I am a children's writer, illustrator, performer and educator.
I have written and illustrated several books for Walker Books, including young picture books such as Francis The Scaredy Cat and Scoot On Top Of The World, along with early readers such as Mr Trim and Miss Jumble and Hugo's Hullabaloo. Some of the titles have been published internationally in Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Australia and the USA. Francis The Scaredy Cat was read out on Children's BBC by Justin Fletcher (better known as Mr Tumble)
“Gorgeous pictures and an exciting story make this a great book to cuddle up with” from a review of Scoot on Top of The World, The Guardian
In recent years I have have realised I love writing poems best and my full collection Me and My Alien Friend is published by Troica. This book has been a labour of love and I'm very proud of it.
"'Me & My Alien Friend' contains poems that examine childhood friendship from many different perspectives. It will have great appeal to children and their parents.'"Brian Moses
My passion for poetry shows in my illustration work- I have illustrated for some of the UK's top children's poets such as Brian Moses, Roger Stevens and James Carter.
I self publish my more unusual work through my 'Pearbox Press'. Pearbox Books are usually black and white picture books that illustrate my magical and surreal story-poems. Pearbox Books are as much for poetically-minded adults as children. One of my favourites is 'Dolphins Keep Me Safe in Dreams:
“The Dreamscapes are vividly realised through the distinctive black and white textural illustrations and the descriptive verse lines which evoke a journey of magical possibilities, including sailing to “the junk yard Isle of Dritch/Where I lost my sock in a forest of doors.” A wonderful way to tackle the fear of going to sleep" From a review of Dolphins Keep Me safe in Dreams, Carousel
I love to perform just as much to make books. I often turn my poems and stories into songs and interactive performances. I love it when children join in and make a lot of noise but I also have lots of quiet, reflective pieces. I perform in schools, arts centres, galleries and at festivals using a fabulous mix of spoken word, projections, giant story books, guitar and background music.
I have been running workshops, residencies and special events based on my writing and illustration for 15 years. I work with all age groups- from creating playful creative environments for toddlers to adult learners and everything in between. I am a qualified teacher and keep up to date with the curriculum and developments in education.
I bring something really special to working in schools because I work with different art forms, using writing, music and visual art together to help everyone experience the joy of creativity and to reach their potential. For example, I love helping children turn their poems into songs. I've done this a lot with whole classes, small groups and individuals. My love of songwriting led me to establish a popular school song contest in my home town of Hastings.
I also link visual art with writing throughout my work in schools. I find it very effective if children begin with visual work before writing. For example, I run a creative day linked to my new book 'Me and My Alien Friend' in which children make a cosmic-collage of their own alien friend who they then write letters to.The letters then form the basis of poetry.
I have a passionate interest in developing exceptional writing in children through helping them discover the joy of the process as much as creating finished work. As such, I am a little evangelical about the importance of diary and letter writing (whether or not the letters are actually sent!) as much as the importance of children completing finished poems.
I have been involved in every aspect of book production- writing, illustrating, design and print. I have often brought these skills to small-scale publishing projects in schools in which schools produce illustrated poetry booklets. I'd be delighted to send pdf examples of these to schools who might be interested in creating similar publications with me.
I am a passionate, experienced creative-educator who can draw on a wide range of skills to benefit your school!
I am based in Hastings in East Sussex but will consider travelling anywhere.
Praise for Ed's Books:
"Kids will love this. How well Ed remembers the ups and downs of childhood. A lovely collection." Me and My Alien Friend Roger Stevens
Ed Boxall's poems are accessible, gently emotive, quirky and fun. Add to this his absolutely gorgeous illustrations and what's not to like? Me and My Alien Friend Sue Hardy-Dawson
“The text is clear and concise, suitable for emerging readers. Also a good read for parents to read to very young children. The storyline is simple but the message is clear, not preaching, but loving, with well chosen wording. Recommended” from a review of Francis The Scaredy Cat, Reading Time (Australia)
“Boxall perfectly captures the terror of confronting secret fears, Repetitive, lyrical sounds and surprising word choices will instantly appeal to children...An evocative, appealingly simple title that taps right into a pre-schooler's private world” from a review of Francis The Scaredy Cat,Booklist, starred review
Praise for Ed's Work with Children:
“ The students were thoroughly involved by the end of the sessions. One student in particular captured the classic repetition used in so many children’s books, It was brilliant. She is usually so shy and quiet but really came out of herself, it was great to see... The whole day was a real treat.”
Clare Ball, Learning Resource Centre Manager at Eltham Hill School
“We really enjoyed both the show and the workshop, especially the cutting and sticking and all the inspiration!”
Robyn, age 6
“We commissioned Ed to come into our school for 2 days to work with our children from Reception to year 6. He came well prepared with tried and tested ideas that were new to us. All the teachers came away feeling each session was really worthwhile, enjoyable and had inspired them for future art and literacy activities. The children were well organised and enjoyed both his stories and the art activities that went with them. Ed was a pleasure to work with, efficient in making the arrangements prior to coming into my school and while working with us. ”
Penny Thompson, Headteacher Glebefields Primary