COVID NOTICE - I'd still love to visit your school as long as covid distancing & protection measures are in place for everyone. I'll bring my own lunch and drinks and I'm happy to wear a face shield during workshops, plus a mask whilst moving around the school.
I am a children's book author illustrator and illustration tutor. As a child I loved creating and drawing characters and making up stories about them and still do! Now I spend my time thinking up new story ideas, drawing and teaching illustration. I love to visit schools, libraries and festivals such as the Barnes Children's Literary Festival. I really enjoy getting the audience (from 3 - 93!) thinking about and creating their own characters and learning what's involved in making a children's book.
I've worked in an advertising agency and a design studio and I taught art at a boy's secondary school before focusing on writing and illustrating full time although I still teach illustration, as a part time tutor in college.
My book The Lonely Giant, published by Walker Books, has publisher written teacher notes, planning and activities based around it's themes of environment, sustainability, loneliness and friendship. Here are some of the reviews for The Lonely Giant:
"This uplifting picture book is a celebration of nature and freedom" Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times.
"Sophie Ambrose debuts with a beautifully illustrated modern fable offering a poignant environmental twist." Good Reads
"There's a powerful message about the need to care for the environment here but lessons too about friendship. Sophie Ambrose's artwork is simply stunning, and this is a book to treasure." Andrea Reece lovereading4kids.co.uk
"It's absolutely beautiful and it's vital themes of respecting the environment, freedom and friendship have much to say to everyone small and large, both individuals and organisations."Jill Bennett, Books for Keeps
To Whom Would You Recommend this book? Older children aged 3 - 8 will understand the gravity of what happens in the world when people only think of themselves and destroy the environment. This is a good book for class discussion in an early elementary school class. Who should buy this book? all libraries. Should we (librarians/teachers)put this on the top of our 'to read' piles? Yes. Sandra Pacheco, Youth Services Book Review USA
I really enjoy seeing children's creativity and imagination flourish during school visits. Class sized workshops are planned to suit different age groups, so for Reception - Yr1, we read the story, have Q&A's and the children do a creative drawing activity. For older children (Yr 2 - Yr 6) I read the story, Q&A and explain how a picture book is created using examples from my sketchbooks and dummy books. Pupils then explore character creation and story structure whilst creating their own characters and stories, stretching their imagination and using literacy skills. I encourage full class participation, working in pairs and individually.
"Sophie delighted all the pupils from Nursery to Year 5 with her book The Lonely Giant and tailored workshops for each age group. The classes had lots of questions to ask her about how she wrote and illustrated her book and her enthusiastic, friendly manner encouraged the children to create their own characters and stories. in Year 3 this worked particularly well as the children had been working on an art project about the environment and with Sophie's workshop created characters and stories that fitted in with the theme. An exciting and valuable learning experience for all the pupils. I'd highly recommend a visit from Sophie!" Suzanne Pink, Deputy head, All Saints C of E Primary School, London.
"Thank you so much for your visit, the children (and adults) thoroughly enjoyed your sessions and hearing from a 'proper' author. The sessions were pitched perfectly for the age of the children as they were so popular and such a great idea. It was lovely to have a visitor who engaged with the children and kept their attention so well." Mel Oldale, class teacher, The Grange Community Infant school, Addlestone, Surrey.
"Using Sophie's inspiration, ideas and lovely illustrations, our children had a wonderful time coming up with their own characters and stories before creating their own miniature books. Sophie's hands on and practical workshop provided a great opportunity for the children to see that both writing and illustrating take time, practice and multiple attempts to produce a final piece. the only thing we could ask for is more time!" David Broers, Head of Literacy, Stanley Park Junior school, Carshalton, Surrey.
"Sophie's whole school assembly was great and all the children were engaged and enthusiastic. It was great to see the process she worked through to get her book published as it linked in brilliantly with our work on growth mindset and showed children the importance of not giving up. The children loved learning how to illustrate and come up with creative ideas. Sophie spent time with the children at lunchtime too and she answered all of their questions with enthusiasm." Michelle Scott, Sherborne St John CE primary school, Basingstoke, Hampshire.
Please do contact me to discuss how I could help promote literacy and creativity in your school.
I charge £350 for a day (max 5 hours) or £250 for a half day (max 3 hours) plus travel expenses. I'm very happy to do book signings and can do them at lunchtime or after workshops.
I live in Southwest London, but am happy to travel throughout the country for visits. If you are far away from London, try pairing up with another local school, so that travel and accommodation costs can be shared between you.
Sophie was excellent. The children loved her stories and the workshop for our school aged children was pitched well. The younger children loved listening to her read a story. Thank you for everything Sophie.
Thank you so much for visiting Willow Bank Infants this week. The children and staff loved meeting you and hearing your stories.