Ben Faulks in Barnes
Who were you as a child? The clumsy one? The sporty one? Did you want to grow up to be the same as the rest of the children in your class or something completely different? Kids today might think it’s challenging to be different to their peers and feel like they all have to be the same to be ‘cool’, but could it be cooler to be different? Today Ben Faulks, the author of Watch Out for Muddy Puddles with Ben Cort, and What Makes Me a Me, appears with an important message highlighting our differences as individuals and helping children begin to see how we are all unique.
“Something magic starts to grow!” Ben Faulks shout out to the audience at Barnes Children’s Literature Festival. The kids are ecstatic to see him and enthralled by the adventure he is about to take them on.
“Let’s pretend our fingers are tickly roots,” he says whilst putting his hands in the air. “Tickletickletickle,” he continues whilst moving his fingers.
But what were these roots looking for? A blonde haired little girl looks are Faulks and shout eagerly: “The roots need water!”
“You’re completely right, Water! I’m so thirsty has anyone found any water?” Faulks smiles whilst making funny sound effects. “Let’s slurp it up like a milkshake!”
Using his entire body, Faulk demonstrates what happens next. From sitting down on the floor to stretching up towards the sky as high as he can, encouraging the children to do the same, he says: “The seeds start to grow and they go up towards the sky until they are as big as they can be! And what are we now?”
The children are convinced he now is a range of different things such as a cucumber, a carrot, a tree or even a flower, which could be true, but that is not the message Faulks intends to share.
“A the moment guys you are a bit like seeds. Every day you grow and get bigger and bigger until you get as big as your grownups! You can be a Gartner, a teacher or anything! You can be anything you want! All these seeds are different, all these books are different and that’s what this book is about. What Makes Me a Me is about how everyone is different and that’s okay,” he finishes off before opening a chapter in his book to read.