I have some really exciting news. I have been selected for a B.R.A.G Medallion Award by the Book Readers Appreciation Group. Here are some comments about ‘The Tap-Dancing Pigeon Of Covent Garden’.
This is the first children’s book I have reviewed and I am so glad I did (even on a kindle the pages are cute and fun to follow). The pigeon I adorable and the story was catchy and the ending.. too funny. Not how I expected it to end. I would recommend this book to everyone that will listen (that has younger kids, or like my grandkids).
The characters have a charming appeal. I particularly enjoyed the alterations and onomatopoeia which make the book a good candidate for a read-aloud story. Jon Davis’ illustrations combine soft colours with powerful facial expressions that convey both the message and the humour within the story. This book gives children an opportunity to tour a bit of London, develop self-confidence and be entertained in one read. Recommended for preschool through second grader readers.
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.
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 was different to every day so far in my life as an author. I woke up, had brekkie then smeared my face with blue paint, slipped and zipped up my onesie, put my hood up and waited for the paint to dry. After a few moments I was ready for the finishing touch, my yellow beak. Can you guess who I was? My youngest daughter jumped up and down with excitement and shouted ‘PIGEON!’
Pigeon was unsure though. So was I when I opened my front door and ran to my car. A pigeon driving a car did I hear you say? Noooo it cannot be! (chuckle).
The morning was full of laughs. I put 300% in to my performance. The children were all dressed up as different book characters and Pigeon and I were very impressed!
Here are some animation to show you how the day played out…
A friend who was in the year below me at school (who I had not seen since 1996), found me on Instagram and invited me to Eaton Square as she was a teacher there. It just shows that social media platforms can be very useful.
Pigeon and I travelled on the train and then took a tube to Victoria. As I missed our stop to jump on another train. I was on Twitter catching up with the Writing Community (of course). Pigeon hid in my rucksack. We arrived early this time, thank goodness.
Another lovely school. Very smart reception. We were escorted into a big hall. The children came flooding in. Now that I had practiced my interactive storytelling many times in the last two days I was in my element. Just like Pigeon when he learnt that tap-dancing was his passion. I felt alive and excited! The children were brilliant. It was wonderful.
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.