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 invited to The Rowens for their Eco Arts Festival. The children made some delightful artworks out of plastic bottle lids.
I had the opportunity to go into all of the classes individually, they were all very sweet. One boy asked how old I was and I said 105 and he looked hugely alarmed. I then responded with “only kidding, how old do you think I am?” and he promptly responded “61?”, and that was that!
I thought the school was lovely and the pupils were polite and enthusiastic. It was a special experience to be part of such an important topic.
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 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.
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.
Nothing ventured nothing gained. What a great saying. The Tap-Dancing Pigeon and I are thrilled to announce that we have been invited to Sharjah to take part in their annual children’s reading festival in April from 13th to 17th April. I will have the chance to inspire children to fulfil their dreams, live in the moment, believe in themselves and visit their schools and perhaps be not he radio and television. I feel honoured.
I have designed this poster to celebrate National Storytelling Week 2020. This week is a lovely chance to spend some quality time with little people to show them how amazing books really are and how important they are in society. Our local bookshops really need our help. What with films out there with amazing animations and online bookshops, it feels as though books are a dying art. Lets all do our part to inspire the younger generation and show them how wonderful local libraries and bookshops are in our world.
Wednesday 13th November, Pigeon and I were invited to Esher Church School. We were greeted by a crowd of 180 smiley and curious faced children, at their Year 1, 2 and 3 assembly. For the first time ever my nerves were silent. i do believe that practice is really important. Prepare with perfect pigeon precision before any pigeon performance! Afterwards the children asked some questions like:
How did you come up with the idea?
Why Covent Garden?
I felt really good afterwards. I feel like I can do anything now. I will continue to strive to spread the word about how important it is for children to understand the following messages:
In November issue of the Hinchley Wood Magazine, a 12 year old girl called Neve Hutchinson wrote a lovely review about The Tap-Dancing Pigeon Of Covent Garden. It was really nice to read it from the point of view of an older child, as my book is actually aimed at 3 to 7 years old. I think putting an age on a book can limit it. If children can understand the message I am trying to portray, on their own from an older age and still enjoy the book, then this is amazing. Please read below: