Last week I was very fortunate to have been invited to the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival in Sharjah, near Dubai. It was such an amazing privilege to visit this part of the world and to show/read my stories to lots of bright and enthusiastic children.
We flew on Tuesday (17th April) and as soon as we landed we were treated like celebrities! The following morning (after not having much sleep!) I had my first event at GEMS Modern Academy in Dubai. The school was huuuuuuge and the children were super enthusiastic. They had some great ideas when we created a new character together and, most importantly, were very well behaved. It was lovely meeting some of the children in person and it was also great to meet the wonderful teachers and librarians. I will have to return...one day!
The following morning I fronted a workshop at the Sharjah Reading Festival where after reading some stories to the children we created another brand new character. The children were equally enthusiastic and it was a delight to see so many smily faces. The festival itself was incredible and the organisers did a brilliant job of sourcing so many fantastic authors, illustrators, cooks, entertainers from all over the world.
Over the next couple of days we managed to explore a bit of Sharjah and neighbouring emirates including lots of swimming/lounging, climbing the tallest building in the world, The Burj Khalifa, a Chris De Burgh concert (random!) and riding a camel whilst meeting some brilliant authors from all over the world, including Ed Vere, Karl Newson, Kate Messner, Jennifer Bell and Catherine Pelosi.
Thanks to everyone at Midas for inviting me and thank you to all the organisers of the festival.