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Author of The Unusual Zoo visited John Blow Primary School in Collingham for a illustration competition





An author is travelling up and down the country appealing to children’s creativity with an illustration competition.

David Bailey, 67, has published three books — a business book and two children’s books — his latest being The Unusual Zoo, which is becoming quite popular on social media and across the world.

The author started writing children's stories for his grandson over the lockdown and it evolved to publishing the books and starting a book competition in collaboration with primary schools in the country.

Winner of the different classes together with David and Patti Bailey
Winner of the different classes together with David and Patti Bailey

Together with his wife, Patti Bailey, he visited John Blow Primary School in Collingham to present the winners of the different classes and the overall winner of the school who will have their illustration published in David’s next — The Unusual Zoo — and will have the chance to help right the story.

David received over 100 entries from the Collingham primary school, which included a fantasy animal designed by the pupils and some even included details such as name, what they like to eat, the colours, etc.

His next book will include five characters designed by him and five characters designed by the overall winner from different schools.

The idea behind the competition is to encourage the youngsters’ creativity without any boundaries and for them to read more.

David said: “It is brilliant to see the excitement in their faces, they are absolutely thrilled to see such creativity amongst themselves.

“You’re not putting any parameters on the child’s thought process and in doing so it is quite surprising where they can go with their creations.

“If you take off the boundaries of children, you would be surprised how far they can go.”

David and Patti Bailey
David and Patti Bailey
Elm reception winners. Second prize to Stanley (left) and first prize to Annabelle (right)
Elm reception winners. Second prize to Stanley (left) and first prize to Annabelle (right)
Year 3. Second prize -- Chase (left) and first prize to Lottie (right)
Year 3. Second prize -- Chase (left) and first prize to Lottie (right)

The books are written in rhyme so it encourages children to read because they are able to finish sentences by knowing what the word does or would sound like.

From each year, including reception to year six, there were two winners — first and second prize, however, year two had a joint second prize.

Year 2. Joint second prizes -- George (left) and Toby (right) and first prize Michael (middle)
Year 2. Joint second prizes -- George (left) and Toby (right) and first prize Michael (middle)
Year 4. Second prize -- Lillian (left) and first prize to Georgie (right)
Year 4. Second prize -- Lillian (left) and first prize to Georgie (right)
Year 5. Second prize to Tom and first prize to Evelyn
Year 5. Second prize to Tom and first prize to Evelyn
Year 6. Second prize to Florrie (right) and first prize to Lois (left)
Year 6. Second prize to Florrie (right) and first prize to Lois (left)
Year 1. First prize -- Ellis (left) and second prize to Harry (right)
Year 1. First prize -- Ellis (left) and second prize to Harry (right)
School overall winner, year 6 -- Lois.
School overall winner, year 6 -- Lois.

The overall winner for the school who will help David with ideas and words and will see their character published in the book was year six student Lois.

David’s book illustration competition is completely free and he is appealing to schools across the country to get in touch with him through email — db@cdb2014.com.

“It is completely free, just contact me and we will send the pack and all the instructions and then the school can organise the winner presentation event how they want and we will judge the winners,” added David.



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