INTERNATIONALLY renowned children’s author and illustrator Nick Butterworth has visited a school to raise money for refugees from the Ukrainian war.

Mr Butterworth, who is famous for his  Percy the Park Keeper and Q Pootle 5 books, paid a visit to St John’s Primary School in Colchester.

During the day, he spent time with all of the 630 children on both sites, retelling stories, doing drawings and captivating the youngster’s imagination, all for a worthy cause.

Children sat agog as Mr Butterworth discussed a wide range of topics from his creative process, to the importance of stories and the power of imagination.

He also told the schoolchildren that reading was an exercise in emotion saying: “Books help us feel how other people feel, stories put us in other people's shoes.”

Mr Butterworth topped off his talk by reading the children his book The Whisperer, a tale inspired by Romeo and Juliet, replacing people with cats.


Her also did book signings, raffled off some books, auctioning a signed illustration and a David Walliams book signed by the author.

All profits went towards Refugee Action Colchester.

In the evening, the school welcomed Mr Butterworth back as he gave a talk on the life changing value of reading to the pupils' parents, whilst the children enjoyed a bedtime story from their teachers in their classrooms.

Mr Butterworth said: “I was sitting at home watching the news from Ukraine and I thought what can I do at my age to help?


"I thought ‘I know, I can use my authoring skills to raise funds to support local refugee children and families'.

“Being with kids is so rewarding. To think that you can play a part, doing something they will benefit from, something as basic as loving stories.

“If I can play a part in children discovering themselves and setting free their imagination, then I will feel that this has been something worth doing.”

Deputy head teacher Tina Bourne said: “The children have been absolutely enthralled all day.

"It just goes to show, now matter how old you are, a good story is a good story.”