WITH schools in Cookstown and Magherafelt marking Children’s Book Week, founder of the Speedwell Trust, Jean Kelly, has been speaking about her book ‘Charlie Crow Sorts It’.
Pupils in the area are enjoying the adventures of Charlie Crow and his fellow creatures from Parkanaur Forest, while learning about valuing diversity in our Northern Irish culture and the importance of caring for the environment.
The book was penned by Jean and follows a crisis in the forest as the trapping of the immigrant grey squirrels has started again.
‘Charlie Crow Sorts It’ is filled with engaging creatures including the snooty Marie-Claire Hedgehog, the very vain Alexander Fox (Lexi Lightpaw to his friends) and the cynical Rory Robin.
Children’s Book Week, an annual celebration of reading for children of primary school age, runs until October 7.
And Booktrust, an independent reading and writing charity, has chosen ‘heroes and heroines’ as this year’s theme.
Among the schools currently enjoying following the adventures of Charlie Crow are Ballylifford, Ballytrea, Churchtown, Stewartstown, Coagh, Cookstown, Crievagh, Donaghey, Holy Trinity, Lissan, Newmills, Moneymore, Orritor, Phoenix Integrated, Queen Elizabeth II, Sacred Heart, St Mary’s Stewartstown, St Patrick’s Moneymore, Ampertaine, Desertmartin, Knockloughrim, Knocknagin, Maghera, Spires Integrated, St Brigid’s Tirkane, and St Mary’S Bellaghy.
And ‘postcrow’ Charlie is hoping that pupils will write to him and tell him why they think he should be a hero.
Illustrated by Emma Colbert from Killyman, the book has brought pleasure to many pupils and Jean, formerly of Stewartstown, is promising a fun-filled follow-up, the MAIL can reveal.
Jean left mainstream teaching after 14 years to become involved in community relations work in Northern Ireland.
In 2001 she was awarded an MBE for her services to community relations in the Province, and in 2004 she received the inaugural Harry McKillop Irish Spirit Award, in recognition of her extraordinary humanitarianism. Jean retired as Director of the Speedwell Trust in 2006.
For pupils interested in writing to Charlie, his contact details are on the website at www.postcrow.com. Charlie is also hoping that parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians will ‘like’ and share him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fizzlemefeathers.
Left - Jean Kelly