The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson hits out at children wearing face coverings
The author of much-loved kids' book The Gruffalo has labelled the decision to make pupils to wear face masks in the classroom 'dystopian'.
Julia Donaldson, 73, said she felt that face coverings in schools were becoming normalised and feared the impact it would have on children's education.
The former secondary school English teacher and children's laureate said that learning should not be 'sacrificed' to keep the NHS safe.
She told The Times: 'Even if the current proposals are only for three weeks, this could be repeated and become something considered normal whenever there is infection, whereas in fact it should not be considered normal, it is alien - even dystopian.
'Children are children for such a short time, I don't think they should be sacrificed like this.
'[Masks are] seen as a gesture that isn't costing the government any money and as something that is not doing any harm.
'Because of the climate of fear, people have readily accepted something I regard as unacceptable, and that I fear may now be seen as a normal part of life.'
She added: 'You don't have to be right-wing [to oppose masks in schools]. I know a lot of people who are passionately anti-lockdown because they're very sympathetic to the plight of lonely and vulnerable people or those with mental issues.'