Banbury schoolchildren give popular writer and illustrator new ideas for their next superhero book
The session with the pair was organised as part of the nationwide Raise a Reader campaign, which is led by the Oxford University Press, and designed to encourage a lifelong passion for reading.
The author and illustrator of the popular superhero series Marv received a warm welcome from children in Years 2, 3 and 4 who had plenty of zany ideas for future superheroes for the visitors.
Alex Falase-Koya said: “It was amazing, it was so much fun. The kids came up with so many fun ideas. It was very wild. We ended up creating a superhero that had a watermelon and strawberry dress and was powered by cake and ice cream!
“I think it’s really cool to interact with children, and all kids should have the opportunity to read books. Reading is important because of the impact it has on imagination; Imagination is one of the most important tools we have and reading can transport you to places far beyond.
“It was great to visit Banbury, it’s a really nice town and we received the warmest of welcomes.”
This year, celebrities Alesha Dixon and Louise Pentland are supporting the campaign, which is touring England in a brightly painted campervan full of books, with the goal of providing children and young people with the tools they need to become passionate readers in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Sarah Gordon-Weeks, acting principal at Dashwood Academy, said: “The students had a great afternoon with Alex and Paula and were inspired by them.
“They were impressed that the illustrator used their ideas to draw a new Dashwood superhero. They asked lots of thoughtful questions, took part in a quiz and then had the
chance to use their imagination to design their own characters.
“It is so important that children not only learn how to read, but also learn how to become a reader.
“The Raise a Reader programme will support children at Dashwood to develop their love of reading and ultimately work towards creating a positive reading culture.”