UK and International School Specialists
Working with over 5000 schools in the UK
Over 800 International Schools in more than 65 countries.

All About

I have always loved drawing, especially drawing the stories I had in my mind and give life to the characters populating my imagination. This passion at one point became a profession. I gained enough confidence winning few awards but I believe that being an artist is continuous work in progress.

 

Elena’s School Visits

When Elena visit schools she will always target the workshop or example session to the need of the participants, considering, space, materials available, age, special needs and anything else requested by the school.

Sessions can accommodate approximately 30 children.

Workshops can typically run from 90 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the time available and the depth schools would like covered with their students.

If a projector is available Elena uses some PowerPoint slides to show pupils different drawing styles and to catch their interest with some fun short videos. However, mostly the materials needed are a pencil and a piece of paper. This simple things are all you need to make the magic of a story happen. Often Elena will also give participants a handbook with some additional information and tips so that they can keep on practising even after the workshop.

Elena can also run workshops on Photoshop, Manga Studio, Illustrator, Indesign, ‘How to make a magazine’ and ‘Make your own comic
book’

 

Elena’s Books

“Be Silent”​: Harvest of short heartwarming short stories all “silent”, with no words.

You can read this book even if you don’t even know a single letter! Experience the great power of manga storytelling based just on images. All entertaining and feel good stories, ready to make you think and to make you laugh at the same time!

“Getting Closer”​: A selection of short stories about love and life

“The Deep Needs Train”​: A girl in trouble, a mysterious train, a journey through life.

Winner of the Manga Jiman 2012, this manga centres on a mysterious steam train that can only be seen by a select few; a mode of transport that takes its passengers to their heart’s desire rather than a geographical destination…

 

Elena has also had short stories featured in the following magazines:

“Home”​ – in “Home” ‘ Art Aid Nepal Anthology
“Tasty healing”​ – in The Strumpet – Issue 3
“Underground Glimpse”​ – in Team Girl Comic – Issue 5

Awards and Recognition

Elena’s work has gained her much recognition and accreditation over the years, with some highlights listed below:

2018: First European Woman to win the broadest International manga Competition in Japan, the Silent manga audition 8th edition.

2017 : Editors Award – Silent Manga Competition (international manga competition organized by the Japanese publisher Coamix) with the story “Strawberry field”.  This was the first time that Gran Prix Award went to a female European artist.

2017: Excellence Runner Up – International Kumamoto Manga Festival with the story “How to smile”

2014: first price – Manga in/as Essay (international competition organised by Leiden University) with the story “Tariki: Divine intervention”

2013 Comix4equality (international competition organised with with financial support from the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme of the European Union) with the story “Elver, my first ROM-mate”

2012: Manga Jiman (National competition organised by the Japanese Embassy in UK)

You can read about Elena’s huge triumph in this article from the Anime News Network:

Article on Elena

 

Make a Booking

To make an enquiry about Elena Vitagliano, 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

Claire Barker’s brain is like a barrel of excited monkeys. Writing stories lets the monkeys run about, for which they are very grateful. Ten years ago she worked as an HLTA in a primary school. She was always trying to find special stories to put in book bags – ones that are easy to pick up but hard to put down. In the end her brain monkeys wrote their own book.

Her award-winning Knitbone Pepper series, about a lovable ghost dog, has been translated into eight different languages and is available in hardback, paperback and audiobook. In 2017 the first book was a runner up in the Sainsbury’s Children’s Fiction award, was shortlisted for the Fantastic Books award and then won The Book Factor; an award voted for exclusively by over 2000 children. In the same year she was thrilled to be nominated by Devon Librarians for the prestigious Ruth Rendell Award, for the author who has done the most to champion literacy. She has performed on stage at Edinburgh, Bath, Cheltenham and a variety of other festivals, not to mention in front of thousands of children in schools around the country.

Claire lives on a small Devon farm with her family and several animals that are constantly trying to escape. None of them are actual monkeys.

 

Author Presentation

I begin with lots of pictures and funny stories about my animals and how living in the countryside, surrounded by the natural world, inspires me to write. I talk about famous pets and ask the children about theirs.  I tell the children all about the Knitbone stories – how they came about,  with readings and accompanying pictures. The Peppers in Knitbone series are hat-mad so I bring along a jam-packed suitcase with lots of different examples for the children to identify. There is always plenty of time for questions and I give away postcards for the best ones. Needless to say this creates a lot of engagement, most significantly from children who may not usually take part.

Length -45 minutes, this can be adjusted to suit the school timetable

Numbers – Happy for it to be whole school

Requirements: Powerpoint facilities, waist high table, water

 

 

Workshop – Beloved Imaginarium.

Together the children and I create a character on the board using a series of questions. (15 mins) The aim is to stretch their imaginations like an elastic band, to make language work hard for them. Then the children fly solo, using a pre-prepared worksheet to create a character profile. (15 minutes) When this is complete I will talk to the children about the three critical elements of a good story: character, plot and language, using juggling balls to explain ( 10 minutes)  Time allowing I shall do another reading  and answer any more questions.

Length -50 minutes approx, this can be adjusted for school timetables.

Numbers – up to 30 with appropriate teaching support

Requirements: Flip chart, pens, chair, table.

Sample timetable

9:00 -9:45 –whole school presentation

10 – 10:50 – workshop

11:05 – 11:55 – workshop

1:30 – 2:30 – workshop

3:00 pm signing session

 

Reviews and testimonials from previous school visits.

“Claire was her usual vibrant self and kept the children completely captivated. She took time to chat to individuals as she signed her books, making each child feel special. She has the knack of inspiring both children and teachers!!” Testimonial Claire Rowe, KS2 teacher, The Maynard School, Exeter

 

‘Thank you Claire Barker What an amazing and inspiring talk today for children of Seaton, Colyton, Kilmington and Shute Primaries. Hats, biscuits, how to create a character, the power of your imagination, and stories about Claire’s own collection of animals past and present which have inspired her writing. And that was just the talk in the hall! Claire was then invited to some classrooms to look at their creative writing and share top tips. And after that she spent an hour in the library chatting to any children who dropped in, signing books and answering questions’. Jenny Eagles, Owl and Pyramid Bookshop, Seaton

‘Claire was like a breath of fresh air… When signing her books, Claire talked with the children individually and made it a really special memory for them. Many children have said how they have been inspired to write more stories as a result of this visit.’ Winscombe Primary, North Somerset

“A boy in my class was a very reluctant reader, I had tried all sorts of books and activities to try and get him enthusiastic and inspired but for him reading was a chore. After a visit from CCB and the author Claire Barker he purchased the book Knitbone Pepper and got it signed by the author. He went home excited about reading the book in the evening – I couldn’t believe it! The next day he was giving me a summary of what had happened so far with great enthusiasm. We spoke about the book often and one day he proclaimed “I used to hate reading until we had the visit from the author – now I love it!”. For this little boy that 50 minute visit and book signing had changed his attitude and enthusiasm towards reading forever, which without CCB we wouldn’t have had. He is now an avid reader who finds it hard to put a book down!” Teacher’s email to Crediton Community Bookshop

‘Claire came to speak to our KS2 children last week and was fantastic! Her story ideas and tips as an author were inspiring and the workshop afterwards complements perfectly our approach to story writing – never accepting the first idea, adding detail and “tell me more”! It was a wonderful event and many children went on to buy her book and appreciated meeting her as an author. Claire took the time to speak to each child individually and as I have walked around the school since, have seen lots of children reading her book. A lovely event – thank you so much!’
Chulmleigh Primary School

‘A simple yet powerful presentation that showed the children that, although hard work and requiring a great deal of patience, being a published author is not out of their reach. An inspiring visit that saw many children buying books and instantly wanting to read them and not put them down – a winning sight for any teacher. Thank you so much for visiting us and reminding the children how exciting, interesting and adventurous being a writer can be….What we particularly enjoyed was the way you showed the children how easy it could be to come up with ideas…Ever since your visit, your book has been read by a large number of the children and, from their reading comments, it is clear that they are loving it! Bring on the next one – we can’t wait!’ Haywards School, Crediton

The Books: Knitbone Pepper

 Meet Knitbone Pepper, the dead special ghost dog haunting Starcross Hall.

Knitbone has a problem. His beloved owner Winnie and her bonkers parents may be forced to move and leave Knitbone behind. Can the Spirits of Starcross, a gigglesome gang of ghostly animals, help Winnie save her home?

Illustrated by the multi-award winning Ross Collins and published by Usborne

  • Winner of The Book Factor 2017
  • Runner up in the Sainsbury’s Fiction Prize 2017
  • Shortlisted for the Fantastic Book Awards 2017
  • Featured in Ten of the Best Children’s Utopias in Books for Keeps magazine

 

Book One – Knitbone Pepper: Best Friends Forever

‘Knitbone has made lots of new animal friends since becoming a ghost dog. But his owner, Winnie, is missing him. Can the ghostly gang come up with a plan in time to help Winnie see Knitbone again?’

 

Book Two – Knitbone Pepper: The Last Circus Tiger

‘Roll Up! Roll Up! The circus is coming, and Winnie and her ghostly animal friends can’t wait. The magicians, acrobats and clowns are such fun! But Knitbone sniffs something beastly in the big top….’

Book Three – Knitbone Pepper:A Horse Called Moon

‘One starry night, Knitbone and his friends find a ghost horse hiding in the garden. Her name is Moon and she is searching for her long lost owner. But Moon has a spooky secret which is sure to spell trouble.’

Reviews for Kntibone Pepper

  • “Highly recommended…an irresistible series.” Daily Express 
  • “Full of hilarity, warmth and undefeated love” MG Strikes Back
  • “A brilliantly conceived and warm-hearted series” Lancashire Evening Post
  • “Funny and tender” The Metro
  • “Perfect for enjoying as a great read aloud with a class, this is also a book that could be used for inspiring writing.  Sue Wilsher, School Librarian

·         “Knitbone Pepper is a fab spooky read, one of our top picks” Mumsnet Books

·         “Heaven in a book for young animal fans.” LoveReading4Kids

·         “The skill, charm and animal instinct to rival Dick King-Smith…great class reading material, a great bedtime book and an all round winner”  Sunshine Books

  • “There is no doubt that one day these books will be looked on as classics.” Bookseller Bob Stone

 

To Make A Booking

To make an enquiry about Claire Barker, 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

Rob Bradley is a poetic rapper and storytelling songwriter. He has performed around the world, from basement clubs in New York to festivals throughout Europe, and collaborated with international artists and songwriters along the way. He’s built a solid fan-base and reputation as an astute lyricist, captivating storyteller and unrivalled improviser, in fact he’s a freestyle rap world champion.

Rob grew up writing poetry from the age of 8. When he was 12 he raided his brothers CD collection and came across various rap CDs. From that moment, he was hooked. Influenced by The Fugees, 2pac and The Notorious BIG, Rob got to writing his own raps and perfecting his delivery and flow. As he grew into adulthood he learned how to use his new skills to tell his own stories and create a style of rap music that uses honesty, emotion and storytelling to convey positive and progressive messages.

Under the name Jack Flash, Rob carved a named for himself in the UK rap scene and beyond releasing 3 independent albums to critical acclaim as well as collaborating on a live band project, Extra Curricular. Now, going by his own name, Rob Bradley, he uses his rap skills to help young people find and develop their voice and have fun exploring a culture and genre which Rob has been transfixed by his whole life.

Have a watch of his TED talk where he explains why it is so important for us to be honest and find a way to tell our own story.

Youtube video link for TED talk

 

Rob’s school visits

In his visits, Rob performs an interactive freestyle rap where he asks the students for random words and objects and then builds them into an improvised rap. He then teaches the students the cornerstones or rap and explores rhyme, rhythm and poetic devices. He then helps the students devise ideas for the content of a rap and then builds on these ideas to help the students write their own raps. Depending on length of the session and the age of the students, this may be a group writing session or raps written by individuals.

Rob works with any students from Key Stage 2 – Key Stage 5.

For KS2 -3 the sessions focus more on the basics of rhyme, rhythm and performance. This usually culminates in a light hearted group rhyme that can be rehearsed and performed at the end of the session.

For KS 4 – 5 the sessions still cover the basics of rhyme, rhythm and performance but also explore more poetic devices used in rap and discuss concepts and meaning of lyrics further. This either culminates in a well considered group writing or pieces written by individual students.

Sessions can also be tailored to include;
Literacy objectives (e.g. teaching poetic devices)
Off curriculum days
Rhythm
Cultural awareness
Diversity and racial harmony
Target groups (e.g. NEET, Gifted & Talented)
Poetic comparison (links between rap & Shakespeare)
Performance and confidence building
The sessions can either be delivered as half a day per class (2 classes a day) or 1 hour per class (4 classes a day).
Rob can accommodate anything from small groups of students (5+) to large classes (up to 30).

 

 

 

 

In order for Rob to deliver an effective session the following options should be made available:

Option 1 (Preferred)
A smart board and speakers connected to a computer with capabilities to play MP3s and MP4 videos
Pens and paper for the students
A classroom / hall area

Option 2
A projector with capabilities for connection to a MacBook pro
Speakers with capabilities for connection to a MacBook pro
A white board / Flip chart big enough for a full class to see from the front of the classroom
Pens and paper for the students
A classroom / hall area

Recommendations and Reviews

“Rob had the children spellbound with his rhymes and captivating performance. Our children have been rhyming, rapping and writing ever since. Rhyme and Shine is electric!”
Mr Andrew Daniels, Assistant Headteacher
Marner Primary School.
“Rob was really engaging with the pupils. The students commented on how much they enjoyed the session and how their new skills helped them understand more about the role of a performer. We will definitely hire Rob again for similar workshops in the future.
Bea Wardlaw, Subject Leader for Music & Dance
Richmond Park Academy, London

To Make A Booking

To make an enquiry about Rob, 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

Becoming an author wasn’t my first choice of vocation. My childhood ambition was to become the “Chief Taster” at the Walkers crisp factory, however, I think my waistline benefited from that childhood dream not becoming a reality!  After leaving University I became a corporate event organiser. A career which saw me set up my own company and enjoy great success for fourteen years.

I fell into the world of dinosaurs just seven years ago, whilst stepping out of the corporate world and dipping my toes into the realms of public exhibitions. Until that point the word dinosaur had barely crossed my lips, but now I just can’t get enough! Dinosaurs are amazing imagination-engines, igniting a love for learning about the greatest creatures ever to walk on Earth.

Spreading dinosaur-joy is now my full-time vocation and I love it! It was a big decision to leave my successful event career, but now I’ve made the big leap to become an author, I’m happier than ever.

Nicky’s school visits

I am a London based children’s author who is very willing to travel and loves nothing more than visiting a classroom full of children and talking-dinosaur!

The outline lesson plan is to start with a roar, handle some very impressive fossils, check out the dinosaur in the eight books that I have written so far, find out who would have liked to have lived at the same time as the dinosaurs (a braver soul than me!) why dinosaurs are so special and where they’ve all gone.  I also read an excerpt from my newest book entitled ‘The Bone Wars’.   A great non-fiction adventure story about the battle to become the most famous dinosaur hunter in the world.  A true tale, crammed full of sneaky tactics, spying, guns, TNT and dinosaurs!

With questions at the end we can easily fill 45 mins per session. I am happy to do up to five classes per visit, ideally with a 15-minute break in between each and a break for lunch. I’m also, happy to do a 15-minute talk during Assembly about how I fell into the world of dinosaurs, which can include some photos of the first exhibition I created seven years ago, if you have a projector in the hall.

I talk to multiple years from Year 1 up to Year 4, adapting the class to the age group. It doesn’t matter if the children have previous dinosaur knowledge, everyone has a little and we can build on that. I sometimes add in a section about how I became an author for the older children, why authors have pseudonyms – JK Rowling, The Bronte Sisters, Agatha Christie, Michael Crichton and me! I also like to talk about the extinction theories – where have they all gone and about the descendants of the dinosaurs, which are still alive today. So many options, and I am very happy to adapt.
Ideal class size is 20 – 30, although I can work with up to 40 if you’d like to amalgamate classes, so that we can accommodate as many children as we can.

If possible, I’d like the use of a screen and projector for each class and a parking space within the school grounds, as I travel with a boot full of books and fossils.

 

 

Above, Nicky with consultant palaeontologist, Dean R. Lomax at the launch of The Bone Wars in May 2017.

The Books

With nine titles in the ‘What’s so Special about…?’ series of dinosaur books for children, the series has an established following in the UK and has recently been taken on by IPG’s Trafalgar Square Publishing to be sold in the USA and Canada. With the help of a newly appointed Foreign Rights Agent, we are now looking at selling the Foreign Rights to the books in other parts of the world. The plan is to add five new books to the series each year, four concentrating on individual dinosaurs and one of the Special Books, which will tackle some of the broader dinosaur related topics.

With a unique ‘one book, one dinosaur’ approach, backed by the latest paleontological research and having been checked and verified by consultant palaeontologist Dean R. Lomax, you’ll find new insights into how dinosaurs really looked, lived, survived and thrived, bringing children’s knowledge right up to date. The bite size chunks of text are written in child-friendly language and the dinosaur names are spelt out phonetically, which is a great help to children, parents and teachers!

Bright, colourful and highly collectable.

‘The Bone Wars’

‘THE BONE WARS’ is the first of the Special Books in the series, and tells the true story of the battle to be the most famous dinosaur hunter in the world. It’s based on fact, but reads like an adventure novel, and is illustrated throughout with pen and ink sketches, helping to exemplify the facts in the minds of young readers. If you like books about sneaky tactics, spying and bad behaviour, you’ll love this adventure story, crammed full of guns, trains, Native Americans, explosives and DINOSAURS!

The individual dinosaur books

One of the main inspirations behind the dinosaur series is to celebrate the well-known, as well as introducing children (and adults) to many of the dinosaurs that are little-known, largely because they haven’t been given a starring role in a Hollywood blockbuster.

Here are the book jackets for the first nine books in the ‘What’s so Special about Dinosuars?’ series

Coelophysis

Super-fast, light carnivore.

 

Tyrannosaurus Rex

‘The King of the Dinosaurs’

 

Triceratops

Last and largest of the horned dinosaurs.

 

Leaellynasaura

Tiny polar herbivore from Australia.

 

Megalosaurus

The first dinosaur to be named.

 

Ankylosaurus

The walking tank.

 

Stegosaurus

Plated, spiky herbivore.

 

Diplodocus

Long-necked, whip-tailed giant.

Reviews and Testimonials From Visited Schools and Festivals

‘Thank you so much for such a wonderful day today. The feedback from both staff and students was fantastic – everyone thought it was such a terrific day. We really do appreciate that you gave up your whole day for us.’

 World Book Day 2017 at Oliver House Junior School

 

‘Thanks again for a great day on Tuesday. The children were talking about it again today!’

Marchwood Junior School

 

‘The girls adored your visit today. They are so full of the excitement of the little ‘Leaellyn’’ dinosaur!! Thank you very much for all your time and effort.’

Kent College (my old boarding school)

 

‘We have decided to hold another book festival in 2018 over the weekend of October 6/7. Would you be able to come again?  Your sessions were such a success this year!’

‘Cuckfest’ Literary Festival 2017

 

‘Thank you for today. Your visit was much appreciated.  We had a lovely time and look forward to your return visit in June.’

American Academy, Larnaca, Cyprus

 

‘Thank you so much for coming to the Lewes Fossil Festival and giving your great talks this morning…’

Lewes Fossil Festival

 

‘Thank you so much for coming in again. We all really enjoyed it!’

Kensington Prep School

 

‘Thank you so much for today, every single child thoroughly enjoyed your visit!’

Silverline Junior School, Limassol, Cyprus

 

‘You were absolutely wonderful.  We all appreciated it immensely.  Happy and enthused little people.  Thank you for being so flexible and accommodating about arrangements too.’

 Wix Junior School

 

‘The teachers said it was a great day, thanks so much for coming.’

  Portway Junior School

 

To Make a Booking

To make an enquiry about Nicky Dee, 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

Adam is a writer, storyteller and theatre-maker. He has been leading workshops – independently and with organisations such as First Story, Arvon, Harrogate Theatre and Opera North – for the last seven years.

Adam’s ghost stories theatre show The Book of Darkness & Light embarked upon two national tours to over 50 venues in 2016 and 2017.
His play Shivers was co-produced with Harrogate Theatre, Square Chapel Arts Centre and LittleMighty. After premiering at Square Chapel and a short run at Harrogate Theatre, the show will tour nationally in autumn 2018.

In 2015-16, Adam’s short film The Split played at several international film festivals including the London Short Film Festival, the Cambridge Film Festival and Berlin’s British Shorts festival. The film was directed by Ed Rigg (Confection, Passenger) and starred Edward Hogg (Taboo, Indian Summers).

In 2013, Adam co-wrote and co-directed a short comedy film, supported by Roundhouse, London. Go On, My Son was viewed more than 20,000 times in its first week of release online.

Adam’s play Conscientious toured nationally in 2014. Directed by Alex Chisholm (West Yorkshire Playhouse, Freedom Studios) and performed by Rachel Ashwanden (Wrens, Poets’ Corner) the play told the parallel stories of a bullied office worker and a First World War conscientious objector.
Adam was the co-writer of Seaside Terror by Odd Doll Puppet Theatre, which toured in autumn 2017. Adam is one of the writers on Common Chorus Theatre’s A Wind of Change, a community theatre project which will be performed in Meanwood, Leeds, in February 2017.
Adam is currently working with Fringe First award winner Dick Bonham on a new storytelling show This Storm is What We Call Progress, which will tour in Spring 2019. He is also currently working with author Andrea Heaton on a new piece of theatre called Smile Club.

Adam’s School Visits

Adam’s workshops are fun, engaging and inclusive. He always begins by tackling the tricky business of starting a piece of writing. How do we begin a piece of writing? Where do we get the inspiration from? How can we avoid staring at a blank piece of paper? Adam uses the first part of the session to banish the idea of Writer’s Block.

Adam then moves into a series of writing tasks and exercises which cover areas such writing from any stimulus (a photo, an object, an extract of writing); creating exciting stories (with tension, character intention and drama); writing from experience (using memory and emotion to create wonderful stories and poems); showing and not telling (using ‘symptoms’ and creative descriptions); avoiding cliche (by creating fresh, original images) and redrafting (through a series of tailored steps and tips).

A key element of Adam’s workshops is feedback: each and every student gets the opportunity to read their work and have individual and specific feedback from Adam. In this way, students’ confidence is boosted immensely and they begin to see the benefit of trying ideas and sharing them with their peers.  By the end of Adam’s workshops, most participants are desperate to share their work!

Adam is always happy to chat to people about his own work – offering advice on ‘ways in’ to writing. He’s happy to sign books and answer questions from students and teachers alike.

Timings for workshops and how many are offered in a full day.

Adam is flexible and recognises that each school has different timetabling requirements.  It is Adam’s preference and suggestion where possible to allow for 90 minutes minimum as the amount of depth and detail this time allows for leads to markedly better work from the writers. However to fit with a school’s timetable Adam and happily run hour long workshops.

With regards to the amount of workshops per day Adam is happy to do as many as your school can fit into a school day, whether this is two long sessions, a day-long session or four or five 1 hour sessions if this is preferable to the school.

Ghost story workshops

Fancy something a little… spookier? Want to give your students the chance to pen their own ghostly tales? Want to add an extra dimension to their study of the Gothic? These workshops are perfect. Adam guides students through a series of exercises which focus specifically on writing ghost stories. Drawing on the greats of the genre (From Robert Louis Stevenson to Susan Hill), the workshops cover creating atmosphere, backstory, unsettling settings, plot, character and descriptive language.

 

Books

The Book of Darkness & Light

Three chilling tales. Two ghostly performers. One thrilling night. Legend has it that many years ago a book of terrifying tales was found. Now, you are invited to discover the secrets of The Book of Darkness & Light. Three ghostly stories to delight and horrify await the curious. But be warned, once the pages of the book have been opened… anything could happen.

“…three spine-tingling tales of ghostly madness.” The Culture Vulture

 

Recommendations & Reviews

Press for The Book of Darkness & Light

“The music heightens the suspense in the room as Robinson draws the audience into his narrative web.”
StageTalk Magazine

“Truly remarkable… stunningly scary… unmissable.”
Great British Ghosts

“The tale transfixed both me and the rest of the audience as we sat enthralled.”
The Culture Vulture

Workshop testimonials:

“Adam has run a number of workshops for us at Trinity over the past few years. Most recently he ran some fabulously successful workshops for our GCSE students on improving their creative writing, for the writing section of their English exam. The students found these incredibly interesting and useful for their course and we saw an improvement in our writing results this summer. A huge thanks to Adam for this.”
– Nick Egan, Trinity Academy, Halifax.

“Adam’s workshop was both motivating and inspiring for students of various abilities. As well as capturing their imaginations, his exercises were a great confidence builder for students whose natural tendency is to suppose they’re not very good at being creative. Adam nurtured the classes to produce excellent pieces of writing.”
– Laura Price, Thornhill Community Academy, Dewsbury

“Adam’s workshops on creative writing have inspired both staff and students. His sessions are inspiring and engaging for all.”
– Hannah Dolan, Head of Drama, Ralph Thoresby High School

“Adam found a way to engage every young person in our group to give them a fascination with words and their combined meanings. He made the path for writing new work clear and many were inspired to carry on their writing at home to continue crafting the ideas that had been unlocked.”
– Freya Wynn-Jones, Opera North

“A real boost to students’ confidence. Everyone is fully engaged and the myth that is writer’s block is well and truly dispelled! A truly memorable day for both students and staff alike. Gives everyone a chance to unleash their inner writer.” 
– Lin Devine, Trinity Academy, Halifax

“I would 100% recommend it to other students. The best thing is that you have fun whilst actually learning. It was a dream come true.”
– Year 9 student, Trinity Academy, Halifax

“The workshop made me look into different ways of thinking imaginatively when writing about a range of things. I feel this will really help me in writing. I really enjoyed this workshop and would take part in it again if I had the chance.”
– Year 10 student, The Mirfield Free Grammar & Sixth Form

“I have gained so many new teaching ideas I can use across all key stages. It has rekindled my love of creative teaching practices.”
– Teacher who attended Adam’s co-tutored Arvon course

“It has given me lots of ideas for activities and exercises – in my lessons, intervention sessions and creative writing club. However, it has also re-inspired me!”
– Teacher who attended Adam’s co-tutored Arvon course

“It has given me fresh, innovative ideas to induce creativity in students as well as encouragement for them to produce wonderful poetry and prose. The balance between group work, independent writing time and workshops (including 1 to 1) was great – the students responded so well and have produced beautiful pieces of writing! I personally thought the tutoring and workshops were outstanding and feel I have learnt so much.”
– Teacher who attended Adam’s co-tutored Arvon course

 

To Make A Booking

To make an enquiry about Adam Robinson, 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

Nik Perring is a prize winning short story writer and the author of five books for both children and adults. His work’s been performed on stage, read on radio, and been used, along with Dave Eggars’ on a high school creative writing course in the US.

He’s been teaching writing, in all its forms, for over a decade, working with people aged four to eighty-four. He’s worked extensively in primary schools and high schools, as well as libraries, colleges, universities, and the BBC.

Nik’s as happy working with large groups as small ones and is happy to tailor his visits and sessions to your specific needs or topics. Most importantly, Nik’s real passion is showing that everyone is able to tell a story or write a poem and that, often, it’s much easier than you might think. And that everyone has a voice that deserves to be heard.

Nik’s Books

I Met a Roman Last Night, What Did You Do? (EPS, 2006)

Jack doesn’t like going to bed, nothing exciting could possibly happen once you’re in bed could it? Maybe it could, because whenever Jack goes to sleep something extraordinary happens, he travels back in time! He meets Vikings and Anglo Saxons, helps to write the Doomsday book and much more.

This is a good book for juniors. It’s written in plain, honest prose and there’s a clear framework to all the chapters. My son, 8, liked the fact that he knew some of the historical detail covered in the stories, but not all of it, so it reinforced what he’d learned whilst teaching him a bit more. He was quite disappointed when we came to the end because he’d enjoyed the adventures so much and he wanted them to go on and on!”

 

Not So Perfect (RoastBooks, 2010)

22 short short stories; 22 not so perfect lives, where bird watchers come out at night, couples perform love surgery, and a woman is throwing up animals.

The extraordinary is everywhere, but an unsettling familiarity pervades.

Nik Perring’s brilliant debut collection demonstrates the underestimated powers of brevity. Intricately crafted and filled with dark humour, his 22 stories examine the conundrums and contradictions of human relationships, and ask us what it is to be human at all.

 

Freaks! (TFP/HarperCollins, 2012)

The weirdest stories you will ever read.

A bizarre collection of short stories, each featuring a character with an unusual superpower.

Meet The Photocopier, a woman who can reproduce herself at will and who attempts to teach her daughter to do the same.

Or the zombie hairdresser who is able to reanimate every time she dies.

And the man who can break his way into his lover’s dream.

Over fifty freaks and misfits feature in this unforgettable book, and each is illustrated by comic book artist Darren Craske.

 

Beautiful Words: Some Meanings and Some Fictions Too (RoastBooks, 2014)

Combining brevity with an overarching narrative, Nik Perring’s unusual storytelling is touching and captivating. His Beautiful series follows the lives of Lucy, Lily, and Alexander through their words, trees and shapes.

In the first of the series, Beautiful Words, fact and fiction interplay within the context of their three lives.

Accompanied by rich, playful illustrations from Miranda Sofroniou, these 26 story-gems invite us into Alexander’s world, telling us of his love, his loss and some of his favourite words too.

 

A Book Of Beautiful Trees (RoastBooks, 2015)

Combining brevity with an overarching narrative, Nik Perring’s unusual storytelling is touching and captivating. His Beautiful series follow the lives of Lucy, Lily, and Alexander through words, trees and shapes.

In the second edition of the series, Beautiful Trees, the narrative continues to unravel amidst the branches of some of our greatest trees, brought to life by the rich and playful illustrations of Miranda Sofroniou.

 

Reviews from children and parents

‘Nik is a wonderful, mind opening mentor whose guidance is very interesting, alternative and really gets you thinking and considering routes and concepts you’ve never even thought about before when writing. A very open and friendly figure and a great role model for a young writer’. – Saffron, 16

 

‘Really enjoyed the course! Made me want to be a writer when I grow up.’ – Aayah, 10.

 

‘I thought it was lots of fun and now I’m going to use the Story Booklet to write at home.’ – anon

 

‘Excellent workshop! Instructor great bonding with the kids.’ – parent.

It was fun. I think it is great opportunity for people to learn about story writing. I gained skills in how to write a short story and to round it all off in short period of time, to bring it to a closure which I wasn’t previously able to do myself.’

Mahad, 9 years old

 

‘Very good course, gave my kid confidence and useful guidance that would help him for a long time along the way.’

Mubbasher Khanzada – Parent

 

‘I’ve only observed from a distance but I’ve seen Nik be encouraging, positive, engaging. I’ve seen my children grow in confidence and imagination.’ – parent.

 

‘Engaging young kids with Shakespeare is a skill. You got my 8 year old writing = SUCCESS!’ – Petra.

 

‘Thank you for a great workshop. really thought provoking book and such important messages for all children….and a fair few grown-ups!’ Jo Stavert-Dobson

 

To make an enquiry about Nik, 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

Poetricks is a duo made up of Terry Caffrey and Andy Winters.

Terry Caffrey

 

Andy Winters

Cairo Chaos

Andy Winters and Terry Caffrey perform their original interactive creation, ‘Cairo Chaos’ a poetry and magic extravaganza telling tales of Ancient Eygpt.

Children can gain a Discover Arts Award during this workshop.

 

Our Tommy’s War

Our Tommys War is a vibrant, interactive, new and original WW1 performance and workshop that engages young people in wanting to learn more about the lives and experiences of everyday people in extraordinary circumstances during the ravages in WW1.

Our Tommy’s War was created by Andy and Terry. This dynamic team have worked together many times in schools, youth offending teams and  community settings plus both national and international performances in their own right.

Tommy’s ‘journey’ through WW1 is narrated through poetry, rhyme and songs and brought to life through magic in interactive performances from nationally acclaimed magician Andy Winters and poet Terry Caffrey.

Students will also take part in creative writing, poetry or art alongside the workshops and gain a Discover Arts Award www.artsaward.org.uk Pupils could also find out who ‘Tommy’ was in their area and tell us all about them on the day. P.S Tommy is the name given to a Private
solider in WW1.

 

To Make a Booking

To make an enquiry about Poetricks, 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

Growing up, Dan led three lives. In one, he survived the day-to-day humdrum of boarding school, while in another he travelled the world, finding adventure in the paddy fields of South East Asia and the jungles of Brazil. But the third life he lived in a world of his own, making up stories . . . which is where some people say he still lives most of the time!

Dan writes action-adventure-survival stories for younger readers. His books are often set in wild and unusual places, and feature characters who have to face their fears and make difficult decisions in order to survive.

Dan’s latest book, Below Zero, is due to be published in January 2018.

 

Dan’s Books

My Friend The Enemy

Summer 1941. For Peter, the war is a long way away, being fought by a faceless enemy. Until the night a German plane is shot down over woods that his missing dad looked after before he went off to fight. Peter rushes to the crash site to see if there’s something he can keep, but what he finds instead is an injured young German airman. The enemy. And helping him, seems like the right thing to do . . .

 

My Friend The Enemy – Reviews

‘Bombing raids, a crashing German plane and an encounter with a Nazi soldier – what could be more exciting?’ Kirkus Review

‘This book grabbed me from page one . . . highly recommended.’ The Historical Novel Society.

‘ … an exciting, thought-provoking book.’ The Bookseller.

‘This book is of the same calibre as The Machine Gunners, and the James Holland Duty Calls volumes … positively outstanding.’ Waterstones Bookseller.

 

My Brother’s Secret

Germany, 1941. 12-year-old Karl Friedman is looking forward to joining the Hitler Youth, like all boys his age. But when his father is killed, his rebellious older brother Stefan shows him things that leave his faith in The Fuhrer shaken. What does it mean to be a good German? What does it mean to wear the mysterious flower sewn inside his brother’s jacket? Who is the real enemy?

My Brother’s Secret – Reviews

‘The quiet themes of patriotism, courage, and compassion are presented through believable characters, gripping suspense, and an unflinching look at the lengths some will go to in order to retain control. A heartfelt look at coming of age in a time of war.’ Kirkus Review

‘My Brother’s Secret is a well-written page-turner and a must for both boys and girls aged 10 and over. Adult readers will learn something too. Highly recommended.’ Historical Novel Society.

 

Big Game

13-year-old Oskari is sent into the cold wilderness on an ancient test of manhood. He must survive armed only with a bow and arrow. But instead, he stumbles upon an escape pod from a burning airliner: Air Force One. Terrorists have shot down the President of the United States. The boy hunter and the world’s most powerful man are suddenly the hunted, in a race against a deadly enemy.

 

Big Game – Reviews

‘This fast-paced page-turner will appeal to fans of action-packed plots and is recommended for reluctant readers.’ School Library Journal (USA)

‘The characters were brilliant and were portrayed well. The plot was excellent and kept you engaged. I would give this book five out of five stars.’ Lovereadingforkids.com – Eloise Mae Clarkson, age 12

‘Dan Smith is one of the best authors of the 21st century, and he has written a piece of magic! In my opinion he is one of the best writers ever. This book in three words; Danger, Action, Survival!’  Lovereadingforkids.com – Kurt Simpson, age 10.

 

Boy X

Kidnapped and drugged, Ash wakes up on a remote tropical island. His mum – a genetic scientist – has been imprisoned and infected with a deadly virus.

Where is he, and what’s he doing there? He sets out to cross the jungle to find out and rescue his mother. Soon he realises he’s quicker and sharper than before. But why are the animals watching him, and how can he use the jungle to his advantage?

 

Boy X – Reviews

‘Intense, captivating, and distinctive.’ Kirkus Review.

‘… an action-packed jungle thriller … Suspense fans will be captivated by the twisting, turning plot of this thriller.’ School Library Journal (USA)

‘This is a ferociously fast-paced story, with classic sci- and techno-thriller influences, like John Wyndham and Michael Crichton, worn lightly … A must for James Dashner fans – or anyone who likes nail-biting tales of action and courage.’ Middle Grade Strikes Back.

 

Below Zero

When Zak’s plane crash lands on Outpost Zero, a small Antarctic research base in one of the most isolated places on Earth, he discovers a cold, dark, nightmare. The power’s out and the people who live there have disappeared. Worse, as he searches for answers, bizarre visions suggest a link to something else – deep beneath the ice – which only he can understand . . .

Awards and Successes

Dan has been published in more than 20 countries and nominated for over 15 awards. His books include the WW2 adventures My Friend The Enemy (longlisted for the Branford Base Award), and My Brother’s Secret (USBBY Outstanding International Book 2016). His novel Big Game, was published in over 25 countries, and accompanied the action adventure film starring Samuel L Jackson. His most recent novel, Boy X, won the Essex Book Award, the Coventry Inspiration Book Award, and the Phoenix Book Award. It has just been shortlisted for the RED Award.

Dan’s School Visits

Dan’s books are best suited for boys and girls aged 9 and up, so Years 5 to 8 are ideal, but Dan has visited many schools and his visits have included children from Year 4 up to Year 9.

As long as a suitable space can be provided, Dan is happy to speak to groups of any size, though prior notice of audience size is always helpful.

 

What does Dan need?

Dan’s talks always require the use of audio and visual equipment. A PowerPoint enabled laptop, a projector and screen, and audio, are always necessary. If this is not possible, Dan is happy to discuss it further and try to make alternative arrangements.

 

What to expect

A school visit often begins with an assembly style presentation to a large group, followed by one or two workshops for smaller groups.

An assembly style presentation involves Dan delivering a talk to the students, followed by Q&A, and a book signing. Dan uses pictures and video to talk about his unusual childhood of jungle adventures, climbing volcanoes, fishing for piranhas, looking after great apes, and meeting all manner of wildlife and people – including some very colourful characters! He explains some of the reasons why books and reading became important to him, investigates where story ideas come from, and gives some insight into the inspiration behind his books.

If a school has particular requirements, Dan can tailor his talk. For instance, he has written two novels set during WW2, so if a school is studying that period, he can concentrate on those books, talk about his research, share sights, sounds and smells of the time, discuss the facts he discovered, and bring along some of the WW2 memorabilia he has collected!

 

Dan’s workshops

Dan’s workshops highlight different aspects and techniques of creative writing – from ‘Finding Your Character’ to ‘Best Beginnings’ or ‘Tips and Tricks’ to ‘Air Raid Survival’. But if a school is keen to concentrate on a particular aspect of writing, or wants to run a series of workshops, Dan will look at developing workshops that suit.

 

Testimonials from previous visits

‘What a great day – Boys and teachers have been feeding back 100% appreciation.’ Northcote Lodge, London.

 

‘His presentation was very engaging and Dan’s open and honest style of speaking and interacting with the pupils meant that three hundred children went away brimming with enthusiasm for writing!’ King’s Priory, Tynemouth.

 

‘. . . you also seemed to strike a chord with some of our more reluctant readers; one of them told me that she’d only ever read one book and she said “I don’t do books, but this looks really interesting…..I’m a big fan now…I think he’s awesome…I loved it, I actually did!”‘ David Young Community Academy, Leeds.

 

‘Dan also told us how important reading is for all sorts of reasons and, in Dan’s case, as a source of ideas for his stories.  I am delighted that he was able to inspire so many students to try his books.’ Broxbourne School, Herts.

 

‘Dan talked about his unusual childhood living abroad, his adventures living in a jungle, climbing volcanoes and fishing for piranhas. The students were keen to investigate where story ideas come from, and gained a unique insight into the inspiration behind his books.’ Lord Lawson Academy, Beamish.

 

‘He has such an open and responsive manner with young people; he clearly loves being around them and tries to find common ground from which to open a conversation. I am delighted that he is our Patron of Reading: he is a welcome presence in school for staff and pupils!’ King’s Priory, Tynemouth.

 

‘ . . . he told us about living in Indonesia and the Brazilian rainforest. He actually made me think about what it would be like to live in those places. He is extremely adventurous, has a great imagination, and I admire him. Boy X sounds really good and I, now, can’t wait to read it. I hope Dan visits again soon.’ Nicole, Heworth Grange.

 

‘The boys were enthralled by Dan’s tales of sitting in the crater of an active volcano, fishing for piranhas, contending with the most poisonous spider in the world in one of his childhood homes, and encountering snakes, scorpions, ants, armadillos and jaguars.’ Merchant Taylor’s School.

 

‘Everyone had a great day. I’ve had nothing but positive comments from children, staff and parents all day. Some of the Y6 children brought in stories they’d written at home last night – so there’s instant impact!’ Horton Grange, Blyth.

‘It was great, my favourite part was when we did the writing workshop, thank you for an amazing day!’ Connor, Year 6

‘Thanks Dan for coming into school, I loved hearing about your adventures and books.’ AJ, Year 6

‘Hi, you came to my school today and it was such a privilege. I found you as an inspiration and have asked for a few of your books for Christmas!’ Holly, Year 7
‘Hi Dan, I really want to read your books, they look so interesting and cool.’ Izzy, Year 6.

‘U were at my school today. It was amazing.’ Macie, Year 6.

‘Boy X is amazing and gave me a brilliant idea for my own book that I’ve been writing. Thanks for being an inspiration.’ Liv, Year 7.

‘Hi. You came in to see us a few days ago and I really enjoyed it. You inspired me a lot and I am starting to write my own story.’ Rebecca, Year 7.

‘Thanks for the inspirational advice. It’s lovely getting ideas from a real author. ’ Kandie, Year 8.

‘Hi Dan, read the 4 pages of your book and it hooked me in right away, thank you for your amazing book, you came to our school today and it made my day.’ Ben, Year 6.

‘Hi, I was at Trent College on Wednesday and it was AMAZING and truly inspirational.’ Ellie, Year 6.

‘Hi, I was at the library on Tuesday, and you were amazing!!!!’ Annalisa, Year 7.

‘I’d just like to say a big thank you for paying a visit to our school today, you have really inspired me to read more books.’ Cole, Year 7.

To Make a Booking

To make an enquiry about Dan, 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

Coral has worked as a poet and performer for many years, and now specializes in writing and performing for children.  She was featured in “Favourite Poets” published by Hodder Children’s Books.  Michael Rosen has commented, “Rumble has a dash and delight about her work”.

In addition to her own collections, you will find Coral’s work in various anthologies and trade books and, as a football fan, she is very proud that one of her poems was included in a poetry exhibition at the National Football Museum in Preston! In the past she has contributed to the National Poetry Day resources for schools, produced by the Poetry Society, and has served as part of the Poetry Society (Education) advisory group. Coral is Poetry Editor for the Writers’ Advice Centre in London.

In addition, Coral has delivered inset training for teachers, both independently, and on behalf of the Poetry Society and British Council, and works regularly on education projects, with all age groups, around the country. Coral has   performed and led workshops at a variety of venues, the grandest venue being Buckingham Palace!

Coral is one of the writers of the popular Cbeebies TV programmes, ‘Poetry Pie’ and ‘The Rhyme Rocket’. She is also the writer of the Pinkasaurus stories broadcast on Cbeebies Radio.

More recently, Coral teamed up with her illustrator daughter, Charlotte Cooke. Their first picture book together, The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat, was long listed for the ‘Oscar’s First Book Prize’ award.

 

Coral’s School Visits

Coral loves performing and leading workshops, and aims to build the confidence of the children, as they play with words and write poems. The main intention is to help the pupils understand what poetry is all about, and to have a lot of fun along the way! The day often starts with a whole school performance, to get the children excited about the individual class sessions to come. In schools where there is a well-developed family learning programme, parents can be invited in to take part in some activities, related to the visit.

Coral is always happy to discuss with schools what they’d like to achieve from the visit, but if a school is unsure of what they want, she is currently offering the following set workshops: –

Adventure Poems – KS1

Largely based on Coral’s picture book ‘The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat’, this session introduces young children to rhyme and basic storytelling.

Jumping Jungle – Lower KS2

This workshop encourages word play, introduces the concept of working in a line unit, and builds confidence, as children write creature poems.

 

Hectic Poetics – Upper KS2

This session explores the art of writing poetry, using a series of fast and fun writing activities, leading to poem writing.

 

What Makes a Poem a Poem? Lower KS3

This workshop unpacks the art of poetry, and encourages the writing of poems in a fun, non-threatening way. This is especially suitable for children who lack confidence in their writing.

 

Workshop sessions are usually: –

20-30 mins N/Reception (or 1 hour for Rhymes and Role Play)

30-40 mins Yrs1&2 (or 1 hour for Rhymes and Role Play)

45-60mins Yrs3&4

45-60mins Yrs5&6

60+ minutes for older children and young people.

 

These times can be adjusted to suit each school. Coral prefers to work with class size groups, as her workshops are very interactive, but group size is negotiable.

Coral has worked on many Poetry Residencies, from a matter of weeks to almost a year, and is happy to discuss all possibilities with schools.

Primary School Teachers’ INSET

Never before has there been such a strong emphasis on teaching poetry in primary schools, especially as an oral art. The New Curriculum has upped the game, and with it, the blood pressure of teachers. This one-day course is designed to reduce the anxiety levels of classroom teachers, as they become more informed about how to deliver what is now expected. The course covers the subjects: –

 

What is Poetry All About, Anyway?

What Should Children be Looking for in a Poem?

What Should Children be Listening for in a Poem?

Verse Forms, Patterns and Frames

Learning By Heart – Memory, Interpretation and Fun!

Getting Practical – ideas for Lessons.

 

Coral’s Books

Coral has had three collections published, two of which were featured in the ‘Best Books’ supplement of Junior Education Mag, and were selected as ‘choices’ by The Children’s Poetry Bookshelf. She has recently had a picture book published, too, and has contributed to around 150 anthologies for children.

Breaking the Rules

“A super collection of poems about familiar events in everyday life – sometimes gently subversive – often with underlying citizenship themes. ‘Breaking the Rules’ features both in obvious ways and also unexpectedly, as readers are encouraged to think about being different, how to cope with peer pressure, prejudice, bullying and responsibility.

Teachers will welcome this collection, that includes both fun and challenging poems, with many that break the rules of conventional layouts, in the form of shape poems, picture poems, tanka, cinquains and haiku.”

 

My Teacher’s as Wild as a Bison

‘My Teacher’s as Wild as a Bison’ focuses on the world outside, and covers such subjects as wildcats, crows, a rock face, caves, and Loch Ness. Throughout there is great inventiveness, lots of use of shape writing, varied poem lengths, and good use of rhyme. Energy flows throughout the book. Nigel Baines contributes comic illustrations, but above all there’s Coral Rumble’s ability to communicate atmosphere and a sense of place –

 

‘In the echo of the cave,

In the belly of the hill,

I can hear the planet’s pulse

As I stand so vey still…’

 

The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat

“The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea, in a box on the living room floor. They sailed away for a year and a day and these are the things that they saw… Join two curious children on a quirky adventure, loosely based on the classic Edward Lear poem, The Owl and the Pussycat​.​

I really enjoyed this twist on a classic. The illustrations are beautiful and full of quirky little details and jokes which I enjoyed spotting. The rhythm and rhyme of the words, are sure to delight young listeners, and the story will inspire their imaginations…”

 

Reviews and Recommendations

“Coral’s poetry workshops enriched the entire school. At a class level she was professional, encouraging, creative and inspiring. As a result, the school encouraged her to take part in a whole school assembly where feedback from teachers, parents and children was excellent. We would welcome Coral back anytime with open arms.”

Brid Mc Daid – literacy coordinator

St. Agnes RC School, Bow

 

“If you want an inspiring, stimulating and fun packed day, then Coral Rumble is the person to book. Everyone, from pupils to staff, was inspired to write poetry, read poetry, perform poetry, but above all, enthuse about poetry following Coral’s day with us at The Oaktree School. It was the highlight of our literacy calendar.”

Jane Davenport – deputy headteacher

The Oaktree School, Woking

 

“The children thoroughly enjoyed Coral Rumble’s visit during literacy week. They laughed out loud during her readings and could be heard reciting their favourite bits days after her departure. Highly recommended.”

Jo Ramkissoon – literacy coordinator

Days Lane Primary School, Sidcup

 

“Coral Rumble worked in partnership with the Hermitage school community on a poetry project. It was a valuable learning experience for the staff and children to have her amongst them. The whole school community was enriched by her visit and workshops. She managed to instill in the children an enthusiasm for poetry writing and performing. The children and adults loved watching her recite her poems. She made them come alive. All workshops done by her were suited to the children’s age and needs. They were planned and done in collaboration with the teachers concerned. Her commitment to the project and professionalism were commendable. She won many a heart with her warm personality.”

Preet Serai – literacy coordinator

Hermitage Primary School, Wapping

To Make a Booking

To make an enquiry about Coral, 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

Ruth’s School Visits

An author visit to your school from Ruth Eastham can have a huge impact on your students, improving their writing skills and developing their enthusiasm for literature. Ruth can deliver highly interactive presentations and run cross-curricular creative writing workshops based on
her books, “The Memory Cage”, “The Messenger Bird”, “Arrowhead”, “The Jaguar Trials” and, her latest novel, “The
Warrior in the Mist”.

Ruth will reveal the exciting real-life dramas and mysteries behind her books. Learn about the legendary
warrior queen, Boudicca, and her tribe’s fight against Roman invaders. Be fascinated by the superstitions
surrounding the mysterious Will o’the Wisps. Discover dead Viking bodies entombed in glaciers, secret
wartime codes, and manuscripts that tell of lost, treasure-laden South American cities.
Find out about the life of a writer and how they find inspiration, as well as draft and shape their stories.

Creative Writing Workshops

Ruth offers a diverse range of workshops, for example:
The Memory Cage: Among Ruth’s most popular workshops, children bring in a ‘Memory Object’ that has a
special significance, and write about what it means to them. (All ages and abilities.)
The Messenger Bird: Try your hand at being a wartime code-breaker, then write a top secret diary of your
experiences (years 5-7). Optional Bletchley Park–approved FACT FILE available for pre-visit preparation!

Arrowhead: Explore the thrills and dangers of an ice cave through drama and sound, then write about how it
felt (years 3–6). Alternatively, after watching Arrowhead’s gripping trailer, craft a storyboard and captions for a
favourite book (years 6–7).
The Jaguar Trials: Travel into the heart of the Amazon in search of the legendary city of El Dorado. Describe
your journey using all the senses and meet incredible rainforest animals (years Reception–6).
The Warrior in the Mist: Children imagine how it feels to be a young Celtic warrior or a Roman soldier on the
day of the battle. They can even take on the role of a battleground reporter rooting for their own side (years
5–7) or be fracking protesters, standing their ground on the issues for and against (years 6–7). Be the first into
an ancient tomb to unearth a stunning archaeological find (all ages).

Ruth has also run writing workshops with pupils up to year 10, covering topics such as Conflict in Stories and
Micro-Fiction.

 

Ruth’s Books

The Memory Cage

No child should have to live through a war.

No child should have to see what Alex has seen.

He’s locked it all away in a secret place but, one day, the ticking time bomb in his mind has to detonate.

Alex’s family want to help, but they have other problems.

Only Alex’s beloved grandfather can answer his questions about family secrets.

But Grandad is scarred by a war of his own – and his memories are fading fast as the effects of Alzheimer’s grip him.

Time is running out for Alex.

Only by unlocking the terrors of the memory cage for both of them, can he hope to escape the nightmares.

 

The Messenger Bird

Nathan’s father has been arrested. He works for the Ministry of Defence and is accused of leaking top secret information. But as he is dragged into a police car, he gives Nathan a message. It leads to a riddle, but it’s not from Dad. It’s from an ex-Bletchley Park employee, Lily Kenley, and was written in 1940. Nathan begins to follow the clues left behind by Lily. But how can this war-time story link to his father’s fate? Hope for Dad’s appeal is fading fast. He must solve the puzzle. Time is running out.

 

Arrowhead

When thirteen-year-old Jack moves to Norway, he’s sure there’s no truth in the local myths and legends. But then he comes face to face with one: the body of a Norse warrior boy, frozen in the ice, and carrying with him an ancient arrowhead – that contains a terrible curse. If Jack’s going to survive, he has to overcome both an ancient wrong and a newly-risen enemy in this thrilling adventure from an award-winning author.

 

The Jaguar Trials

Thirteen-year-old Ben finds himself in South America, in the heart of the Amazon jungle, and stumbling into an ancient mystery. Along with two local kids, he is determined to solve the trials of El Dorado, lift the curse and find his missing Dad. The pursuit of the legendary  gold has taken many lives and there are spirits not at peace; supernatural powers that bind Ben to a mystical black jaguar. Through the trials, Ben must learn the importance of friends and realise that treasure isn’t always what you expect it to be.

 

The Warriors in the Mist

‘Their bodies flickered strangely transparent, blueish, as if they were made of flames. With a jolt, he realised that they were fading. Time was running out.’

Who are the phantom girls? What do they want with Aidan?

Aidan’s village is under siege. A fracking company has moved on to the land.

Once drilling is complete, the paddocks looked after by Aidan’s family will be gone, along with his home and the horse he loves.

Aidan and his best friends Emmi and Jon have one last hope. Legend has it that the warrior queen Boudicca is buried close by. If only they can find the tomb… prove this is the site of her last great battle against Roman invaders…

As the mists of time separating ancient history from present day swirl and fade, Aidan must face a deadly enemy. He must fight to uncover the truth of the ghostly sisters, before it is too late.

 

Awards and Nominations

The Memory Cage

NOMINATED: CILIP Carnegie Medal
WINNER: Inspiration Book Awards
SHORTLISTED: UKLA Book Award
SHORTLISTED: Waterstone’s Book Prize

 

The Messenger Bird

WINNER: Oldham Brilliant Book Awards
WINNER: Sefton Super Reads Book Award
SHORTLISTED: Stockport, East Sussex, Warwickshire & Essex Book Awards
NOMINATED: Redbridge Libraries Book Award

 

Arrowhead

CHOSEN for the National 2016-2017 BOOKTRUST BookBuzz for secondary schools.

 

Reviews and Testimonials

“Pitched at just the right level… Educational and immensely enjoyable.” Cardinal Vaughan, London
“A fabulous day and the children loved it. The way Ruth fitted into our timetable and adjusted the
sessions to the age group was wonderful.” Gosforth Central Middle School, Newcastle

“The buzz around the school for the whole day Ruth was with us was fantastic. The entire Key Stage
Two wanted to spend extra time on their creative writing in the days that followed.” Deputy Head,
Ladybarn Primary School, Manchester

“We have Ruth in to work with Years 5 & 6 every year. Without fail, she captures their attention,
makes them think, and helps them develop pieces of writing that they are rightly proud of – and all
this with a cohort of ninety… We can’t speak highly enough of her.” Yr 6 Teacher, Frederick Bird,
Ruth’s Patron of Reading School, Coventry

 

To Make a Booking

To make an enquiry about Ruth, 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