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Julia Donaldson visits Chestnut Tree House

Monday 24 July 2017

‘A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood…’

On Saturday 22 July, Julia Donaldson – author of an extensive range of children’s books, including The Gruffalo, Stick Man and Room on the Broom – spent the morning at Chestnut Tree House, together with her husband, Malcolm.

Helped by a collection of props, which they brought along as part of the ‘show’, Julia and Malcolm treated a group of 20 children and family members  to a unique storytelling experience in our Woodland Walk.

The talented pair recreated three family favourites: The Gruffalo, A Squash and a Squeeze, and The Giant Jumperee, using promenade theatre to involve the children and make the most of the natural woodland setting. Some parents and members of our team also got involved, playing the different animals featured in the stories.

In addition to the storytelling experience in the Woodland Walk, the children were also encouraged to immerse themselves in Julia’s stories with a JuliaDonaldson_signingrange of themed activities organised by our care team. These included Gruffalo colouring sheets and making their own mouse stick puppet to take home. Before leaving Chestnut Tree House, Julia also spent time signing autographs and writing messages – both for children who were there, but also for some who were not well enough to attend.

Juliette MacPherson, Fundraising Development Manager at Chestnut Tree House said: “It was such a magical day for the children and their families. Everyone loved the experience and really felt like they were involved in something special.

“It was smiles all round and the children enjoyed getting involved in the stories. We are so grateful to Julia and Malcolm for their time, and helping these families make some truly special memories. One family described it as ‘the best morning ever’ – a sentiment echoed by everyone there.”