I write and illustrate children's fiction books, specialising in ages 5 -11. I have a passion (and talent!) to get children reading for pleasure, including reluctant readers. I have visited schools across the UK - and even in the USA. I am based in London, but willing to travel.
My Secret Dinosaur series has been selected by the experts at Hodder Education to feature in the Hodder Literacy Course for children in primary school. The course features writers such as Michael Morpurgo and Roald Dahl, so I am in good company! Hodder uses the opening of The Secret Dinosaur as an exemplar of how to draw children in to a story.
Terrific Teacher Feedback
My style is friendly and interactive. I include fun quizzes, Saxon role play and my popular how-to-draw-a-T Rex session which younger children really enjoy. My aim during visits is to create a love of reading and inspire children to be confident about their own creativity, through their story writing and drawings.
The Lower KS2 leader at St Andrews school, Kettering, commented: "The best author visit we have had. The children loved it and it has raised aspirations."
My visits encompass workshops, assemblies, classroom talks, creative writing and illustration sessions.
Curriculum Linked Books, with Classroom Activity Sheets
My Secret Dinosaur series and my Saxon adventure, Freedom for Bron, tie in with the dinosaur/Saxon topics at KS1 and KS2. You can download free, curriculum linked classroom activities to accompany both books. They are a great resource and can be used before, after or independently of a visit. The booklets can be downloaded from my website page: http://www.dinosaurbooks.co.uk/school-author-visit--ns-blackman.html
l also provide activity sheets to follow up specifically on the writing and drawing tips in my talks.
In the autumn of 2016, I was invited to the Natural History Museum in London, to host a dinosaur writing and illustration workshop, based on the Secret Dinosaur series. Following the enthusiastic reception at this event the museum will now be stocking the series in its flagship store and I will be hosting a workshop there. It's really great to know that the story will be reaching so many enthusiastic young dinosaur readers!
School Visits can be based on my Secret Dinosaur books, my Saxon adventure, Freedom for Bron or both! The dinosaur visits are suitable for KS1 and KS2, while the Saxon visits are suitable for KS2. Both support literacy in KS1 and KS2, helping children to improve their story writing and development.
I do talks to groups of all sizes, from full school assemblies to individual classes. I also offer creative writing workshops.
Outstanding Book Reviews
"Fast moving, rip roaring stories ... a welcome addition" - The School Librarian Journal.
My Secret Dinosaur series, for emergent and confident readers blends science fiction with dinosaurs. It has attracted great reviews from prestigious magazines and enthusiastic feedback from parents and children who love the warm characters and fast paced adventures.
Parents often say that the books are the first stories that their children have read for pleasure.
There are more reviews on the Secret Dinosaur fan website: www.dinoteks.com/reviews
"The story is well researched and makes it easy for pupils to engage imaginatively with the historical setting as seen through the eyes of a child."- Books for Topics reviews.
My most recent book is a fiction set in Saxon England. Freedom for Bron, has impressed teachers with its ability to excite children in KS2 about the Saxon era. The adventure is historically accurate and teachers say it enhances study of the topic, encouraging children to enjoy the mystery and drama of the Saxon era.
Shortlisted for Awards
Freedom for Bron was shortlisted for one of the most respected book awards for children in the UK: the Hull Children's Book Award for KS2, run by Hull City School Library Service. The shortlist is drawn up by a panel of teachers and librarians who survey all new titles for children published across the UK over the past year and then shortlist just five books.