Warm wel­come for Stephan Pastis

Rutherglen Reformer - - Intimations - Jonathan Ged­des

A popular chil­dren’s au­thor and car­toon­ist re­cently vis­ited Castle­ton Pri­mary.

Stephan Pastis, who pens the strip Pearls Be­fore Swine and is the au­thor of the Timmy Fail­ure se­ries of kids books, stopped by the school to talk to P4 to P7 pupils about how he cre­ates his char­ac­ters and sto­ries.

The Amer­i­can au­thor was warmly re­ceived by the young­sters.

Teacher Amanda Wright helped to or­gan­ise the visit.

She said: “I’d seen the Scot­tish Book Trust advertise that he was vis­it­ing, and de­cided to ap­ply to be one of the schools.

“We were de­lighted to be picked, and it was a re­ally great op­por­tu­nity for the school, as it’s not of­ten you get an au­thor from Amer­ica over vis­it­ing - even the staff were quite ex­cited.

“It was a re­ally great visit. He showed them the Timmy Fail­ure books and how he il­lus­trates them, and also told the kids how to draw some of the most popular char­ac­ters in the books.

“That was some­thing that re­ally in­ter­ested the kids and got their at­ten­tion.

“He talked a lot about his ca­reer, and how he’d given up be­ing a lawyer to be­come a car­toon­ist and writer in­stead.

“It all re­ally helped them with their imag­i­na­tion and cre­ativ­ity - he ex­plained where he looks for his ideas and how he gets started, from hav­ing a morn­ing cof­fee and do­ing a lit­tle dance be­fore start­ing writ­ing.

“I think the boys in par­tic­u­lar were re­ally im­pressed, be­cause it can of­ten be a lot harder to en­gage them with read­ing, and events like this can help with that.

“They were full of ques­tions, too, ask­ing things like why does Timmy in the books not have a mouth, so it caught their at­ten­tion.

“We’re re­ally grate­ful to the Scot­tish Book Trust for help­ing to or­gan­ise it.”

The Timmy Fail­ure se­ries of books so far com­prises three books, with a fourth due later this year.

The ti­tle char­ac­ter is the clue­less, com­i­cally self-con­fi­dent CEO of the best de­tec­tive agency in town, or per­haps the na­tion.

Aided by his large po­lar bear friend To­tal and the Fail­ure­mo­bile ( his mum’s Seg­way) Timmy tack­les a range of ca­pers, bum­bling his way through ad­ven­tures .

A theatre adap­ta­tion of the first book, Mis­takes Were Made, is due at the Ed­in­burgh Fes­ti­val Fringe later this year.

Pastis is per­haps best known for his Pearls Be­fore Swine comic, a cyn­i­cal look at mod­ern life star­ring a naive Pig, a sar­cas­tic Rat and an in­tel­li­gent Goat.

It’s been pub­lished in over 700 news­pa­pers world­wide, in­clud­ing the New York Times and the Wash­ing­ton Post.

Art attack Amer­i­can au­thor Stephan Pastis on his visit to Castle­ton Pri­mary

Writer stuff Stephan Pastis with Castle­ton pupil Fa­tima Nadeem

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