August 6, 2020

Writer Alex T Smith hails our Books For Colleges marketing campaign for giving youngsters ‘key to a magical world’

GETTING books into faculties opens up new worlds for youths, says acclaimed writer and illustrator Alex T Smith.

The creator of the bestselling Claude books — now a well-liked telly present — has known as The Solar’s Books For Colleges marketing campaign “actually fantastic”.

Kids’s writer Alex T Smith has backed our Books For Colleges marketing campaign
Alex is the creator of the bestselling Claude books — now a well-liked telly present

Alex, who’s initially from Coventry, says: “By getting books into faculties, The Solar is giving youngsters the important thing to a magical new world. It’s is an excellent factor.

“I’ve all the time cherished studying. Books are an enormous a part of my life.

“I used to be serving to my dad and mom filter out the attic lately and I found a chunk I’d written in reception the place I stated I preferred studying, writing and drawing. My life was laid on the market!”

We now have a tremendous £12million value of books up for grabs for major faculties in England, Wales and Northern Eire.

One in three major faculties has now signed as much as acquire tokens just like the one printed proper.

Registered faculties that acquire 3,500 tokens can be despatched a field of books, value greater than £600, from the Collins Huge Cat studying programme.


Alex’s new sequence, Mr Penguin, has gained a number of awards. It’s aimed toward barely older youngsters, aged six to eight. The books are filled with slapstick humour and quirky illustrations.

Alex, 34, who grew up in a home the place books had been plentiful, provides: “Each of my dad and mom had been academics — and went on to turn out to be headteachers — so there have been all the time books in the home. My grandfather was a author and librarian, so each week after I frolicked with him I had the run of the library too.

“Studying is how I learnt about myself. Once I was 4, I wished to be a rabbit after I grew up.

“I used to transform a chair into my very own little hutch. I might drape a blanket excessive of it and go into my hutch with my e book, sketchbook and pencils. I used to be completely completely happy. The primary e book that sparked one thing in me was The Tiger Who Got here To Tea by Judith Kerr.

“I cherished the concept one thing so extraordinary can occur proper in the midst of a really home setting. It sparked one thing in me.

“For five-year-old Alex, the considered going to a restaurant within the night time in my pyjamas appeared like probably the most thrilling factor that might ever occur.”

I can’t say how a lot I get pleasure from writing for youngsters

Alex T Smith

Alex provides: “At the same time as an grownup, studying is one thing I’ve to do. If I’ve been extremely busy and never had a lot time to do it, I don’t really feel as completely happy or related to issues.

“Once I’m working, I take heed to audio books. I discover they get me in a bookish way of thinking.

“I’ve written for youngsters for 14 years and I like it greater than ever. It’s a giant honour to jot down for youngsters. There’s something magical about it.”

Alex does loads of faculty visits and says that is a crucial a part of writing for children. He says: “Kids are so refined, humorous and bizarre. Assembly them is absolutely necessary.

“I’d prefer to assume that they take a look at me and realise drawing could be an precise job too!

“It’s essential that youngsters are conscious of all of the completely different jobs that they’ll do.

“I actually do consider that anybody can draw. In fact some individuals have an innate expertise — and I suppose I used to be fairly good naturally. Nonetheless, I put in hours and hours of follow.

“Even now, I like drawing as a lot as ever.

“If ever I’ve acquired spare time, I’ll greater than probably decide up my sketchbook, even when I’ve been drawing all day.”

Alex T Smith’s Mr Penguin And The Catastrophic Cruise is out now
  • Mr Penguin And The Catastrophic Cruise, £9.99, revealed by Hodder Kids’s Books, is out now. How Winston Delivered Christmas, £9.99, revealed by Macmillan Kids’s Books can be out there now.

Discover out extra

1. Get your faculty to register at by Friday, November 22, 2019. Solely faculties can register, so encourage yours to enroll

2. Assist your faculty acquire 3,500 tokens from The Solar and The Solar on Sunday between Saturday, November 23, 2019, and Saturday, January 18, 2020

3. As soon as your faculty has 3,500 tokens, they might want to return them by Saturday, February 8, 2020

4. Your faculty will obtain the books in March 2020

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