John Lewis and Barnardo's are both celebrating their 150th anniversaries, and, as part of their celebrations, they've joined forces to create a fantastic new programme, Bringing Skills to Life. The programme uses the power of storytelling to not only encourage reading, but also to help raise finds for Barnardo's, the UK's largest children's charity.
As part of the programme, John Lewis are arranging regular Story Time events in their shops this summer.
Last Saturday, I had the privilege of holding one of these events in front of a group of children and their parents, grandparents and guardians at Peter Jones in Sloane Square, London.
I read 'The Queen's Hat', which meant that we spent time spotting the butler, the corgi and lots of other things on each page.
Even though it's not out until Jan, I also read 'Please Mr Panda' for the very first time to ANYONE, ANYWHERE (excluding my publisher, agent, family and friends, of course - and any industry folk who've glanced a sneak peek).
So, instead of drawing corgis, we drew Mr Panda and his tray of doughnuts.
The audience were great. I was impressed with thier drawings, and I did promise some of the budding artists that I'd post their brilliant Mr Pandas online, so here they are (below), along with some other pictures of the event.
I do encourage you to find out more about the Bringing Skills to Life programme, including Story Time dates, by going HERE.
For more information on Barnardo's, and to donate, go HERE.
'The Queen's Hat', published by Hodder Children's, is out in hardback, and 'Please Mr Panda', also Hodder, is out in Jan.
Thank you to Hodder, and to Barnado's and John Lewis for having me. And thanks to those that came, sat, drew and donated.
Here are some Mr Pandas!