'Dick King-Smith Day' at Gloucester Cathedral
By David Wood
Gloucester Cathedral is to host a day of celebration on Saturday, March 11, marking the centenary year of Gloucestershire-born children's author Dick King-Smith's life
Dick King-Smith's children Juliet, Liz, and Giles and great-grandaughter Josie Rogers will be in conversation and Josie will sign copies of Ambrose Follows His Nose, the recently discovered unfinished tale by Dick King-Smith, which she completed.
The day will also include craft activities, readings, and a Dick King-Smith themed Evensong.
For families, book-lovers, and Dick King-Smith fans alike, this special event will honour Dick King-Smith's life and legacy, as his centenary year draws to a close on March 27.
Joined by the family of Dick King-Smith and a series of partners, Gloucester Cathedral will host activities throughout the day that pay tribute to the beloved children's author and his literary heritage.
From midday, members of the public are invited to the Chapter House, where a presentation and conversation will take place between Dick's children Juliet, Liz, and Giles, and his great-granddaughter Josie Rogers. They will discuss Dick's life and work, as well as Ambrose Follows His Nose, his recently discovered unfinished tale which Josie completed, and was published last year.
Ambrose Follows His Nose tells the story of Ambrose, an ordinary rabbit with the most extraordinary sense of smell, and is published in paperback on 9th March 2023, on the same day as a new 40th anniversary edition of The Sheep-Pig (inspiration for the beloved Oscar-winning film, Babe) is also published.
Throughout the day a series of activities will simultaneously take place, including arts and crafts at the Chapter House, and reading activities presented by Read with Me, the volunteer-led Gloucestershire literacy programme, as well as a special reading by Juliet, Liz, and Giles at 1.15pm at Gloucestershire Library.
Throughout the day, Gloucestershire Libraries will simultaneously host a series of activities, including arts and crafts, reading activities presented by Read with Me, the volunteer-led Gloucestershire literacy programme, and a special reading by Juliet, Liz, and Giles at 1.15pm.
FoxBusters, King-Smith's literary estate, will also be donating 101 copies of Dick King-Smith titles to Gloucestershire Libraries, as the centenary year comes to an end and the King-Smith family move to marking 101 years since his birth.
Foreign language editions of Dick King-Smith titles will also be shared with communities in the local area via the Cathedral.
At 4.30pm, patrons are invited to join a wonderful Evensong in the Quire, with a service themed around the life of Dick King-Smith.
Supported by partners including Gloucester Cathedral, the School Libraries Association, and Read with Me, this special centenary event is the ideal way to commemorate the life and legacy of one of the UK's most beloved children's authors, who was born and bred in Gloucestershire and was inspired by its landscape to create over 130 stories of animal adventures.
Born in 1922, Dick King-Smith served in the Grenadier Guards during the Second World War, and afterwards spent 20 years as a farmer in Gloucestershire, the county of his birth. Many of his stories are inspired by his farming experiences. He wrote over 100 children's books, including The Sheep-Pig, Harry's Mad, Noah's Brother, The Queen's Nose, Martin's Mice, Ace, The Cuckoo Child and Harriet's Hare.
In 2009 he was made an OBE for services to children's literature. Dick King-Smith died in 2011 at the age of 88.
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