I run activity sessions for Pre-schools, Nurseries, Reception and KS1, based around the reading of my picture books. Using a combination of props, actions, rhymes, songs and drawing, I encourage children to identify with the characters in my books - just as an illustrator needs to do, in order to draw them. I also encourage close looking at the pictures, of course!
After the story, I like to include an age-appropriate craft activity or drawing session, so that children have something to take away with them.
I’m also happy to read and talk to whole school assemblies.
Type of Artist:
DetailsPreferred age range:
Under 5s, or under 7s, depending on the book. Parents and carers welcome too, of course!
Maximum number in any one session:
- For activity sessions with under 5s, up to 30 (with adult help for craft activities)
- For activity sessions with 5-7’s, up to100 (may need adult help for craft activities)
- For school assemblies, up to around 300.
No of sessions per day:
Max 3, plus assembly and signings.
Usually 45-60 minutes activity sessions, including craft, but I’m happy to discuss with organisers and tailor to requirements. Please let me know in advance if you would like me to factor in time for a Q&A.
Areas prepared to travel to:
I’m based in Berkshire and am happy to travel anywhere, providing costs are covered for transport and overnight stay where necessary.
By train or by car (@ 45p per mile)
Please email us for details
Hold PLI (public liability insurance):
For ages 7 and under:
NEW in 2018:
A T-wit for a T-woo (By Charlie Farley and Layn Marlow, Orchard Books)
A Very Strange Creature (by Ronda Armitage and Layn Marlow, Orchard Books)
Bug and Bear (by Ann Bonwill and Layn Marlow, OUP)
For ages 6 and under:
Too Small For My Big Bed (by Amber Stewart and Layn Marlow, OUP)
For ages 5 and under:
NEW from May 2018, six Amber Stewart/Layn Marlow titles are being republished in paperback for a new generation of young children, under the series title My First Milestones:
I Need my Blankie
Berries are Best
How Many Sleeps?
Good Night Sleep Tight
I Can Swim
My First Day
I’ll Catch You If You Fall (by Mark Sperring and Layn Marlow, OUP)
You Make Me Smile (by Layn Marlow, OUP)
For any age:
Hurry Up and Slow Down (by Layn Marlow, OUP)
Many thanks to Layn Marlow for joining our Little Library on tour round Sheffield last March. The day was action packed and Layn had the children and families engaged from start to finish with her workshop themed around the book she illustrated ‘I’ll Catch You If You Fall’. The workshop demonstrated to families how to have fun with books and the props used stimulated the children’s imagination. Layn had the families enthralled from start to finish.
We look forward to working with Layn again in the near future.
Anne Frost (05.12.2017)
Early Years Librarian
Such an interesting afternoon. Layn is an extremely personable and gifted communicator. It was engaging, interactive, personal, inspiring, left the children with something to go away and do, catered for all ages and abilities - WOW.
Samantha Baxter (16.11.17)
Reading Christian Home Educators Group
I am a steward at the Appledore Book Festival Schools programme and for the last two years I have had the privilege of sitting in on Layn’s presentations. Two of these events took place at the local library and I marvelled at the way Layn was able to gather together and hold the attention of a group of preschool children and their carers who were not a cohesive group. In each case she began the session by setting the scene and drawing the character from the book onto a large sheet of paper. She gained the children’s attention during this task by asking them to sing well known nursery songs. After reading the book, Layn then outlined a craft activity for them all to participate in. The preparation for this was always excellent; all the materials had been cut and sorted so no time was wasted in settling to the task, which was well suited to the age of the children concerned. I also attended a session where there were three different playgroups present and lots of babies and toddlers as well as the preschoolers. Layn was not fazed by the noise and interruptions from the very young and the mums present were vociferous in their praise and enjoyment of the session and have asked Layn to return next year.
I also observed Layn working with a reception class where she had produced differentiated activities for the Foundation and Year One pupils. These children all loved watching her draw and responded well to the text.
Layn’s attention to detail and the forward planning for each event contributed hugely to their success as well as the delightful content of her books. The final finishing touch was Layn giving to the group the large drawing she had made.
As a retired deputy head who has spent many years teaching children from 5 to 7, I am a great advocate of Layn’s approach and feel that all the children who have been lucky enough to attend one of her events have had an enriching experience.
Judi Unwin (13/12/2017)
Appledore Festivals Schools Programme
I’m very keen to champion picture books in general and love to talk to carers of under 7s in any context –whether casually at family events or more formally.
As a young child, my only real experience of picture books was of those read on children’s TV, but my memory of them remained vivid into adulthood.
During my first job as a library assistant, and then as a young parent, I came to fully grasp how picture books can empower even the youngest child, by placing the reader of pictures on an equal footing with the reader of words.
I subsequently became passionate about encouraging families to enjoy picture books together, as well as about making them myself. I’ve found that one of them, Hurry Up And Slow Down (OUP), can be particularly useful in demonstrating the value of that beautiful, intergenerational picture book experience!