With Covid restrictions finally gone in England, it was business as usual for World Book Day 2022, with a visit to a nursery school in northwest London.

The pre-school children at Bright Horizons in Golders Green – resplendent in costumes including Peppa Pig, Elsa from Frozen and a giant bunny rabbit – gathered to hear Jason read his two children’s picture books, I Like To Put Food In My Welly and What Can You See?

Starting with I Like To Put Food In My Welly, with Max Low’s bright and bold illustrations, the children were quick to catch on to the language games that involve swimming in cups of tea, boating on birthday cakes and strawberry jam coming from cars – and, of course, putting food in your welly. There was plenty of laughter from the three and four year olds as the situations became more and more outlandish. And the fun grew when the children considered how their grown-ups might react if they wiped their feet on their cat or put their clothes in a fire.

“We couldn’t stop laughing. It was so much fun,” exclaimed one of the teachers.

Next, the younger children got to enjoy pointing out all of Hannah Rounding’s extra illustrations that boldly go far beyond the words on the page of What Can You See?

After the second book, Peppa Pig – to his left – insisted that he read her book to the group before he left, which he was more than happy to do before heading off, leaving behind some activity sheets for the children to do their own illustrations for the book, after the children jumped up and down, excitedly, to thank him for coming in.

“It was so good to be back out in person after the lifting of restrictions,” Jason said. “For two years now, almost all book-related events have been online, outdoors or limited to very small groups, so getting to hear the laughter of so many children again was hugely gratifying and it reminded me why I write. The nursery said they wished I could come back again next week – we don’t need to limit sessions like this to events such as World Book Day!”

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