Luton pupils get creative with one of their favourite authors

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They meet the author of Albert Upside Down

Pupils at a Luton primary school have shown how creative they can be celebrating a picturebook inspired by a real-life tortoise.

Youngsters at Bramingham Primary School in Freeman Avenue have created art, comic books, stories and displays based around the illustrated book Albert Upside Down.

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There was even more to fire their imaginations recently when the author of the book Ian Brown, visited the school to talk about his own inspiration and to read the story to the near 400 pupils.

Ian with pupils at Bramingham Primary schoolIan with pupils at Bramingham Primary school
Ian with pupils at Bramingham Primary school

"It is tortally amazing," said Ian. "To the great joy of myself and illustrator Eoin Clarke, Bramingham made Albert Upside Down a whole school text. The story is about a pet tortoise, called Albert, ending up on his shell, upside down. The other garden creatures come to his rescue. Themes of kindness and helping others and how a little help can make a big difference all became ever more relevant during the pandemic and they seem to have truly fired the imaginations of the children at Bramingham."

Staff and pupils eagerly showed Ian their projects and a return visit is being planned to feature the second Albert adventure Albert and the Wind. Bramingham staff discovered the books online and could see their potential to become school texts.

The school's Joint Acting Heads Satinder Bains and Petra Sutton said, “Every term we choose a whole school book that both supports our values-based curriculum and provides opportunities to enrich the learning of all our pupils. Albert Upside Down did that and much more!”

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English Lead Katie Flowers said, “Our children range in age from 4 – 11 and have many, varied needs; all engaged beautifully with the book and produced high quality writing and other work across the curriculum as a result. Albert was a hit from day one and we all eagerly await Ian’s next visit!”

The book about AlbertThe book about Albert
The book about Albert

The books are inspired by Ian's family pet. Real Albert the tortoise could be around 80 years old and he was found by Ian's wife more than 50 years ago when she was a little girl.

Ian has worked as a television writer and producer for the past 30 years. A former journalist, he has written or produced for the likes of Top Gear, The Simpsons, The South Bank Show, This Is Your Life and stars like Harrison Ford, Pierce Brosnan, Bob Monkhouse, Martin Kemp, Trevor McDonald, Jamie Oliver, Ian Wright, Davina McCall and Simon Cowell.

The Albert books are his first venture into the world of publishing.

Thanks to social media, Albert is finding fame worldwide via twitter and facebook. Real Albert is even an ambassador for a turtle and tortoise rescue charity in California.