Type of Artist:
Talk, reading, workshop, activity sessions
DetailsPreferred age range:
8-11 year olds
Maximum number in any one session:
Up to 30 in workshop, up to 100-120 for talk
No of sessions per day:
Max 4 - 2 morning, 2 afternoon
45 mins talk and reading, with Q and A
Areas prepared to travel to:
Anywhere if expenses are met.
Depends on location, car up to 50 miles @30p per mile. Train and taxi for longer journeys
Please email us for details
Hold PLI (public liability insurance):
The Dragon and Her Boy (Feb 2021)
Tiger Heart (Jan 2020)
Both part of the ‘Gutterling’ series published by Orion/Hachette.
Dear Penny, We thoroughly enjoyed your visit! The images you used in your tall promoted thought and discussion amongst the girls and as a result they were really keen to answer your questions. The loved the opportunity to infer the meaning of made-up words and I feel that we may expand upon that activity in the classroom. You were very open and honest when questions were posed to you and I felt that gave the girls a true insight into the life of an author, which will hopefully prove to be inspirational for them! I will follow up with those girls who were interested about purchasing a signed book and will be in touch soon. Thank you again for the link to Arvon!
Hannah Spence, Sydenham High School Prep (Years 5/6) World Book Day 2020
TESTIMONIALS FROM SCHOOLS March 2021
I worked with Penny during the Covid-19 school closures to produce video resources for pupils in Yrs 4-5 across our 25 schools. Penny was a pleasure to work with, professional and efficient with an engaging presentation style. The videos she produced were approachable and appealing and packed full of interesting content. I would whole-heartedly recommend her and hope we have a chance to work together again in the future.
Amy Icke The Girls Day School Trust
I just wanted to say an enormous thank you for your virtual visit this morning. The atmosphere around school was something to behold - intrigue, engagement and excitement! It really was brilliant to witness and after heading to the classrooms in school it is clear they absolutely loved meeting you. Thank you for making it so personal to the children by answering their questions. We had high levels of engagement from home learners too, and I can't thank you enough for adapting in these unprecedented times. We would love to invite you in when things go back to normal.
Louise Brace Baildon Church of England Primary School
I showed your wonderful video to my class (6) today and they really enjoyed it. They were particularly interested in all the Victorian history and the slang. They enjoyed your readings from both books and I think there are definitely some keen to acquire your books to read the rest.
James Cork, Sheldwich Junior School, Kent
'My 5/6 class and I were lucky enough to have an online visit from Penny on World book day and she has a lovely manner with the children - they hung on to every word and really enjoyed listening to her read and learn about how she comes up with all the fascinating ideas in her books! Her explanations and insights into the world of being an author were particularly inspiring, particularly for all my budding young authors!
Daniel Disney, Little Thetford CofE Primary School
My sessions are intended to be fun and interactive, with children playing roles of my characters and asking each other questions about how they ‘feel’; they include quizzes about use of language and the characters’ lives.
My series of books about a gang of street children in Victorian London (the Gutterlings) lend themselves to talks with an historical emphasis and/or an emphasis on use of language - the characters speak in vivid colloquialisms or slang (no swearing!!). So my talks can be tailored to class needs - if a year group is studying the Victorian period they can include more historical material (eg pictures of the sort of jobs street children did - mudlarks, crossing sweepers, chimney sweeps etc).
Or if the class teacher would prefer more emphasis on English language and creative writing the talks can include more about that.
Or the talks can be a mixture of both. I can also include a fun section on the foods that my characters eat - eg saloop, plum duff, cobilly mash, maw wallop…
I can also include an ‘empathy’ section where children can volunteer to put on a sweep’s cap, or a tiger mask, or a dragon mask, or a crown, and the rest of the class can ask them questions about how it ‘feels’ to be that character. And I usually end with a quiz to guess the meaning of some of the words in the book - this is fun and also encourages the idea that when you come across an unfamiliar word you can work out what it means from context. There will also be a reading from one or both ‘gutterling’ books.