An artist who has brought to life Rupert Bear and a host of other cartoon characters has opened a new school library on Tyneside.
County Durham illustrator Stuart Trotter, who is also an author and publisher of children’s books, officially opened the new library as guest of honour at Newcastle School for Boys infants’ section at Gosforth yesterday.
Stuart also spent the day working with the children and sharing some of the skills which made him one of the UK’s top children’s book illustrators.
The school, on North Avenue, is the city’s only independent all-boys site for pupils aged between three and 18.
The library will cater specifically for the reading needs of those from nursery to year two.
Stuart, who lives at Ferryhill, in County Durham, was invited to open the new facility, having illustrated the Rupert Bear annual since 2008 in addition to setting up Rockpool Children’s Books.
He is also an official illustrator for children’s favourites Postman Pat, Kipper and Wallace and Gromit.
He told The Journal: “It was a bit of a bonus, a bit special.
“It is a really nice library. It is well stocked and it is good for the children to go in and read the sort of books that I do.
“I think children should start from a very early age, the year dot, really. There are some fantastic picture books out there.”
Stuart also spent the day lending pupils a hand as they created their own illustrated picture books.
He added: “I am here today to talk to the children about the different types of picture books and pop-up books.
“Then the school sets a topic and we work towards it. We produce a 16-page fictional picture book. It’s a matter of inspiring them to do that.
“Hopefully we will get some good results. It is good fun.
“We are trying to inspire the children to do something unique to them.”
Infant school head Sian Woosnam said: “I am delighted to have the new library open so that boys of all ages are able to have access to a wide range of books to encourage reading for pleasure and independent research skills.
“We intend to further develop our library over the coming months by adding to our book stock and teaching boys to use the simple classification system.
“We hope to continue the work done by Stuart, who has really enthused the boys about making their own picture books.”