Best-selling author Ben Miller with students of Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
Pupils at the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGSGD) were treated to a star-studded visit from gifted actor, sketch comedian and writer Ben Miller, as part of his appearance at this year’s Emirates Literature Festival (Feb. 1 - 6).
RGSGD pupils took Miller on a guided tour of the campus, where he visited the library and took part in a FS2 library reading session. Best known for his books, The Night I Met Father Christmas, The Boy Who Made the World Disappear, The Day I Fell into a Fairytale, and his latest, The Night We Got Stuck in a Story, Year 4-6 pupils got the chance to ask questions and have their favourite book signed by him.
Clare Turnbull, Principal, Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai commented: “It was a real highlight for our young people to meet Ben Miller and learn all about what inspires him when writing his best-sellers. Thank you to Emirates Literature Festival for giving our pupils such a memorable day at school!”
Miller’s books are for middle-grade readers. His out-of-this-world adventures about time travel, portals to fairytale worlds, the magic of Christmas and more, have become huge bestsellers - many of which are brought to life by fabulous illustrations from Daniela Jaglenka Terrazine. Terrazzini moved to London from Italy in 1999 to study photography at The London College of Printing. Her work is characterised by a contemporary take on classic styles.
The Night I Met Father Christmas takes off when Jackson’s friend tells him that Father Christmas isn’t real. Jackson goes out of his way to prove his existence. Waiting up all night on Christmas Eve, his wish comes true when he hears Father Christmas crashing down his chimney.
What Jackson doesn’t realise is that Father Christmas is an elf called Torvil Christmas. Helping him deliver the remaining of the presents, Jackson learns the story of how Torvil Christmas – a hard, cruel elf who was abandoned at birth – became the kind-hearted Father Christmas, spreading love and joy to children all over the world.
The magical story of the origins of Father Christmas is utterly festive and charming, and adults will recognise and enjoy the nod to A Christmas Carol. The Boy Who Made the World Disappear is about Harrison, who tries his best to be good. He doesn’t steal, he always shares with his sister and he never cheats at board games. But Harrison also has a BIG flaw…He can’t control his temper!
So, when he’s given a black hole instead of a balloon at a party, Harrison jumps at the chance to get rid of everything that makes him cross. But when it’s not just things he hates that are disappearing into the black hole but things he loves, too, Harrison starts to realise that sometimes you should be careful what you wish for...
“An out-of-this-world adventure about twists of fate, time travel and troublesome black holes, Miller’s stunning storytelling is brought to life with beautiful illustrations from Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini,” says the publisher.
The Day I Fell into a Fairytale is a thrilling fantasy about the magic of storytelling. Miller’s novel pitches two bickering siblings into a dark fairytale land, hidden within a new supermarket. Lana loves stories. Especially the ones she and her brother, Harrison, share in their make-believe games. But when Harrison decides he’s too grown-up to play with Lana, she finds herself feeling lonely. Until something magical happens...
Hidden in the strange new supermarket in town, Lana discovers a portal to a fairytale world! But these aren’t the happy-ever-after fairytales that Lana knows: they are darker and more dangerous, and the characters need her help to defeat an evil witch. But she can’t do it alone. Can she convince Harrison to believe in stories again and journey to the world with her...before it’s too late? The bestselling classic adventure about the power of stories is illustrated profusely by Terrazzini.
"The Night We Got Stuck in a Story" finds Lana and Harrison staying with their grandparents, when they discover their favourite tree to play in is under threat. One night, a magical golden thread leads them up through the hollow of the tree into a storybook land, where wind and rain rage and a mysterious creature lives. When Harrison is kidnapped by the evil Spider Queen, Lana must do whatever it takes to find him, save the villagers and restore the balance of the storybook world, before the night is out.
RGSGD is a British Curriculum school for boys and girls aged three to 18 years old. A home of learning, it opened with world-class facilities in 2021 for pupils in Early Years and Prep and in 2022, welcomed pupils up to Senior School.
Sister school to the prestigious Royal Grammar School Guildford in the UK, RGSGD combines 500 years of pioneering heritage, innovation and academic excellence with a forward-looking approach to teaching and learning. Located within the Tilal Al Ghaf community development near Dubai’s Motor City, the goal at RGSGD is to deliver a personalised and forward-thinking educational experience for its young people - and the cutting-edge, sustainable and inspiring campus supports every part of this.
The school is owned and funded by Cognita, a leading global schools group, who are establishing a presence in the Middle East with RGSGD as their flagship new educational space.
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