ferry to see Martin in action!

Martin Brown

Throughout the week Martin talked to captivated audiences about how an illustration for a Horrible Histories book happens – from author’s text, to ideas, through looking at references to the finished drawing. He also sharing some tips on how to bring characters to life and create different expressions using just a few dots and lines. In each session pupils were encouraged to have fun with their drawings and to create characters of their own, leading to some weird and wonderful creations!

Martin’s most important message for pupils was that drawing should be brilliant fun and after each event pupils were left buzzing with enthusiasm to make some drawings of their own. Many teachers reported back that there has been a drawing frenzy in school ever since Martin’s visit!

A huge thank you to Martin Brown for a brilliant week and to all of the brilliant pupils and staff who we visited in Orkney and Shetland!

Congratulations to Theresa Douglas who won a signed copy of the extremely grisly Horrible Histories: Scotland in our Martin Brown competition!

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