Internationally acclaimed, award-winning children’s author Colin Thompson has captivated Dorrigo Public School students with his life as an artist, writer, and world traveller.
Mr Thompson, who lives at Gleniffer near Bellingen, has published more than 70 children’s books and expanded his magnetism for children by also doing art, jigsaw puzzles and cross stitch kits.
He was invited to Australia from his home in Britain for a week in 1995 and never returned. He says the willingness of Australian publishers to take on his more quirky writings was a feature in his remaining Down Under, along with a dislike of the English weather.
He is now an Australian citizen and admits to being left handed, colour blind and an ardent dog lover.
“I have always believed in the magic of childhood and think that if you get your life right that magic should never end,” Mr Thompson.
“I feel that if a children's book cannot be enjoyed properly by adults there is something wrong with either the book or the adult reading it.”
His visit to the school came at the suggestion of librarian Kirsti Hudson who knew that many of his books were in the school library and hungrily sought after by students.
During Mr Thompson’s entertaining presentation his inquiries of: “Have you read that one?” brought cries of “Yes, Yes!” from his young audience.
For older people unfamiliar with Mr Thompson’s work, his in-your-face writing style and, at times, wicked humour, has endeared him to millions of young readers around the world.
Australian publishers saw the funny side of his work and his books are constantly in demand at the printers.
Relieving Principal Leah Keough said the students quickly identified with Mr Thompson’s presentation and his humour.
“It was a privilege to have him relating personally with his fans,” she said.