PUPILS at Bridge of Allan Primary welcomed popular children’s authors to the school for interactive visits.

Lyn McNicol and Laura Jackson, authors of the Badger the Mystical Mutt book series, gave a fun session to children from P1 to P3.

Badger himself even made an appearance entertaining the pupils with his own special brand of magic and illustrating the theme of the books which are about following dreams, ambition and self-belief.

And during a second visit, writer Jonathan Meres – author of best-selling The World of Norm series – entertained youngsters from P4 to P7 with a session which showcased his comic talent.

In preparation for both visits, pupils engaged in creative activities linked to the authors’ works.

The aim of the sessions was to support the school in its efforts to promote a lifelong love of reading and writing among pupils.

The authors were selected by the School’s Library Improvement Team (LIT) – a group formed by pupils with an interest in reading.

Its aim is to increase access to authors and books across the school and the author visits are just one of many initiatives.

P7 pupil Dylan Clark, a member of the LIT team, described the visits as a great success.

He said: "You might expect authors to be quiet and serious, but Jonathan was the opposite. He was funny and engaging with the audience.

"He really made the stories come to life. We're really grateful for his visit."

Sheila Munro, of FAST (the school’s parent teacher association), said:

“Live Literature funding enabled us to hold the events which are part of our focus on increasing pupils’ ability, confidence and enjoyment in reading and writing and encouraging them to extend their reading choices to include a diverse range of authors.

“The two author sessions were fantastic fun which the children really enjoyed.”

The events were joint funded by FAST and Creative Scotland’s Live Literature Funding which is managed by Scottish Book Trust.

The fund exists to bring the work of Scottish fiction writers, playwrights, poets, storytellers to every corner of Scottish society including schools, libraries, writers’ groups, additional support needs organisations, community groups and literary organisations.

Its scheme subsidises up to 1,200 writer events around the country each year, reaching an average annual audience of more than 50,000 people.

Caitrin Armstrong, head of writer development at Scottish Book Trust, said: “By subsidising events featuring writers, illustrators, and storytellers throughout Scotland, Live Literature funding encourages organisations of all kinds to include authors in their programmes.

“The scheme also widens the audience for contemporary writers and storytelling by increasing the amount of literary activity and by providing financial support in such a way that groups pay the same per session whether they are based in Orkney or Edinburgh.”