snoopy dancing and bedtime stories

Here’s a Snoopy drawing for my studio mate Deadly Knitshade, who is working like billy-o on her latest book. She loves Snoopy, and whenever she’s particularly excited, you can tell because her messages are punctuated with the fab phrase *snoopy dance*. There’s even a Snoopy she’s knitted, hanging from our studio ceiling, which joyfully biffs me on the head every time I walk in.

I’ve been thinking about Snoopy because Armadillo magazine editor Louise Ellis-Barrett invited me to do a Bedtime Story Party for Book Week at the school where she’s librarian, Downsend School in Leatherhead, Surrey. And I was told all the kids would be in their pyjamas, with their teddies and such. I didn’t really fancy going all the way to Surrey in my pyjamas, so I brought along this old friend from childhood who could wear his own sleeper suit. (Over the years, he’s also acquired an aviator suit, a yellow mack and sou’wester, a Hawaiian hula dancer costume, a ballet costume, and full Scottish formal dress, complete with sporan.) I think this little guy’s been with me since I was six or seven years old, he’s been through a lot.

Here’s Louise, who was braver than me and DID wear her pyjamas!

When we finished our party and stories were read, monsters were drawn and everyone had drunk their hot chocolate and eaten cookies, the Warhammer Club moved into the library. How cool is that? The school has its own official Warhammer Club. Something funny happened while I was there, this middle-aged guy (a dad, I’m guessing) came in to the library and asked if it was okay for the kids to trade Warhammer figures. Louise hemmed and hawed and said that she didn’t really encourage it, but it was okay if the kids really understood that they’d made a permanent trade. And the guy was glad, not for the kids, but because he’d brought something he wanted to trade. Fabulous.

A big thanks to Louise and Downsend School for inviting me. I went home with an enormous bouquet of flowers, which was gorgeous, but we really battled it out on the train at rush hour, and the thistles and I had sharp words with each other. When I got home, Napoleon vanquished that bouquet soundly. I tried to get him to do the rest of my household chores, but he refused. Which has meant that since then, I’ve blamed all the cookie crumbs and disorder in my flat on Napoleon and the French in general.
Very handy.

Napoleon from the cover of Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton (beatonna on LiveJournal)

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