I am a children's book author illustrator and illustration tutor. As a child I loved creating and drawing characters and making up stories about them and still do! Now I spend my time thinking up new story ideas, drawing and teaching illustration. I love to visit schools, libraries and festivals and enjoy getting the audience (from 3 - 93!) thinking about and creating their own characters and learning what's involved in making a children's book.
I taught art at a boy's secondary school before focusing on writing and illustrating full time, although I still teach illustration, as a part time tutor at Putney School of Art & Design.
I really enjoy seeing children's creativity and imagination flourish during school visits. I'm happy to plan workshops to suit your school whether class based, whole year groups or assemblies. Reception - Yr1, read the story and the children do a creative drawing activity, 30 mins works best. For older children (Yr 2 - Yr 6) I read the story and explain how a picture book is created using examples from my sketchbooks and dummy books. Pupils then explore character creation and story structure whilst creating their own characters and stories, stretching their imagination and using literacy skills. I encourage full class participation, working in pairs and individually. Workshops can be from 40 mins to 1 hour.
"Sophie delighted all the pupils from Nursery to Year 5 with her books and tailored workshops for each age group. The classes had lots of questions to ask her about how she writes and illustrates her books and her enthusiastic, friendly manner encouraged the children to create their own characters and stories. in Year 3 this worked particularly well as the children had been working on an art project about the environment and with Sophie's workshop created characters and stories that fitted in with the theme. An exciting and valuable learning experience for all the pupils. I'd highly recommend a visit from Sophie!" Suzanne Pink, Deputy head, All Saints C of E Primary School, London.
"Thank you so much for your visit, the children (and adults) thoroughly enjoyed your sessions and hearing from a 'proper' author. The sessions were pitched perfectly for the age of the children as they were so popular and such a great idea. It was lovely to have a visitor who engaged with the children and kept their attention so well." Mel Oldale, class teacher, The Grange Community Infant school, Addlestone, Surrey.
"Using Sophie's inspiration, ideas and lovely illustrations, our children had a wonderful time coming up with their own characters and stories before creating their own miniature books. Sophie's hands on and practical workshop provided a great opportunity for the children to see that both writing and illustrating take time, practice and multiple attempts to produce a final piece. the only thing we could ask for is more time!" David Broers, Head of Literacy, Stanley Park Junior school, Carshalton, Surrey.
"Sophie's whole school assembly was great and all the children were engaged and enthusiastic. It was great to see the process she worked through to get her book published as it linked in brilliantly with our work on growth mindset and showed children the importance of not giving up. The children loved learning how to illustrate and come up with creative ideas. Sophie spent time with the children at lunchtime too and she answered all of their questions with enthusiasm." Michelle Scott, Sherborne St John CE primary school, Basingstoke, Hampshire.
Please do contact me for day rates (see above.) I'd also be very happy to discuss how I could help promote literacy and creativity in your school.
I'm very happy to do book signings and can do them at lunchtime or after workshops.
I live in Southwest London, and I am happy to travel up to 1 hour outside London. If you are far away from London, try pairing up with another local school, so that travel and accommodation costs can be shared between you.
Sophie was excellent. The children loved her stories and the workshop for our school aged children was pitched well. The younger children loved listening to her read a story. Thank you for everything Sophie.
Thank you so much for visiting Willow Bank Infants this week. The children and staff loved meeting you and hearing your stories.
Sophie's workshops fitted in with our Dyslexia Awareness Week theme of Breaking Down Barriers to use pictures to help tell a story. We have had such positive feedback from both pupils and staff – everybody absolutely loved it and got a lot out of it. Thank you Sophie!
We loved our day with Sophie. She pitched her sessions at just the right level for the children and they loved her creativity. Sophie was very friendly and communicated really well with me. She was prompt and full of energy throughout her sessions. The children particularly loved the fact that she creates characters first and then works out a plot around those ideas. Thank you, Sophie, for making our World Book Day really special!
Sophie Ambrose was part of our virtual assembly where she shared some of her stories and illustrations with the pupils. The purpose for the visit was to amuse, enthuse and encourage our reluctant readers about the importance of reading. We believe that the visit will have a lasting impact on our pupils. Sophie introduced the idea that drawing a character is an uneven process for everyone – even her. Students learnt that their favourite books start as bad first drafts and become better through revision and feedback, and kids develop an understanding that their own writing can improve this way as well. Throughout the day each year group took part in workshops where they learnt more about the steps of story writing . Pupils drew their own interesting characters using their imagination with some of the characters being giants and some being very small. Pupils were fully engaged in the workshops and were able to ask some good questions. Cameron said: “Her drawings were interesting.” Saskia said: “ It was cool learning how to bring Characters to life.” Mackenzie said: “ It was interesting learning how to make a book.”