Teachers’ Book Award winners

Looking for ‘the best literature on offer for use in the primary classroom’? Look no further! The NS Teachers’ Book Award was set up this year with the aim of finding just that. Since October, teachers, teaching assistants and school librarians across the country have been voting for the shortlisted titles. And the winners were announced at a ceremony on Saturday.

I’m thrilled to announce that the winner in the Poetry category was … my book Buzzing!

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The award ceremony was a fantastic occasion, with home-made buns and cakes aplenty, including book buns!

Book bun

A lovingly made (and very delicious) book bun at the NSTBA ceremony

I was very pleased to meet there 12-year-old Tayler, who had interviewed me about my book back in September.

With interviewer Tayler

With interviewer Tayler

And it was fabulous to meet so many other talented children’s authors who had been shortlisted in the other award categories, i.e. Picture Books, Quality Fiction, Read Aloud and Information.

NSTBA authors

With NSTBA authors Tom Moorhouse, Huw Powell, Stephen Lenton, Sharon Tregenza and Sam Gayton

I also thoroughly enjoyed meeting the members of the ‘Just About Books’ group (linked to the Federation of Children’s Book Groups), who had set up this award. They had put so much time, effort and dedication into the whole enterprise, from book selection through book reviews, interviews, photographs and website creation, to shortlisting, selecting the winners and putting on the ceremony. It was hugely uplifting to see so much commitment to the importance of books in children’s – and teachers’ – lives.

The Book Bun lady, with her copy of Buzzing!

Torie, the brilliant Book Bun lady, with her copy of Buzzing!

The group’s website is an excellent resource for anyone looking for quality children’s fiction. I really recommend a visit. You’ll see there that they state ‘Children’s literature is our passion’. That certainly came across at the award ceremony.

The Just About Books group said that this award was ‘born out of a desire to celebrate the very best in children’s literature’. It is a huge honour to have been recognised by them as offering ‘the very best in children’s literature’.

With my award at the NSTBA ceremony

With my award at the NSTBA ceremony

Congratulations to the authors of the other winning books, which are:

Thank you to everyone at the Just About Books group (especially powerhouse Sue Wilsher) for a fabulous journey. And thank you, too, to my publishers Brambleby Books, without whom there would be no Buzzing! book. It was a real treat to have Nicola and Hugh Loxdale of Brambleby Books with me at the ceremony.

You can order your – signed – copy of Buzzing! here.  And if you’d like a Buzzing! visit to your school, just get in touch.

NSTBA prize

Anneliese Emmans Deanwww.theBigBuzz.biz – Bringing poetry to life

 

 

Topic: Minibeasts!

All the pupils at Hague Bar Primary School in Derbyshire are studying minibeasts this term, and their classrooms, hall and corridors are teeming with fabulous minibeast artwork. How do I know? Because I was there on Friday, to add some minibeast poetry to the mix!

I started the day by performing my interactive, cross-curricular, minibeast poetry show Buzzing! for the whole school. (During which much giggling was had by all …) I then spent the rest of the day working with each of their four classes in turn – indoors and out. At the end of the day the children all came together in a sharing assembly and performed some of the fantastic minibeast poems they’d created.

How did the day go? Well, the Year 5/6 teacher Jacinta Robinson thanked me for:

‘your brilliant assembly and workshops.
The staff and children loved it!
We would all highly recommend you to other schools.’

And Year 3/4 teacher Leah Jackson said my minibeast poetry workshop with her class was:

‘fantastic. All the children were fully engaged and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Every child produced something to be proud of.’

I was proud of the minibeast poems the children created too. As were their parents, some of whom had come along for the sharing assembly.

I think the school has something else to be proud of as well: the views it commands over the Derbyshire countryside. How’s about this for a view out of a classroom window?

The stunning view from a Hague Bar classroom

The stunning view from a Hague Bar classroom

I could go on at length about how enthusiastic and welcoming the children were, how inventive their poems were, how helpful all the staff were, etc. etc. etc. – but I have an important job to get on with. At the end of my visit the children bought more copies of my Buzzing! book than I had with me – so I need to go and sign and dedicate a lot more copies now and get them in the post!

If you’re studying minibeasts in your primary school and would like me to come and put on some cross-curricular minibeast poetry activities for your pupils, then do email me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Cover of my book Buzzing!

Anneliese Emmans Deanwww.thebigbuzz.biz – Bringing poetry to life

World Book Day 2015

World Book Day 2015: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

It was the best of times, because I spent the day edu-taining the pupils at Byron House, St John’s College School in Cambridge with Buzzing! shows, poetry workshops and Rhyme Time Rambles:

A World Book Day Rhyme Time Ramble at St John's College School

A World Book Day Rhyme Time Ramble at St John’s College School

More Rhyme Time Rambling at St John's College School

More Rhyme Time Rambling at St John’s College School

And I got to meet lots of lovely pupils as I signed copies of my brand new paperback Buzzing! book:

15 - 03 - Buzzing at Byron House 1

Signing copies of my brand new Buzzing! paperback at St John's School in Cambridge

Signing copies of my brand new Buzzing! paperback at St John’s College School in Cambridge

It was the worst of times because I had to judge the school’s Buzzing! bookmark competition. This was an impossible task, as the children had come up with such a wide variety of fabulous bookmarks. See for yourself here:

Just some of the entries to the St John's School Buzzing! bookmark competition

Just some of the many entries to the St John’s School Buzzing! bookmark competition

Buzzing bookmark comp - 2

Eventually I did manage to select some winners, but I would like all the pupils to know how wonderful their bookmarks were, and what a joy it was to look at them all.

More beautiful Buzzing! bookmark entries

More beautiful Buzzing! bookmark entries

Thank you to all the staff and pupils at St John’s College School who made my World Book Day visit such a pleasure. Special thanks go to Julia Clarke, the school librarian, who did so much to enthuse the children about my visit in advance and to make it the success it was. I particularly enjoyed working with her to prepare my library poetry workshop.

What did the school make of my visit? Well, one member of staff said it was:
the best author visit we’ve had‘.
I can’t ask for better staff feedback than that!

More brilliant Buzzing! bookmarks

Yet more brilliant Buzzing! bookmarks

But did the children enjoy my visit? Well, here are some of their views:

‘I loved the way Anneliese performed her poems  – they were great!’

‘I liked Anneliese because she said that if you want to remember something you should write a poem about it. I think that’s really clever.”

‘I loved Anneliese’s visit as she was so inspiring.’

‘I loved Anneliese’s story telling in her Buzzing! show and I liked learning more about minibeasts.’

‘I loved the way Anneliese acted and the way her voice matched the insect and the way she remembered all those poems that she’d written.’

So, there you have it. If you’d like your school to have a buzzing visit, then do get in contact.

Anneliese Emmans Deanwww.theBigBuzz.biz – Bringing poetry to life

 

National Poetry Day 2014

I had the great good fortune to spend this year’s National Poetry Day in glorious rural North Yorkshire, where the sun shone brightly and the flags were hoisted in celebration!

Flags hoisted for National Poetry Day 2014 in rural North Yorkshire

Flag hoisted to celebrate National Poetry Day 2014 in rural North Yorkshire

(Well, I like to think that’s why they were hoisted!)

I was the guest of the Hutton Rudby Ladies Luncheon Club, for whom I performed my Buzzing! poetry show in which I introduced a range of garden heroes and garden villains in ‘edu-taining’ rhythm and rhyme. After which came a delicious lunch!

I met some very interesting ladies in the course of my visit – and was lucky enough to be given lifts to and from the nearest station by two of them. (Thank you Margaret and Barbara!)

Enjoying National Poetry Day in North Yorkshire

Enjoying National Poetry Day in North Yorkshire

So, what did the ladies think of their National Poetry Day entertainment? Well, here’s some feedback from their Speaker Finder:

‘Your poems are very clever and your photos are beautiful. You kept everyone interested in your talk with your enthusiastic, lively approach. It it is an inspired way of getting a message over to people of all ages. Everyone I spoke to enjoyed your visit and I am sure went away a little wiser.’

Well that’s good to hear!

If you’d like some poetry entertainment for your event, you don’t have to wait until next year’s National Poetry Day. Any day can be Poetry Day! Just contact me to find out more.

Meanwhile, thank you to Hutton Rudby Ladies Luncheon Club for inviting me to share National Poetry Day with them, and for making me so welcome. (And for arranging such glorious weather!)

Anneliese Emmans Dean – www.theBigBuzz.biz – Bringing poetry to life

Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

I was in extremely august company on Saturday:

Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton, former President of the Royal Society

Yes, I was in the heart of London at the exceedingly beautiful home of the Royal Society. I’d been invited there to take part in this year’s Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition:

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My invitation came as a result of my Buzzing! book having been shortlisted for last year’s Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize.

So I performed a special Buzzing! show there, inspired by a former Fellow of said Royal Society, one Charles Darwin.

My Buzzing! event at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2014

My Buzzing! event at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2014

I had the good fortune to chat with some of my audience before and after my show, and what a lively, bright, interesting and interested bunch they were. (And how very complimentary their accompanying adults were about my show!)

After my book signing I took the opportunity to look around at some of the exhibits at the exhibition. Fascinating!

The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition is an annual event showcasing the most exciting cutting- edge science and technology in the UK. And it’s all free! If you’re interested in science, I definitely recommend you go next year. As you’ll see from the Royal Society website, there are events specially for children, and ones for adults too.

My tip: if it’s raining, take a brolly as you might have to queue to get in – it’s that popular! (And rightly so!)

Queuing to get into the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, July 2014

Queuing to get into the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, July 2014

Thank you to Marie-Claude Dupuis of the Royal Society and her band of helpers for ensuring my event ran so smoothly.

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz.biz – Bringing poetry to life

Hay-on-Mud

Never have I performed my Buzzing! show to such a fabulous collection of wellington boots as at the Hay Festival last week!

Welly boot wearers peeking in as I was setting up for my Buzzing! show at Hay

Welly boot wearers peeking in as I was setting up my Buzzing! show at Hay

It was ever so slightly wet there. And ever so slightly muddy. As you can see:

The Hay Festival artists' car park

The Hay Festival artists’ car park

Fortunately, Mike Barfield and I arrived well prepared:

Mike Barfield and I arriving at the Hay Festival suitably wellied

Mike Barfield and me arriving at the Hay Festival suitably wellied

As did my publishers, Nicola and Hugh Loxdale of Brambleby Books:

With my publishers, Nicola and Hugh Loxdale of Brambleby Books

With my publishers, Nicola and Hugh Loxdale of Brambleby Books outside my venue, The Cube

My Buzzing! show went well:

Performing my Buzzing! show at the Hay Festival

Performing my Buzzing! show at the Hay Festival

And the children asked all sorts of fascinating minibeast questions afterwards. (Most of which I was able to answer!)

Then we repaired to the Hay Festival bookshop, where I had a lovely time chatting with lots of children (and their parents and grandparents) and signing copies of my Buzzing! book for them.

Book signing at Hay

Book signing at Hay

More book signing at Hay

More book signing at Hay

The book signing continues ...

The book signing continues …

I was very chuffed because this was my first opportunity to see the reprint of my Buzzing! book (yes, the first print run has sold out!) This version has a slightly different front and back cover, and looks good!

My first glimpse of the new reprint of Buzzing!

My first glimpse of the new reprint of Buzzing!

Thank you to everyone who made my day at Hay possible, from Mike Barfield (who not only is an A1 chauffeur, but also put on an excellent show called SWAT! based on his excellent book of the same name), through publishers Nicola and Hugh Loxdale, to the lovely young lady from the Festival who escorted me throughout my stay and saw to my every wish. Now, I believe she was called Cleo, but I hope she will forgive me if I have her name wrong. (I did warn her at the time that names are not my forte!)

With the very helpful Cleo, from the Festival

With the very helpful Cleo, from the Festival

All in all this was a mightily muddy day I shall never forget!

I was back at the Festival three days later to take part in a Radio 4 programme being recorded in the BBC tent. However, that’s another story …

Anneliese Emmans Dean www.theBigBuzz.biz – Bringing poetry to life

Manchester Minibeast Limericks

I had the great good fortune to spend a day last week as the guest of Birchfields Primary School in Manchester. I started off by performing a Buzzing! show for all of KS2, then spent the rest of the day with Year 5 classes.

Year 5 were very imaginative and created an extraordinary range of brand new minibeasts – in limericks. This will come in very handy for the Cornerstones Beast Creator project they have started this week.

You can see what we all got up to at Birchfields at their fabulous blog. (Great use of iPad tech by Mr Lang!) Best of all, you can see there how the children got on after I left. That’s the bit I don’t usually get to see. And it is, of course, the most important bit of all.

I’m looking forward very much to seeing the models Year 5 create as part of their Beast Creator project. I hope they succeed in defeating their ‘super-aphids’!

Meanwhile, many thanks to Mr Lang for inviting me to his school and for looking after me so well whilst I was there. Thank you to everyone I encountered there who welcomed me so very warmly. It was a great pleasure to spend the day with you.

What did Mr Lang ang his pupils make of my visit? You can read some of their feedback here.

If you’d like your school to get Buzzing! – perhaps to link in with your Cornerstones Beast Creator project – then do email me.

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life