Meet the Sunderland schoolkids who inspired a new book

Author Liz Million, Grangetown Primary pupils and the Jack Crawford book.
Author Liz Million, Grangetown Primary pupils and the Jack Crawford book.

Wearside schoolchildren have put their ‘art’ into to a new book which pays tribute to a naval hero.

Students from Grangetown Primary School learned all about Jack Crawford but this was no simple stroll through the history books. Children examined everything from the tattoos that sailors had, to the food they ate on a voyage.

Grangetown Primary pupils with Liz Million's Jack Crawford book at Sunderland Maritime Heritage

Grangetown Primary pupils with Liz Million's Jack Crawford book at Sunderland Maritime Heritage

They found out that Jack was the Sunderland man who bravely nailed his ship’s colours to the mast during the battle of Camperdown.

And they worked with leading children’s author and illustrator Liz Million, from Darlington, to come up with paintwork.

The project, spearheaded by Sunderland City Council Libraries Services, saw children learn how an illustrated book is developed and produced.

And now, Grangetown’s students can proudly boast their drawings are featured in a brand new colouring book which is also packed with facts.

Author Liz Million proudly shows off the new book.

Author Liz Million proudly shows off the new book.

The collaboration is part of a partnership project on the city’s maritime heritage which also looks forward to Tall Ships Sunderland 2018.

Liz loved it. She joined the youngsters at the book’s launch - held at the home of Sunderland Maritime Heritage, who helped provide historical details. The proud team posed for photographs against the backdrop of the scale model of HMS Venerable.

Liz said: “It was fantastic. Everyone’s drawings were so unique and they all worked really hard. They all gave it a really good go. It’s an illustrative book which has been drawn by children, for children.”

Sunderland City Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture, Councillor John Kelly said: “It gave the children the chance to develop their own creative talent with help from one of this county’s leading authors and Illustrators, while also discovering more about one of Sunderland’s greatest hero and our shared maritime heritage.”

The book on Jack Crawford.

The book on Jack Crawford.

Les McAnaney, Headmaster at Grangetown Primary, said: “Our children were thrilled to get the opportunity to work with Liz on the drawings for her new book, in a project made possible by Sunderland Libraries Services.

“These workshops with Liz helped our children to understand just what a colourful maritime history we have here in Sunderland, and they also served to raise awareness of the forthcoming visit of the Tall Ships to Sunderland - we can’t wait to join in with the celebrations!”

The book, titled Jack Crawford: Hero of Camperdown, is available at £4.50 for a large version and £3 in the smaller edition.

It is on sale at the City, Washington and Houghton libraries.

Copies of the book will also be available to buy at the Libraries stand at the Ships Ahoy! event in Barnes Park on Saturday, June 30, and at the family zone at the Tall Ships Race Sunderland 2018 event on Saturday, July 14.