All About Steve Smallman
Steve Smallman lives and works in Staffordshire. He has worked as an illustrator for over 30 years specialising in children’s books, licensing work (Postman Pat, Sesame Street and Bill and Ben) and television (most notably on ‘The Raggy Dolls’ in the 80’s and 90’s). He is the author of over 30 picture books including ‘The Lamb who Came for Dinner’ and ‘Dragon Stew’ (Both Little Tiger Press).
‘I’ve always loved to draw. As a child I used to borrow animal books from the library and copy the pictures. I had no ambition to be an artist or an author back then. I thought I might become a zookeeper (and draw the animals in my lunch break). Then my teacher suggested I should be an artist, draw animals and sell the pictures instead. It was a revelation to me that you could potentially get paid for doing something that you enjoyed so much! So I went to Art College where one of my tutors was Colin McNaughton and decided that I wanted to be a children’s book illustrator like him. I illustrated my first book whilst still at college and worked for the next twenty years illustrating hundreds of books and comics. I also did a bit of character design for TV. Then I thought I’d try my hand at writing my own stories and it went surprisingly well.
The first one I wrote ‘The Lamb Who Came for Dinner’ was shortlisted for 8 awards including the Red House Children’s Book Award, was commended at the Sheffield Children’s Book Awards, has been translated into about 16 foreign editions and was read on TV by Meatloaf!
I’ve now written over 30 books with more in production.’
Steve’s School Visits
Steve works with children from nursery up to sixth form. His workshops are tailored to suit specific age groups and can be focused on illustration, writing or a mixture of both. He also works with children on art projects including mural painting. He is happy to work with large groups (up to 300) as long as everyone can see and hear. His workshops can be in a classroom or a hall depending upon numbers but he prefers a smaller, cosier space to read stories to nursery and reception children.
In his illustration workshops, Steve shows his portfolio of artwork which includes character sketches, pencil roughs and finished artwork from his books. He teaches the children how to draw facial expressions in an interactive session that works for all ages. Then he goes into more detail covering things like shading, scale, movement, texture and figure drawing to whichever level is age appropriate.
In his writing workshops, Steve performs his stories and talks about where his ideas came from and how he developed them into finished text. Then, in an interactive session he works with the children to develop their own story ideas. Steve draws sketches of the children’s characters which often help to inspire their writing.
His workshops are very flexible and can focus on illustration, writing or a mixture of both.
Steve paints murals in schools as part of broader art or literacy projects or just for fun!
Steve also undertakes ‘experiential writing projects’ which have in the past included alien landings and dragon hatchings and have led to some amazing art and written work from the children involved!
Steve provides author talks about his work which will include ‘on the spot’ illustrations’, illustration workshops and demonstrations and work with small groups on specific project work e.g workshops on writing/illustration for young children.
What facilities will Steve need if he visits your school?
Steve will need a flip chart easel and pad (He’ll bring his own pens)
A ‘grown up’ size chair, a table, some water and lots of tea!
A PA system would be useful if possible for large audiences.
Smelly Peter – Peter is different – he only ever eats peas. And they make him rather smelly! Then one day he turns completely green. His school mates laugh at him but he is spotted by some aliens from outer space, who think he looks wonderful! So they whisk him away to make him their king…
This hilarious picture book, with a lively rhyming text, is bursting with energy and fun.
The Lamb Who Came to Dinner – when a hungry old wolf gets an unexpected visit from a little lamb, he starts planning a delicious hotpot. But the lamb doesn’t want to be the wolf’s dinner, she wants to be his friend…
Dragon Stew – five bored Vikings set off looking for adventure… but when they come across a dragon, they are in for a BIG surprise…
Recommendations and Reviews
‘Dear Steve, May I on behalf of all of the school thank you for visiting us on the 7th of February. Every class teacher has reported how delighted they and the children were with your workshops. We really enjoyed your stories and fantastic illustrations. You delivered each presentation at the right level for the children and gave them ideas to develop on their own.’ Bluecoat Infant and Primary School Walsall
‘Dear Steve, We all wanted to offer you a huge THANK YOU for your day in school. The children were so excited and inspired by your involvement with them. I overheard many of their comments of the children as they left assembly and they were wonderful: “awesome!”, “I want to draw like that”, “he was brilliant!”. It was lovely to hear them enthuse, and the staff assured me the buzz continued throughout the day.
We had one call from a Year 1 parent to say her son was so inspired he hasn’t stopped writing since that day. Exactly want we wanted. Thank you so much.’ Bev Affleck Deputy Headteacher Woodland View Primary School
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Steve Smallman, 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