Award-winning author shares her tips with Milton Keynes pupils

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The process of writing and illustrating books is now less of a mystery for youngsters lucky enough to have had a visit from a local author.

Thornton College’s prep school children were thrilled to welcome Leighton Buzzard-based children’s book writer and illustrator Kate Milner for a question and answer session earlier this month.

Kate won Student of the Year at the V&A Illustration Awards last year while she was studying for an MA in children’s book illustration as a mature student at Anglia Ruskin University.

Kate’s winning entry was a picture book which she created to help young children understand the refugee crisis.

The completed book, My Name is Not Refugee, is due to be published this May.

Years 3 and 4 at Thornton were very excited to meet a real author and Kate was more than happy to answer their questions about her inspiration and success.

The pupils discovered that Kate hoped her book might help children in this country to empathise with refugees by portraying how they must feel being cast adrift in a new country with a different culture and language.

Kate also described the lengthy process that has seen the book develop from her early pencil illustrations, be taken on by a publisher and finally go to print.

The Sisters of Jesus and Mary purchased the Manor House of Thornton in 1917 and formed a school for girls – Thornton College, Convent of Jesus and Mary.

The Sisters were responsible for all aspects of care, but now only a few of the Sisters are actively involved in teaching the girls. The school has expanded significantly over the past 90 years.

Most recently three major projects have been completed.

The St Clare Wing housing new Prep and specialist science laboratories, classrooms and an ICT suite opened in March 2010, a creative and performing arts facility opened in 2008 and The Thévenet Wing housing the Pre-Prep was completed in 2002.