MORE than 300 people attended the launch of Sir Lenny Henry’s new children’s picture book at Dudley Library where he discovered his passion for reading as a youngster.

The Dudley-born comedian, actor and author chose the venue to launch his new book - You Can Do Anything, Tyrone! - about a boy who embarks on an out of this world adventure with his grandad who inspires him to believe he can be anything he wants to with a little determination and imagination.

Sir Lenny has often talked about how he visited the library after his Aunty Pearl enrolled him as a member when he was growing up in Dudley.

But his visit on Saturday July 8 marked his first as an author.

The comedy legend, co-founder of Britain’s Comic Relief charity, even took the opportunity to sign up as a member.

Dudley News: Sir Lenny Henry is presented with a Dudley library card by Dudley Library manager Sharon WhitehouseSir Lenny Henry is presented with a Dudley library card by Dudley Library manager Sharon Whitehouse (Image: Dudley Council)

Sir Lenny said it was “brilliant” to be back at Dudley Library to launch his book and he thanked all those who turned out and added: “It was fabulous to be there with super talented illustrator Salomey Doku who’s really brought Tyrone and his story to life. Families were queuing down the street.”

The event included a reading by Sir Lenny to an audience of around 70 local children and their families.

The comedy star, who starred in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series, answered questions about his memories of Dudley Library, his inspirational Aunty Pearl and spoke about the adventures of Tyrone and his granddad.

He also talked about the importance of reading and encouraged children to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge.

The star also signed copies of his new book, with families queuing out the door as they waited.

Dudley News: Sir Lenny Henry meets young fans at Dudley LibrarySir Lenny Henry meets young fans at Dudley Library (Image: Dudley Council)

Illustrator of the book, Salomey Doku, was also at the event which also included craft events for kids - inspired by the adventures of book character Tyrone.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said: “We’re really grateful to Sir Lenny for choosing Dudley library to launch his new children’s book.

“Reading can open so many doors, teaching children empathy, imagination and understanding. This is a beautiful, funny and thoughtful book and I’m glad to add it to our fantastic library stock, alongside Sir Lenny’s other children’s books.”

Stephanie Rhoden, partnership manager for Dudley libraries, added: “It was an honour to meet Sir Lenny, he’s achieved so much but hasn’t forgotten his roots or the importance of libraries to encourage the minds and imaginations of young readers.

“We were already honoured when he dedicated his previous children’s book to the staff at Dudley Library, but to have him here in person, launching his new book to an audience of Dudley children is just so special.

Dudley News: Sir Lenny Henry pictured with staff at Dudley LibrarySir Lenny Henry pictured with staff at Dudley Library (Image: Dudley Council)

“I’m sure his books will be amongst those eagerly read by children taking part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge which runs throughout the summer holidays.”