Digging for writing treasure at World Book Day 2017!

I’ve had an amazing week of school visits to celebrate World Book Day 2017.

There has been some incredible writing from the children of Upton HouseDonhead Prep, Danes Hill School and Harris Primary Academy Crystal Palace. The KS1 children have come up with stories about skateboarding rabbits, terrifying pirates (including Captain Mudbeard and Pirate Rose), and a whale that won’t fit through the door.

With the early years classes we’ve cut, stuck and coloured and written poems about treasure chests with sparkling diamonds and skull-shaped keys.

There’s been singing and dancing, laughing and book signing and many, many cups of tea consumed (by me).

Now I’m back to work on my writing and my MA studies. And very much looking forward to next year! Thank you to all the children who worked so hard in the workshops, all the lovely staff who made me so welcome and Cobham Books for supporting book sales.

Southend Children’s Book Festival

Photo by Robert Pittman
Photo by Robert Pittman

Ahoy mateys! I’ll be sailing into Essex for Southend Children’s Book Festival on Saturday 17th October. Come and join me for a pirate party at the Forum in Southend-on-Sea. It’s suitable for salty seadogs of 4-7 years old, plus a parent.

Pirates don't drive Diggers cover RGB

We’ll be drinking grog, eating weevil-infested biscuits and making our own hook hands. Plus I’ll be reading and signing copies of Pirates Don’t Drive Diggers.

The event runs from 2-3.30pm on Saturday 17 October. Tickets are priced at £3 and can be ordered online from Eventbrite.

Author events at Dulwich Books and Blessed Dominic Primary School

I’ve been busy in January  with bookshop and school author events.Alex English primary school author visit 1

First up was a visit to Blessed Dominic Primary School in north London. I did workshops with the KS1 students in year 1 and 2. We came up with stories as a group (involving polar bears, monkeys swinging in through windows and pepperoni pizzas) and then we planned out our own picture books on a storyboard. The children used lots of different animals from my big creature sack as inspiration for their own versions of Yuck said the Yak. There are plenty more photos on the school’s website here.

yuck said the yak at dulwich books


I also had a lovely morning at Dulwich Books, reading to children and parents. I first read from one of my favourite childhood books, The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr. Then I read Yuck said the Yak and the children did some excellent yak colouring!

Dulwich Books is definitely worth a visit if you are ever in the area, it’s a lovely little bookshop with a great children’s section and very helpful staff. A big thank you to all the children and parents who came along!

Capel Manor Primary School visit

Capel Manor School VisitAfter a fantastic day at Barton’s Bookshop on Saturday, I’ve been hitting the road again, this time visiting Capel Manor Primary in Enfield for a school visit.

I spent a fabulous yak-filled morning with Capel Manor’s year 5s and 6s. We thought up new stories based on Yuck said the Yak – where an unexpected guest arrives and causes problems. We planned out our stories and worked on storyboards to form our own picture books.

I had a lovely time and was made to feel very welcome. All the children were very enthusiastic and came up with some brilliant ideas, involving everything from pogo sticks and ukuleles to monsters made from ice cream.

I also signed HEAPS of autographs and left feeling like a bona fide celebrity!

I’d like to say a big thank you to all the children I met, their teachers and the National Literacy Trust, who set up the event. I can’t wait to see the end results of the work the children are doing.