THERE may be no such thing as a Gruffalo, but that didn't stop the author of the modern children's classic delighting schoolchildren with a visit to Bourne End library to bring some of her popular tales to life.

Julia Donaldson, Children's Laureate and best selling author of more than 150 books made the visit yesterday as part of her national tour of libraries.

Picked from hundreds of applications, Bourne End was one of only 24 libraries on the English and Welsh leg of the Children’s Laureate Libraries Tour, which started on September 10 in Thurso in the Hebrides and finishes on 18 October in Carlisle. Schoolchildren from Claytons Primary School attended the invitation-only event.

The children also showed off their own acting and singing skills to Julia during a short performance inspired by children’s literature.

Julia, who has also written such tales as A Squash and a Squeeze, What The Ladybird Saw and The Smartest Giant in Town, said: "Libraries are very close to my heart, and so is performance.

"This tour is my way of bringing the two together, by visiting fantastic libraries all over the country, enjoying children acting and singing, and sharing my own stories with them. I want it to be a huge celebration of libraries and of the benefits they offer to communities and especially to children."

She also gave a reading from her new book, Superworm.

Inka D’Agostino, Bourne End Library Manager, said: "We were absolutely delighted and honoured to have Julia Donaldson visit Bourne End Library.

"Julia's interactive musical storytelling was so much fun not only for the children of Claytons and Westfield schools but for teachers, library staff and visitors. "Special mention and thanks must be made to Katherine Findlay from our Friends of Bourne End Library Group who submitted the successful bid and made the whole event possible."