Based on my experience of working with children in Primary schools over many years, I am now also offering workshops to student teachers on how to use my books creatively to promote literacy.
Being both writer and illustrator, I can also show all the stages of creating a picture book from the first ideas and roughs through to the final text and finished artwork.Type of Artist: Author
EYFS Foundation Stage
I use Dog on Wheels which is fast paced and fun and will grab the interest of boys as well as girls with its skateboarding theme. Told in rhyme and with a lot to spot in the pictures, it offers an entertaining way of developing literacy skills: rhyming words and prepositions of movement
The senses: sight, sound, smell, touch can be explored in Mouse in the House with its large appealing pictures of animals
We’re Going to Build a Dam will inspire water play; what happens when a flow of water is blocked?
Topics – fantasy. Creating a mysterious character and giving that character a name (year 1) In The Little White Sprite a boy is pulled through a hole, into the hollow inside a strange tree. Creating a mysterious place where you enter another world, in the tradition of Alice in Wonderland or the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. What happens next? Story openers (year 2)
Mythical beasts/ fairy tales. In Selkie a boy makes friends with a seal that can change into a girl and back again into a seal. If you met a creature like that what would you want to know about it? Big questions, open questions, philosophy (year 2)
Water and weather – We’re Going to Build a Dam and Flood (year 1)
Topics -water/ seaside. The sea setting of Selkie can be used to inspire pupils to write about a beach they know. Place as a starting point for individual stories, (years 5 & 6) or story openers (years 3/4)
The magic of transformation inspiring pupils’ own selkie stories. Creating a character and structuring a narrative (years 5 & 6)
Poetry for those who ‘can’t do poetry’: sea words and a sea song based on selkie’s secret language of the sea (years 4,5,6)
Story boards and sea adventures. An illustration-led story inspired by Zoe’s Boat. The pictures in this book are in graphic format and ideal for inspiring pupils to create their own story board narratives
I've teamed up with two other award winning children's authors, Pippa Goodhart and Rosemary Hayes to give a panel discussion on writing for children. This should be of interest to teachers, librarians, book groups and creative writing groups.
DetailsPreferred age range:
Any age depending on the type of session/talk/ workshop.
No of sessions per day:
1 training talk/workshop a day plus a book signing and exhibition of artwork
In school, maximum 4 sessions plus an assembly.
2 hours for adult training sessions, one hour workshops in schools.
Areas prepared to travel to:
Happy to travel anywhere. A hotel needed if more than three hours by train from Cambridge or two hours by car
Train and car @ 45 pence per mile
Please email us for details
Please indicate which author you are interested in
Yes, via National Society for Writers in Education.
Gillian McClure's website
Dog on Wheels at Sunny Sea
Dog on Wheels
Mouse in the House
The Little White Sprite
We’re Going to Build a Dam
The Land of the Dragon King: Korean Tales
“Gillian McClure was an inspiration to pupils and staff. Having fabulous illustrations, as well as writing to share, enabled all pupils to fully engage in the experience. Zoe’s Boat was a particular favourite! A super day for all our pupils.”
Claire Richardson, Reading for Pleasure Co-ordinator, Park Junior School, Wellingborough
“Gillian McClure gave a fascinating talk on picturebooks to graduates on masters courses on book illustration and children's literature from both Anglia Ruskin University and Cambridge Faculty of Education. She used delightful examples from her own work to illustrate points she was making about the art of picturebooks. Gillian had an excellent rapport with her audience and took time and trouble to answer their questions. Highly recommended.”
Morag Styles, Cambridge Faculty of Education
“The children of Mayfield from year 1 to 6 were inspired by the beautiful story of the Selkie to write their own stories and poems. It was wonderful for them to meet Gillian at the end of Book Week and hear first-hand how the story was written and illustrated. The experience has encouraged our children to write and draw and we have seen some wonderful independent storytelling as a result.”
“The children and teachers were very inspired by your illustrations and the workshop overall. The work the children produced during your visit was in turn so inspiring.”
Sarah Quigley - Bonneville Primary School Librarian
Gillian McClure Amazon site