Christina Gabbitas : about me
I had always loved to read rhyming books and poetry from a young age. With a desire to work for myself, my first two books published in 2012, and the third was launched at the Trafford Centre Manchester on 7th September 2013. I write children's rhyming books. My first collection is the Felicity Fly series that teach children about the world arounds them with fun. www.felicityfly.co.uk The topics include: Pollination, Healthy Food, Teamwork and Fears.
Triangular Trev and the Shape Idols was published in October 2016 , addressing mathematical terminology with fun. www.triangulartrev.com
Share Some Secrets www.sharesomesecrets.com is a safeguarding book that encourages children to speak out.
I narrate all the stories on a CD, which is supplied with the book. All the characters boast different accents, to help children understand that we not only look differently, but can sound different too.
My inspiration for writing, came from my own children. My son has Dyslexia and I found that he learned better through rhyme. I have since learned from research conducted that children in their early years, learn better through rhyme.
York Castle Museum - Book Commission and Workshops August 2019
My latest partnership and book commission is with York Castle Museum. I was et the task of writing a story that could incorporate some of the exhibits in the museum to help engage children. I staged read aloud interactive sessions int he school holidays in the workhouse of the museum. The book is now available. A Train Journey Through Time.
Police & Crime Commissioners Office of Humberside Aug 2019 - Jan 2020
I'm working in partnership to produce an online resource story, addressing knife crime, gangs and county lines (aged 10-16) I will also be engaging with these age groups with a poetry initiative and will be showcased on www.nomoreknifecrime.com beginning of September.
Ribble Rivers Trust - Partnership with Save Us Story (addressing plastic pollution)
I held sessions with the Ribble Rivers Trust with my story Save Us. This is a rescue story about a seal, sea turtle and whale that also boats a poem that the children can recite. I'm launching a national primary schools Rap Off mid September to December.
Poems and Pictures National Initiative - An Invitation To Capture The Primary School Nation. www.poemsandpictures.co.uk/competition
This initiative was first set up in Jan 2013, gaining support from the Education Secretary.
Children are invited to write an eight line rhyme on chosen topics, the 2018 topic was 'The Sea' and the inspiration for this was the BBC Blue Planet 2. The competition will opens from Jan to end April each year.
Judges include, Dr Stephen Fear, Ambassador in Residence at The British Library, The Poetry Society, The Victoria and Albert Museum Of Childhood and Michael Bradley, bassist with The Undertones to name a few.
I was invited onto BBC Breakfast at the end of April 2019 with added interviews on BBC 5 Live, and numerous BBC Southern radio stations (12)
BBC Radio - I have been interviewed live and read exerpts from the stories on air. on BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Radio Sheffield , BBC Radio Lancashire , BBC Radio Newcastle, BBC Radio Humberside and BBC Radio York.
Book Signing and Reading Events
I have and regularly stage book signing/reading events, at a number of WHSmith bookshops.
Literature Festival & Festivals
York Castle Museum - August , 7th, 14th and 21st
Selby Children's Literature Festival 26th -30th March
Blackburn Children's Literature Festival 18th-22nd June
Speaking - Early Years Conference, Euston Road, London 3rd November 2018
NSPCC AGM - Invitation to be Honorary Member of NSPCC Council 4th October
Book launch and book signing WHSmith, Sheffield Meadowhall. 27th October 2018
School Visit: Woodbridge School Suffolk Read Aloud and Poetry 17th October
University of Central Lancashire: Science Festival - 28th, 29th, 30th June
Bradford Safeguarding Week - Speaker 26th June - Share Some Secrets
Blackburn Children's Literature Festival 19th - 23rd June
Speaking - Reach Out, Speak Out - Abuse of Power in a Position of Trust 12th March, St Pauls House Leeds
Previous Literature Festivals:
Sheffield Children's Literature Festival
Helmsley Literature Festival
Doncaster Literature Festival
Sharjah Children's Reading Festival 2015, 2016 and 2017 - United Arab Emirates
I have been invited to encourage children reading with storytelling and writing with my national initiative in Sharjah for three consecutive years. Hind Abdullah Lenaid, the head of the festival, assisted in the overall judging panel of the poetry initiative for these years.
Mrs Sunderland Music, Drama & Speech Festival in 2014
Christina spent a whole day at the Huddersfield Mrs Sunderland Festival working mainly with Key Stage 2 children, but also with some adults. The children benefitted from her enthusiasm and were inspired to write poems during their one hour session. The adults had a good discussion led by Christina and were also encouraged to freely express their feelings in words and poems. Everyone went away having learnt something new and having enjoyed their time at the Festival.
Bankside Primary School, Leeds
Thank you so much Christina for an absolutely amazing 2 days. The children loved your stories about Felicity Fly and were mesmerised by your different accents. They were enthralled with the stories and some wished that you could have stayed with them longer. A very busy afternoon with year 6 produced some fantastic starts to budding poets.
Thank you again for visiting - Sam Coolican, Bankside Primary School.
Wakefield Girls School
The purpose of Christina’s visit was in fact two fold as a number of poems written by our girls won a national competition which meant that they were entered in to one of her books.
The Upper Juniors wrote rhyming couplet poetry about their favourite food for the Mrs Sunderland Music and Poetry Writing Festival. The poems were entered into the National Poems and Pictures, Eight Line Rhyme Competition judged by Christina, with Ella Shaw in 5JC being placed second and sixteen Year 5 and 6 girls' poems chosen to be published in the national poetry book, volume 2, ‘An Invitation that Captured the Primary School Nation’.
The book has now been published and these girls, some of whom are now in Year 7, posed for a picture on their lunch break for the Wakefield Express with Christina and a copy of the book.
In the afternoon Year 3 sat in a circle to listen to Christina read her highly popular ‘Felicity Fly’ books, where they sat captivated as she used numerous accents for the characters in her books, helping to demonstrate that people pronounce words differently. Christina is a big believer in writing in rhyme and reading in an animated way, using accents and tone, to encourage children to want to listen to books.
Thank you very much for visiting school yesterday to help us celebrate National Poetry Day. The poetry workshops were very successful as you inspired Year 5 to write some very good rhyming poetry and the girls were extremely proud to share their work with you. Year 3 had fun listening to your 'Felicity Fly' stories and liked your voices that brought the characters alive. They loved participating in the stories too.
The Y6 and Y7 girls whose poetry is featured in your book 'An Invitation that Captured the Primary School Nation' were very excited to meet you and you gave them encouragement to continue to write.
Angela Wimbush - Deputy Head, Wakefield Girls School
Silcoates School, Wakefield
The highlight of the day, was taking part in a workshop led by the visiting author Christina Gabbitas. The children were transported into the wonderful world of Felicity Fly and her friends as we were privileged to listen to Christina read her stories. All of the children went to great lengths (along with the staff!) to dress suitably for the occasion and an army of colourful bugs could be seen around school!
Louise Leach - Silcoates Primary
Monk Fryston Primary School
'The children had a fantastic morning listening to Christina's Felicity Fly stories. They were enchanted by the fantastic accents that Christina adopted for each of the characters and they thoroughly enjoyed learning the Felicity Fly song. The children have been inspired by Christina's visit with many of them now wanting to become authors themselves!'
Thanks again for your visit. - Laura Otter
Peasdowne Primary, Bath
On Friday 7th March Christina Gabbitas will visited YR, Y1 and Y2 children in our school. She read her stories to the children, sung songs and answered questions. During the whole school assembly, she also publicised her poetry competition. Here are some pictures and comments of the afternoon.
"I loved the accents that she used - they sounded funny!" (Darcie Y2)
"I liked the Dragon fly who spoke Jamaican" - from Felicity Fly in the Garden (Josh Y2)
"My favourite part was when the animals were in the bathroom and they saved the spider because they all worked together to help him" - from Felicity Fly meets Veronica Vac (Leah Y2)
Mrs Trueman, Library and Information Manager
St James Primary,Skelmersdale
Hurlingham School Putney, London
Southroyd Primary School, Leeds
Christina came into our school to work with our Foundation stage and KS1. She engaged the children with the Felicity Fly song which we put a few actions to and delighted them whilst reading them some of her books, in many different fabulous accents which the children found very funny! Thank you Christina.
Highfields Academy - Doncaster
It was wonderful that you came to Highfields. We felt really honoured! .I wish you lots of success with the Felicity Fly stories……we all enjoyed the characters and will use them in future class discussions about the themes you suggested.
Once again, many thanks!! Caroline Bean - Principal
Hessle Mount School - Hull
Thank you so much Christina for a thoroughly entertaining afternoon.The children here at Hessle Mount loved your stories about Felicity Fly and her friends; having the stories read aloud with her amazing accents had the children enthralled. We enjoyed hearing about how your ideas to write materialised and learnt about your determination and dedication to getting your ideas published. The children have been inspired to put pencil to paper and are presently writing their own poems about friendship and teamwork.
Many thanks once again for a lovely afternoon and good luck with your next story. We look forward to reading it.
Sarah Cutting - Hessle Mount School , Hull
Storytelling - I love to read the stories to children, in all the different character accents, which makes it quite entertaining and engaging for the them. The second book also boasts a 'sing along song', which can also be fun and interactive.
Poetry Workshop's I held a number of these workshops at the Mrs Sunderland Dance, Music and Drama Festival, which proved very successful. I encourage all children, to 'have a go' at writing. Each child is individual and I feel they all have capabilities.
I am happy to talk about any requests you may have. I live in Yorkshire, but I'm willing to travel.
All my publications are predominantly rhyming books. Felicity Fly series with audio give positive messages to children about the world around them. Triangular Trev & The Shape Idols, addresses mathematical terms with fun. Share Some Secrets is a safeguarding book that teaches children the difference between good and troublesome secrets. This publication has been endorsed by NSPCC, Barnardo's and is being used in some Police & Crime Commissioners Child Exploitation Toolkits New publication addressing plastic in our oceans is due out 27th October. This is a lovely rescue story about a Seal, Sea Turtle and Whale.