All About Ann Bryant
Internationally published author of around 125 books, Ann Bryant is based in Kent, near the East Sussex border, not far from Ashford, Hastings, Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells, Canterbury and London.
Ann left the Royal College of Music to specialize in teaching Foundation and KS1 music, and found herself writing and producing plays for reluctant teachers. When she had a baby and a toddler, some of her plays were published and she went on to write for various Schools Radio Programmes, and to publish a great many songs.
Following publication of Ann’s first children’s novel she 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 very recently, ‘Code Breaker’ and ‘Peter and the Timber Wolf’. Ann has also written lots of early readers and music resources for primary schools including the award winning ‘Teaching KS1 Music’.
Ann has just completed a 3-year tenure as Patron of Reading for the primary schools on the islands of Guernsey, Herm and Alderney.
Ann’s School Visits
Ann is very happy to talk to the whole primary age range, from Reception/SK (4-5 year olds) through to Yr 6/Grade 6 (10-11 year olds). If time permits she also offers presentations for Years 7 and 8. She is very experienced with all these age groups.
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
Spread over two days, Ann can include an hour’s session with Years 5/6 on a theme of bullying, during which she turns a story into a short production for the rest of the school to watch. She can also offer Professional Development ‘From Story to Stage’ for Early Years teachers, as well as for KS1 and KS2 teachers and can include with the singing, a talk to parents about the importance of reading for pleasure – ‘The Hook of a Book’. Ann also has experience at working with gifted and talented students as well as students with English as an additional language.
About the presentations
Ann likes to work in a hall with audio facility, and it’s great if there’s a piano! She can take groups of up to 150 children, except for the Reception age group when numbers should be capped at 50, and a lovely large space is definitely needed, as this session involves Ann playing piano, bringing to life a few of her books, and the children moving around the space e.g. flying like butterflies, jumping like frogs.
All the sessions are fun, strongly interactive, varied, and with a strong element of music incorporated:
- Literacy initiatives for the teachers to take straight back to the classroom.
• A strong music/dance/drama element, for example Reception children will bring stories 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
• An introduction to the 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 one’s head to the finished product they see in book shops.
• For years 1 and 2 a whole session based around Ann’s latest book Peter and the Timber Wolf.
An Alternative Author Day
Ann also offers a drama day, working with Year 6 (or Years 5 and 6 in a one-form intake school) towards a 20- 25 minute production with song, action, dance, rap, chant based on a theme from one of Ann’s books –bullying. The rest of the school watch the performance in the afternoon, then as a little optional extra, 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. older children might write a review, 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.
Feedback on An Alternative Author Day – ‘Play in a Day’
“The benefits were countless but I’ll try to cover some of the key ones. It was a fantastic opportunity for our learners to develop their confidence and explore a social story that for them was very relevant. They all did a wonderful job but it was extra special to hear the loud, clear voice of one of my very shy girls and to see my trickiest boy making positive choices and really standing out for all the right reasons. The children were able to work as a team and develop the skills needed to work under pressure. They needed to be principled, listen actively and show real focus, supporting each other to ensure the performance worked. They enjoyed the opportunity to learn new songs and choreography and to put a bit of themselves into the performance. It covered many of the elements of learning in our new curriculum. Creativity, resilience, teamwork and an opportunity to reflect on the day and the show. They were able to perform for an audience and be seen by the rest of the school in a very positive light. This was why I opted for Year 5 having this opportunity and they did us proud. I’m very thankful to you for organising it and Ann for her amazing magical work with the kids. They are still buzzing today!”
Year 5 teacher, SLS Guernsey
INSET and teacher training
Ann offers inset/CPD for teachers of all Year groups in the Primary Age range, as follows:-
- FROM STORY TO STAGE. This can be for teachers of Early Years, or KS1 or KS2 and is designed to give confidence and offer tips for effectively adapting a story into a short drama with music and dance action for e.g. an assembly.
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. Ann’s interactive presentation of this book includes an exciting power point as well as the music of the original score for Peter and the Timber Wolf.
To purchase Peter and the Timber Wolf, click here.
A series of twelve books for girls of 8 – 12
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?
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
A book 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’
Ann has written around 20 books from Franklin Watts for emerging readers, including titles such as ‘Dragons V Dinos,’ ‘Stinky’, Fantasy Football Wall, Hurry Up! 2018 saw the publication of ‘Hey! You! Gordon Goat!’ and ‘Great Granny’
When Mr. Clark, the Year 6 teacher, announces that this term every student will be writing a Daily Status report about their life and their hobbies, Joe panics. What can he write about? His life is boring and he has zero hobbies. But Mr Clark seems to have the idea that Joe likes making and breaking codes. Result! Joe can run with that.
Before he knows it, he’s finding out about the Enigma Machine that was famously used by the British to crack German secret codes during WW2. The trouble is, it’s still not enough to fill up a daily status for forty whole days, so pretty soon, Joe is making things up. Big time!
The fantasy world that Joe creates in each Daily Status is followed by the hilarious and at times poignant truth of what is actually happening in his real life. It’s all so embarrassing. TELL NO ONE…especially not about his mum’s farting handbag dog, Fluffeta Sue!
Stories with Classical Music
This series of 6 books is extremely popular on school author visits, and includes, The Dragon’s Tale (packaged with a CD of music from Beethoven’s 5th) and Crazy Alien Ball (with a CD of 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
“This was a highlight for me. You have touched us all here. You’ve given us goose bumps. And you’ve done it with such authority, compassion and intelligence. You held us in the palm of your hand.”
Riana Van Rooyen Senior Kindergarten Teacher, Canadian Bilingual School, Kuwait, October 2018
“We had a brilliant Play in a Day with Ann Bryant. She had every child on board from the word go. Boys who are usually reluctant to participate were giving it their all and loving it. The play was amazing! Whatever you did, Ann, it was magic!” Rebecca Hockey Yr 4 Teacher and Music and Library Coordinator at St Mary and St Michael School, Guernsey. May 2017.
“We were entranced, enthralled and mesmerised!” Sally Simm, Literacy Coordinator and Year 5 Teacher, Beechwood Sacret Heart School, Kent, June 10th 2016.
“The children were absolutely enthralled. There were so many initiatives and stories and tips about engaging with the children to help with reading and writing…” Danielle Neville, Year 3 Teacher Vauvert School, Guernsey May 2017.
“It was awesome because you gave us ideas that we could take away and implement immediately in the classroom.” Debbie, infant school Teacher Team Leader of YCIS International School, Shanghai, November 2017
“Seeing children I never expected to see shining like stars, absolutely blew me away. Ann has inspired us to raise the bar.” Tracy Moore, Head Teacher, Amherst Primary, Guernsey. March 2016.
“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
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org