Competition calls for children to name story book monster

Author Todd Henderson, left, and illustrator James McNulty visit Mile Cross Primary School to launch

Author Todd Henderson, left, and illustrator James McNulty visit Mile Cross Primary School to launch a competition to name the dragon in their next book. Pupils, back, Reuben Chapman and Gracie Calver, and front, Lily Thompson and William Cole. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

What do you call a monster that has tired of eating scraps of food, and has turned it attention to a couple of children instead?

It may sound like a joke, but that is the question a children's author and an illustrator have posed to Norfolk school children as they launched a competition to name and design the lead character of their next book.

Writer Todd Henderson and illustrator James McNulty visited Mile Cross Primary School yesterday to set the challenge.

The duo set up an easel and performed a workshop for children in reception and Year 1 to set their imaginations going.

Mr Henderson said: 'This is the perfect place for us to launch the competition, with Mile Cross' ethos towards reading. We can tell how engaged the children throughout the school in their reading are - which bodes well for the future.'

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After the visit, Jessica Hopkins, four, said: 'I learnt how to draw a dragon and I want to write a whole book when I'm an adult.'

Deanna James, five, added: 'One day I want to read a book with at least 140 pages in it!'

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Mr Henderson and Mr McNulty are local to Norwich, and have been working for 18 months to bring their own style of books to children across the world.

Emily Jordan, assistant head of Key Stage 1 at Mile Cross Primary, said: 'It was really exciting for the children to meet a real author and illustrator and to see the creative process that goes into a book.

'They also loved having a go themselves to draw a character.'

The competition is open to all primary aged children across Norfolk and the Eastern region. Email your entry directly to Todd Henderson at

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