I’m sad not to be able to visit your classes in person right now, but I have created two different interactive workshops based around my books that I can deliver over conferencing platforms, that I hope are just as magical and inspiring as a live visit!
When you book a virtual classroom visit I will send you a beautiful online Padlet page to share with your class. It contains colourful illustrations from the book, engaging questions about the story, resources to print and activities for them to work on and present to me during my visit.
The virtual session will last around an hour. I will read the book and talk about what inspired me to make it. I will show them the very first drawings I did for it too. As well hearing all their answers to my Padlet questions, I will draw some new characters based on their ideas. For EYFS we will also play a fun interactive game. I will show KS1 children how to draw some characters to draw along with me and as a group we will come up with a brand-new story idea which I will draw as we go along. I can send copies of the drawings to you after the class so they may be used as visual story writing prompts outside of our session. (Many teachers have told me this exercise has inspired the most reluctant writers in their classes to write a story!)
Your two workshop choices are:
Great for emotional social learning, this book is light, fun story depicting the journey from ignorance to acceptance and celebration.
‘Meet the Ploofers. The Ploofers have been practicing something special that they all want to do at the exact same time--but wait! What's that? One of them does something different! When one little Ploofer goes against the usual flow of things, the rest of them turn their backs on him. But all it takes is for one person to recognise the beauty in being different to spark a change in attitude of everyone. With simple, yet striking, illustrations and a cutaway cover design that adds tactile interest, A Little Bit Different is a joyful reading experience for both you and your child, providing the opportunity to spark more meaningful discussions about people's differences and how we accept and value them.’
With themes of friendship, loyalty, and bravery this book is a great choice for story time discussion, especially in the chilly winter months! Written by Sean Taylor and illustrated by myself, this is a magical adventure story that will engage and excite young children.
‘Snow comes in the night, and Iggy and Martina make a snowbear. But then a sledge ridge takes them deep into the woods. How will they get back home again? The Snowbear is a spellbinding story about the magic of snow and the power of a child's imagination. With a simple text and beautiful illustrations, it will be read again and again. Children will love the crisp, wintry setting brought to life by Claire Alexander's art.’
I love to share my books with children as well as involving them in the creation of new characters and stories.
For EYFS: I will read a story, encouraging interaction from the class, show them briefly how I made the book, draw a character from the book and end on a fun interactive game.
For KS1: I will read a story, show how I draw characters from the book in a draw along activity. Then as a group we can come up with a brand-new story idea which I will draw as we go along. I can send copies of the drawings to you after the class so they may be used as visual story writing prompts outside of our session. I also offer a workshop focused on learning how depict different expressions in characters. After experimenting with a specially created character, the children will learn how to draw expressive characters themselves. The drawings can used as visual prompts for creating narratives and inspiring story writing.
For KS2 and above. In one workshop I will talk about how I make my books and help children create their own expressive character in colour. In a different workshop I show how a book dummy is made and help children draw a storyboard based on their own pre-written individual stories, paying particular attention to structure, pacing and layout composition.
You will need:
A flip chart or easel, coloured paper for collage if doing the character session, pencils, rubbers and plenty of A4 and A3 paper.
I just wanted to email and say a huge thank you for the work you did with Prep 5 on their picture books. As part of Book Week this year, they proudly read their completed picture books to the Nursery. They are of a fantastic quality, thanks to your inspiration!
Hannah Ross, Head of English, Parkgate House School
Book Week was a busy and exciting week for us in school, but Claire provided even more wonderful things for our children to become involved with. After reading her stories to each year group of enthralled pupils, she then illustrated how she goes about making her characters and deciding on her backgrounds, so all aspects of producing the book were explained. More than that, she worked with each group producing their own copies of her lovely story ‘Lost in the Snow’ and left them with us as a fabulous memento of her visit.
Our thanks to Claire for making our Book Week this year an extra special treat for our pupils. We cannot say enough in praise of her visit. The children love reading their own unique copy of their ‘Lost in the Snow’ story!
Ib Stock School
I can talk and run workshops on any aspect of creating picture books including appealing to publishers and self-marketing. I run my own picture book writing and illustration workshops and courses for adults in London. For more information, please contact me directly on 07949 027 236, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.clairealexander.co.uk
I give Claire's course 5 big fat stars!!!
I'd highly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in writing, illustrating for children or both… even for someone who just loves picture books and wants to know more!
Claire's a brilliant teacher who really knows her stuff and she gives a great, first hand insight into the publishing world.
I've worked in the design industry for 15 years I can honestly say that this course is better thought out than some university courses! She gives a thorough overview into children's pictures books that covers all aspects from design & layout, narrative, character design and techniques such as watercolour and acrylics.
It's aimed at all levels and is very supportive and encouraging. It's great to turn up each week and be with people that are on the same journey as you, who share a similar interest.
You can't fail to enjoy the classes... or the biscuits she provides!
Claire's courses are brilliant - informative, motivating and encouraging.
Her testament is that students of hers have gone on to be published. I would suggest all 3 levels of courses to benefit from the lesson plans, advice and feedback. In addition, she invites agencies and publishers to see student's work which is a great opportunity for feedback or to get snapped up.
Monkey and the Little One reviewed by Libby Allman The Best New Children's Books
'Warm illustrations and a persistent mouse make this a charming book about friendship'
Back to Front and Upside Down, reviewed by Kid-lit-reviews.com
'Reading Back to Front and Upside Down! to your child before the school year starts and again throughout the year, may help your child to fear not, and ask for help when needed. I’d put this book in every pre-kindergarten to second grade classroom. School is the one place where asking for help should be a no brainer, yet it is the one place where peer pressure and group ridicule is the strongest. Stories like Back to Front and Upside Down! can open up discussions, which can make learning easier.'
Lucy and the Bully, reviewed by Irene Roth for the National Writing for Children Centre
Bullying has become a real problem in today’s culture, and because of this, this book is of extreme importance to kids. Alexander’s story is simple and has wonderful illustrations. It will help young children talk openly and honestly about bullying. But most importantly, Alexander assures the reader that bullies can be stopped and something can be done about this growing problem. I was absolutely mesmerized by this book. It wonderfully illustrates the viciousness of bullying and how the victim feels. What an important book for our times! Thank goodness for authors who take important topics like this one and make it child-friendly!
I am an award winning author/ illustrator based in London. I am passionate about visiting school children and inspiring them to draw and write. I also teach adults how to create picture books professionally on my courses at the House of Illustration. I studied Fine Art at the Kent Institute of Art and Design and have a BA honors degree in Painting. I studied Illustration at Putney School of Art and I am experienced teacher with a City and Guilds qualification.
Picture books I've created include: