Best-selling children’s author Jacqueline Wilson was in Ewell at the weekend to speak to young fans and ‘beasts’ of all ages as part of a reading festival to mark National Libraries Day.

Surrey Comet:

Louise Powell, eight, takes part in an activity during Jacqueline Wilson's visit to Bourne Hall

Bourne Hall in Spring Street, Ewell, was packed full of fans to listen to the author of The Illustrated Mum and The Bed and Breakfast Star on Saturday, February 6.

There was also a Beast Quest adventure for children over six years-old and activities for younger children including storytelling events in the adjacent library.

Surrey Comet:

Author/illustrators Julia Patton and David Litchfield speak to children at Bourne Hall

Dame Wilson is renowned for tackling difficult subjects such as mental illness in her books and said the reason she did so was because the books she read growing up were “kind of bland”.

Surrey Comet:

From left, eight year-olds Louise Powell, Azra Macic and Bethan Turner, with author/illustrator Fred Blunt, second from left, at Bourne Hall

Ahead of her book Hetty Feather being performed at the Rose Theatre in Kingston, she told Vibe’s Jim Palmer: “They didn’t really cover any real sad or worrying things, parents were always very middle class and whatever they said was meant to be right.

“And that’s lovely if you have parents like that, but if you don’t it must be a bit bewildering, and I’ve just always been attracted to writing about children who are the odd ones out.”

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