Type of Artist:
Talks and readings with Powerpoint. (No workshops)
DetailsPreferred age range:
My talks are age specific. With a mix of ages I would necessarily have to direct the talk towards the youngest children so it is best to divide them. Parents, carers, teachers and librarians are ofcourse welcome to the talks for children.
I prefer to divide them like this.
• EYFS -Yr1 - Picture book talk
• Years 2- 4 - Picture book talk
• Year 5 – 7 - Middle grade book talk
• (I can do a short Picture books talk for key stage 1 and 2 all at once and sometimes do at festivals - but in that case it may not suit both the youngest and the oldest so I would advise splitting these groups.)
• Talks specifically for parents, PGCE students and teachers. (Art college students or A level art students may be interested in these talks too
Maximum number in any one session:
Up to 100 for a talk provided there is power point and a darkenable room.
With no powerpoint the groups need to be of no more than 25 as I will be talking about picture while holding up a book.
No of sessions per day:
Maximum of three regular length sessions - or 4 if I am staying close by with an overnight.
45-60 minutes (maybe shorter for EYFS)
Areas prepared to travel to:
I live in Oxford. I don’t drive but am happy to travel by train up to 90 mins for a day visit, but for schools further afield I would prefer an overnight, with events over 2 days
Train and taxi. I don’t drive.
Please email us for details
Hold PLI (public liability insurance):
I hold Society of Authors Public liability Insurance
Helen Cooper website
The Hippo at the End of the Hall
A Pipkin of Pepper
The Bear under the Stairs
The Baby who wouldn’t go to Bed
From Finton House:
We had a wonderful day with Helen on World Book Day so thank you so much for organizing. She entertained the whole school and the children have given such positive feedback. It made our day very special.
I’m sorry, I don’t give permission for organisers to make a recording or podcast of my full talk , but I’ll agree to a five minute excerpt recording provided you ask permission. Photographs are fine, though please be aware that this can be distracting for the children unless it is discreet. If in doubt leave it to the end of the session or during book signing.
I do several talks which vary according to the age group I am addressing.
I’d also like to be informed before the session if there any children with SEN or other behavioural problems - though I am happy to accommodate them provided I am aware.
1. For very young children (age 3 plus- or nursery and yr1)
With this age group I would do a short story session, probably reading two of my books and involving the children with the pictures as I read the story. I use a few basic props (but no music.) I can manage without Powerpoint for this so long as the groups are no more than around 20 provided the children can sit close together on the floor.
2. Picture book talks
Generally for Years 2-5. With years 4 - 5 I offer a reasonably sophisticated session, explaining how I go about writing and illustrating the story and the ideas behind it.
With years 2 - 3 the talk would be more centred on the storyline, characters and pictures. With both I discuss character traits and the emotional ideas to be found in both the pictures and the words. I explain why I draw what I do, how I choose the words, and the ideas behind a story. There will be time for questions both during and after the talk. I will need powerpoint for this as the images I show are an integral part of the talk.
3. Middle grade talk
This will be centred on my chapter book - 'The Hippo at the end of the Hall.' Ideally for years 5,6 and7. I will still need Powerpoint as there are a lot of images which are important in the story. This is a talk about an ever popular question - where I get my ideas for a book. The illustrations in the book are full of characters which were inspired by objects in real Museums. Q and A sessions at the end.
4. For grownups: these are tailored to the group.
For teachers and librarians that would be about my work and how I go about it.
I also talk to PCG student teachers, and other interested parties about using my picture books in the classroom. Particularly I talk about how books with pictures are very useful in a mixed ability environment as those who may struggle with written work and reading are often very visually able.
I also have done sessions with parents of nursery age children (usually in libraries or nurseries) about sharing picture books with children.