Christina Gabbitas


Children's author, Poet

Available for:
Interview
Talk
Workshop
Commission


Website: http://www.poemsandpictures.co.uk

Contact: Telephone: 0785 2804999 Email:

Awards:
WINNER of Dame Beryl Bainbridge First Time Author Award 2015 - Peoples Book Prize

WINNER of Yorkshire Women of Achievement in Education 2016 - Sue Ryder

Peoples Book Prize Finalist 2014, 2015, 2016

Audiences:
Adults, 5-7 (Key stage 1), 8-11 (Key stage 2), 5-11 (Key stages 1 and 2)


Details

 

Christina Gabbitas : about me

I had always loved to read rhyming books and poetry from a young age. With a desire to work for myself, my first two books published in 2012, and the third was launched at the Trafford Centre Manchester on 7th September. I write childrens rhyming books. My first collection is the Felicity Fly series, for which there will be six. www.felicityfly.co.uk

My first book Felicity Fly , addresses fears ,the second book Felicity Fly meets Veronica Vac, addresses Teamwork and Friendship, and the third in the series addresses Pollination. All my books give you the opportunity to talk to children around life issues, all about the world around them.

I narrate all the stories on a CD, which is supplied with the book. All the characters boast different accents, to help children understand that we not only look differently, but can sound different too.

My inspiration for writing, came from my own children. My son has Dyslexia and I found that he learned better through rhyme. I have since learned from research conducted, that children in their early years, learn better through rhyme.

Initiatives 

Poems and Pictures National Initiative - An Invitation To Capture The Primary School Nation. www.poemsandpictures.co.uk/competition

This initiative was first set up in Jan 2013, gaining support from the Education Secretary.

Children are invited to write an eight line rhyme on chosen topics, and this years topics are Exercise and Healthy Food. The competition will be open from Jan 12 to May 5th 2015.

This years judges include, Dr Stephen Fear, Ambassador in Residence at The British Library, Hind Abdullah Lenaid, Head of Children's Reading Festival in Sharjah, United Emirates and TES, who are amongst a few. 

I will be encouraging children to 'have ago' at writing and reading with new book, Felicity Fly Meets The Dragon Fruit, in Sheffield Meadowhall, WHSmith 7th February, from 11 - 4.00pm

The winning rhyme from 2014 was published in, Felicity Fly in the Garden and a national poetry book was published in September 2014, entitled Childrens Poems Volume 2. This was a Peoples Book Prize nominee and a Dame Beryl Bainbridge First Time Author Award contender for May 2015. This is very exciting for the sixty childrens authors whose poems were chosen. 

BBC Radio - I have been interviewed live and read exerpts from the stories on air. on BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Radio Sheffield , BBC Radio Lancashire , BBC Radio Newcastle, BBC Radio Humberside and BBC Radio York. Next interview 27th February 2015, with Gilly BBC Lancashire.

Book Signing and Reading Events

I have and regularly stage book signing/reading events, at a number of bookshops and now staging many through WHSmith, starting in 2015 with York 31st January, Sheffield Meadowhall, 7th February and Manchester Trafford Centre 28th February, these will be regularly updated on WHSmith Events Page.

Literature Festival & Festivals

Sharjah Children's Reading Festival April 2015 - United Emirates

I have been invited to encourage children reading with storytelling and writing with my national initaitive in Sharjah on the 22nd April. Hind Abdullah Lenaid, the head of the festival, is helping on the overall judging panel of the initiative.  

Mrs Sunderland Music, Drama & Speech Festival in February

Christina spent a whole day at the Huddersfield Mrs Sunderland Festival working mainly with Key Stage 2 children, but also with some adults. The children benefitted from her enthusiasm and were inspired to write poems during their one hour session. The adults had a good discussion led by Christina and were also encouraged to freely express their feelings in words and poems. Everyone went away having learnt something new and having enjoyed their time at the Festival.

Best wishes

Andrea Hampshire

Doncaster Literature Festival 21st May 2015

I will be attending the festival on 21st May at the Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery, with my collection of books and details about this years national initiative www.poemsandpictures.co.uk/competition.

Recent School Visits

Babkside Primary School, Leeds

Thank you so much Christina for an absolutely amazing 2 days. The children loved your stories about Felicity Fly and were mesmerised by your different accents. They were enthralled with the stories and some wished that you could have stayed with them longer. A very busy afternoon with year 6 produced some fantastic starts to budding poets.

Thank you again for visiting - Sam Coolican, Bankside Primary School.


Wakefield Girls School

The purpose of Christina’s visit was in fact two fold as a number of poems written by our girls won a national competition which meant that they were entered in to one of her books.

The Upper Juniors wrote rhyming couplet poetry about their favourite food for the Mrs Sunderland Music and Poetry Writing Festival. The poems were entered into the National Poems and Pictures, Eight Line Rhyme Competition judged by Christina, with Ella Shaw in 5JC being placed second and sixteen Year 5 and 6 girls' poems chosen to be published in the national poetry book, volume 2, ‘An Invitation that Captured the Primary School Nation’.

The book has now been published and these girls, some of whom are now in Year 7, posed for a picture on their lunch break for the Wakefield Express with Christina and a copy of the book.

In the afternoon Year 3 sat in a circle to listen to Christina read her highly popular ‘Felicity Fly’ books, where they sat captivated as she used numerous accents for the characters in her books, helping to demonstrate that people pronounce words differently. Christina is a big believer in writing in rhyme and reading in an animated way, using accents and tone, to encourage children to want to listen to books.

Thank you very much for visiting school yesterday to help us celebrate National Poetry Day.  The poetry workshops were very successful as you inspired Year 5 to write some very good rhyming poetry and the girls were extremely proud to share their work with you. Year 3 had fun listening to your 'Felicity Fly' stories and liked your voices that brought the characters alive. They loved participating in the stories too.

The Y6 and Y7 girls whose poetry is featured in your book 'An Invitation that Captured the Primary School Nation' were very excited to meet you and you gave them encouragement to continue to write.

Angela Wimbush - Deputy Head, Wakefield Girls School

http://www.wgsf.org.uk/wghs-junior/news/view/christina-gabbitas-inspires-poetry-writing-


Silcoates School, Wakefield

The highlight of the day, was taking part in a workshop led by the visiting author Christina Gabbitas.  The children were transported into the wonderful world of Felicity Fly and her friends as we were privileged to listen to Christina read her stories.  All of the children went to great lengths (along with the staff!) to dress suitably for the occasion and an army of colourful bugs could be seen around school!

Louise Leach - Silcoates Primary

Monk Fryston Primary School

'The children had a fantastic morning listening to Christina's Felicity Fly stories. They were enchanted by the fantastic accents that Christina adopted for each of the characters and they thoroughly enjoyed learning the Felicity Fly song. The children have been inspired by Christina's visit with many of them now wanting to become authors themselves!' 

Thanks again for your visit. - Laura Otter

Peasdowne Primary, Bath 

On Friday 7th March Christina Gabbitas will visited YR, Y1 and Y2 children in our school. She read her stories to the children, sung songs and answered questions. During the whole school assembly, she also publicised her poetry competition. Here are some pictures and comments of the afternoon. 

"I loved the accents that she used - they sounded funny!" (Darcie Y2) 

"I liked the Dragon fly who spoke Jamaican" - from Felicity Fly in the Garden (Josh Y2) 

"My favourite part was when the animals were in the bathroom and they saved the spider because they all worked together to help him" - from Felicity Fly meets Veronica Vac (Leah Y2)

 Mrs Trueman, Library and Information Manager

 St James Primary,Skelmersdale

Hurlingham School Putney, London

Southroyd Primary School, Leeds

Christina came into our school to work with our Foundation stage and KS1. She engaged the children with the Felicity Fly song which we put a few actions to and delighted them whilst reading them some of her books, in many different fabulous accents which the children found very funny! Thank you Christina. 

Highfields Academy - Doncaster

 It was wonderful that you came to Highfields. We felt really honoured! .I wish you lots of success with the Felicity Fly stories……we all enjoyed the characters and will use them in future class discussions about the themes you suggested. 

Once again, many thanks!! Caroline Bean - Principal

Hessle Mount School - Hull

Thank you so much Christina for a thoroughly entertaining afternoon.The children here at Hessle Mount loved your stories about Felicity Fly and her friends; having the stories read aloud with her amazing accents had the children enthralled. We enjoyed hearing about how your ideas to write materialised and learnt about your determination and dedication to getting your ideas published. The children have been inspired to put pencil to paper and are presently writing their own poems about friendship and teamwork.

Many thanks once again for a lovely afternoon and good luck with your next story. We look forward to reading it.

Sarah Cutting - Hessle Mount School , Hull

Storytelling - I love to read the stories to children, in all the different character accents, which makes it quite entertaining and engaging for the them. The second book also boasts a 'sing along song', which can also be fun and interactive.

Poetry Workshop's I recently held a number of these workshops at the Mrs Sunderland Dance, Music and Drama Festival, which proved very successful. I encourage all children, to 'have a go' at writing. Each child is individual and I feel they all have capabilities.

I am happy to talk about any requests you may have. I live in Yorkshire, but I'm willing to travel. 

Books
All my publications are rhyming books. Felicity Fly series with audio give positive messages to children about the world around them. Triangular Trev & the Shape idols addresses mathematical terms with fun. Share Some Secrets is a safeguarding boo
Felicity Fly (isbn:9780957255203)
Felicity Fly is a rhyming book, which addresses childhood fears.The book introduces characters, Felicity Fly, William Washing Machine, Simon Spider, Willamena Woodlouse, Moey Mouse and Sissy Silverfish.
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Felicity Fly meets Veronica Vac (isbn:9780957255210)
This rhyming book addresses 'Teamwork & Friendship', it's a fun adventure which also introduces the word 'Nocturnal'
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Felicity Fly in the Garden (isbn:9780957255227)

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Poems and Pictures Children's Poems - An Invitation that Captured the Primary School Nation (isbn:9780957255234)

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Felicity Fly Meets The Dragon Fruit (isbn:978-0957255265)
Addresses Healthy Food
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Childrens Poetry Volume 2 (isbn:978-0957255241)
An Invitation That Captured The Primary School Nation
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Share Some Secrets (isbn:978-0957255258)
Children's picture rhyming book addressing sexual abuse
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Triangular Trev and the Shape Idols (isbn:9780957255289)
Addresses mathematical terms and shapes with audio and song - learning with fun
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Children's Poems Volume 2 - Creatures and Food (isbn:9780957255241)

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Children's Poems Volume 3 - Exercise and Healthy Food (isbn:9780957255272)

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Children's Poems Volume 4 - Music and Artists (isbn:9780957255296)

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Other search criteria:

Genres:
Humour, Poetry

Book Type:
Picture books, Fiction 5-9, Educational books

Keywords:
Rhyme, Poetry, Early Years, Characters, Fun, Interactive, Humour, Imagination, Primary, Accents, Dyslexia