Hectic Mum

Sydney Mum finding motherhood is totes hectic

A super day with the Gruffalo

I won tickets (I am a notorious winner in the 25 word category) to see Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo and many other stories, perform and sing her songs as part of the Sydney Writers Festival.  Not knowing much about the singing part I read and listened to her on radio and on-line.  She was the Childrens’ Laureate, has written books, plays and songs and has sold 5 million copies of The Gruffalo. 

Julia Donaldson believes in children performing and participating in plays and singing to help literacy.  Unlike a straight author talk, Julia and her guitar performing husband, Malcolm (a retired paediatrican) played out some of her stories.  Starting with Tiddler, a story about a fish who tells long stories, she invited 5 children on the stage to hold up the other fish puppets and yell out when guided.  The audience was also guided to yell out parts of the story.

Other stories and songs were ‘Super Worm’,  ‘The Flum Flum Tree’ and ‘What the ladybird heard’, all with more kids invited on stage to hold puppets, wear animal hats and sing-a-longs for the whole audience.  For such a simple concept she had the whole theatre in control and singing along.

The kids were waiting for The Gruffalo story.  When she said,  “Shall we go down to the deep dark woods?”  The audience wooped  like a One Direction concert.  My kids immediately stopped squirming and asking for snacks.  Julia put on mouse ears and a tail.  Malcolm played a fox and a snake, one of her publicists played an owl and then The Gruffalo arrived.  The purple prickles were highly visible even from our back seats.

photo(9)We sang, we shouted lines and were entertained for an hour.  We then joined the super-long queue for book signing.  All credit to the volunteers from the Sydney Writers Festival and staff.  They entertained us with balloons, stickers, then the Gruffalo came out along with Malcolm on his guitar who sang more books and songs.

gruffalomalcolm donaldson, gruffaloWe even got to hear our favourite book, The Highway Rat, performed. ( I still have Adam & The Ants’ Prince Charming in my head)

“A squirrel came bounding along the road, then stopped with a shake and a shiver,

For reining his horse was the Highway Rat, who thundered, “Stand and Deliver!”

When my kids saw the carpeted signing room, they went a bit gymnastic mad. They tumbled, rolled around on it, jumped just to feel it’s softness.  You never know what will amuse them.

julia donaldsonIt took an hour of waiting but we got our much-loved copy of The Gruffalo signed and walked out covered in stickers, carrying balloons and even scored a damaged bunting set of The Gruffalo.

It was a dream day and I avoided a parking ticket even after taking so much time in the signing queue only to get a school speeding ticket in the mail today.  Ah, Sydney, you give us so much and take so much.


http://www.gruffalo.com – highly recommended activities and lots of song on-line

Julia Donaldson talking with Margaret Throsby


Julia and Malcolm Donaldson singing songs



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This entry was posted on February 24, 2015 by in books, reading and tagged , , , , , .
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