Evelina Hospital School is delighted to be working with celebrated children’s author Jeanne Willis over the course of the year as part of a newly launched Readathon-in-Residence scheme. The Readathon charity already donates a regular supply of new and up to date children’s books to hospitals across the country with monies raised from sponsored reading activities in school. This new scheme aims to partner popular children’s authors with schools and play departments in hospitals in longer term meaningful collaborations.

Jeanne is author of many well known titles, including Tadpole’s Promise; Dr Xargle’s Book of Earthlets; Mummy Do You Love Me?; Bog Baby and Bottoms Up! Staff, families and pupils were all delighted to listen to Jeanne read from her books Mole’s Sunrise and Sunrise Laughs that explore visual impairment, disability, friendship and love. We were lucky enough to have some of Jeanne’s books from Living Paintings, a charity that creates and lends tactile books for blind and visually impaired readers. We also used our Makaton to sign the stories and created Sensory Stories for our pupils who are learning through their senses.

After her visit Jeanne gave a fascinating talk about her own influences as a writer of children’s fiction, which gave us some real food for thought about finding exciting opportunities for writing in our school day. We are very grateful to Jeanne for volunteering her time in this way and can’t wait to continue working together in the future.