It was day two of the tour today and we had an epic trip planned travelling all the way from West Auckland to East Auckland with stops at seven schools along the way and a new member of the band joining us: Ben Brown, Te Awhi Rito New Zealand Reading Ambassador.
I started my morning at Woodlands Park School, making a mad dash to the hall in the sudden thunderous downpour and I met over 400 children from Years 0 to 6. Now you may be wondering how does one engage an entire group of children aged all the way from 5 years old up to the grand old age of 11 years old? Well, simple – it’s My Dad is a Grizzly Bear to the rescue!
I read the book and everyone joined in with their bearilliant acting skills and then we drew some Dapo-inspired grizzly bears.
Heather, Andrew, Raymond and I were reunited after our first school visits of the day and Peter drove us to the centre of Auckland to visit Freeman’s Bay School.
Whilst Raymond spoke to Years 3 and 4 and Andrew spoke to Years 5 and 6, Heather and I got to share our picture books with the children in Years 0, 1 and 2. I can confirm now that almost all the children I met were convinced they lived with a grizzly bear who ate far too much honey.
After a delicious lunch of hot sandwiches and tea, we then headed East to Orere School where I rounded off my Grizzly Bear marathon and, by my estimation, we added 24 more grizzly bear illustrations to the 518 pawsome drawings created by all the super-talented Auckland pupils I met today.
My favourite question of the day was addressed to Heather (who announced to the Orere Infants class that she did not like the colour purple): why are your trousers purple, then?