The Etherington Brothers' Tour Journal
So there we were at the start of a week-long adventure in the heart of Scotland on the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour. The plan was simple: in five days we visited ten schools and performed shows to thousands of children, while eating our bodyweight in fruit pastilles (Lorenzo) and drinking an ocean of coffee (Robin). Oh, and trying to be really, really funny. All the time. So, no pressure then.
Our tour got underway at Golfhill Primary School with an excellent character creation suggestion of a Zombie fastfood employee who dreams of competing in the Olympics ... in every single sport ... ever. It was a good start and the excellent suggestions and absolutely brilliant hand-drawn comics kept on coming over days 2 and 3.
At Chapelhall and St. Aloysius we performed our largest single show of the tour to 380 children. After much laughter and creativity had been wrung from the students and ourselves we held a MONSTER book signing session (the queue was so long that the poor girl at the very back missed her break, next lesson, lunch, afternoon lessons AND the bus home).
Thursday saw a special show at Glenlee Primary School in which we were NOT the stars. There were a number of profoundly deaf or hard of hearing students in the group who enjoyed our ridiculous antics through the medium of sign language. The poor signer pretty much acted out our entire workshop (an exhausting and frankly spell-binding accomplishment) to the delight of her students. We try to make our shows totally inclusive and thankfully there are some incredibly talented professionals out there to help us bring this goal to life.
Our final audience at Glengowan Primary School was brilliant. Laughter fading and show over, we signed books, high-fived and knuckle-bumped as many children as possible, jumped off a wobbly table in delight, and headed for home.
We would like to thank Scottish Friendly for facilitating such an incredible experience, not just for us, but for every author or illustrator lucky enough to join the tour. And of course, big final thanks to all the teachers, students and schools that allowed us to tear up your classrooms with our silly, silly antics.