UK and International School Specialists
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John Rice
John Rice
‘Scottish Poems is a very user-friendly collection that will stimulate linguistic imagination and develop new insights into poetry’. The Bookseller, 15 June 2001

All About John Rice

John Rice is a nationally known poet & storyteller who has published 13 collections of poetry, seven of which have been for children/young people.
His poems have appeared in over 300 contemporary anthologies and been broadcast on radio (English Express etc) and television (Seeing & Doing, Poetry Pie etc.) He has visited over 2,000 schools, libraries, theatres, arts centres and festivals all over the UK and has performed at The Barbican, the South Bank Centre as well as at Brighton Festival, Edinburgh Book Festival and Cheltenham Literature Festival. From 2008 to 2010 he was Scottish Arts Council’s Poet-in-Residence in Glasgow working with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport to support their education & community work. Whilst in the city he regularly worked with a host of organisations such as the Glasgow Science Centre, Transport Museum, Deaf Connections, Glasgow Education, the city’s Culture & Sport authority, the Glasgow subway & bus networks and many other organisations to promote poetry and storytelling across the city.

John’s School Visits

For a general visit to a primary school John likes to start the day with lively performances that feature poetry & storytelling. He can provide a whole-school performance (lasting one hour) or two separate performances for KS1 (40-mins) & KS2 (50-mins) children. He devotes the rest of the day to the children’s creativity with workshops – preferring to work with year 4, 5 or 6 children and their teachers. John can work with a class-size group consisting of between 30 to 35 children.

For a general visit to a secondary school John prefers to work throughout the day with year 7 or year 8 students on their creativity. Normally a single period runs for 50/55 mins so John does like to work across a double period in order to achieve the best results. However, experience shows that this is not always possible so he is perfectly able to deliver a workshop that covers a single period.

John’s Books

bears dont like bananas dreaming of dinosaurs Guzzling Jelly

Guzzling Jelly with Giant Gorbelly (Macmillan Children’s Books, 2004)
Scottish Poems editor (Macmillan, 2005)
An Odd Kettle of Fish with Brian Moses & Pie Corbett (Macmillan, 1995)
Down at the Dinosaur Fair illustrated by Toni Goffe (Nelson, Story Chest, 1993)
Dreaming of Dinosaurs illustrated by Charles Fuge (Macmillan, 1992)
Bears Don’t Like Bananas illustrated by Charles Fuge (Simon & Schuster, 1991)
Rockets & Quasars (Aten Press, 1982)
Zoomballooomballistic (Aten Press, 1981)

Radio & Television:
Radio 2 Arts Programme, Radio 4 Literary Quiz show,
‘Into the Fifth Continent’ (half-hour programme about the Romney Marsh) Radio 4
BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Kent, BBC Radio Cumbria and other local stations
Cbeebies programmes: Jackanory, A Bear Behind, English Express, Poetry Pie
and Green Balloon Club
BBC South East Today, BBC Scotland, BBC Alba (Gaelic)
Channel 4, Kentish Rhymes, a half-hour television programme for Seeing & Doing series

Reviews and Recommendations

“John Rice takes us on an exhilarating whistle-stop tour, the poets of his choice a refreshing and stimulating mix of the familiar and the unexpected. The vitality and diversity of their voices reflects that of the land they live in, and whet the appetite for more. Folk-rhymes and wise humour rub shoulders with expressions of tenderness, evocations of the joys and fears of childhood, and insights into our darker nature. This anthology should give great pleasure, not least as a reminder – to young and old alike – of that terrain where poetry and storytelling enthrallingly merge.” Stewart Conn, poet and playwright

‘Outstanding…a book of richness and variety to make readers ponder as well as smile’, Glasgow Herald

“Many thanks for being such a wonderful guest author and storyteller for us all today on your visit to Teesside High School. How can you gauge your effectiveness during the day? Well, children aged 9 – 11 are a demanding audience at the best of times and if you can hold their rapt attention for two and a half hours in the morning and then another two hours in the afternoon, you can’t do better than that! You brought home what a tremendous ‘art’ storytelling is at its very best. Your own stories were wonderfully enchanting and perfectly modelled how a story should be told. The children had tremendous fun with every activity . . . even if their own creations drifted towards the bizarre! I saw many children grow in confidence as the day progressed and you can be certain you have touched the lives of some young people who will never forget the day they met John Rice.” Graham Twist, Headmaster, Teesside High Prep School, Stockton-on-Tees

“We all had a great time – the children loved it. You really challenged them and helped them to explore their writing skills. They went home full of enthusiasm and planned to continue writing their stories at home. Many thanks for such a wonderful day. I hope we can repeat it sometime.” Alison Daniel, Deputy Head Teacher, St. Mary’s Primary School, Sale, Cheshire

“I’d just like to thank you again for what was an excellent experience for our children. They had a fantastic time and got such a lot from the day. I would love to do some more work with you again sometime in the future. I would be particularly interested in doing some work with our older children on issues like racism and bullying.” Barbara Brown, St. Benet’s RC Primary School, Sunderland

To Make a Booking

To make an enquiry about John Rice, 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