Cressida Cowell: Inspiring the Caldicott Boys

12 November 2020


Incredibly, our librarian, Ma’am Elson, impressively arranged world-famous author, Cressida Cowell to give a talk at Caldicott today! We are incredibly grateful to the writer and illustrator of the series, How To Train Your Dragon, and The Wizards of Once, who (over the power of Zoom) gave some inspiring words to our Lower and Middle School. 

Some very key messages were relayed to the boys, one of which was that the most important thing about being a writer, ‘it’s not about how good you are at spelling, or how good your handwriting is, it’s all about the ideas you have’. She was even kind enough to give us a sneak peek at her ‘Magical Ideas Book’, something she implored all the boys to start. We were even lucky enough to get a peak inside; something in which she has written every one of her ideas from the age of nine.

Rousing stories of Cressida’s road to being a renowned author were heard with fascination by the boys. Stories such as how, as a child, her and her family would go on two week-long holidays to an uninhabited island off the West Coast of Scotland and how she would spend that fortnight looking for dragons! Cressida even taught the boys some Dragonese, although what they learnt is a secret only for them, as adults present were forced to cover their ears.

Dozens of boys watching from classrooms and the Centenary Hall threw their hands up when asked ‘who wants to be an author?’. Cressida has clearly inspired many of the boys at Caldicott, not least of all Rafe G (pictured below), who perfectly grasped the intended message and, during the talk, took notes, made drawings, and came up with some imaginative ideas about worlds of his own that he intends to write about. The best part is, Rafa is just one of the boys who did so.

Ma’am Elson herself has been inspired and is now running a competition asking the boys to create their own mythical creature map or of a magical world, with prizes for the most inventive (closing date Thursday 26 November).

All of Caldicott would like to give a resounding ‘thank you’ to Cressida Cowell for taking her time to talk to us. The boys got to learn lots about what it takes to be a writer as well as all about her newest series, The Wizards of Once. She has also been kind enough to provide the school with signed copies of her newest book, The Wizards of Once: Never and Forever, they have yet to arrive (another bump in the road thanks to COVID), but will be going to out to all boys who want one shortly.  It's not too late to order one if you would like your son to have one. Please email Ma’am Elson- [email protected]

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