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Gruffalo Author Wants to Serve Dinner to Federer


Blythswood Square, Glasgow -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/08/2012 -- Waterstones Children’s Laureate and Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson has revealed her dream party guest — tennis star Roger Federer!

The best-selling children’s writer says she would love to invite the Wimbledon champ to tea, along with playwright William Shakespeare and Austrian composer Franz Schubert.

Julia revealed her ideal party line-up as she was quizzed by pupils from a Glasgow primary school before embarking on the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour.

Four excited pupils from Crookfur Primary School in Newton Mearns asked the Waterstones Children’s Laureate a variety of questions about her life and work.

Julia revealed her favourite children's book and offered advice for budding young writers — as well as declaring who she would most like to invite to a party.

The 64-year-old author told them: “If I could have people from my past to my dream party I would love to have William Shakespeare so I could ask him about his plays.”

“I’d like some composers too. Schubert wrote wonderful music and songs, so he could come along.”

“And I might have the tennis player Roger Federer there too, because I quite like him!”

Julia, who lives in Bearsden, near Glasgow, also revealed that she had dreamed of being a writer since the age of FIVE.

She told the pupils: “I was given a big fat book of poems when I was five and it was my ambition to be a poet.”

“But I did change my mind lots of times and I also wanted to be an actress and a teacher.”

“But I am now doing what I wanted to do when I was five years old.”

Julia also revealed that it can take up to TWO YEARS to write one of her popular children’s stories.

She said: “Every book is different but sometimes it takes a very long time to think up the ideas. It might take years but it’s a very important part of it.”

“The actual writing might take anything between two weeks to a couple of years. It’s very, very variable.”

Julia told the Crookfur Primary pupils about one of her own personal favourite kids’ books — Watership Down, by Richard Adams.

The multi-million selling author said: “I haven’t really got one favourite book but I would thoroughly recommend Watership Down.”

“It’s a really exciting story about a lot of rabbits who are escaping their warren because it’s been poisoned. They have to find a new home and they have all sorts of adventures.”

“It’s a really, really brilliant book, either to read to yourself or out loud.”

Julia also had some good advice for youngsters who might want to follow in her literary footsteps.

She said: “Read a lot — read every book you can get your hands on and keep reading because that’s going to help your writing skills.”

“But also, just write. If you want to be a writer you've got to actually start doing it. They don’t have to be stories — a lovely thing to write is short plays. I used to like doing that at school as you don’t have to put all the descriptive bits in, just what people say.”

The hugely successful Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour saw Julia meet over 1,100 children at libraries across Scotland between September 10th and 19th.

The tour, in association with the Scottish Book Trust, aims to help support children’s reading and writing with a series of fun events.

Julia performed readings and answered questions about her popular children’s books, including The Gruffalo and The Snail And The Whale, which have sold millions of copies worldwide.

The full video of the children’s interview with Julia Donaldson can be found on the Scottish Friendly Website.

Get more details of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour.

About Scottish Friendly
Scottish Friendly is a progressive and modern financial services group. The group provides investors and their families with a wide range of investment products.