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Julian Clary reveals why he wanted to write children's books

Julian Clary visited South Norwood Academy to talk about his children's books for ReadingZone Live

Posted by Lucinda Reid | August 10, 2017 | School life

Comedian and children’s author, Julian Clary, spent the afternoon recently at The South Norwood Academy, part of The Synaptic Trust, talking to Year 4 pupils. 

Julian, along with illustrator David Roberts, explained via a video conference link to other schools across London, why he decided to write children’s books and how he came up with the idea. 

“It’s nice to get away from the usual stuff I do for grown-ups,” he explained. “I thought it would be liberating to be a child again. When I write for children I think like a child and I use that part of my imagination. It’s lovely to make grown -ups laugh but sometimes they pretend to laugh.  I’ve noticed that if you can make children laugh they are really laughing.”

Julian’s books are about a family of hyenas called the Bolds. He says they are based on his own family. 

“I wanted them to be funny and tell jokes which was kind of like my family when I was growing up. It’s all based on my own childhood. I’m not a hyena but I grew up in Teddington where the book is set and if you look at the drawings of the house it’s like the house I grew up in. My family are like the Bolds. I’m like Bobby Bold,” he said.

After Julian talked about his books the school children asked lots of questions including, have you been inspired by other authors, what is your favourite book and have you got an idea for your next book?

Julian answered each question with care. His favourite book is Swallows and Amazons. He’s been inspired by the Rupert Bear books and the fourth Bold book is called The Bolds in Trouble and it features urban foxes. 

Finally, he was asked how he came up with the idea for The Bolds. He told the children that he used to make up stories about the family living next door. “I made up a story about a family of animals living in disguise. The origins of The Bolds were my hairy next door neighbours,” he laughed. 

The event at South Norwood Academy was developed in partnership with ReadingZone Live and the London Grid for Learning (LGfL)

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