Hartlepool school pupils’ fin-tastic time with Hartlepool-born children's author Stephanie Matthews

A Hartlepool-born children’s author helped raise awareness about conservation on a visit to a town school to read her new book.

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 5:45 pm
Children's author Stephenie Matthews with Barnard Grove Primary school pupils (left to right) Jasmine Devine, Brooke Hart, Alex Boughey and Logan Weldrake.  Picture by FRANK REID
Children's author Stephenie Matthews with Barnard Grove Primary school pupils (left to right) Jasmine Devine, Brooke Hart, Alex Boughey and Logan Weldrake. Picture by FRANK REID

Children at Barnard Grove Primary School had a fin-tastic time when writer Stephanie Matthews spend the day with them and read from her new book Frank The Sawfish.

It tells the story of a sawfish trying to find his family in the ocean and introduces children to the importance of marine conservation.

Stephanie, who is originally from Hartlepool, and now lives in Durham, spent time with each Barnard Grove year group including reception children and signed copies of the book.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Children's author Stephenie Matthews talking to Barnard Grove Primary school pupils. Picture by FRANK REID

Deputy headteacher Janine Cowie, who invited Stephanie to the school, said: “Most of the children had never heard of a sawfish. By coincidence, the day she was here was also International Sawfish Day.

“Stephanie is a first time author and is going round schools free of charge reading her book with children.

“I believe the idea for the book came from taking her son to the beach at Hull and he became a bit obsessed.

“We had a great response from pupils and around 40 bought the book which she signed.

“Afterwards I was getting messages about children reading it to their siblings and dads.”

Stephanie’s visit inspired pupils, who have recently been learning about marine conservation in a project called The Blue Abyss, to create artwork, science work and writing about sawfish which are currently on the endangered list.

Frank The Sawfish is due to go on sale soon from branches of Waterstones.