Ann Bryant
Ann Bryant

All About Ann Bryant

Ann Bryant is based in Kent, not far from Ashford, Hastings, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells.

Ann left the Royal College of Music to become a music teacher and found herself writing and producing plays for reluctant teachers. When Ann had a baby and a toddler she had some of her plays published and went on to write for various Schools Radio Programmes, as well as a great many songs for compilations.
Ann Bryant then wrote a children’s novel and since then Ann has become a serial series writer, with the ‘School Friends’ series, ‘Ballerina Dreams’, ‘Families in a Step-Chain’, ‘Make Friends With… ‘The Café Club’ as well as a number of stand-alone books including ‘Billie and the Parent Plan’ and ‘FIN-credibly Funny,’ and lots of early readers and music books.

Ann is author representative of the Kent School Library Association and is Patron of Reading for a federation of three schools in the Heathfield area, East Sussex as well as for the Islands of Guernsey, Herm and Alderney.

Ann’s School Visits

Ann is happy to talk to the whole primary age range plus secondary, years 7 and 8. Ann is a very experienced and used to working in an age-appropriate way.

Ann’s typical author day at a primary school consists of:

4 presentations, a signing and an assembly for the whole school. These sessions can be timetabled to suit the school.

reception: 45 mins
Years 1 and 2: 60 mins
Years 3 and 4: 60 mins
Years 5 and 6: 60 mins
Assembly (on poetry):  20 mins
Signing (including an optional short talk to parents)

About the presentations
Ann likes to work in a hall with a CD player and it’s great if there’s a piano! Ann can take groups of up to 100 children, except for reception age group, when Ann would prefer 50 maximum. With groups over 40, Ann uses PowerPoint for a small part of the presentation.

All the sessions are fun and strongly interactive and varied, with:

• Literacy initiatives for the teachers to take back to the classroom.
• A strong music/dance/drama element, for example reception children will bring a book to life through drama and music and the other year groups will be able to listen to stories that work in tandem with music.
• Reading from appropriate books (never for too long!).
• An introduction to life of an author.
• A look at foreign copies at appropriate age level.
• For years 5 and 6 a look at the preparation involved with creating a series and an insight into how our personal perception affects the way we read and write.
• For years 3 and 4 a fun activity exploring the technique of ‘pacing’ in stories and the chance to see how a book evolves from an idea floating about in my head to the finished product they see in book shops.
• For years 1 and 2 a look at traditional/modern stories, at fantasy/reality and at first/third person delivery.

An Alternative Author Day

Ann also offers a drama day, working with just one age group towards a 20 minute production with song, action, dance, rap, chant based on a theme from one of Anns books – e.g. Misunderstood Dragons or Bullying or Jealousy. The rest of the school watch the performance, then in your own time in subsequent weeks you might like the children to follow up by writing something, age appropriate, about the performance e.g. year 6 might write reviews, year 4 might write a poem, year 2 might write a paragraph on their perceptions etc. As a further follow up, Ann is happy to judge the writing and offer prizes for each year group.

Ann’s Books

Peter and the Timber Wolf

Peter and the Timber Wolf

A Timber Wolf comes out from the trees, and the world all around seems to freeze.

A contemporary telling of a great old tale, because we all still love to be scared.

To purchase Peter and the Timber Wolf, click here.

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‘School Friends
A series of twelve books for girls of 8 – 12
In the first series, Katy, Naomi, Georgie, Mia, Grace and Jess are the best of friends. In the second series (with new-style covers!) you can meet Nicole, Izzy, Emily, Antonia, Sasha and Bryony, who all share Emerald dorm in Forest Ash Boarding House.
Want to know more about the Silver Spires girls?
Check out their own website…
http://www.silverspiresschool.co.uk

But to give a taste of ‘Mystery at Silver Spires’ from the second set of six books, listen to what Bryony has to say…

‘Silver Spires is such a cool school, and best of all I get to live there with my five fab friends. But there’s something mysterious going on. We keep hearing these spooky noises in the attic above our dorm. I know it’s against the rules, but I’ve got to go up there and investigate. Even if it lands me in a whole heap of trouble…’

Comment from a reader:
‘I have read First Term at Silver Spires, Drama at Silver Spires, Rivalry at silver spires and that’s it. If I had to pick a book as my favorite I wouldn’t be able to, I love them all equally. My birthday is in March and top of my wish list will be your second series. Thank you so much for writing these books!!!’ Yasmin Wills, aged 10

Ballerina Dreams

A series of 7 books for girls of 7+
Meet Poppy, Jasmine and Rose, three different girls who have one thing in common – they love, love, love ballet! The girls work hard to achieve their ballerina dreams, but have lots of fun together, and their friendship helps them through.  This popular series has sold into several other countries including America.

Here is a taster from ‘Jasmine’s Lucky Star’

“Is he coming to see you?”
I wasn’t sure what Poppy meant. “Who?”
“Your dad. Is he coming to watch you in the show?”
My stomach was suddenly full of butterflies. “I hadn’t even thought about that. I don’t know… I suppose so…”
“Well that’s good, isn’t it?” said Poppy. “Because then he’ll see how good you are and it might make him change his mind about the whole thing and say you’re allowed to carry on with ballet lessons, even after primary school!”

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Families In A Step-Chain

A series of 6 books for boys and girls of 9 – 13 years of age.

Ann got the idea for the books years ago. She was chatting with her best friend who had a new partner called Brian. Her best friend happened to mention that Brian’s two children from his first marriage would be coming to visit at the weekend. She also said that her son, George would be going to see his dad and George’s dad’s new partner’s children were going to see their dad. Are you following this so far?! And it got Ann thinking… it’s like a chain of children all moving on a step. A Step-Chain.

When people get to know that Ann write books about relationships and emotions, and the ups and downs of ordinary family life, they often tell her their own story, especially if it involves something quite complicated to do with stepfamilies. Ann has enough in her  head now, to write a hundred books! Ann likes to make them really true to life. The main characters speak very honestly when they tell their stories, even if it means they don’t always come over in the best possible light. We’re all vulnerable, aren’t we, and it’s when our vulnerabilities are exposed that life is hardest. It’s this kind of gritty realism that pervades the Families series. But there is also plenty of humor in the books, and the endings are always up-beat.

The titles are:
One Mum’s Enough
Girls Mean Trouble
She’s No Angel
Little Miss Perfect
Get Me Out!
Losing My Identity

Billie And The Parent Plan

for 7 – 10’s

Billie just knows she’s going to be teased to death about her boring, bald stepdad. But worse than that – with a posh new stepsister and a mum who hardly seems to notice her now, Billie doesn’t feel she belongs in her own family any more. So she comes up with a great idea: The Parent Plan. All she needs is to get adopted into a new family – easy! Or not…A funny, poignant story about families and friendship
A warm and sparklingly funny novel about family, friends and fitting in.

Comment from a reader:
‘Our school had a special book fair and your book, Billie and the Parent Plan was in it. I thought it looked pretty good and got it along with 2 other books. I was right because that was the best book I have EVER read!!! No really it was!! I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’

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Picture Books
Ann has written around 15 books from Franklin Watts for emerging readers, including titles such as Jungle Home, Who’s At The Zoo? Let’s Dance and the very popular ‘Raindrop Bill’ about the water cycle and ‘Dragons V Dinos.’

Stories with Classical Music
This series of 6 books is extremely popular on school author visits, and includes, The Dragon’s Tale (with music from Beethoven’s 5th) and Crazy Alien Ball  (with the music to ‘A Night on Bare Mountain’). The books are fully colour illustrated, and story, pictures and music provide an amazing ‘3D’ experience.

Reviews and Recommendations

“Your visit really was superb Ann, the children loved it and are still talking about it and will be for a long while, the manager of the nursery is full of praise too and said the little ones thoroughly enjoyed it,it was a great success.You obviously put a huge amount of work into devising and practising your presentations and it shows.Your musical talents liven things up too! I was very impressed and I felt that also I ‘clicked’ with you (as they say in my birthplace). I will be posting an extremely positive and enthusiastic comment on my librarians network straight after this – which you richly deserve.” – Librarian – St Teresa’s School Effingham

“Last week was brilliant and I would like to share with you info about the author who visited here, Ann Bryant, because she really was excellent. Ann had the whole school entranced from nursery to year 6 during a series of wonderful presentations augmented and enhanced by music, live and recorded. At the end of the day she gave a whole school assembly and followed with book signings and conversation. Ann’s sessions were obviously really carefully prepared. Pupils and staff have been full of praise, in eight years and after many authors I think she’s the best we’ve ever had here, entertaining and informative, so I would wholeheartedly recommend her to you. Ann is based in Kent and can be contacted via Trevor at Authors Abroad.” – Helen Clarke – St Teresa’s School

“Wanted you to know that our Principal was so impressed with what you have done today, that he really wants you to return and meet more students. Apparently all the students were talking about your visit and many reluctant readers wished they had attended, plus you have inspired so many to start writing. I just wanted you to know what a wonderful effect you had on our students.” – Sarah Sammut – The John Wallis Academy

“Ann Bryant’s visit was great! She had the children captivated from the word go. Despite having a few ‘characters’ in both Yr 5 and Yr 6, there was no problem with behavior as they were all engaged with Ann. She also inspired my teaching! I will definitely encourage my class to raise money to pay for a return visit!” – Sian Wilson, Yr 6 teacher, St Francis Catholic Primary School

“We have been lucky enough to have had many authors over the years but Ann is the most dynamic author I have had the privilege to listen to. She is an inspiration to all of us!” – Alison Beauchamp-Ward, Frith Manor Primary School.

“Not only were the children completely under Ann’s spell as she read and talked about her stories, but they learnt so much about books at the same time. The visit far exceeded our expectations and has also acted as a source of inspiration for children who are not keen readers.” – Alison Bush, Chesham Prep

“Ann Bryant’s visit was one of the highlights of our year. The Y4 children and staff were enraptured by her storytelling and didn’t want the moment to end. The CD books were a revelation, the children completely spellbound by the mixture of music with fabulous words and pictures.” – Jackie Mizon (YR4), Sherrardswood School

“Ann Bryant had the children captivated from the start. The children were very enthusiastic, listening carefully to her story telling and eagerly joining in the interactive sessions. The children and staff, from Yr3 to Yr6 all had a really enjoyable day.” – Carol Nixon (Literacy Co-ordinator), Sherrardswood School

“To keep the whole of Year 6, who were sitting on a hard floor, engaged and inspired for an hour was quite something!” – Steve Elliott (Head Teacher)

To Make a Booking

To make an enquiry about Ann Bryant, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at trevor@caboodlebooks.co.uk

Further information on Ann Bryant is available from her website:http://www.annbryant.co.uk