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Broadcasting Legend Clare Balding Inspires Chandlings Prep with "Animal All-Stars" Preview

Chandlings Prep, along with students from Abingdon Prep and Cothill House, welcomed renowned broadcaster and bestselling author, Clare Balding CBE. The event, co-organised by Mostly Books in Abingdon, offered an exciting sneak peek at her latest book, Animal All-Stars, published tomorrow, 14 March.

Balding, a familiar face from royal events to Wimbledon, Crufts, and the Olympics, captivated the children with her infectious enthusiasm for animals and storytelling. She spent time sharing her love of creatures great and small, encouraging children to tell her about their furry (or feathery!) companions and also to write about them.

The inspiration behind Animal All-Stars arose from her experience covering the Olympic Games. This delightful book transforms the sporting arena into an animal kingdom, exploring themes of strength, speed, and resilience in the animal world. Balding drew parallels between animal characteristics and human attributes, sharing her father's advice: "You need to fall off your horse 100 times before you can be a jockey" emphasising the importance of perseverance.

Beyond individual strength, she highlighted the power of teamwork, using the example of ants' collective power.  Encouraging kindness and loyalty, she advocated for a "be more dog" approach to life, underlining the importance of exercise, connection, and joy – values embodied by her own beloved childhood dog.

Having just presented at Crufts, Balding also engaged students with fascinating facts about various dog breeds. 

Christine Cook, Head said, “This visit not only sparked a love for animals and writing but also highlighted the importance of perseverance, teamwork, and living life to the fullest – lessons that definitely resonated with all the children and staff.”

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