Steve is an author and illustrator of children’s books; both picture books and young fiction. Steve is also an Ambassador for the National Young Writers’ Awards 2018.
Steve’s latest book ‘Spangles McNasty and the Diamond Skull’ was published in May 2018. This is the third in the Spangles McNasty series for 7-11 year olds. The first in the series, ‘Spangles McNasty and the Fish of Gold’ was nominated for the Lancashire Fantastic Book Award 2017 and was also long-listed for the Branford Boase Award 2016.
Steve’s School Visits
A school visit can consist of any combination of presentations and creative writing sessions. These can be tailored for KS2 or KS1 focusing on Steve’s young fiction and picture books.
A 1 hour talk to a large group revolves around Steve’s latest Spangles McNasty book with a powerpoint presentation, interactive elements, writing advice and a Q and A.
The talk discusses the characters in the series, where the Spangles idea originated and shows the writing process from initial idea to printed book, highlighting the creative, editing, design and illustrating processes. This also shows how Steve works on several projects at the same time, all at different stages of development.
The presentation consists of a variety of elements from outright bonkers to serious writing tips, all intended to inspire young readers.
AND there’s a song in the middle with volunteers and prizes!
Creative writing workshops for smaller groups of around 30.
A character based session, discussing the importance of strong characters in fiction and some of the methods Steve uses when developing his own characters. The pupils then invent a new villain character of their own and either write a short scene involving this new character, or alternatively, write a letter from the new character to themselves.
A script based session, discussing the importance of character and dialogue in both screen writing and books and the recent growth in TV or screen entertainment with channels like Netflix and Amazon. The session is to write scenes for a new TV drama for CBBC. Students will need a title and a few scenes to ‘pitch’ their show to the commissioning editor (class teacher) at the end of the session.
Talk as a group about possible characters for the show. In small groups the pupils continue this, writing details of a few characters for the show – names and descriptions. Selecting their strongest characters they then write short scenes for them. Perform / read out scenes.
Picture books and poetry, rhythm and rhyme. Showing some of Steve’s own picture books and others and discussing the difficulty of writing a story with a very limited number of words and the added problems of making it rhyme and giving it rhythm. Together, read, clamp and stamp through Tanka Tanka Skunk. Steve will suggest a subject for a poem / rhyming story, together the class lists words that could be used for this.
They then split into small teams to write a short rhythmic rhyming story for a picture book (or part of one in the time frame). Perform these in front of the class in small groups with an accompanying drummer (bongo) or clapping class.
Preferred age range:
7-11yrs For young fiction focussed presentations and writing sessions.
5-7yrs For picture book presentations and poetry sessions.
Maximum number in any one session:
Talks to large groups of 200-300. Workshop sessions with smaller classroom sized groups of up to 30
No of sessions per day:
Usually 1 talk to a large a group plus 3 classroom sized sessions in a full day.
Or a different combination – for example 2 presentations – KS1 and KS2 plus 2 classroom sized sessions
Talk to large group 1 hour. Workshop sessions 1 hour
Steve holds Public Liability insurance.
Spangles McNasty and the Fish of Gold
Welcome to Bitterly Bay. Spangles McNasty has decided to spend his summer doing what he loves the most: shouting at babies, pulling faces at old ladies, eating cold chips from bins and best of all, collecting other people’s spangly things!
Having convinced themselves that goldfish are made of gold and that they grow to the size of whales, Spangles and his friend Sausage-face Pete decide to find the great Fish of Gold. They’ll be rich forever!
Only young Freddie Taylor can stop Spangles’ dastardly plan, in a tale full of time-travelling jet skis, madcap chases and haunted custard. It is a tale so odd, your mind-cogs will jam with happiness for ever after!
Spangles McNasty and the Tunnel of Doom
Spangles McNasty is horrible to everyone and likes to do vile things like eat cold chips out of bins and pull faces at old ladies. And would you believe it, Spangles has inherited a rollercoaster called the Tunnel of Doom! But when Spangles and his bonkers friend Sausage-face Pete go to see it, they soon realise it’s a good for nothing piece of junk. If they want to make any lovely money from it, they’ll need to do some hard work and repair it.
Spangles won’t stand for that, and soon his devious mind-cogs are a-whirring, and he comes up with a dastardly plot to get rich quick. Yet again, it’s up to local boy Freddie Taylor to chase Spangles on the rickety old rollercoaster and stop him in his tracks!
Spangles McNasty and the Diamond Skull
Spangles McNasty is a right horrid scallywag who likes to do yucky things like eat cold chips out of bins and fart in libraries. So it’s no surprise that when the legendarily famous and very sparkly Diamond Skull pirate hat comes to Bitterly Bay Museum, Spangles and his best mate Sausage-face Pete want to get their thieving fingers on it. But they haven’t reckoned on local boy and all-round good egg Freddie Taylor and his cunning plan to mix things up with a clever hat trick…
Laugh-out-loud silliness with zany pictures from Chris Mould make this story perfect for fans of Mr Gum and Tom Gates!
Tanka Tanka Skunk
Meet Tanka, the elephant and his friend Skunka. Say their names together and they SOUND LIKE DRUMS! Tanka, Skunka, Tanka, Skunka, Tanka Tanka Skunk! They have lots of friends for you to meet, so say their names to the Tanka Skunka beat! Lemurs, llamas, zebras, badgers, caterpillars, big GORILLAS and yakety, yakety yaks. The book takes the reader on a veritable roller-coaster ride of sights and sounds as animals leap and dance across the brightly coloured pages. Terrific fun to read aloud one to one with a small child, and an absolute riot for group activities.
Happy Zappa Cat
Happy Zappa Cat loves driving his cab through the city, visiting museums and eating at fancy restaurants. But then he makes some new friends who convince him to join him in their wild home. But can a city kitty learn to love the jungle?
Join Tigerbear as he hops from rock to rock, swishes through tall grass and splishes through mud! Come and play hide and seek with Tigerbear and his new friend in a dark, dark cave . . . Is there really a scary monster? It’s up to Tigerbear to save the day!
Part of the My First Picture Book series: perfect for every toddler to help encourage language skills, understanding, enjoyment and sharing. These books are a bridge between board books and picture books; printed on toddler-tough card with rounded corners.
Big lorry, quarry lorry, splish, spash, MUCK. Quarry lorry, BIG lorry, slip, slide stuck!
So begins a disastrous day at the quarry, as lorry, truck and little digger all find themselves stuck in the mud. Can Bigger Digger save the day?
This is a tongue-twisting, rhyming romp that will have little readers shouting out the words!
Space rocket, race racket, race to the moon, rocket racers to your places, ready, steady, ZOOM!
So begins this rip-roaring race of a read, and the action doesn’t stop until the three lovable dinosaurs reach the finish line. But who will make it there first?
This is a wonderful action-packed story that children and parents will race through again and again!
Polly Jean Pyjama Queen
Polly Jean Pyjama Queen has the wildest pyjamas you have ever seen! She loves wild animals and wonders what they wear when they go to bed. So she invites them to her WILD WORLD PYJAMA PARTY with a prize for the best pair.
With a hilarious text and simple flaps that magically reveal each animal’s wacky pyjamas, this glorious, vibrant picture book is a bedtime joy.
Wally the penguin works in a welly shop. He makes all sorts of wellies – red ones, yellow ones, fish ones and star ones. Can he help Bertie the Polar Bear to design a pair of wellies that will win the fashion show?
Too Hot to Stop
The desert is too hot to stand still, so Hoppit and his friends keep moving. As more and more animals join, who knows where they’re going to end up! It’s a big surprise for everyone except the snake and eagle, who try to warn them what’s ahead…Join in the rhythm and rhyme of the animal parade in this poem, written and illustrated by Steve Webb.
Reviews and Testimonials:
“Steve Webb’s talks are funny, engaging and brilliantly interactive. He makes the idea of imagination fun and immersive and really brings language to life with a unique mix of jokes, stories and songs. Underpinning this are ideas about characters, setting and the building blocks of stories and writing. It’s fantastic seeing how well Steve manages to capture the minds of his young readers and the impact his visits have on reading with countless children immediately burying their heads deep in the pages of his books immediately after the visit. What a star!”
Jake Hope, Reading development and children’s book consultant. Chair of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway judging panel 2018.
“We’ve had events with Steve Webb at Edinburgh International Book Festival over the last two years, both as part of the festival and in our outreach programme. His events are always great – interactive, motivational and hilarious – and really popular with children, who go away inspired to read and write themselves.”
Catherine Jones, Edinburgh Book Festival. August 2017.
“Steve was brilliant!! His energy and enthusiasm infected the whole of our juniors (years 3 – 6) and they were very reluctant to leave the world of Spangles McNasty (and jam of course). His events were funny, energetic, entertaining and very informative. Steve gave a lot of time to each individual pupil when signing books for them – in fact if you put all the signed comments together there would be enough to create another Spangles McNasty book! In his creative writing sessions, pupils were keen to create characters to ‘out-nasty’ Spangles McNasty – Steve was really good at inspiring and encouraging our Year 4s – they came away from the sessions with the biggest smiles on their faces!
Overall – he was soooopa!
Thank you Steve – we all had a lot of fun and I wish I had that much energy!”
Liz Annetts, School Librarian, Northwood College for Girls, London. Oct 2017.
“The children loved Steve’s assembly. Children from Reception to Year 6 enjoyed learning about his inspiration for writing and had a great
insight into how he creates the fantastic characters for his books which really sparked their imagination. Spangles McNasty was already
a favourite in school so it was really good for the children to meet the author.
They could not wait to have their books signed and were really enthusiastic to start reading. We have had great feedback from parents on how the visit has encouraged the children in their reading and writing.
Steve then worked with Key Stage 2 children throughout the day where the focus was on creative writing , getting involved in character creation, scene setting, poetry writing and script writing.
Everyone had an amazing day that highlighted the schools commitment to reading for pleasure and creative writing.”
Debbie Holt, Librarian. Visiting Lum Head Primary School Manchester, Oct 2017.
Spangles McNasty and the Fish of Gold
dottie969 AMAZON – 10 May 2016
Brilliant, clever, irreverent and fun. Inspiring for reluctant readers.
If you count my wrinkles (read the book to find out more about this new science of aging people…) I’m well into my old age and I laughed all the way through this book. I actually bought it for my daughter but started flicking through it to have a little look see and found I flicked and flicked until I got to the very last page. It’s just brilliant bonkers fun and has an irreverent way with language that I love and want my children to inherit. It also contains the best ever description of fog ever – look out for it.
I have now handed it over to my daughter who is killing herself laughing whilst reading it. I normally have to nag her to read but she seems to need no encouragement with this one… Thanks to the author Steve Webb – books like this little gem don’t come along that often. I recommend it heartily.
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Steve Webb, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please call +44 (0) 1535 656015 or email Trevor Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kev is an author, illustrator, poet and primary school teacher. He was inspired to become a writer through his own teachers at school who gave him a real love of learning, reading and writing. As a teacher for 17 years, Kev can offer schools a range of workshops that he knows can be linked to objectives in school and how to present them. Kev is happy with any age group from KS1 to KS2. Kev is based in Devon but willing to travel anywhere!
Kev has illustrated several books and his clients include The Guardian, The Science Museum, Virgin Atlantic, Igloo Books, Parragon and Maverick to name a few. Kev has also exhibited in Exeter Museum and as part of Arts Week Exeter.
Kev’s own non-fiction picture book ‘B is for Blobfish’ is being published by Stan Lee’s Kids Universe. Combining education with writing and illustration is a real passion and Kev got the idea for writing the book when planning a Science lesson!
A man of many talents, Kev is also a ukulele player, town crier and Punch and Judy professor so can offer schools a wide range of opportunities. Kev come with bags of energy, ideas and love to help bring learning to life!
Workshops Kev can offer include:
- poetry performance and poetry writing workshops, talking through rhythm and patterns of poetry, how to generate ideas for poems and using children’s own experiences as a basis for writing.
- non-fiction writing based on animals and Kev’s book ‘B is for Blobfish’. How to take notes, skim reading and formal language to create their own class book.
- illustrators workshops, taking the children through the process of receiving a brief right through to a finished product. How to draw in simple steps!
- Victorians – the role of the town crier and Punch and Judy puppet show, puppet making and performance
A visit would normally consist of a whole-school interactive assembly for 30/40 minutes to get the children buzzing followed by 3 or 4 class workshops lasting between 45 minutes to an hour. Kev is also happy to take Gifted & Talented groups as part of this.
Think you know your A, B, C?
Take a unique journey around the animal kingdom meeting creatures that are often overlooked and under-loved.
Which animal likes to take sand baths?
Which has a pot belly to help digest leaves?
Which creature has tentacles for a nose?
Find out the answers to these, and more, in ‘B is for Blobfish’ written and illustrated by Kev Payne
Have you ever covered a baby in ketchup?
Have you had to sit on the naughty step?
Have you got a magic bike?
Have you ever swallowed a fly?!
Poet, illustrator and teacher, Kev Payne, has. Join him as he presents a collection of over 50 poems about sausages, school, science, balloons, long car journeys and exactly what teachers are thinking when they are stood up at the front.
“Sock it to me is a laugh-out-loud extravaganza of poetry for children!
Kev Payne has created a book which is funny, exciting and endlessly entertaining. Kids will love the humourous slices of school life (Assembly Shanty), the toe-curlingly embarrassing tales (Wrong Identity) and the delightfully rhythmic rhymes (Can’t Catch Me, Secretly Wild). Teachers and parent too will enjoy the brilliantly playful reflections on education (Apostrophe Catastrophe, On A Mat Up ‘Ere).
All beautifully accompanied by his hilarious illustrations, Kev Payne’s first collection rivals poetry luminaries such as Michael Rosen, Alan Ahlberg and Roald Dahl. Grab your own copy now!”
Dan Metcalf, Author of Codebusters, The Lottie Lipton Adventures, Jamie Jones and Dino Wars.
Recommendations & Reviews
“An inspirational fun day had by all involved. The children were enthralled to have a real author visit the school and pupils were captured by his funny well-drawn illustrations. They particularly enjoyed the quiz in assembly and loved learning about animals they had not heard of before.
Kev brought learning to life by sharing his journey with us. We look forward to inviting him along to run creative writing workshops as this was well received.”
S.Chauhan, Deputy Headteacher, North Tawton Primary School
“Kev Payne ticks all the boxes when it comes to an author visit. He is a true wordsmith, a talented illustrator, an IT wizard and an experienced teacher. He is an excellent communicator and is in his element interacting with a hall full of children. A visit from him is guaranteed to enthuse and inspire both reading and writing opportunities in your school.”
Kate McKeon (Year 6 Teacher and Reading Coordinator, Landscore Primary)
“We were lucky to get Kev in for World Book Day. His quirky, engaging illustrations and subject matter really captivated our children. I plan to get him back to run some workshops for us and hope he’ll oblige when he’s rich and famous!”
Gary Read, Executive Headteacher, Whipton Barton Federation
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Kev Payne, 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 email@example.com
Ross Welford worked for several years as a journalist and television producer – with stints in between as a professional magician. As a TV producer he worked for all of the major UK broadcasters on programmes such as The Big Breakfast and This Morning With Richard And Judy.
Ross’ School Visits
Ross’ main presentation is a lively, interactive talk called “How To Write A Story.”
1. What are stories, and why do we tell them?
2. How Ross creates his own stories (usually focusing on his latest book, or another of his, according to the school/festival’s preference)
3. The “Time Travel” magic trick (often the most talked-about feature!)
4. An improvised story-creation. This is noisy and always hilarious, as Ross and the pupils devise a story based on suggestions from the audience.
Depending on the ages of the audience, the talk can be adapted with other sections:
1. The magic of reading. For younger children, this is a magic trick involving a rabbit puppet reading a book of instructions that goes hilariously wrong.
2. Writing Is Rewriting. A look at the importance of the craft of rewriting
3. Young Writers: aimed at older children, this is an inspiring run-down of hugely successful authors from ages nine to 25.
4. How to remember anything. From Time Travelling With A Hamster, a funny and practical introduction to the art of mnemonics
Ross can work with all ages of students (KS1-KS5) and tailors his workshops to be age appropriate.
His books are most appropriate for ages 7-13.
Time Travelling With A Hamster
11 year old Al uses a secret time machine to go back to 1984 where he meets his dad and tries to prevent the go-kart accident that will later cause his death.
Winner of the Awesome Book Award 2017.
Carnegie Medal Longlist
20 other nominations and shortlists, including The Blue Peter Award, the Branford Boase Award, The Waterstones Prize and the Costa Award.
What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible
12 year-old Ethel and her best friend Boydy are thrown into a nail-biting and hilarious adventure when Ethel accidentally discovers the secret to invisibility – and finds a whole lot more about herself into the bargain.
The 1,000 Year Old Boy
Young Alfie Monk has kept the secret of his immortality for 1,000 years. But when the 21st century comes crashing into his sheltered life, he and his new friends Aidan and Roxy must risk everything to find the antidote to his agelessness.
Recommendations and Reviews
“Ross is a hugely engaging speaker who articulates his stories and, moreover, his creative process in a way that is both accessible and inspiring. He establishes a great rapport with children and young people and acts as a positive role model for reading and writing. I would highly recommend Ross and look forward to following his future work and progress.”
Jake Hope, Children’s Reading Coordinator
“Ross entertained two full year groups of 120 pupils for 45 minutes each by reading short passages from his book, telling hilarious anecdotes and to the excitement and amazement of many, performing a couple of unexpected magic tricks.
The young audience thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and over 40 bought signed copies of his lovely novel. We look forward to welcoming Ross back in the not too distant future for another fascinating morning.”
Trevor Parker,English Teacher, Linton Village College, Cambridge
“Great speaker, and great fun, the children loved his presentation. It was a lovely way to spend a day taking Ross into lots of very different schools and hearing him engage with children and staff. I hope he comes back to Chorleywood soon.”
Sheryl Shurville, The Chorleywood Bookshop
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Ross Welford, 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
Long before Tamsyn Murray was a writer, she was a reader. She fell in love with books at a young age and learned to write stories of her own through reading. Her first book, ‘My So-Called Afterlife’, was published in 2010 and was Highly Commended by the Booktrust Teen Prize. She has gone on to write a further seventeen books for children and teens, from picture books and early readers to Middle Grade and Young Adult, and these have been translated into fifteen languages. ‘Instructions for a Second-hand Heart’ won the Leeds Book Award 12-14 category in 2017, and it has been shortlisted for the Romantic Novelist’s YA Novel of the Year, the Stockport Book Award, the Southern Schools Book Award, the Bolton Book Award, the Lancashire Book Award and the Hampshire Book Award.
She is a full-time writer and also writes best-selling novels for adults under the pen name Holly Hepburn.
Tamsyn offers events across Key Stages 1-4. She is happy to deliver a whole school assembly at Primary level, or split into Key Stages as required and her events are always fun and interactive, with an emphasis on encouraging reading for pleasure. She uses a Powerpoint presentation to explain the inspiration behind her books and talks about her road to becoming a writer. The children will be have the opportunity to take part in the talk – perhaps playing Tamsyn herself in ‘Stunt Bunny: The Play’, or becoming the prey of a voracious big cat at Tanglewood Animal Park, or even acting out the functions of the human circulatory system. The session ends with a Q&A and a book signing.
She also offers creative writing workshops involving a number of artifacts to inspire the children to create a story plan they can then use to write a story. This is a 60 minute session aimed at Year 4 and up (maximum of 30 children per workshop) but it can stretch to 90 minutes if required.
Tamsyn can deliver a maximum of four sessions in one day, where an assembly/author talk/60 minute workshop counts as one session.
Requirements for author talks/assemblies:
A laptop and projector – where possible, this should have sound.
A reasonable-sized performance space so that the children can take part safely.
Requirements for workshops:
Stunt Bunny: Showbiz Sensation
Meet Harriet Houdini, a young rabbit with lots of attitude, as she settles into life with her new family. Never destined to be a boring bunny, Harriet finds herself scouted by the producer of hit TV show Superpets and starts her career on the showbiz ladder. From daring backflips to thrilling escape attempts Harriet really is a Stunt Bunny extraordinaire!
Stunt Bunny: Tour Troubles
Harriet Houdini: Stunt Bunny is back in action, this time as the star of Superpets Live!
With visions of posh hotels, meeting adoring fans and performing her famous bunny-backflips in front of live audiences, Harriet can’t wait for the tour of Superpets. But evil Miranda wants her opera-singing poodle, Doodle, to be the headline act… whatever it takes. So Harriet’s going to need all her Stunt Bunny tricks to make sure she remains the star of the show!
Stunt Bunny: Rabbit Racer
It’s time for Stunt Bunny’s biggest challenge yet!
When Taz the Tornado, a cat who loves to race, joins the Superpet cast, the host Gloria decides that all the pets need to learn a new trick… or loose their place on the show! So, when an obstacle course race is suggested between Harriet and Taz, it’s straight into Bunny Boot Camp training for Harriet, who wants to prove that she’s not called Stunt Bunny for nothing! But with distractions at home from giggling guinea pigs and very strange next-door neighbours will Harriet be able to focus on the big race and secure her place on Superpets?
Stunt Bunny: Medal Mayhem
Harriet Houdini is going for gold in the London Animalympics! Hearing that Superpetsis going to be part of an international Olympics for animals, Harriet fancies her chances at bringing home some medals. She goes into training with a world famous athlete and brings a whole new meaning to the hop-skip-and-jump of the triple jump. But not everyone wants to see Harriet win, least of all The Great Maldini, and she has to take some unconventional transport to make to the Animalympics final.
My so-called afterlife
Psychics, psychos and sidekicks . . . who says death has to be dull?
Fifteen-year-old Lucy has been stuck in the men’s loo ever since she was murdered there six months ago. No one has been able to see or hear her – until Jeremy. Just her luck that he’s a seriously uncool geography teacher-type! But Jeremy is determined to help Lucy. He finds out how she can leave her toilet ‘home’ – albeit only temporarily – and meet other teenage ghosts, including the gorgeous Ryan. Jeremy is also determined to help her find her killer so she can find peace at last . . .
My so-called haunting
A funny, moving story from the AFTERLIFE world
Skye, a fourteen-year-old who can see ghosts, is feeling very stressed. Not only is the ghost of a sixteenth-century witch giving her fashion tips, but she’s struggling to settle into life with her aunt, and is developing a crush on the most unattainable boy in the school, Nico. When her aunt asks for help with a troubled teen ghost called Dontay, she’s glad of the distraction, and she’s soon facing a battle to keep her love life and her psychic life separate. As things get ever more complicated, it looks as though Dontay’s past might cost Skye her future.
My so-called phantom lovelife
Boyfriend troubles? Try dating a ghost!
When fourteen-year-old Skye Thackery meets Owen Wicks, it’s not exactly love at first sight. She’s getting over a broken heart and he’s, well, a ghost. But as Skye gets to know him, she can’t help wondering what it would be like to kiss him. Dating a ghost isn’t easy, and things get worse when Owen declares he’s found a way to stay with Skye for ever. His plans make her uneasy – the shadowy organisation which claims to be able to help him is bad news, and it seems Nico, her ex, is involved too. As Owen prepares to risk everything, Skye begins to wonder if she really has a future with him, or if his desire to be more than just a ghost will cost them everything?
Completely Cassidy: Accidental Genius
Meet Cassidy. With her embarrassing dad, pregnant mum, loser brother and knicker-chewing dog, she’s almost invisible in her family.
So she’s hoping year seven is her time to shine, especially since a test proved she’s Gifted & Talented. The only problem is she picked her answers at random. But surely the school wouldn’t make a mistake about her genius.
Completely Cassidy: Star Reporter
Cassidy is determined to discover a hidden talent to help her stand out from the crowd. So when her petition to let girls wear trousers gets her noticed by the editor of the school mag, she’s thrilled. Could she be a star reporter? But her plans go pear-shaped when her investigations mysteriously end up online. Who’s leaking her top-secret gossip?
Completely Cassidy: Drama Queen
Cassidy can’t wait to enrol at Dance and Drama Academy summer school! She’s always dreamed of discovering her hidden talent – could she be a star in the making? But with auditions looming, Cassidy is gripped by stage fright. As big brother, Liam, keeps reminding her, she does have a knack for embarrassing herself. What if Cassidy’s stage debut turns out to be an all-singing, all-dancing disaster?
Tanglewood Animal Park Series
Baby Zebra Rescue
Zoe loves living at Tanglewood Animal Park!
Every day Zoe takes care of the animals. She splashes with penguins, feeds the lemurs – she even sees baby zebra, Flash, being born. It’s a dream come true.
Then Flash goes missing. Now Zoe has to find him, and soon! Where can that baby zebra be?
Zoe can’t wait to meet Tindu, the magnificent tiger who’s just arrived at Tanglewood. But Tindu seems sad, and refuses to leave his den.
With the Terrific Tigers weekend just two weeks away, the pressure is on! Can Zoe dream up a plan to help Tanglewood’s tiger feel happy in his new home?
Tanglewood’s Savannah Safari is complete, and Zoe can’t wait to meet its newest inhabitants – six African elephants.
But when the head of the herd stops eating, Zoe and the keepers face an elephant emergency!
Instructions for a second-hand heart
Jonny has a faulty heart and his time is running out. Niamh has just lost her twin brother in a tragic accident. As their fates collide, soon Jonny is on the mend – but desperate to know more about his donor. When he tracks down Niamh, he only intends to find out about her brother, the first owner of his heart. He doesn’t plan on falling in love…
A stunning, tear-jerking novel about grief, guilt, and the unpredictability of love.
Reviews and Testimonials
She enthralled the whole school. We look forward to having Tamsyn back to see us again!“
Wormley Primary School, Hertfordshire
“Tamsyn has a fantastic sense of humour and is brilliant at getting her audience engaged and joining in. She is excellent value for money – I wouldn’t hesitate to book her again.”
Lindsey Blake, Director – LibraryLive Ltd
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Tamsyn, 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 email@example.com
Bill Cotter is an American author and illustrator that grew up in Cleveland; a city next to a lake that is known for cold weather and warm people.
Bill has loved art since he was a very small child. Every time he touched the pencil or paintbrush to the page, his heart would fill with love. He followed this feeling to the oldest art university in America, where he learned how to make all kinds of things.
After he graduated, Bill moved to New York City where he found work as an art and music teacher for children. One day, Bill decided that he wanted to make a book that he thought would make his students laugh. That book eventually became “Don’t Push the Button!” now an international best-seller.
Bill has gone on to write and illustrate 7 other books and now enjoys traveling all over the world spreading his message of humor, creativity, and love.
Bill’s School Visits
Younger Presentation (ages 3-6)
Using his years of experience as a pre-K art and music teacher, Bill has put together a custom program that keeps in mind the interests and the attention spans of the littlest of readers.
– Music and Movement
The session starts with various music and movement games so that the kids can exert some energy before being asked to sit for stories.
– Bill’s Story
A brief presentation showing childhood art and the story of how Bill realized he wanted to be an artist when he was six years old.
A reading of as many books as time allows (usually 4 titles due to the short nature of the books)
– Drawing Demo
Demonstration of how to draw the star of Don’t Push the Button, Larry the Monster!
– Art Project
A “Make Your Own Button” art project! This mess-free project involving just paper, stickers, and crayons allows the students to take something home with them to remember their experience. Once everyone is finished making their buttons, it turns into a creative writing exercise with Bill asking the question: “What does YOUR button do?” resulting in hilarious and often unexpected answers.
Older Presentation (7-11 year olds)
– Bill’s Story
Bill tells the students about his journey from making art as a kid to having books published around the world.
– How a Book is Made
Bill walks the students through the process of making a book. From initial concept to sketch, and from sketch to final product, Bill talks about taking an idea and bringing it into the real world.
– Beard in a Box
Bill reads his book Beard in a Box (ages 6-11)
– Art Project
Bill encourages students to create their own character and then share them with the audience.
Bill answers any questions that the kids or teachers might have about being an author/illustrator.
Don’t Push The Button
“There’s only one rule in Larry’s book: don’t push the button.
(Seriously, don’t even think about it!)
Even if it does look kind of nice, you must never push the button. Who knows what would happen?
Okay, quick. No one is looking… push the button.
A hilarious and interactive book that your young reader will love!”
“Larry the lovable monster from Don’t Push the Button! is back with another hilarious, interactive adventure!
I know what you’re thinking: this is a pretty cool-looking book. But…
DON’T TOUCH THIS BOOK! (Don’t even try it, bub.)
Okay, okay. You can touch, but you can only use ONE finger.
Whoa. How’d you do that?”
“Say hello to the airplane as it takes off on an exciting adventure: gliding through the night
sky, skimming above the clouds, and soaring into a bright new morning. This is a calming
book that is perfect for bedtime or a child’s first flight.”
“A young boy longs for a beard like Dad’s, and when he discovers a hair-growth product called Beard in a Box, he must have it! He rips open the package, plants the beard seeds, and waits . . .
And waits . . .
Hilarious art and a feel-good ending make this the perfect Father’s Day gift for bearded and clean-shaven readers alike!
“From the boy’s imaginings of what his beard will look like (and each beard’s accompanying attribute) to the hysterical vignettes showing him waiting for the mail, exercising his face, and expressing his frustration, the facial expressions are spot-on. Yes, dads are awesome, and if you hang out with them, they’ll teach you to be awesome too.” —Kirkus, starred review”
It’s almost Christmas and Santa is coming, so whatever you do—DON’T PUSH THE BUTTON!!
Well, maybe just once can’t hurt…uh oh!”
“Little face, big face
Chewing on a twig face!
Short face, long face
Super-duper STRONG face!
Faces can communicate a lot of things! Introduce little listeners to what different animal traits and emotions can look like, how widely they range, and what else can be learned from an expression in this fun, interactive board book.”
“Happy face, sad face
Getting really mad face!
Cold face, hot face
Hidden in a pot face!
Faces can communicate a lot of things! Introduce little listeners to what different human emotions can look like, how widely they range, and what else can be learned from an expression in this fun, interactive board book.”
Testimonials and Reviews
To Make a Booking
Ed Boxall is a writer, illustrator, performer and educator. He lives in Hastings, a seaside town in the South of England. Ed likes to make poems, pictures, stories and songs.
Ed has written and illustrated several picture books for Walker Books such as Francis The Scaredy Cat and Mr Trim and Miss Jumble. Some of the titles have been published internationally in Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Australia and the USA. Francis The Scaredy Cat was read out on Children’s BBC by Justin Fletcher!
In recent years Ed has realised he loves writing poems best and has his first full collection ‘Me and My Alien Friend’ published by Troica in 2018. Ed’s passion for poetry shows in his illustration work- he has illustrated for some of the UK’s top children’s poets such as Brian Moses, Roger Stevens and James Carter.
Ed self publishes his most personal work through The Pearbox Press. Pearbox books are quite unusual black and white picture books that illustrate Ed’s surreal story-poems. Ed’s favourite is High in The Old Oak Tree about a boy who spends his whole life up a tree. Pearbox Books are as much for poetically minded adults as children!
Ed loves to perform just as much to make books. He often turns his poems and stories into songs and loves it when children join in and make a lot of noise. He performs in schools, arts centres, galleries and at festivals, using a fabulous mix of spoken word, projections, giant story books, guitar, and background music.
Ed is also a freelance teacher and has been running workshops, residencies and special events based on his writing and illustration for 15 years. He works with all age groups- from creating playful creative environments for toddlers to adult learners and everything in between.
Ed’s hobbies are running, growing vegetables, and collecting old vinyl records.
Ed has a small grey dog called Dixie (who thinks she’s a human) and two rabbits called Hero and Jess.
Ed’s School Visits
Ed has been working in education since 2001 in a variety of contexts including long term projects with Creative Partnerships, Hastings Borough Council, The Jerwood Gallery and many day visits directly with schools.
Ed has worked in education at many levels so is very open to opportunities in all areas.
At the moment Ed is teaching on the illustration degree at Sussex Coast College, working on two creative writing projects with primary schools with The Jerwood Gallery and running a project for the National Childcare Bureau for pre-school children.
Ed also has extensive experience working with SEN and loves to work in this area.
Ed has often delivered day visits to whole schools. When he works with a whole school he usually delivers an assembly about the chosen theme and then visit each class throughout the day. The assembly includes lots of performance and interaction. Ed includes a mix of poems, action songs, projections and discussion. The classes then usually work on the same project all day with Ed visiting each class to offer feedback. The day finishes with another short assembly with sharing of the children’s work and sometimes book sales.
Ed works across several art forms in his work in schools. Although the main outcome is to develop creative writing Ed understands very well that all children are different and using music, visual art, and performance helps everyone to have a great experience.
Ed finds it very effective to include activities that generate ideas before writing finished work. This might include writing a letter to a best friend about a particular experience or a diary entry. At this stage Ed also like to use a sense of chance and play, such as asking children to pick challenges out of a jar or using cut-up techniques.
At this idea-generation stage Ed asks children to work quickly and constantly without judging their work. Following this children use the ‘idea store’ they have created as a basis for more structured and refined work and to consider their audience.
Ed loves for the children to perform and share their work. Developing skills at communicating to a group is a fundamental skill that can build confidence. Also, subtleties of meaning, rhythm, nuance and tone can sometimes only become apparent when the poems are spoken aloud.
Day Projects for Schools in Brief
Full timetables available upon request
This list contains brief descriptions of previous projects I would love to adapt for future creative days in schools. They are for different levels: not exclusively for able writers.
I ran a very successful day for gifted and talented writers from 3 rural schools near Rye, based on nonsense verse. I would love to run the event again. Children developed their own narrative nonsense verse during the day. Children invented nonsense characters and took them on a journey. There was a strong focus on how beautiful and thoughtful nonsense can be. I link to my picture-book poems such as Dolphins Keep Me Safe In Dreams and the history of nonsense verse.
A Story for our Little Sisters and Brothers
Key Stage 3 children looked back on the books they liked as infants, learnt about the challenges of writing stories for very young children and wrote a stories for their ‘Little Sisters and Brothers’. The day linked to my book ‘Francis The Scaredy Cat and the children’s own choice of favourite picture books. The project was run at Eltham Hill School, as mentioned previously.
Ravilious Tree Poem Sculpture
This project was based on a picture by Eric Ravilious of a boy climbing a tree. I ran the project at Langney Primary School and would love to run it elsewhere. The children wrote free, unedited prose exploring specific memories of specific trees. The emphasis was on being very particular and personal. The prose was developed into poetry, written on cardboard, and added to a stylised sculpture of a tree. The tree was exhibited at the Towner Gallery, Eastbourne.
The project could be developed for other objects such as a car or boat.
This is a visual story-making project for Foundation and Year 1 children.
I have a selection of stories in giant handmade books based on the travels of a family of pebbles that come to life and travel the world.
After meeting the pebbles through stories and songs, children printed their own pebble characters and took them on a journey using collage. The children spoke about the journeys the pebbles went on to their friends and to the class.
I have frequently completed variations on this project- it suits living near the sea very well!
Sharm cazam is another world, like Narnia.
Children used a fabulous selection of nature-collage to create the flora and Fauna of Sharm Cazam. Following this, children wrote a fact file for their creations. The work was brought together in a giant book to form ‘The Encyclopedia of Sharm Cazam’.
This one day, whole school project was just the beginning. I was artist-in residence at the school and we went on to use the encyclopedia as a basis for creative writinbg and music. This culminated in the children from the junior school performing a musical story of Sharm Cazam to the Infant School next door.
I completed this project at West Rise Junior School in Eastbourne.
Me and My Alien Friend, Troica, 2018. A collection of cosmic poems about friendship, written and illustrated by Ed Boxall
Poems About Emotions, Wayland Books, 2017. Ed’s poem ‘Zip Wire’ is included
The Waggiest Tails by Brian Moses and Roger Stevens, illustrated by Ed Boxall, Otter-Barry Books, 2018
The World’s Greatest Space Cadet, Poems by James Carter, illustrated by Ed Boxall,Bloomsbury 2017
Lost Magic, The Very Best of Brian Moses, cover illustration by Ed Boxall, Macmillan, 2016
High In the Old Oak Tree, written and illustrated by Ed Boxall, Pearbox Press 2016
Dolphins Keep Me Safe In Dreams, written and illustrated by Ed Boxall, Pearbox Press 2014
The Rooftop Garden, written and illustrated by Ed Boxall, Pearbox Press 2014
The Shipwrecked Sailor, written and illustrated by Ed Boxall, Pearbox Press 2008
Mr Trim and Miss Jumble, written and illustrated by Ed Boxall, Walker Books, 2005
Hugo’s Hullabaloo, written and illustrated by Ed Boxall, Walker Books, 2004
Scoot On Top Of The World, written and illustrated by Ed Boxall, Walker Books, 2004
Francis The Scaredy Cat, written and illustrated by Ed Boxall, Walker Books, 2002
“Gorgeous pictures and an exciting story make this a great book to cuddle up with” from a review of Scoot on Top of The World, Guardian
“The text is clear and concise, suitable for emerging readers. Also a good read for parents to read to very young children. The storyline is simple but the message is clear, not preaching, but loving, with well chosen wording. Recommended” from a review of Francis The Scaredy Cat, Reading Time (Australia)
“Boxall perfectly captures the terror of confronting secret fears, Repetitive, lyrical sounds and surprising word choices will instantly appeal to children…An evocative, appealingly simple title that taps right into a pre-schooler’s private world” Booklist, starred review
“The Dreamscapes are vividly realised through the distinctive black and white textural illustrations and the descriptive verse lines which evoke a journey of magical possibilities, including sailing to “the junk yard Isle of Dritch/Where I lost my sock in a forest of doors. A wonderful way to tackle the fear of going to sleep” Review of Dolphins Keep Me safe in Dreams, Carousel
“This is a fabulous, fabulous little book. There is a prince who doesn’t want to be a prince, waving and smiling at people all day. He discovers that if he climbs way up to the top of the palace at night there is a garden where he can just be himself and this knowledge helps him get through the days. It is slightly “Tom’s Midnight Garden” (which happens to be one of my favourite books anyway!) but what makes this book extra special is the illustrations! They are just great. The whole thing is delightful!” Amazon Reader Review of The Rooftop Garden
Feedback From School Visits
“We commissioned Ed to come into our school for 2 days to work with our children from Reception to year 6. He came well prepared with tried and tested ideas that were new to us. All the teachers came away feeling each session was really worthwhile, enjoyable and had inspired them for future art and literacy activities. The children were well organised and enjoyed both his stories and the art activities that went with them. Ed was a pleasure to work with, efficient in making the arrangements prior to coming into my school and while working with us. I have no hesitation in recommending him to any other school (unless it’s on he week we want to use him!!)”
Penny Thompson, Headteacher of Glebefields Primary in Dudley
“ The students were thoroughly involved by in the sessions. One short story ended up being a song/poem due to the nature of its verse and the students, with Ed’s help composed background music on the Apple Mac. One student in particular captured the classic repetition used in so many children’s books, It was brilliant. She is usually so shy and quiet but really came out of herself, it was great to see. She conveyed her story to the group with real emotion; her partner’s illustrations were perfectly drawn to capture certain key parts of the story. The whole day was a real treat. A pleasant change from the usual curriculum and I believe the students all gained a lot from their creative writing sessions.”
Clare Ball, Learning Resource Centre Manager at Eltham Hill School
Brian Moses is one of Britain’s favourite children’s poets, for both his own poetry and the anthologies he has edited. He has performed in over two thousand schools across the UK and Europe. He is a Reading Champion for the Literacy Trust and is able to animate reading and writing poetry for pupils and teachers alike, in his workshops and in his resource books for teachers.
Brian’s interests range from the familiar – shopping trolleys, football matches – to the peculiar – monsters, aliens and angels. Often he will mix the two together in his poetry, so the ‘Shopping Trolley’ is souped-up like a futuristic sports car, while the monsters still go to school before coming home on ‘The Ghoul School Bus’. Brian has a particularly sharp eye for surreal moments in daily life – the man in ‘Walking with my Iguana’, who walks his pet lizard on Hastings beach on a leash, is based on a real person.
Walking with my Iguana is listed on Poetry Archive’s ‘Most Visited Poems’ – second only to T.S. Eliot’s Journey of the Magi.
Brian began writing poems when he realised he would never be a rock star – “I put the guitar to one side, but the songs carried on and became poems”. That original musical influence can still be heard in his work; while he rarely sings, he performs so that pauses, tone of voice and speed become a central part of the poem. Few poets can hold a syllable so well as Brian, whether it’s the hiss in ‘The Ssssnake Hotel’ or the Tom Waits growl in ‘Walking with my Iguana.’
Brian writes and edits poetry and picture books for children and resource books for teachers. His latest book for teachers is Able Writers in Your School (co-written with Roger Stevens), Brilliant Publications. His latest picture books are The Snake Hotel– a lift-the-flap book, and Animal Pants (Both from Macmillan).
Brian was invited by HRH Prince Charles to speak at the Prince’s Summer School for Teachers at Cambridge University in July 2007. He was also one of 10 children’s poets invited by the then Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, to feature in a website as part of the National Poetry Archive – launched in November 2005.
Brian’s School Visits
Brian Moses is available for several activities in schools:
Reading his own poetry
These are presentations to the whole school, or to infants and juniors separately, in an attempt to show that poetry isn’t something that just sits on the page. Rather it can be brought to life using a variety of voices, movement and instruments. Sessions last between 45 minutes and one hour.
Usually it is possible to arrange two such sessions and a reading in a one-day visit. Workshops last an hour and involve single classes or a class size group of children in writing their own poems. Follow up sheets are available.
Poetry & Percussion Shows
Rhyme, Rhythm & Rap
These are presentations to the whole school, or to infants and juniors separately, in an attempt to show that poetry isn’t something that just sits on the page. Rather, it can be brought to life using a variety of voices, movements and percussion instruments such as talking drums, spring drums, tambours, claves, bells, shakers and brushes. It is an energetic presentation involving audience participation and ranging from the comic to the serious to the spooky. Sessions usually last an hour and if the hall is large enough, Brian can accommodate up to 400 children for one show.
Workshop sessions for an individual class or a class size group
Workshops last an hour (half an hour at KS1) and involve single classes or a class size group of children in a question and answer session followed by a poetry writing activity. Some schools like to target able writers and make up two groups – one from lower junior classes and one from upper juniors. These children can then go back to their classes and cascade what they have done with Brian. Follow-up sheets are available.
Brian undertakes a number of residencies each year, either for a whole week or for five days spread over a term. This sustained contact allows him to build up a relationship with classes and to comment on the writing that is produced. Performances and an evening for parents can usually be built into the project. In September 2006 he visited schools in Reykjavik as part of the Icelandic International Culture Festival for Children and Young People and in 2007 he toured Ireland at the invitation of Children’s Books Ireland.
Family Writing Evenings
These sessions last for about an hour and a half. Parents and children are invited to listen to poems, to learn a little bit about how poetry is taught today and to have a go at writing themselves. Emphasis is placed on treating children as young writers and on refuting the notion that all poetry has to rhyme. Above all, these should be fun evenings with families sharing a memory and then expressing their thoughts and feelings in words.
Developing a trail around school grounds so that children may be taken out to points along the trail and write on location. Alternatively trails can be set up around castles and other ancient monuments. Brian is also invited to take part in school trips and he runs annual sessions at Michelham Priory in Sussex.
Ideas for imaginative writing, making the strategy fun for pupils and teachers, performance poetry and location writing.
A typical day could consist of the following:
9.30 – 10.30: An hour of ideas to inspire writing both at KS1 and KS2. These are ideas that Brian has used over the past 18 years in his visits to over 2250 schools across the UK and Europe.
11:00 – 12:00: A practical hour in which Brian shows how he runs class workshops and teachers have a go at a writing activity which will have relevance to their work in the classroom.
Afternoon: A session where teachers have time to read poetry books and find poems that will be immediately useful. This can lead on to a session on performance poetry with practical activities using instruments, sound effects, etc.
Other activities available are:
- In-Service Training Days
• The Work of a Writer
• Family Writing Evenings
• Establishing the Reading Habit
**Brian signs all copies of his books purchased by students on the day of his visit.**
The Budgie Likes to Boogie!
Brian’s poetry never fails to capture the imagination of his readers. If you are newcomer to his work or a Brian die hard, this book will have you dancing with glee! These funny and heart-warming feather-brained rhymes about animals, insects and birds are a real tweet!
Recommended reading level: 5-9 years
I Go Ape!
Have you ever Gone Ape, or felt sorry for maggots, or looked inside the belly of the Earth? Have you ever walked backwards for Britain, listened to musical fruit or taken the night train to Transylvania? Have you ever had a geographical tongue, or screamed in underground car parks or cried for the moon?
Well Brian Moses has done all these things, or so he says, but he has been know to tell fibs before.
Find out for yourself in Brian’s new book.
Recommended reading level: 5-9 years
To purchase Brian’s books, click here.
Samples of Brian’s poems
The Great Galactic Ghoul
Don’t fool around
with the great galactic ghoul,
it’s not the sort of creature
to play by the rules.
For any spaceship
sent its way
will not return
to Earth someday.
It will simply bat it
out of the sky,
splat it hard
just like a fly.
This ghoul was never taught
right from wrong,
it lives by its muscles,
is incredibly strong.
It’s ugly as Medusa
whose snakes have just woken,
with a nose like a boxer’s
that’s regularly broken.
Eyes like saucers,
the flying kind,
acts like a creature
that’s lost its mind.
And the gruesome great
does very little
but slobber and drool
as it shuffles about
on the edge of Mars
and anyone flying
in from the stars
should beware the ghoul,
stay clear of its lair
or it mught just swing you
round by your hair.
then squeeze you between
its loathsome jaws
till it swallows you,
rubs it belly
It lives a long way away from you
and that’s where it usually stays.
but something’s gone wrong,
the ghoul has gone,
now it hasn’t been seen for
The Budgie Likes to Boogie
The budgie likes to boogie
the budgie likes to rock.
He wakes us every night
when he rocks around the clock.
The budgie likes to jive
to spin around, to twirl.
His body full of rhythm,
his head is in a whirl.
The budgie boogie-woogies
along the table top.
The budgie disco dances,
the budgie likes to bop.
He’s just about the best,
his moves are really neat.
You should see the budgie boogie,
you should see his flying feet.
In front of the dangly mirror,
he plays his air guitar.
The budgie likes to boogie
the budgie is a STAR!
Winner of The Sheffield Children’s Book Award – Poetry Category, 2014
“The title poem launches a witty and varied anthology made the more tempting by the suitably benign monster on its attractive cover. Brian Moses writes entertainingly about a funky crocodile called Burt, What An Ardvark Likes to Do Best and When The Queen Came to Tea.” – Lovereading4kids
Recommendations & Reviews
“Morning Brian, hope you are well. Can I just say a huge thank you for the visit to our school. I have never had so many parents contact the school to say that their children have loved a visit so much. You really did shake the whole school awake – they loved it! I have attached Ellie’s poem – sorry it took so long! If you would still like to put it on your blogspot – that’d be great! I have written a piece for our school newsletter about book week and your visit and have included a link to your blog – hope that is ok? Many thanks again and look forward to the next time we meet!” – Lucy Waterhouse, Canford Heath Junior School, Poole
‘The whole school thoroughly enjoyed Brian’s visit. He was very entertaining and I received positive feedback from the teachers that he did the workshops with. A very successful day. The local paper did a little spread on our Book Week and I mentioned Brian in the interview – bit of advertising for you!’ – Sarah Macdonald, Deputy Head, Ursuline Prep School, Warley
“I have come in to school today and all the children are talking about is their day with you. They are enthused and motivated and want to write poems – particularly the boys. As you know we are constantly being told by Ofsted to improve this and improve that and although teaching only for 10 years you do become disheartened and de-motivated. When the children come in as they did this morning you quickly realise why you became a teacher – so thank you for restoring my faith in what I do.” – Serena Beasley (assistant head, Meath Green Junior School, Horley)
“Brian’s visit to Langney Primary was a great success. The children, both Infants and Juniors, were thoroughly enthralled and enthused by his performance. He had them all in the ‘palm of his hand’ for an hour of percussion and poetry. Added to this, our gifted and talented children were lucky enough to take part in a workshop with him. The next day many of them became ‘teachers’ and cascaded all they had learnt down to their classmates.” – Marion Banner, Literacy Coordinator, Langney Primary School, East Sussex
“I have seen Brian Moses present his poetry and percussion show on two occasions and I think he¹s wonderful.” – Jacqueline Wilson
“Brian’s visit had an amazing impact in school – the children loved his performance.” – Martyn Lightwood, Headteacher, Harlescott Junior School, Shrewsbury
“My mate thought you were cool.” – Boy, aged 10
@PieCorbett and I thoroughly recommend Brian Moses to all! Was inspirational in Peterborough this week! Can’t wait for next time!!
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you from myself and all the staff at Castlewood Primary School for a fantastic day on Tuesday when you visited. All of the children were really involved and excited and lots of your books are being read at the moment! As staff, we thought your performance session was fantastic – everyone of the children was captured and that was an amazing opportunity for us to see! (We were also very captured and inspired by what you do!) Thank You. I hope enjoyed the rest of the exciting week and today on World Book Day.” – Vicky Dedman, Castlewood Primary
‘A legend in the land of literacy’ Headteacher, Jersey
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Brian Moses, 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
Gracie May is a Storyteller, and Educational Entertainer. With a background in television and theatre combined with her love for working in nurseries and schools.
With a background in television and theatre, Grace has a passion for delivering creative education in schools and nurseries. Through her love of the creative and performing arts, including drama, dance and music, she aims to bridge gaps in learning by enhancing key areas of learning with a creative approach. She develops and delivers sessions in literacy, math, history and physical development in a way that combines performing arts. This combination means children learn core subjects, through a fun interactive approach, with the transferable skills which performing arts has to offer.
Grace creates bespoke drama/storytelling based workshops to compliment schools in teaching topics in an interactive age-appropriate way. Grace works with primary school aged children in KS1 and KS2.
Grace aims for all her workshops to include aspects of Storytelling, Drama, Singing and Dance, connecting with each and every child in the room.
Her Storytelling aims are for:
- All children to be able to tell you the basic outline of the story
- Most children will be able to tell you what happens in the story and remember some characters names.
- Some children will be able to tell you the story in great detail.
- Partner and teamwork
- character development
- Building self-confidence
- A chance to perform
Reviews and Testimonials
“From the moment you entered the room, the children were absolutely enthralled by your creative and engaging method of delivery. Each child regardless of their ability, cultural background or level of English beamed with joy while interacting with you and working their way through the story. You turned everyday learning into a magical experience. One of the teachers said it was like watching an actress on television.”
Jeremy Hannay – Head Teacher Three Bridges
“Our girls loved having DramEd in to work with them. Their activities were exciting and engaging from start to finish. Grace has a natural ability to bring out the best in children it was wonderful to see our girls thrive. Thanks for coming”
Rebecca Cox – St. Helen’s Independent Girls school
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Grace, 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 email@example.com
David is fascinated by how stories work, and sees both writing and drawing as pattern-making. It was only after illustrating a picture book by Ted Hughes that he began writing picture book texts of his own, and David’s first book as author and illustrator, Halibut Jackson, was published in 2003. David has published 15 books, with 3 on the way. In 2008 he won an award as one of the UK’s Best New Illustrators.
David’s School Visits
David has over 15 years experience as a visiting author in primary schools and is able to teach big groups – 60, 90 or 120 children at a time, if required.
David can offer up to 4 hours of workshop time per school plus an assembly.
Sessions with Reception are usually 30mins
KS1 classes are between 45mins and 1 hour
KS2 classes are 1 hour
What David offers in his own words:
Focus on The Robot and the Bluebird (a CLPE Power of Pictures text)
As children enter the hall, I draw my Robot character on a flipchart. I introduce myself and briefly explain what an author illustrator does. I show my original dummy book of the Robot and the Bluebird -with visible corrections as story developed.
I explain how I use words and pictures together to tell stories, and I talk about the history of the alphabet: how all our writing comes from heiroglyphs, so writing once was drawing: picture-writing.
We play an alphabet guessing game – can the children guess what each letter was originally a picture of? (e.g. A = cow, B = house, M = water)
I also show how Chinese characters are picture-writing too.
I read The Robot and the Bluebird and we discuss the story. What was the Robot’s problem? How was the problem solved? Was it a happy ending or a sad ending? Or both?
End with Q&A about what an author does.
RECEPTION Draw a Storybook Character 30mins
I read Grendel (a CLPE Power of Pictures text) involving the children at each stage, asking them to predict what will happen and leading fun discussions of the ideas raised in the story.
Me: “What would you do if you turned your dog to chocolate?”
5yr old: “Put it in the fridge!”
Me: “What would you do if you turned your mum to chocolate?”
5yr old: “I’d eat her!!”
I describe my drawing style as ‘picture-writing’ and my characters are made of simple shapes – like letter-shapes. I lead a drawing exercise, showing how to draw my storybook character. Following my lead, each child produces a careful drawing of their own – in their very best ‘handwriting’.
KS1 – Create a Storybook Character. Start a story. 45mins to 60mins
I read Grendel, and show how to draw Grendel, step-by-step. Following my lead, each child produces a drawing of their own. Each child thinks of a wish (Grendel hinges on 3 wishes) and we discuss how wishes-gone-wrong make great stories. I write word lists to spark ideas for the children’s own original storybook characters. I always ask the children to invent a character no one has ever thought of in the whole history of the world! Each child makes a series of word combinations e.g. Paper Mermaid Princess, Broken Electric Genie, Ghostly Butterfly Baby. They choose their favourite combination, draw their character, and give it a name.
Every story needs a problem. What problem might their character have? Is the character lost, stuck, lonely, etc? Could they use their wish idea in their story? The children begin writing a story about their unique, original character.
KS2 – Create a Picture Book 60 mins
This class begins in the same way as the KS1 workshop, but as I read Grendel, I explain how the story fits the classic 12 page-spread picture book storyboard, and we see how Grendel’s problem (greed) worsens as the story progresses to crisis point, before the neat twist leads to a satisfying resolution. As in the KS1 workshop, the children create original characters, making careful drawings and giving their characters names. They can also add other characters, and scene-setting detail. We then look at how each character could star in a complete, resolved picture book story.
The children begin making storyboards of their own, plotting their story across 12 page-spreads. The disciplined form of the picture book acts as a microscope to look in detail at narrative structure, and each child has a clear, challenging, but achievable goal: to tell the most exciting, original story they can in 12 short paragraphs. The text can then be transferred to a handmade book.
I end by showing the children how to turn their story into an illustrated book of their own, with front and back covers, reviews, blurb, and a decorative title page with dedication and copyright info – so their book feels as much as possible like the real thing. The book itself can be made as either a holiday project or later in class. Each child is then an author illustrator.
HALIBUT JACKSON Andersen Press
A story of a shy little man, who makes suits that match the background wherever he is. He gets an invitation to the Queen’s birthday party, at the Palace and decides to go in disguise – making a suit of silver and gold and jewels that matches the Palace. But it is a garden party. Everyone notices him – and everyone wants a suit like his. He becomes a famous fashion designer.
THE ROBOT AND THE BLUEBIRD Andersen Press
The Robot has a broken heart, and he is sent to the scrapheap. One snowy day a Bluebird stops on the Robot’s shoulder – she is exhausted and half-frozen. He shelters her in the space where his heart used to be – and begins to feel alive – as if he really does have a fluttering, beating heart. She is too weak to make the journey to the warm south, so he uses the last of his energy to save her, carrying her over the mountains in his heart. As she flies free, he dies: he has given his life to save her.
THE LYING CARPET Andersen Press
Faith is a statue, trapped in a room, in a grand country house, with only a tiger-skin rug (the Carpet) for company. She wants to be free, to live, but all she knows of the world is what she learns from the Carpet. He tells her contradictory stories of who he is, who she is, etc. He says the master of the house, His Grace, is dying. He had always loved the statue, and wished she could live. The Carpet claims he is a flying carpet and can travel through time. Then he announces that His Grace has died, and that the old man’s ghost is sitting in the chair. Then the Carpet says that everything he’s ever said is a lie. Nothing is real – not even Faith. She is so angry she springs to life. The spell is broken. The Carpet’s most fantastical claims are true: he can fly – and they fly away together.
GRENDEL Walker Books
Grendel is a little monster. He loves chocolate more than anything, even more than his Mum or his dog. When his Mum offers him chocolate egg he snatches it and runs away, gobbling it down. Inside the egg is a note: he has 3 wishes. He doesn’t believe in magic, so he just wishes for more chocolate. When the wish comes true he wishes that everything he touches turns to chocolate. He has fun until the dog comes to meet him. His dog leaps up, and turns to chocolate. Then his Mum touches him, and she turns to chocolate. She is melting in the sun – and at last he sees how selfish he has been. He has one last wish, and wishes it was yesterday. This time he shares the chocolate, and the wishes with his Mum. He has learned his lesson.
David’s next book, “I WAS MADE FOR YOU” (Andersen Press), will be published in Oct 2018.
WONDERBIRD, already described as a ‘classic’ by the publishers at the acquisition stage, is due to be published in 2019.
Reviews of David’s Books
HALIBUT JACKSON (Andersen Press 2003)
‘Instant classic’ Financial Times
‘The search for Halibut Jackson in David Lucas’s witty and original illustrations is delightfully satisfying, while the message about being confident in yourself is lightly worn.’ Julia Eccleshare, Guardian
‘an impressive debut. His tale has classic narrative elements that support a firm visual authority. The lyrical ease of Lucas’s line recalls the aesthetics of an earlier era and greats like Ludwig Bemelmans and Jean de Brunhoff.’ New York Times
Chosen as Amazon.com’s ‘favourite children’s book of 2004’
A Best Children’s Book of 2004 in both Publisher’s Weekly and Child magazine NUTMEG (Andersen Press 2005)
‘a dizzying adventure’ Publishers Weekly
‘A lovely, sparky story’ Observer
‘An offbeat winner’ Junior Magazine
WHALE (Andersen Press 2006)
‘This is a book which should be part of every child’s curriculum: a delight; an entitlement; a little masterpiece…’ Carousel
‘catastrophe and celebration are both writ large in this attractive picture book. Spectacular… David Lucas makes brilliant use of changing perspectives.’ Julia Eccleshare, Guardian
‘Another brilliant picture book from David Lucas… a charming story that feels like an old favourite from the very first read.’ The Bookseller
SOMETHING TO DO (Gullane 2007)
‘stands out as a unique work because of its emotionally simple charm’ Kirkus Reviews
‘In earlier books like Cake Girl and Nutmeg, Lucas demonstrated a love for ornament and pattern: here, text and pictures are stripped down to essentials. But his observations are just as potent, and his depiction of boredom is every bit as entertaining as his vision of imaginative play.’ Publishers Weekly
‘Both elegant and pleasing, this picture book is a standout’ School Library Journal.
Winner of an AOI bronze award
THE ROBOT AND THE BLUEBIRD (Andersen Press 2007)
‘tears at the heartstrings…’ Independent on Sunday
‘A profound variation on The Happy Prince’ Geraldine Brennan, T.E.S.
‘David Lucas’s poetic voice makes The Robot and the Bluebird sing. Lilting cadences give this tale a lightness and a fairytale touch reminiscent of Oscar Wilde, but with a Burtonesque twist.’ Irish Times
‘tender, touching and hopeful… this modern fable about the power of love to regenerate unfolds at a gentle pace and to great effect.’ Julia Eccleshare, Guardian
‘A poignant book… its simple pictures steer the story away from sentimentality, and its readers will take a while to grow out of it.’ Daily Telegraph
THE LYING CARPET (Andersen Press 2008)
‘Reading The Lying Carpet is a dreamy experience – the language is lovely; the free verse has an offbeat rhythm; the illustrations are breathtaking… older readers may think of Kierkegaard’s ‘Fear and Trembling’ and ‘The Present Age’ – the poetry, the paradoxes, the musings on leaps of faith, the need for passion and the awareness of self. I can see high school and college philosophy students finding endless discussion fodder in ‘The Lying Carpet’; it would be a great graduation gift for black clad poetesses.’ New York Times
‘Lucas’s first book for older readers reveals that he’s as remarkable a writer as he is an illustrator.’ Publisher’s Weekly
‘an exquisite and provoking contemplation of truth, hope, dreams and the power of stories.’ The Daily Telegraph
‘beautiful and mysterious… this will tug relentlessly on the mind and heart of any child ready to read it.’ Kirkus Reviews
‘The Lying Carpet by virtuoso storyteller and illustrator David Lucas… is an enduring allegorical story about the virtue of truth and standing up for what you believe in.’ The Bookseller
PEANUT (Walker Books 2008)
‘A treasure of a book.’ Carousel
‘What an utterly sweet book. Every page is a delight to pore over.’ theBookbag.co.uk
CAKE GIRL (Andersen Press 2009)
‘Cake Girl is a thing of beauty… which couldn’t fail to charm anyone under six.’ Independent on Sunday
‘Watching Cake Girl teach the witch new social skills is a treat.’ Publishers Weekly
‘Sweetly surreal.’ Kirkus Reviews
‘One of the best picture books of the season.’ The Bookseller
LOST IN THE TOY MUSEUM (Walker Books 2011)
‘Lucas’s stylised illustrations and unusual use of perspectives cleverly convey the magic of this engaging story.’ Julia Eccleshare, Guardian
‘It is the glorious attention to detail that I love… by searching through the museum you are taken on quite a magical journey.’ The Bookseller
THIS IS MY ROCK
Featured in the Bookseller as ‘One to watch’ but the review was in print rather than online.
BOOK TRUST – http://www.booktrust.org.uk/books/view/34242
“This is My Rock is a beautiful picture book with lovely illustrations. Little Goat’s story is an endearing one about the importance of sharing. Little Goat learns that things can actually be much more fun when they are shared with your friends. The hardcover edition is an eye-catching picture book that makes a great gift as well.”
“With simple wit and beautifully detailed illustrations, David Lucas weaves a tale about sharing and friendship.”
“As with most of David Lucas’ stories, there’s a rather lovely little twist that comes in at the end of this book when the goat realises that you can defend your lofty habitat with all the will in the world but sometimes it takes someone smaller and cleverer than you to humble you into submission!
“It’s a lovely book, with a real feeling of movement and joy through it, and I like that at the end there is a sweet drawing with space to write your name (well, your child’s name!) underneath the sign This is actually my book! Fun stories about sharing are always nice to read with young children, as any new way to instill the message is a good thing! This is enjoyable to read as a grown up too, so definitely worth a look.”
“This unvarnished morality tale’s strength lies in its simplicity. On one level it speaks to its listeners and readers directly, openly, transparently. On the other hand it can also work as high satire. I’ve been reading This is My Rock against a backdrop of daily discussions in the media about immigration in the UK, and at some level I think all the hot air surrounding this topic could be healthily dissipated if only people were to read something as straightforward and honest as Lucas’ new book.”
Kingston Blog Recommended Read – https://blogs.kingston.ac.uk/education/2015/04/14/david-lucas-this-is-my-rock/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
The Book Worm Baby – http://thebookwormbaby.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/this-is-my-rock.html
“THIS IS MY ROCK has a simple moral of sharing which would make a great gift for any young book lover but also for siblings! Things can be much more fun when they are shared with your friends.”
Red Reading Hub – https://jillrbennett.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/this-is-my-rock/
“Having read the dedication inside the front cover, one could read all sorts of things into Lucas’ short story but that’s the thing about a good book – it leaves plenty of space for readers to make their own interpretations. Readers who could well be in the early stages of their reading journey are just one of the possible audiences: everything about it makes the book perfect for beginners (reading scheme books just don’t stand up against the likes of this), but it’s much too good to be confined to beginners alone.”
“A rocky climb to wisdom.”
“What really makes this book stand out from the rest is the amazing illustrations which are really stunning.”
“This book is great fun for young children, as the refrain is repetitive, allowing pre-readers to quickly join in with the words. The colourful images are detailed and offer plenty of potential prompts for young children to retell the story for themselves. It’s also a powerful and timeless story about the power of sharing and the meaning of friendship.”
Feedback for David’s visits
I just wanted to write and thank you so much for gifting me the most wonderfully inspiring, creative and engaging hour I have spent in a long time!
Feedback from workshops at the V&A Museum of Childhood.
A very talented, warm inspirational down to earth individual! My daughter was in awe of him, as we all were – so engaging, confidence boosting as well as informative & fun!
Feedback from workshops at the V&A Museum of Childhood.
I wanted to say a huge HUGE thank you for the fantastic course we attended at the Bethnal Green V & A museum. You were a great inspiration to both my kids, especially my 11 year old son.
Feedback from workshops at the V&A Museum of Childhood.
Thank you very much for the workshop you ran at the Museum of Childhood. My son’s Elliott (Age 6) and Isaac (Age 9) absolutely loved it!
They came home full of stories on how the day had gone and how much they had enjoyed the workshop. Isaac said it was “The best English lesson he had ever had!” Thanks again, for giving them what was clearly a truly inspirational time!
Feedback from workshops at the V&A Museum of Childhood.
Just wanted to say that it was an absolute pleasure today. The children all loved the workshops so much. We can not wait to start our competition. Hopefully we will be sending you some finished picture books after Easter.
Staff member at the Oratory School, in Birmingham.
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about David Lucas, 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
Fay Evans is a best-selling children’s author. She writes rhyming stories for fabulously illustrated children’s books and enjoys making inspiring Author Visits to primary schools across the UK. Fay’s interactive storytelling sessions are suitable for entertaining children in EYFS and Key Stages 1 and 2.
Fay’s love of writing started at the age of eight, when she won a prize at primary school for her joined up handwriting. Fay’s first proper job was as a reporter for a local newspaper and she spent many years working in the PR industry, writing news stories and content for websites. Fay has also written scripts for short films and sitcoms, as well as ideas for TV comedy drama series.
Fay’s daughter inspired her to start writing stories for children. She loved picture books from an early age and it was her favourite character that inspired her to say her very first word: “Bear!”
As an author, Fay loves sharing her stories with children and seeing how her books spark their imaginations. What’s most important for Fay is inspiring young readers and writers through language, literacy and laughter.
Fay’s School Visits
Fay’s author visits involve interactive storytelling sessions for pupils in Nursery/Reception and Years 1 through to 3. Spending a lesson with each class/year group works well. Fay adapts her presentation style according to age/year group.
After spending 30 to 40 minutes talking with the children about being an author, story ideas, the writing process, reading her book, discussing the story and answering questions, there is usually time for class teachers to lead a short and simple follow up activity. Children have enjoyed colouring in pictures of a dragon, drawing Fred or a scene from the story, role playing, making plasticine models, writing book reviews and descriptive text, creating their own stories and taking part in author Q&A sessions.
Fay is also happy to present in school assemblies talking through her career as a writer, reading her story and answering questions from the children.
Fay’s latest book, Fred The Fire-Sneezing Dragon, is an Amazon Best Seller. It tells the tale of a lovable young dragon whose fiery sneezes keep causing chaos at school. Fred is teased by his classmates, until he accidentally saves the day and goes from zero, to hero. There are simple actions to learn and repeat during the story. Everyone can join in and have fun as they sneeze-along with Fred. Ah-choo!
Since the book was published in September 2017, Fay has been touring primary schools across the UK with her interactive storytelling sessions and have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback.
Fay’s next book, “Bob’s Beard”, is currently in production and will be published in Summer 2018. Talented illustrator Lisa Williams is once again helping to bring this captivating rhyming story to life. Bob’s Beard tells the heartwarming tale of a lonely giant, who discovers his brand new beard is the key to befriending a whole host of woodland creatures.
Feedback and Reviews
“We were amazed by how engaged all 60 children were whilst listening to the story, which proved what a fantastic story it is! The actions brought the character of Fred to life and encouraged all of the children to join in – they loved every second of it! Fay was brilliant with the children and pitched the session perfectly for the age range (four and five-year-olds). After the story, the children wanted to draw and paint dragons, build dragon dens outside, start a castle role play area and so much more. We’ve started a new topic based on dragons and have never had so many children wanting to write stories!” – Reception Teacher
“Our session with Fay was fantastic! One of those mornings that you know the children will remember for a long time. After hearing the story they had so many ideas for writing and were able to use the ambitious adjectives from the story to describe Fred and his actions. The best thing was that they were all desperate to start drawing and writing, it totally sparked their imaginations. We look forward to inviting Fay back next year and hearing more of her stories.” – Year 1 Teacher
“We were about to start our new topic on ‘Authors’ so the timing of Fay’s visit was perfect. She talked to us about her journey into becoming an author and how this had started at a similar age to our children. You could see the children thinking: ‘Wow, that could be me!’ Fay made them believe in themselves and gave them the motivation to write. They have since written some fantastic mythological stories and their attitudes to writing have been transformed – they now believe that they too can become authors like Fay.” – Year 3 Teacher.
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Fay Evans, 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 email@example.com