Chris Riddell at EastSide Visitor Centre


On the 25th October there was a very special guest at the EastSide Visitor Centre. The renowned Chris Riddell; author, illustrator, and childrens' laureate, met with teachers and literacy co-ordinators from east Belfast Schools.

During our meeting Chris took the time to chat to all of our eager ears in a group discussion around childrens' literacy, C.S. Lewis and our plans around future educational events in east Belfast. Our discussion about C.S. Lewis Square and the beautiful The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe sculptures inspired him to sketch these amazing illustrations of Mr Tumnus, Aslan and the White Witch.






The event was facilitated by BookTrust as part of a developing partnership with EastSide Learning. The meet and greet took place alongside other literacy focused engagements that Chris was attending in his 2 day visit to Belfast, including meeting children from Elmgrove Primary School and attending a SLANI workshop for school librarians.

It is great to hear that Chris enjoyed his visit as much as we enjoyed his company…

"I had a wonderful visit to Northern Ireland, full of highlights. Talking and drawing with the children of Elmgrove School in East Belfast was a pleasure made even more memorable by encountering a view of the Green Way with the cranes in the distance framed by mountains. I also loved meeting Aslan, the Witch, and Mr. Tumnus in C.S.Lewis Square and talking with literacy co-ordinators in the beautiful centre overlooking it. The following day I met many familiar faces from my visit to Stormont last year. Passionate and articulate school librarians at the SLANI conference made me very welcome but also made me even more aware of the challenges facing libraries in our schools and in the wider community. I will take these memories away with me and look forward to returning again soon to make new ones. A big thank you to Book Trust NI, the Arts Council and Queen's University for hosting me."

Chris Riddell.



                           A signed copy of "Goth Girl" for the pupils at Victoria Park Primary School



    Chris Riddell signing books for the Library at Ashfield Girls' School with English Teacher Chris Moore.