Children join in with the actions during a presentation by author Gillian Cross
Photo: La La LaPhoto
Children in Luxembourg were given a glimpse of the lively imagination of author Gillian Cross when she spoke at St George’s International Primary School on 3 March.
Photo: La La LaPhoto
“I have the best job in the world because it’s not really a job, I just make up stories all the time and write them down,” explained Cross, who has written and published over 48 books including the hugely popular "Demon Headmaster" series.
The 71-year-old Briton told youngsters she discovered her talent for storytelling when she was seven years old and walked her younger brother to school. The pair were often late because of her brother’s curiosity for the things around them.
Cross described how she would make up fantastic stories about the people they encountered to coax her brother along.
She continued as a teenager, telling off-the-wall stories to entertain her school friends. Cross said she discovered the real power of storytelling when she was left in charge of a difficult class of children and began telling a scary story to get their attention.
“What I learned is that everybody loves stories and telling stories to people is so lovely so that’s what I’ve done for the rest of my life,” she said.
Cross, who has a new book in the “Demon Headmaster” series coming out in July, was invited to the Hamm-based school as part of its Book Week activities. Festivities included a book fair, story-writing workshops with the author and a performance of “The Demon Headmaster”.
The week culminated in a dressing-up day in which pupils and staff dressed as their favourite book characters. From Roald Dahl’s Miss Trunchbull to Spiderman, Jedi knights, animals and more, even school principal Dr Christian Barkei got involved, dressing as a dragon.
“Reading for pleasure is important… This is obviously a school where books are valued. You can tell that by the variety of characters the children are dressed up as,” Cross observed, describing the array of characters in assembly as like “a fantastic library of stories”.