DETAILS: On school visits I usually do three sessions – with reception/years 1/2, then years 3/4, and finally years 5/6. Happy to fit in time with nursery too if you have one. Also happy to make conversation with teachers in the staff room and be sympathetic about the government’s educational policy (don’t get me started!) and other problems schools face.
I’ve done hundreds of school visits (possibly thousands!) over a long career. My goal for each one is to excite and enthuse kids (and teachers!) about books and READING FOR PLEASURE. So there are lots of jokes, funny stories, readings from my books,m and I slip in some stuff about the creative process, writing etc along the way on the ‘spoonful of sugar’ principle. I alway try to engage with the kids and and leave them thinking that if someone like me can do it, then they can too. I’ll even sign scruffy bits of paper and exercise books (but not the kids, however much they beg me). I mostly visit infant and primary schools, but I’m not afraid of visits to secondary schools having survived (just) the teenage years of my own lovely children.
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF TONY BRADMAN (aka ‘The Legend’ or ‘The Ray Winstone of Children’s Books’)
I’ve been writing children’s books for over 30 years and have had more published than I can remember – possibly 200 or more. In the 1990s I was bed know for the Dilly the Dinosaur books, but there are other titles you might recognise – Through My Window (with Eileen Browne), The Ghost Teacher and the Frankenstein Teacher, and more recently Viking Boy and The Royal Baby (with Tony Ross). I also write with my son Tom, and this year we won the Historical Association Young Quills Award for our short novel about the Titanic – Titanic: Death in the Water. Over the last few years I’ve written a lot of the Project X reading scheme books for OUP (I was ‘Lead Author’ for the first batch!), and have done quite a few books for Barrington Stoke, the publisher which specialises in books for children with literacy problems – you might have seen The Two Jacks, which was re-issued earlier this year. I also review children’s fiction occasionally for The Guardian, and I’m chair of the Siobhan Dowd Trust – we make grants for literacy projects. The Trust’s brief is to ‘bring the joy of reading and books to children and young people deprived of access to books and the opportunity to read.’