I can provide talks, readings, assemblies, Q&As and workshops.
I will tailor my sessions to meet the needs of the school, but typically I might deliver one of the following:
Large group assembly, where I could talk about being an illustrator, how I got into this line of work, and how a picture book is created.
An assembly based around a reading of one of my books, which would involve as much interaction as possible and perhaps an appearance from Sloth himself!
A character development workshop, where the children create with my guidance a new character of their own, setting them up for some creative writing and drawing.
A drawing workshop, where I can show children how I draw my characters, and where I talk about my thought processes and show the importance of practice and perseverance.
A drawing session in which the children can draw with my guidance and also create their own characters and settings.
A Q&A session with a group in which I can talk about being a writer or illustrator.
Topic based sessions relating to aspects of the curriculum (I am a former primary school teacher with experience from Y2 to Y6, as well as in teaching English to teens and adults).
I’m happy to work with small groups or whole classes (with support from a class teacher or LSA).
Preferred age range:
Any age is okay. As I do picture books it’s likely to interest KS1/early years most. Having said that, I don’t have set ideas about who would get something from my books am open to all ages. I could also speak to KS2 with more of a focus on being an author and illustrator.
Maximum number in any one session:
A class of approx 30 would be a good limit for a workshop.
With talks and presentations, I’m happy to talk to a whole key stage, or even a whole school.
No of sessions per day:
Typically I might do an assembly and up to three workshops.
KS1 workshop: 20-30mins
KS2 workshop: 30-40mins
Areas prepared to travel to:
I could potentially travel anywhere if expenses were met, and dependent on my schedule and family commitments.
For long distance I would travel by train. For shorter journeys I might drive (Up to an hour).
Fergal is Fuming!
Fergal Meets Fern (this is my newest book)
“We had a tremendous time with Rob this morning. The children loved the session and were so enthusiastic to draw their blob family!
Even those children who are often reluctant or not confident artists were able to engage and were so proud of themselves that they could
create illustrations. Both classes had extra time after the session to continue with their illustrations and said it was the best time ever!
Please thank Rob for being such an inspiration and for answering our questions.“
Teachers of Humshaugh C of E First School, Northumberland
“The children at Colegrave absolutely loved getting the chance to work with Robert on creating their own super creatures in the style of Super Sloth! They also really enjoyed hearing about Robert's journey to becoming an author and illustrator - very inspiring! “
Colgrave Primary School, London
"It was a real treat to work with children’s author/illustrator Robert Starling. Robert absolutely went the extra mile for his videos for Moon Lane TV. We were bowled over! We are huge fans of his ‘Fergal’ series, so it was a pleasure to work with him. His presenting technique was so clear, relaxed and inviting. Rob’s storytelling and draw-along videos were very accessible and so much fun for the children who were either already big fans or were about to become them! His videos remain some of our most popular to this day. Can’t wait to work with him again.”
Nicci Rosengarten, Manager, Moon Lane Children’s Books & Toys in Ramsgate & Creative Director, Moon Lane Group
“My children loved the Rob Starling session. Delightful story and lots of hands on activities.”
“Rob can read his young audience so well, anticipating their short attention span. He came prepared with lots of fun activities linked to Fergal is Fuming to get the children actively involved.“
“You can tell Rob was a teacher - he has a natural rapport with the children!”
Parent feedback from the Lavenham Children’s Book Festival.
I like to encourage children to participate in my readings, with sound effects and acting out.