Sir Lenny Henry to launch new picture book at Dudley Library

Sir Lenny, who grew up in Dudley, has frequently talked about how much he visited the library after his Aunty Pearl enrolled him as a member of the library.

And now on Saturday July 8 he will be making his first visit as an author to the library where he will read his story and chat to families.

A ticketed event at 11am, which has sold out, will be followed by a book signing at noon, to which all are welcome.

Lenny said: “I can’t wait to return to Dudley Library! I know my own writing journey started right there decades ago when I first started borrowing books from the library after my Aunty Pearl got me a library card.

“There couldn’t be a more fitting place for me to do my first event for You Can Do Anything, Tyrone with illustrator Salomey Doku.

“I have seen how picture books can be the start of a passion for reading, and I can’t wait to enthuse families and young readers about reading and introduce them to the character Tyrone on the day.

“Perhaps we will even be given brand new library cards on the day.”

You Can Do Anything, Tyrone! is illustrated by new talent Salomey Doku, who will also be at the event which will feature other book based activities for kids.

The story focuses on the special bond between a boy called Tyrone and his grandfather, Grandad Cleveland, who gives Tyrone self-confidence and the belief that he can indeed be and do anything he wants.

Tyrone is building a space rocket to go on an adventure to the moon but when his building bricks stop working, Grandad Cleveland is on hand to show Tyrone that with determination and imagination, there’s nothing he can’t do. Together, the pair embark on an out-of-this world adventure.

Councillor Ian Bevan, Dudley’s cabinet member responsible for libraries at Dudley Council, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Sir Lenny Henry has chosen one of our libraries to launch his new children’s book.

“Sir Lenny became freeman of the borough 10 years ago in recognition of his incredible charity work and we’re honoured to have him return.

“We know how greatly he values public libraries and I hope his visit encourages people of all ages to become a member and get reading.”

Stephanie Rhoden, partnership manager, Dudley libraries, said staff at Dudley Library are “delighted to welcome Lenny Henry back to the place which kick-started his love of reading” and she added: “His new book is wonderful and will inspire a new generation of young readers to pick up a book and fire up their imaginations.”

Sir Lenny is the author of three middle grade adventure stories; The Boy With Wings, The Book of Legends and Attack of the Rampaging Robot.

He dedicated The Book of Legends to the staff of Dudley Library who he said were responsible for all of his writing.

Sir Lenny’s visit will also coincide with the launch of Dudley’s Ready, Set, Read! Summer Reading Challenge which challenges children to read six books of their choice over the school holidays.

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