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Elli Woollard
Elli Woollard

All About Elli Woollard

Elli Woollard is an author of poems, picture books and books for emerging readers, most of them written in verse. Having lived for several years in Thailand she is now based back in central London, where she grew up. She has four children, one slightly demented cat, two guinea pigs and far too many spiders to count (she is not very good at cleaning the house).

Elli’s School Visits


I do a whole school or KS1/KS2 assembly, either as a stand-alone event or as an introduction to class visits later in the day. This will generally include a performance of some of my verses (I typically like to introduce myself in verse as an alien) and a talk about what authors do all day and why being an author is such a great job. For a stand-alone assembly with no other class visits during the day I might read from one of my books and get volunteers from the audience to participate in various ways, for instance by acting out the characters or building a ‘rhyme machine’.


Class Visits

Typically I base my class visits around one of my books, although I can also do more general sessions about fairy tales for some of the older KS2 pupils (looking at why fairy tales are not, as they probably think, boring and babyish). A KS1 visit would generally last from 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the age of the pupils. After a general introduction I read from my book, get the children to do some acting/dressing up based on the text, and then do a craft/drawing activity, or for Year 2 an activity that might involve some writing.

For Year 3 and Year 4 I would base a visit on Swashbuckle Lil, with a fun session using props, a reading of the story, and then either a craft activity or a writing activity in which the children will think up their own pirate character. I can also do a session on rhyme and verse, most suitable for Years 2 and 3, in which I read a Woozy the Wizard book, make a ‘magic story potion’ and get them to make a ‘rhyme machine’ (if they’ve not already done this in assembly). A session on my Just So Stories book would see the children write their own Just So stories, in a way that could be adapted to different year groups (KS2 children, for instance, could look at why Kipling’s text might need adapting for a modern audience, and various different ways of retelling text, whether in cartoons, verse, drama, etc.).

Elli’s Books

Awards and Nominations

‘The Great Gran Plan’ has been shortlisted for the Bishop’s Stortford Book Award.

Troll Stroll’  has been nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal thanks to its wonderful illustrations.

Reviews and Recommendations

“Fee fi fo fum / A merry old tale that’s No. 1!” Kirkus starred review for The Giant of Jum

“A charming marriage of text and art, this book will stand up to repeated presentations again and again. An excellent read-aloud for class visits as well as a lovely bedtime story recommendation.” – School Library Journal on The Giant of Jum

“A captivating, comical, rhyming story about kindness, friendship and the acceptance of differences”. Booktrust on The Dragon and the Nibblesome Knight

“Lots of humour, great rhythm and rhyme (enormous aids when practising reading because they help with scanning a line, and predicting how words should be pronounced), and clear, bright and colourful illustrations all add up to a lovely book perfect to give to your emerging reader”. Playing By The Book on Woozy the Wizard, A Spell to Get Well

“The rhyming text and detailed drawings provide guidance and encouragement to youngsters transitioning from supervised to independent reading. Imaginative, witty, entertaining and lots of fun”. Booktrust on Swashbuckle Lil: The Secret Pirate

“Inventive, whacky, energetic and surprising: just a handful of adjectives to describe the wonderful poet Elli Woollard. As our school’s Patron of Reading for 2016/17, Elli became a household name amongst our children due to her regular and high-profile visits to our school across the year. Hosting whole school reading assemblies, dedicating her latest book to our pupils, writing a blog, role-playing with our 4-year olds, teaching our Year 6s the art of illustrating (completely inspired by the brilliant illustrator Benji Davies, with his breath-taking drawing in some of her books!) and inspiring our juniors with her top-tips on how to become a better writer……. nothing is ever too much for Elli! Every visit is unique, ram-packed with quirky snippets of her characters and storylines from her hilarious poetry-narratives.  In a time of budget cuts and high-austerity, if there’s one thing every school must invest their dwindling Literacy budget on to improve standards of writing (and reading) for kids, is a hands-on, motivating and creative Patron of Reading like Elli Woollard.

From her acclaimed ‘Giant of Jum’, to ‘Swahbuckle Lil’ – guaranteed, each week, we have children queueing up to borrow her books from our school library, due to her influence. Her impact is long-lasting. Every child a reader; every child a writer: the power of having a good-quality Reading Patron like Elli! She certainly comes highly recommended!” Cheryl Meyrick, former deputy headteacher, Heathmere Primary School

To make a booking

To make an enquiry about Elli, 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