Hundreds of avid readers flocked the Beacon School in Amersham to meet a popular children’s author as part of the Chorleywood LitFest.

Cressida Cowell, who wrote the ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ books, visited the Chesham Bois based school, as the 53-year-old spoke to numerous bookworms, signed autographs and posed for photos with fans on Saturday, November 9.

And with there being 16 different versions of the popular series, fans were clutching their books tightly after the much-loved author signed their copies.

At the event, Cressida, who was appointed as the Children’s Laureate in July, seized the opportunity to encourage her young fans and their families to always read for pleasure and as a hobby .

Speaking at the event, she said: “Tell the adults in your life to read to you way beyond the age when you can read to yourself.

“Just 10 minutes a day can make so much difference.

“If you’re reading a book with your parents and it makes your mum laugh or your dad cry, that sends an incredibly important message. Books have that power.”

One of Cressida’s biggest fans, a year three student called Eesa, who attended the event and also studies at the school then added: “I have read six of the ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ books, so it was really exciting to meet Cressida.

“She has inspired me to be an author.”

The school’s librarian, Katie Turrell, then said: “Author visits are a great way of inspiring children to read.

“However, Cressida’s visit seemed to work on so many levels as the adults in the room were as engaged and enthusiastic as their children.”

Following the success of the books, with the first one being released in 2003, several film adaptations have since been made, with the first movie coming out in 2010.

The Beacon School is a sponsor of the Chorleywood LitFest, which runs until December 3 this year.

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