Jason led the book stall at his son’s school’s summer fair for the second year – reading and selling his own books, running a book swap and bringing families together with the local library.

Jason with his books and activity sheets

With plenty on offer for young readers and book lovers, there was a constant stream of children and parents visiting the stand.

Representatives from the local library used a beat-the-buzzer game – and a bubble machine – to draw in families, while Jason relied on the activity sheets, book-marks and stickers, based on his own books. Jason’s regular entourage – a bagful of cuddly animal versions of characters in his books – also attracted some younger readers, who then got private readings of excerpts featuring the animal that interested them.

Many of the older children were so drawn in by the choice available in the book-swap, that even those who hadn’t brought in books to swap were desperate to find a way to participate; some excitedly ran off to win brand new books in the tombola to bring them back to swap.

Barnet library staff introducing new users to the range of services they provide – which doesn’t usually include the noisy beat-the-buzzer game.

A number of those who bought Jason’s own books enthusiastically announced that they already had some of his books at home. “That’s my son’s favourite book,” exclaimed one mother, pointing to A Zoo In My Shoe. “What else have you done?” she asked, before walking off with a copy of I Like To Put Food In My Welly. Another family, who had previously enjoyed What Can You See? bought a copy of each of the other two, one for each twin.

“That’s one of the best things about a community event like this,” Jason enthused, “You can reconnect with children who already love your books – but also meet new young readers, who can begin to explore our weird and wonderful world through my rhyming fun.”

The summer fair also provided an opportunity to replenish the school’s library, with books left over from the book swap, so all round, it was seen as a success.

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