John Fardell visits Northern Ireland schools for 20th Anniversary

John Fardell
Category: Press Releases

Tour dates are included in this release. If you are interested in an interview with John Fardell or would like a reporter or photographer to attend one of the events please contact: or 0131 524 0184.

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour and, from 22 to 26 January, as part of the all-star anniversary celebrations, John Fardell will visit pupils in Northern Ireland for a wonderful week of school events. This is the second year of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour in Northern Ireland following a highly successful debut with famed author Lari Don last year.

The Children’s Book Tour is supported by Scottish Friendly, one of the UK’s leading financial mutuals, and organised by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing. The tour visits both primary and secondary schools, and has enthralled more than 100,000 children since it began in 1998. John Fardell will visit 10 schools and over a thousand pupils, including Ardnashee College and School, where students are aged from 3-19 years-old and have a range of additional special needs. A full list of schools involved is available below.

Inventions and adventure play a key role in all of John's books. His most well-known books include The 7 Professors of the Far North and The Day Louis Got Eaten. He has won the Scottish Children's Book Award twice, and in 2009 won the Royal Mail Children's Book Award for Manfred the Baddie. In his sessions, John will show pupils the imaginative process behind his picture and illustrated children's books.

Commenting on the tour, John said:

“I’m really excited to be heading off on the Scottish Friendly tour of Northern Ireland. I’ve got great memories of my previous tour some years ago, to schools in Inverclyde and Clackmannanshire, and it’ll be lovely to be out on the road (and ferry!) with the Scottish Book Trust team once more, especially as part of this fabulous programme’s 20th Anniversary year.”

Calum Bennie, Communications Manager of Scottish Friendly, said:

“It’s a delight to be back in Northern Ireland following the great success of our tour here last year. John Fardell is a firm favourite and children across Northern Ireland will be spellbound as he introduces his magical world of books.”

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, added:

“Being able to tour authors and illustrators into schools, libraries and communities across the length and breadth of the UK is a wonderfully effective way to spark children’s creativity and love of books. Over the past two decades we’ve seen first-hand the hugely positive impact that the joy and excitement of a Children’s Tour visit has had on pupils across the country. Our remarkable twenty year relationship with Scottish Friendly has made this possible, and we are thrilled that John Fardell is able to tour with us again to mark this special anniversary.”

The 20th anniversary of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour will be a year-long celebration. Over 100 authors have taken part in the Children’s Book Tour since 1998, and 13 of those authors will join the anniversary celebrations.

Sarah McIntyre, illustrator and writer of children’s books, has designed exclusive comics for the 20th anniversary celebrations, which will be gifted to all primary and secondary pupils participating in the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour throughout the year.


Notes to Editors

For media enquiries, interviews and images, please contact Keara Donnachie, PR Officer on or 0131 524 0184.

Tour dates

Monday, 22 January:


Ardnashee College and School
12 Balmoral Ave, Londonderry BT48 7TR

1.45pm – 2.45pm
St Joseph’s Primary School
82 Moorlough Road, Strabane BT82 0ER

Tuesday, 23 January:

10am – 11am
St Mary’s Primary School
70 Monadore Road, Park Village, Co. Derry BT47 4DP

1.45pm – 2.45pm
Damhead Primary School
34 Damhead Road, Coleraine, BT52 1UF

Wednesday, 24 January:

10am – 11am
Larne and Inver Primary School
1a Glynn Road, Larne, County Antrim, BT40 3AY

1.30pm – 2.30pm
McKinney Primary School
3 Leathemstown Road, Dundrod, Crumlin, County Antrim, BT29 4HX

Thursday, 25 January:

9.30am – 10.30am
Academy Primary School
194 Listooder Road, Saintfield, Ballynahinch, County Down, BT24 7JA

1.30pm – 2.30pm
Downpatrick Primary School
10 Mount Crescent, Downpatrick, BT30 6AF

Friday, 26 January:

10am – 11am
St Mary’s Primary School
123 Granemore Road, Tassagh, BT60 2NJ

1.15pm – 2.15pm
Springhill Primary School
247 Ballgomartin Road, Belfast, BT13 3HN

About Scottish Friendly

Scottish Friendly, one of the UK’s largest mutual life offices, is a progressive and modern financial services group. It provides investors and their families with a wide range of affordable investments.

Scottish Friendly has sponsored the programme for the past 20 years, touring some of the finest children’s authors and illustrators including former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, Malorie Blackman, Michael Rosen, Jacqueline Wilson, Melvin Burgess, Steve Cole, Michael Morpurgo and Sophie McKenzie.

Scottish Friendly is very engaged in the community and works with Scottish Book Trust to provide fresh and exciting content on its website:

About Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. We inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure through programmes and outreach work that include:

  • Gifting books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.
  • Working with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classrooms activities, book awards and author events.
  • Supporting Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities.
  • Funding a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promoting Scottish writing to people worldwide.