Ashby author Patricia Wrightson receives a bou- quet of flowers from St James Primary School students yesterday.
Ashby author Patricia Wrightson receives a bou- quet of flowers from St James Primary School students yesterday.

A rare literary treat for St James Primary pupils

By ADRIAN MILLER

STUDENTS at Yamba's St James Catholic Primary School enjoyed a rare treat yesterday when renowned children's author Patricia Wrightson OBE visited the school.

Mrs Wrightson, who has lived in Ashby since 1978 and set three of her novels in the Lower Clarence, was at the school to kick-start Book Week, this year themed 'Reading Rocks'.

School principal Paul Edgar said it was an amazing honour to have the prize-winning author as a guest at the school.

"The school library has got all the books she's written and they are still popular, even though they were written a long time ago," he said.

Mrs Wrightson had her first novel, The Crooked Snake, published in 1956 and has been writing children's books ever since.

She is one of only two Australians to win the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, which is presented every two years and is awarded to 'an author and an illustrator whose complete works have made an important and lasting contribution to children's literature'.

The NSW Premier's Literary Award for children's literature is also named after Mrs Wrightson.

Speaking to students from Years 3-6, Mrs Wrightson said it gave her great satisfaction to see young children interested in, and discussing, books.

"Books are one of the ways of communicating as people, and if children can understand how books are written and what's achieved from it, then that's the first step along the way to learning," she said.

She said it made her proud to see her books still being read so many years after they were first published.

"You can't expect it to happen for too long because life keeps changing, but of course it still gives me great satisfaction," she said.



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