David Oates

David Oates

David Oates Artwork

Booking enquiry
David Oates - author tools

Available for

Workshop, Talk, Reading, Interview


Age 3 to 5, Age 5 to 7, Age 7 to 11, Age 11 to 14, Age 14 to 16


Art, Fairy tale, Fantasy, Humour

Book types

Fiction 5-9



**Please note from now on I am only available on Wednesdays for school visits ***


Reviews for The Imagination Thief: 

'A fast-paced, fun-filled fantasy adventure 'Kelpie winner, Mark A Smith, author of Slugboy Saves the World.


'Quick, witty and very funny.'

Acclaimed children's comedian and author of the Boyface books, James Campbell


I am a teacher of 10 years of experience and I lead creative writing and illustrating classes.  I love to draw and inspire children in their love of being creativity.

I have taught every year group in my time as a teacher and I have been English Coordinator at 3 different schools.

In 2019, I completed a PCGG in leading primary English.

My illustrations have been featured in Paperbound Magazine and Poetry site, The Dirigible Balloon.

In 2020 I was part of an Art Council project called Stitch Stowe, where I was commissioned to produce a duck themed mural.

In 2023 I was awarded a grant by the Arts Council under the Develop Your Creative Practice award scheme so I am currently working with a mentor to develop my illustration skills.  I have also accepted a place at Anglia Ruskin University to begin my masters in Children's Book Illustration in 2024!


School Visits.

School visits usually involve some sort of assembly where I talk about my style and inspiration and tell some stories. 

I can then provide a variety of different workshops depending on the need or requirements drawing upon my creative writing experience or illustration and art skills. A typical day might look like this:


I would typically visit your school for a day and during that day do four sessions.

Reception for 50 minutes

KS1 for 60 minutes 

LKS2 for 60 minutes

UKS2 for 60 minutes

The younger children get a mixture of storytelling, poems and joining which normally involves a story about a duck called Kevin. 

Towards the end, I bring out my books and show them the sort of thing I write and draw.  The Imagination Thief involved lots of weird and wonderful imaginary friends so I asked the children to create an imaginary friend - what would it look like? What would its special features be? This normally results in some bizarre creativity and fun.  

The older children get a mixture of stories and talk about writing and coming up with ideas.  We look at how my books took normal everyday stuff and ideas and 'changed the angle' to create a story.  For example, I talk about how my first book was inspired by thinking about imaginary friends and how we grow out of them but...what if we don't - what if they were being kidnapped!

My fee for a day varies according to where you are in the world but I think my rates are fairly standard. 

As well as assembly-style sessions, I am also very experienced at providing writing workshops and longer-term projects.  I am particularly good at helping children develop their ideas.

I am often booked as part of World Book Week.  I have been known to open libraries and unveil murals.  But generally I seem to get booked in as a boost to a school's creativity and morale.  


Full day: £200 plus VAT

Half day: £120 plus VAT

If the school is over 30 miles from IP22 1RY then I charge expenses of 0.45p per mile outside of the 30 miles (for example: 40 miles would be 10 miles over so 0.45 x 10). 


This story is perfect for children in Lower Key Stage Two, celebrating the joy of imaginary friends and holding onto childhood wonders for as long as possible. Readers are sure to love the brilliant combination animals (the Bumblebunny is fab!) and urge Eva and Toby on as they do all they can to defeat the Imagination Thief.

Kate Heap, Scope for Imagination

This is a shorter story, perfect in length for children aged 6+ who are looking to increase their reading stamina and have a fantastic adventure. The celebration of imagination and imaginary friends is lovely and will inspire children to invent their own friends. There is no limit to the imagination!

Erin Hamilton, My Shelves are Always Full

A book perfect for Lower Key Stage 2 pupils, The Imagination Thief is pure adventure with a great pace and some surprising twists. I liked the open ending to keep the reader intrigued about book 2 as well as the imaginative animals the pair discover – the Hippocrocopig is a great name! Ultimately, it’s a story which will relate to young children – who didn’t have an imaginary friend? This book celebrates creativity and the importance of belief.

Tom Griffiths, Check 'em Out Books.

Books by David Oates

My first book 'The Imagination Thief' was the result of a life long dream. Since the age of 7 I wanted to draw and write but it wasn't until my mid 30s that I was able to realise that dream. I took the road less traveled in my journey, working hard and remaining largely self taught. In my talks and interviews I discuss my personal challenges and how I overcame them and show children what is possible with a lot of perseverance. My first book, that I both wrote and illustrated, 'The Imagination Thief' was released last year and received warm reviews.
The Imagination Thief

The Imagination Thief

Eva and Toby don't really get along but when Eva's imaginary friend, Wonder Unicorn, is stolen by an evil villain, they find themselves trapped in a magical land. Can they stop The Imagination Thief before he robs the world of imagination for good? 

The Dream Hoarder

Someone is stealing people’s dreams! It’s up to Eva and Toby to save the world once again as they travel back to the land of imagination to confront their most fearsome foe yet: the Dream Hoarder. With new friend Grace in tow, Eva will need to face her fears and discover her true self if she is to defeat the mighty dream-stealing dragon.