Tortoise on tour around St Albans

Ian Brown at Killigrew School.

Ian Brown at Killigrew School. - Credit: Ian Brown

Schoolchildren throughout the district have cause to shell-ebrate as an author goes on tour to share his picture books about a tortoise called Albert.

The whirlwind tour by former Herts Advertiser reporter turned author Ian Brown is part of a series of events he's hosting to mark World Book Day on March 3 with his books Albert Upside Down and Albert and the Wind.

Ian has recently visited Killigrew Primary School in Chiswell Green. In the coming weeks, he's set to visit Mount Pleasant Lane Primary in Bricket Wood, Aboyne Lodge, Abbey Primary, Bernards Heath Infants and Mandeville.

He has also signed more books at Waterstone's bookshop in St Peter's Street.

Ian Brown signing Albert the tortoise books at Killigrew School.

Ian Brown signing Albert the tortoise books at Killigrew School. - Credit: Ian Brown

In his school visits, Ian, also a TV writer and producer, talks about the inspiration for the series of books about Albert the tortoise - inspired by his namesake who is more than 80 years-old and has been part of Ian's family for more than 50 years.

Picture book Albert is taking the celebrity world by storm too. Danny Miller, the reigning I'm A Celebrity King and ex-Emmerdale star is the latest famous face to be charmed by the tortoise.

Ian with his Albert book series.

Ian with his Albert book series. - Credit: Ian Brown

With his fiancée Steph and baby son Albert, Danny posted a cute video of himself reading Albert And The Wind as a bedtime story. The book was described by Danny as baby Albert's "favourite book" in the video.

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Influencer Lydia Bright posted to her 1.3 million followers on Instagram that Albert Upside Down was a "new favourite" book for her daughter Loretta.

St Albans Waterstones Ian Brown signing

St Albans Waterstones Ian Brown signing - Credit: Ian Brown

Petrolhead, farmer and former tortoise owner Jeremy Clarkson said: "I like this book. I like tortoises. What's not to like?"

It's been quite a journey for Albert. He was rescued more than 50 years ago by Ian's wife Millie when she was a little girl.

Book covers

Book covers. - Credit: Ian Brown

Ian said: "Albert seems to be taking all this in his stride. He has become a bit of a diva but that might just be his age. We've all been amazed at how his popularity has grown. He has fans across the UK, USA, Japan and Australia. It took me 30 years to get a publishing deal, trying in between TV work, but Albert was the inspiration I needed. It's a delight to visit the schools and libraries."