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Geraldine High School learning support pupils with art teacher Mike Deavoll at the launch of their book I'm Going Home For Christmas.

Geraldine High School learning support pupils have had a near sell-out success with their first book.

A group of learning support pupils, with art teacher Mike Deavoll, formed a small publishing company called No Laughing Me Publications and had their first book – entitled I’m Going Home For Christmas– printed.

The book was launched on Sunday at the Geraldine High School library, and of the 200 copies printed only 20 are still available.

The idea for the book was developed by the visual art department at Geraldine High School as part of a programme based on art skills and improving literacy among pupils with learning difficulties.

Mr Deavoll said the storyline came about through many discussions reflecting on animals living in a zoo, and centred on a school visit to Orana Park in Christchurch.

Pupils thought about the animals in the zoo that had never seen their countries of origin. The idea of the animals travelling back home began to evolve, and a children’s book started to take shape.

Every pupil contributed something, some in a minor way, and others in more major roles. All the illustrations and drawings are authentic representations of the pupils’ levels of ability, as is the design and layout of the book.

Pupils now have a product which they can have reprinted and sell next year, and the idea of a sequel is also a possibility.