Saving Maya in The Curve
Saturday I visited The Curve, Slough’s new library and cultural centre. Opened earlier this month, I was delighted – and rather honoured – to take part in the Centre’s first author-event. Annabel Wilson and I led an author-illustrator workshop in the bright and welcoming children’s section of the library.
While some of the children and their parents and grandparents had come along to find out a little more about Saving Maya there were many there who had yet to discover the book. This is what’s brilliant about our public libraries and events like Saturday. By being there, in the presence of young readers, by reading and talking to them, engaging their creativity by sharing what’s involved in writing and illustrating a book, we were able to lightly, but lastingly educate them about the puppy trade.
This is one of the most important things about this book for me: to use it to talk to future puppy buyers. To reach into their minds and hearts through the story of Maya and other rescue dogs, her newly found friends who feature throughout the story.It’s what I’d hoped might be achievable in the earliest days of thinking about this book. Saturday confirmed it works.
Having Annabel centrally involved with the creation of the book takes it a step further than just a book for children about puppy farming. Annabel’s skills and clear, natural enjoyment of teaching children shone brightly on Saturday in her drawing workshop with them. Following my reading of a couple of excerpts – and responding to some thoughtful questions from youngsters – Annabel led a fun and energetic session teaching them to draw. Some of their interpretations of Maya really make me smile, knowing she’s based on my quirky girl Twinkle. The children were busy for a good while, capturing her beautifully under Annabel’s expert guidance.
We donated copies of the book to the library and one lucky boy won a signed copy in the raffle. He knew nothing about the book beforehand, or puppy farming and to see him go away, proudly clutching his win, is what this whole ‘Saving Maya’ project is about. A new reader, a new person who will learn about puppy farming, and tell others about it. So to everyone who helped this become a reality through supporting our Kickstarter campaign, a huge thank you.
We have plans underway to do more, similar events in the coming months. If you’d like us to come to your local library or school, please do get in touch.