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Author’s pirate tales enthrall Reception pupils
onday 10th June saw the children in Reception at St Michael’s Primary School, Stoke Gifford receive a visit from a children’s author as part of their topic: Just Keep Swimming. Self-published author, Ali Smith, is a teacher in the South of England who has always loved children’s picture books and wanted to write her own. She has now written 20 books about a pirate named Captain O, who is inspired by her nephew, Owain. She has also used the names of her own children and nearly all of her nieces and nephews as characters in the series. As part of her visit to St Michael’s, Ali went to each of the Reception classes, reading some of her stories and answering questions about being an author. The children were enthralled as
Ali read four of her Captain O stories, using props and actions to engage her audience. They then had an opportunity to ask Ali a number of questions including “How did you become an author?” and “Who draws the pictures?” One of the stories, Captain O and the Rainbow, included the dilemma of choosing a pot of gold or your friend, and as this question was put to the children, they were able to discuss the pros and cons of each option. One child claimed they would choose the gold because “then I would be rich” whereas another chose their friend because “I would have someone to play with”. As part of her visit, Ali had signed copies of her books that had been ordered, which were gratefully received by the children. Upon leaving, Ali
said: “It’s a real joy to inspire children to read and write their own stories. Everybody loves a pirate!” If you would like to read any of Ali Smith’s Pirate O books, they are available to purchase on Amazon. Above: Ali Smith with one of the Reception classes at St Michael’s. Right: Ali in full flow, reading one her Captain O stories to the class.
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July/August 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal news magazine.