Elm Park Nursery School, Clapham, London

I love getting involved in WORKSHOPS.


Because nothing inspires a child to read and create their own stories more than meeting a real-life author. I hope to enthuse children about reading and get them creating their own characters, settings and worlds.

What happens on the day? 

It all depends on what you want for your school or library.  From simple storytelling with the very young, to author talks based on specific books, to creative writing workshops, to specific workshops aimed at writing or illustrating picture books for older College students studying graphic art or doing an MA in Creative writing – I can tailor my visit to your needs, to make sure you get the most out of my time with you


1. Picture Book Workshops

THE MAGIC BOJABI TREE. Story telling from the heart of Africa where everyone can join in. Suitable for Reception. It’s very interactive. The children respond to the rhythmic language and join in making the sound of the hot wind, the lion growling, acting out the journey of the little tortoise, using coconut clappers to make the clip clop of zebra hooves and taking turns with a hungry python (made of African cloth). Afterwards we have a marvellous time dancing to African marimba music. And then I fall down in a heap.


1. PLAY THE COUNTING GAME. Pupils work in groups to discover how many living creatures are on the last two double page spreads. Hint – the second last double page spread has 22 and the last double page 26 (don’t forget to count the  birds flying in the far distance) This activity focuses the pupils attention on the illustration.

2. MAKE AN ANIMAL MASK. I’ve made templates to use of a giraffe, a zebra and a lion. The pupils colour the patterns on the animals or add coloured strips and add wool or strips for the lion’s mane. Perhaps act out THE MAGIC BOJABI TREE afterwards.

THE FARAWAY ISLAND Perfect to use for Year 1 & 2 as it fits with the National Curriculum. The story involves maps, islands, exotic plants and animals and exploration in the 16th century. There’s an opportunity to do some artwork exploring texture and pattern through painting, drawing or collage.  Looking at portraits of 16th century queens & kings and looking at original artwork of exotic environments e.g. Rousseau’s jungle paintings.

THE STAR_BEARER – An Egyptian creative myth that works well with Year 2 or 3.


2. Novels – The Bones of a Book 

Based on specific novels, drawing on landscape, character and plot, using PowerPoint and music.

The three high adventure stories in the Oliver Strange Frog Diary series;

Oliver Strange and the Journey to the Swamps –Year 6 & 7

Oliver Strange and the Ghosts of Madagascar – Year 6 & 7

Oliver Strange and the Forests of Secrets – Year 6 & 7

Eye of the Moon and Eye of the Sun – Year 6 & 7.


3. General Creative Writing Sessions – Sense of place, viewpoint, character, dialogue, structure, tension, pace, rhythm in language, beginnings and endings.