Posts

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Music as a creative force in writing

Katie Basil Screenprint I come from a family in which music is very important. Last week I wrote about the healing power of music as written about and illustrated in Quentin Blake's gorgeous children's book Patrick. As I was growing up, everyone…
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Having fun with Angelica Sprocket's Pockets

  Angelica Sprocket's Pockets is an infectiously fun story book written and illustrated by previous children's laureate Quentin Blake. The wild-haired, eccentric Angelica Sprocket continually pulls one surprising item after another,…
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Natalie Smithson: Unlocking our imagination with stories

Natalie Smithson is a freelance writer and creative at Bobbin About who specialises in work for parenting, children, and baby brands. Here she tells her story of how her active imagination as a child landed her in hot water, but went on to fuel…
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For you are a Kenyan child

For you are a Kenyan Child is a children's book not written by a Kenyan adult, but an American writer by the name of Kelly Cunnane and illustrated by a Spaniard, Ana Juan. As far as I'm concerned (and my own children I read it to), the prose…
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Writing from Art

A very enjoyable activity I did recently was to provide students with a piece of art and then ask them to form in their heads an idea of what had happened just before and just after the scene they are looking at. I chose Velazquez's 'The…
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Would you rather have a monkey to tickle or a bear to read to

John Burningham is such a brilliant illustrator and children's writer. His drawings and prose are iconic and quirky and one of the things I love about his books is that they are left open-ended, loose ends fluttering in the breeze, just perfect…
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Creating new worlds

I am very lucky indeed to be able to hold my after school club in one of the most beautiful gardens I've ever seen. I don't know what it is about that hour between 4 and 5pm here in Nairobi, but even if it's ben cold and rainy during the day,…
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Physical Descriptions

If I've learnt anything through writing with children, it's to keep the premise of the sessions simple and then watch as the magic unfolds under its own steam. I'm currently rediscovering the wonder of The Hobbit with my eldest daughter and…
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Taking on a character

                                When working with characterisation, drama provides the perfect medium to bring into workshops. Today, after a…
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Have you ever tried Story Jars to get kids writing?

Story Jars A fun, simple idea to try at home. Children can come up with different people, situations and places and write them on slips of paper. Each child will then pick one paper from each jar and - hey presto - they have the beginning of…