I am very sad and disappointed to announce that all of the festivals that I have been selected for have been cancelled or postponed due to the Coronavirus. Also all of my events at schools and bookshops have been cancelled. All we can do at this time is our best and to come back fighting strong. Fingers crossed I will have these amazing opportunities again. We must all reflect on what is important and stay present in the moment. Stay at home, stay safe and healthy.
21st March 2020 – Sustainability story time collaboration – Claygate Arts Festival
12th April to 19th April.
Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival
7th April – Waterstones, Kings road book event.
Postponed – 19th April – Eco Festival
I am still waiting to hear if Barnes Literature Festival is cancelled.
I was asked some wonderful question’s by the children of Soho Primary. I also think it is nice to ask the children questions as well. Some of my favourite questions to ask are:
What are their greatest passions?
What would they like to be when they grow up?
I asked whether any of them had visited Covent Garden and one little girl put her hand up and said “I live in Covent Garden”. Now that was a cool answer. I responded with “Then you must have seen Pigeon tap-dancing next to the opera singer. It was such a sweet moment honestly.
Pigeon and I jumped on a train and headed to Waterloo. This time I did not miss my stop. The train kept stopping for minutes (which felt like hours) at a time but luckily I thought that might happen, so I raced to get the 8am train.
Soho Primary is situated close to Piccadilly Circus. What a cool place to go to school. It was their World Book Day. The entire hall was packed with kneeling little people looking up at me. Another technical hitch, I had left my usb stick at Eaton Square. aaaah!
The children who greeted me were so grown up for 11 year olds I was amazed. So polite and helpful.
I think my favourite part of this interactive storytelling was when the children said the last two sounds in perfect unison. I won’t spoil it by telling you what those sounds were. You will have to book me to come to your school!
Today Pigeon and I drove to Tolworth in Surrey and visited a sweet school called Kings Oak Primary.
I love big halls and this one was huge. Year 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 were in the school assembly. When I gave my memory stick to the I.T person with my pigeon presentation saved and suddenly said the folder was empty. A typical technical hitch. Luckily I had reception in there and managed to quickly email it to him. JUST IN TIME! Phew!
Wow, I was blown a way by these little people. Their enthusiasm was beyond anything I had every imagined. I explained that they were going to be part of Pigeon’s adventure across London and every one of them seemed excited. Ten eager ones came up to the stage and helped me by holding up the sound boards, a very important job.
When I was at school I adored acting and art. It is wonderful how those strengths are now shining through my animation designs and story. When I first started reading my book in a library five months ago, I was completely petrified and my hands would uncontrollably shake. Now I relish big crowds of children watching my every move and listening intently.
This has been a big journey of self discovery for me and I am learning every day at how to become better at my performance. In the beginning I would never have thought I would use drama to express my story. It is a wonderful thing to be able to improvise and with every experience, find new ways to be a storyteller.
I thought it would be fun to design some animations with some of the children’s questions and my responses. So here goes. I hope you find them intriguing and funny. Children have this wonderful way of expressing themselves, they are so honest and sweet. Please press play below:
Today Pigeon and I drove to Putney. The traffic was a nightmare and I felt very flustered when I arrived. I literally arrived within a minute of 10am and rushed into the assembly hall, where lots of little people were sitting waiting patiently for me. I am a person who likes to get everywhere super early so you can imagine I was flapping! So was Pigeon!
What a lovely school. The teachers were super friendly and the children full of intrigue. I felt more confident in my interactive storytelling after practicing the day before. I introduced myself and talked about what inspired me to write The Tap-Dancing Pigeon Of Covent Garden, introduced Pigeon and off we went into the story.
Pigeon and I had an amazing week visiting schools. The first school to invite us was Felton Fleet Prep School in celebration of their ‘World Book Day’. Pigeon had his photo taken in front of the school sign which made him feel very important. The morning sped by as we had the opportunity to perform our interactive storytelling with each age group. Bringing Pigeon’s adventure alive. I used to find big groups intimidating but now I love them. The most enthusiastic group were year 4. Perhaps because they could follow the story and were ready to act out the sounds.
This was a wonderful experience and I would definitely return to this school in the future.
I hope you all had a chance to celebrate National Storytelling week in your own special ways. Pigeon and I visited a sweet nursery in London called The Playroom. Greeted by lots of smiley faces and some beautiful pigeon crafts they had created in honour of Pigeon’s visit.