Helen Stephens

Helen Stephens

Author, illustrator, picture book maker * How to Hide a Lion series * Virtual School Visit Package- pandemic proof fun!

https://www.helenstephens.com/virtual-author-school-visit
helens@helenstephens.com
Booking enquiry
Helen Stephens - author tools

Available for

Workshop, Talk, Reading, Interview

Audiences

Age 1 to 3, Age 3 to 5, Age 5 to 7, Age 7 to 11, University, Adult

Genres

Picture book

Book types

Fiction for children, Picture book

Awards

  • Longlisted Kate Greenaway Medal
  • Winner of the Blue Peter Funny Book Award
  • Nominated for UKLA Awards
  • Nominated for Red House Children's Book Awards
  • Winner of The Dundee Picture Book award
  • Winner of the Prix Livrentête
  • Shortlisted for The Stockport Children's Book Award
  • Winner of The Oldham Picture Book Award
  • Winner of The Rotherham Picture Book Award

Organisations

Details

I am the award winning author and illustrator of the How to Hide a Lion series, and many more picture books. I am a seasoned school visitor and renowned wrangler of over-excited children! I have been visiting schools for over twenty years and writing and illustrating books for twenty five.

I have now created a Virtual School Visit package which is a fun mix of a school trip (you will get a sneaky peek into my studio, and join me on my daily walk on the Northumberland coast) and an author visit all rolled into one! It will be pandemic proof (children studying at home will be able to join in too) and eco friendly (no travelling).

There will be fun videos, colouring in pages and worksheets, a behind the scenes tour of my studio, a look through my sketchbooks where my book ideas start, book readings, a nature hunt, a chat with my dog Peggy, and fun art school activities, all delivered to your inbox. Followed by a brilliant Zoom call from my studio!

You would love your class to meet a real life author and illustrator. You would like them to be inspired to write and draw inventive and thrilling stories of their own, and read for the sheer pleasure of it. You would like them to understand that books are made by real people, and that they could grow up to write and illustrate books too.

 

The benefits of booking an author/ illustrator for a virtual school visit: 

  • You can make firm plans that will happen even if authors are not allowed to visit schools in these uncertain times.

  • You can share this with your pupils even if we are in lockdown and some pupils are working at home.

  • We won’t have to suddenly switch to an impromptu Zoom call, this is a pre-prepared package designed to entertain and sneak some education in when they aren’t looking!

  • This is a series of videos, one for each day of the week Mon-Thurs, then at the end of the week, the children will have access to me through a fun packed live Zoom call from my studio. For pupils working from home, they can join the Zoom call from home and if they miss it, there will be a link to catch up later.

  • You will have access to the package for a month so you can go at your own pace.

  • Head over to read more about the benefits of an author school visit.

 

Testimonials 

“The children really enjoyed being involved with telling the story and were really motivated to write their own stories. From a teacher point of view I loved the way you took them through the full planning process. Watching you draw really brought the books to life and we are all looking forward to your return visit. ” 

— Anne Rutherford, Head Teacher, Tweedmouth West School, Northumberland  

“The children had an amazing time when you visited us recently, to the point where we have been asked for more books! Our children, staff and parents loved it!”  

— Stephen Tunesi, Stannington First School  

“Helen engaged wonderfully with our pupils, providing an entertaining, active workshop. There was lots of fun and laughter and the opportunities for learning were always skilfully related back to her books.”  

— D Mackenzie, Principal Teacher, George Watson's College Junior School, Edinburgh 

(There are more reviews on my website)  

 

About How to Hide a Lion  

How to Hide a Lion has sold in nearly twenty languages worldwide. It was nominated for the Greenaway Medal, the UKLA Awards, the Red House Children's Book Awards and the Stockport Children's Book Award. Winner of the Prix Livrentête, the Oldham Picture Book Award, and the Rotherham Picture Book Award.  

It was featured on CBeebies Bedtime Stories  

It was adapted for stage and toured the UK, see a trailer here.  

You can watch a How to Hide a Lion trailer here.  

The Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians featured it in their list of stories which have been tried, tested and loved by children.  

Funny and warmhearted' Axel Scheffler, illustrator of the Gruffalo.  

'I read How to Hide a Lion with my son. We love it together' David Walliams  

'Using a nostalgic style and subdued palette reminiscent of midcentury Little Golden Books masters like Richard Scarry — whose cover for 1956’s   

The New York Times

 

Frequently asked questions

Q. I need you to visit my school next week, is that too soon?

Not at all, just message me and I will check my availability.

Q. How much does a school visit cost?

See my website.

Q. Are your visits suitable for older children?

Yes, I visit children from reception to year 6. For the older children, I talk in more depth about the process of making a book and leave more time for questions.

Q How many children can you see in one session? 

Now that we are doing Virtual School Visits, I can see them all in one call!

Q. Do you visit schools for children with special needs?

Yes, I have visited many special needs schools.

Q.What is the best question you have ever been asked?

‘Are you rich?’ 
‘Helen, I got a new bed.’  
‘Helen, my cat died.’  
‘Do you have any debt?’  
‘Mr (pointing at their teacher) has sweets hidden in his desk drawer.’  
‘Helen, I know an Alan.’  
Children really do ask the BEST questions!

Q. How far can you travel to visit a school?

Since the world went weird I am staying at home, that's why I have designed the special school visit package. It will be a fun mix of a school trip (you will get a sneaky peek into my studio, and join me on my daily walk on the Northumberland coast) and an author visit all rolled into one! It will be pandemic proof (children studying at home will be able to join in too) and eco friendly (no travelling). Sign up for news here.

Q. Do you have public Liability Insurance?

Yup! I have a Society of Authors policy.


Q. Do you have DBS clearance?

Authors and illustrators don’t need DBS checks. The Department of Education and Ofsted are clear in their guidance that a Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly CRB) is only needed when there is ‘Teaching, training or instruction of children, carried out by the same person frequently (once a week or more often), or on 4 or more days in a 30 day period, or overnight.’ It is not required for a one-off, supervised visit.

Q. Do you send a real-life lion to school?

Yes, if he’s hungry ;)

Q. Can we take photos on the day?

Yes! It will be a fun day and definitely one you will want to remember. Some schools appoint a child as the event photographer.

  

Am I the right author/illustrator for your school?

Yes, if you are eager to invite a friendly human face who loves chatting with children. 

Yes, if a proven track record is important. (20 years of glowing testimonials from schools, and 25 years in the publishing industry). 

Tes, if you a ready for your school to have a fun packed week of films and art activities, with lots education sneaked in! Followed by a fun Zoom call from my studio at the end of the week.

Read more about my Virtual School Visit Package.

Thank you! Helen

 

Event feedback

Helen was absolutely fantastic, and so engaging for a whole school session (EYFS-Year 6). The younger ones loved her story telling and the older children enjoyed learning to draw and discovering more about becoming an author/ illustrator. The virtual pack provided before the session was brilliant!

Rebecca Bedding (James Wolfe Primary School)

Books by Helen Stephens

Helen’s How to Hide a Lion series has been published in nearly twenty languages , it has been adapted for stage by The Polka Theatre in London, and toured the UK in 2018. It was nominated for the Greenaway Medal, the UKLA Awards, the Red House Children's Book Awards and the Stockport Children's Book Award. Winner of the Prix Livrentête, the Oldham Picture Book Award, and the Rotherham Picture Book Award. The Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians featured it in their list of stories which have been tried, tested and loved by children. Funny and warmhearted' Axel Scheffler, illustrator of the Gruffalo. 'I read How to Hide a Lion with my son. We love it together' David Walliams 'Using a nostalgic style and subdued palette reminiscent of midcentury Little Golden Books masters like Richard Scarry — whose cover for 1956’s The New York Times

978-1407171593
How to Hide a Lion

How to Hide a Lion

How does a very small girl hide a very large lion? It's not easy, but Iris has to do her best, because moms and dads can be funny about having a lion in the house. Luckily, there are lots of good places to hide a lion behind the shower curtain, in your bed, and even up a tree. But can Iris hide her lion forever? With Helen Stephens's timeless art and elegant text, readers will fall in love with Iris and her lion." 
9781407121611
How to Hide a Lion at School

How to Hide a Lion at School

Lions aren't allowed at school, but Iris's lion doesn't want to be left behind. He even stows away on the school trip to the museum, causing much madness and mayhem as he hides among the exhibits. The third warm and funny adventure in the bestselling HOW TO HIDE A LION series is guaranteed to delight children everywhere. 
9781407139050
How to Hide a Lion from Grandma

How to Hide a Lion from Grandma

When Grandma comes to stay, Iris has to hide her lion, as grandmas can get anxious if they find a lion in the house. But Grandma is acting suspiciously, too, and Iris is sure she has a secret of her own. To Iris's great surprise, it turns out that Grandma is hiding a bear in her bedroom! This warm and funny follow-up to the prize-winning, bestselling picture book, HOW TO HIDE A LION, is certain to be another winner with children everywhere. 
1407178873
How to Hide a Lion at Christmas

How to Hide a Lion at Christmas

When Iris and her lion are forced to spend Christmas apart, the lion embarks on a festive, snowy adventure to find her - and almost bumps into Father Christmas! The fourth irresistible book about Iris and her lion is destined to be a Christmas classic. 

Photos and videos

Helen Stephens - first image
Helen Stephens - first image
Helen Stephens - first image

Keywords

ANIMAL ART ASSEMBLY AUTHOR COMPELLING DRAWING EARLYYEARS EXPERIENCED FAMILY FRIENDLY FRIENDSHIP FUN FUNNY HUMOUR ILLUSTRATION ILLUSTRATOR INSPIRING JUNIORS KS1 KS2 LION NORTHUMBERLAND NURSERY ONLINE OVERSEAS PICTURE BOOKS PICTUREBOOK PLAY PRESCHOOL PRIMARY READING RECEPTION SKILLED SKYPE STORYBOOK THEATRE TV VIRTUAL WORLDBOOKDAY WRITER ZOOM