WESTON, Conn. — Clare Pernice’s passion for children’s books may have taken root on a fateful day when beloved author Roald Dahl — of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Matilda” and “James and the Giant Peach” fame — visited her school.
Born and raised in England, the Weston author/illustrator credits that visit and her father’s witty story-telling ways with influencing her interest in the wonderful world of children’s books.
Pernice will share that passion with little ones during “A Day at the Circus,” a story time/craft workshop she’ll run at Westport Library at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 11.
During the hour-long event, she’ll read from her acclaimed book “Circus Girl” and help children create their own circus puppets. A book signing will follow.
The program is free and likely to appeal to those under 6, but all are welcome.
“Circus Girl” is Pernice’s first picture book. It follows a young girl who morphs into a superstar and the main attraction in a circus of her own imagination. Combining playful text and whimsical watercolors, Pernice captures the girl’s fantasy of tumbling, flying, juggling and more, as she uses her family of toys to create a dream-like Big Top before she trundles off to slumber.
“‘Circus Girl’ was inspired by my childhood, my two children, and all children who love to play dress up and make-believe,” said Pernice, who lives in Weston with her husband, two children and their miniature Dachshund Milo.
As a teen, Pernice took an avid interest in writing, art and design and went on to graduate from London’s Central Saint Martin’s School of Art. She has since illustrated and exhibited works in Paris, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Charleston and New York. She has also designed children’s books, clothes, toys and murals, and has created costumes and props for film and stage.
The author’s future written and illustrated titles with Simply Read books include “The Real Mother Goose” and “Adventure Boy,” both slotted for 2017.
In addition to writing, Pernice is available for readings/signings and art lessons at schools, libraries, camps and more. Learn more at her website, www.clarepernice.com .