Pendragon Girl's Amazing World Book Week Tour - Stourport and Nottingham

It's a bright and early start for Day 4 of our tour... well, it's a wet and gloomy one weatherwise with rain bouncing from the cars in the hotel car park, but that doesn't dampen a unicorn's spirits on World Book Day!

Katherine is determined to dress up, despite having left half of her wardrobe at home. Encouraged by a question from St Stephen's School earlier in the week "Why are you dressed up?" (when she wasn't really, except for the plastic crown), she digs a long purple dress out of her case and adds the sparkly belt that must have triggered yesterday's question. She gets a few strange looks at breakfast in the hotel from grumpy businessmen in their sober suits, and forgets to add her pink hair extensions, but that doesn't really matter since she's still got the crown...

Stourport High School - book signing
The morning event at Stourport High was for Year 7, who were obviously getting a bit old for dressing up (though not as old as Katherine, I have to say!) and wore their smart uniforms instead. The school provided a beautiful bunch of tulips and a theatre for her talk, which although dimly lit and drill-challenged for the first few minutes - the unicorn soon sorted out the builders with the help of the teachers! - meant her long purple gown did not look too out of place.

After book signing and posing for the paparazzi in the school foyer (see picture above), we devoured a huge chocolate cake provided as a treat by the Worcester Children's Book Group. The cake was so good I didn't even get a photo of it before it turned into chocolate crumbs, but I'm sure you can use your imagination...


A quick dash back through the rain to the car, and we headed up the motorway to Nottingham through a less-than-enchanted mist sprayed up from the road by all the lorries. Well done to Nic, who not only had the difficult job of driving hundreds of miles through this spray, but also finding the way to the next school while Katherine tried to pretend she hadn't eaten too much chocolate cake and wasn't really travel sick, honest.

A quick lunch of sandwiches devoured in the car park of the local Tesco Express, and then we drove around the impressive building of Nottingham High School a few times looking for an open gate into their beautiful grounds. With the car safely tucked into a courtyard, we climbed the sweeping front steps to find a large and elegant building with the sort of antique wooden-panelled lifts you have to close the doors yourself every time you get in and out. I tried not to think about how antique the lift mechanism might be, but it worked very smoothly and nobody got stuck between floors with a box of books.

Here is the library (only half of it - there were two entrances like this) with Katherine and Nic posing in the archways:

Katherine (in purple) and Nic (a "muggle") in the library at Nottingham High School
Katherine spoke to the Year 6 boys and visiting Year 6 girls in another theatre-style hall. Here is the signing queue, taken from the seating area, showing the girls (and their teachers) in fancy dress as their favourite characters for World Book Day... well done, the girls! The boys were still in uniform - and very smart it was, too.

book signing at Nottingham High School
Stourport School had made bookmarks advertising Katherine's books and kindly donated the surplus so we could give them out at our remaining events, which proved very useful because by now Katherine was running out of publicity material.

signing books for "Bart Simpson" and a long-haired "witch"

Meanwhile, in other parts of the country, other young readers were busy dressing up as Rhianna Pendragon and her friends:

(Did YOUR school dress up for the day? Anyone else go as Rhianna?)

After leaving Nottingham, another rather wet and misty drive took us back to Stourport, where Katherine worked off the miles by taking a swim in the hotel pool while I played happily with the bubbles in the jacuzzi - what fun! Good thing they had a hairdryer, though... my tail will never be the same again.

Next post: the final day of the tour!

Also see:
Day 1 - Devon
Day 2/3 - Coventry and Wolverhampton

With thanks to:
Stourport High School
Julie Benkwitz, Worcester Children's Book Group
Waterstones, Worcester
Nottingham High School
The Bookcase, Nottingham
Nic Wilkinson, PR
Everyone who dressed up as a character from one of my books!