Author treats children to reading of award-winning book

  |  Published: May 26th 2016

Dozens of small children enjoyed a special treat as author Ann Meek read her award-winning book to them this week at Buckingham Library.

Ann, of Steeple Claydon, was at the library on Wednesday as part of the County Council’s Fostercare Fortnight campaign and read ‘I’m Special, I’m Me’ to a group of 30 to 40 children during the Bounce & Rhyme session.

Afterwards, she posed for photographs by a wishing tree, placed by the Council at various libraries in the county to promote the fostering message.

Ann, 51, a retired primary school teacher with three grown-up daughters, agreed to take part in the campaign after becoming a foster mum herself for the first time earlier this year.

And her involvement has already boosted the Council’s recruitment drive for foster carers, following coverage about her in the local media last week.

She revealed: “A few people have rung me and stopped and asked questions about fostering as a result of the publicity.”

She described the library book reading as ‘lovely’, adding: “It was nice to see so many people here.”

‘I’m Special, I’m Me’ was published in 2005 after winning Ann the Little Tiger Press New Author Prize in 2003. It has been printed in ten different languages and tells the tale of a boy who feels different to the other children at school and struggles to make his ideas heard.  With help from his positive mum, Milo comes to realise that it is fine to be different and this is what makes him special.

Meanwhile, Buckingham Library’s Wishing Tree – one of four in Bucks – has also brought success to the Council’s campaign. Library Manager Pam Gowen said that it was taken on Tuesday into the market where two people expressed interest in fostering.

Last week, Ann Meek met with Lin Hazell, the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services. Cllr Hazell said at the time: “It’s people such as Ann who make a really big difference to the lives of children who are really in need of help. We hope others will follow her example and start fostering. We have more than 400 looked-after children in Bucks and it disappoints me that this number never seems to shrink whatever we do.”

The wishing trees will be in Bucks libraries until May 28 – and the public are welcome to place messages on them about anything they like.

Ann with her book
Ann with her book
Ann with some of the audience
Ann with some of the audience
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