Quick: Buzzing! sale – 50% off!

Quick – time to grab your copy of my award-winning book Buzzing! at a mere £5! That’s the cheapest the book has ever been! It’s part of my publisher, Brambleby Books’ Black Friday 50% off weekend sale – which ends tonight (Sunday 27 Nov 2016).

Buy your copy here – while stocks last!

A perfect present for any nature-loving/giggle-loving/rhyme-loving primary children (and all young-at-heart grown-ups too!) And the perfect antidote to  nature deficiency disorder!

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Whilst you’re at Brambleby’s site, check out the discounts on their other great natural history books too!

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life

 

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Autumn at Skelton Grange

I’ve been wanting to visit Skelton Grange for ages. It does in Leeds what our St Nicks does here in York. Both are environment centres in urban settings offering, amongst many other things, conservation volunteering opportunities and the chance to frolic (or stomp around – as you prefer) in nature and learn more about it.

St Nicks held its Autumn Fayre on Saturday 15 October (where I presided over the creation of a community poem). The Saturday before that, Skelton Grange held their Big Green Weekend Open Day, and invited me to come and put on an event for visitors. An invitation I couldn’t refuse!

So, I got to Skelton Grange at last! And took families with younger children on Rhyme Time Rambles round their grounds.

The setting for Skelton Grange is urban. Very urban:

The approach to Skelton Grange Environment Centre

The approach to Skelton Grange Environment Centre

But step inside, and you’re in a different world, with woodland and ponds and fruit trees and bird hides …

A bird hide at Skelton Grange

A bird hide at Skelton Grange

… and minibeast hotels and mosaics and sculptures …

A Skelton Grange sculpture

Skelton Grange sculpture

and, and, and!

There was *lots* going on at this Open Day, from spinning to willow weaving to charcoal making to … a tug of war. Oh, and spoon-making, of course, by Dan of 2carvedspoons!

Dan with his carved spoons

Dan with his beautiful carved spoons (and bowls)

Thank you to everyone who came and joined in my Rhyme Time Rambles. And to the Robin that came along for the ride!

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Thank you too to Freya for suggesting me to Skelton Grange in the first place. And to Toby for all his admin and organisation.

Freya busy serving freshly baked pizzas

Freya busy serving freshly baked pizzas

If you live in Leeds and haven’t been to Skelton Grange, then I thoroughly recommend it as a place where both you and the kids can run around through bird- and minibeast-rich woodland and meadow and get a real sense of being in the great outdoors slap bang in the middle of a big city. A place where you can breathe.

They run all sorts of activities and courses too. Check out their website for more details.

Skelton Grange Environment Centre

Skelton Grange Environment Centre

And if you’d like me to put on some Rhyme Time Rambles for your upcoming outdoor event, then just get in touch!

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life

Let me edu-tain you!

STOP PRESS: My new book Flying High! is published! 

<Scroll down for the latest blog posts>

Welcome to theBigBuzz, home of poet and performer Anneliese Emmans Dean. Let me edu-tain you with my award winning:

and my acclaimed:

I’m all about promoting learning through laughter, rhythm and rhyme, wellbeing through words and sustainability through creativity. So whether you’re a primary school looking for a poet or photographer to visit, a theatre or festival looking for an edu-taining family show, a club looking for an edu-taining after-dinner speaker, or a parent looking for a photography workshop to give your child as a present, then just get in touch, and I’ll see how I can help.

Mooch around this site, read the feedback (from schools and from events) and scroll down through the blog posts below to learn more.

And to find out where you can see a show or take part in a workshop, click here.

Anneliese Emmans Dean

Continue reading

Bowled over by Bolton-on-Swale

It was my second visit to Bolton-on-Swale Primary School. I spent half a day there last year celebrating World Book Day, as a result of which Mrs Dobson, the Head Teacher, invited me back for a full day this year.

And what a day it turned out to be!

I kick-started the day with an interactive poetry show for the whole school in which I performed poems from both my award-winning Buzzing! book and my forthcoming Flying High! book too.

Then Mrs Jones’ Class 4 (Years 5 & 6) knocked my socks off with the fabulous minibeast poems they wrote in our Minibeast Magic workshop. Each and every one of the pupils imagined really well what it was like to be a particular minibeast, and they used lots of magic tricks I showed them to make their poems sparkle.

Mr Ramsbottom’s Class 3 (Years 3 & 4) and I went on a wildlife walk. After which the pupils tickled me pink with the rhyming couplet poem they came up with, all about the things we’d seen. My favourite couplet was:

‘Rooks retreating to their nest
Trying to avoid the Class 3 test’

Rooks' nest at Bolton-on-Swale Primary School

Rooks’ nest at Bolton-on-Swale Primary School

The rest of the school giggled at that too, when Class 3 performed their poem in the sharing assembly at the end of the day. In which Reception warmed everyone up with their Warm-Up Rhyme from our Rhyme Time Ramble, and KS1 performed the brand new minibeast poem that they’d created outdoors in our Millipedes Galore workshop.

What a great day’s poetry from fabulous children. And what lucky children they are, too, to have such lovely school grounds to enjoy – including their very own Reflection Garden. There we spotted bumblebees, hoverflies, spiders and even the cuckoo spit of froghopper nymphs.

The Reflection Garden at Bolton-on-Swale Primary School - complete with storyteller's chair

The Reflection Garden at Bolton-on-Swale Primary School – complete with storyteller’s chair

Thank you to all the teachers and teaching assistants who pitched in so enthusiastically with my workshops. Here’s some of their feedback:

‘This session (in which the children were writing minibeast poems) was brilliantly modelled with enthusiasm and fantastic creativity/subject knowledge. As a result the children were excited, inspired and consequently wrote poems of a very high standard.’
Mrs Jones, Year 5/6 teacher

‘A very inspiring morning! All children were engaged and took an active role when learning the rhymes.’
Victoria Moodie, Reception teacher

If you’d like a poetry visit to your school, then just get in contact!

Anneliese Emmans DeantheBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life

 

New mini-beast magazine for mini-people

OK, so you’ve just missed National Insect Week this year, but fear not! You’ve still got loads of time to take a peek at Instar, a great new – free – online insect magazine for kids aged 7 upwards. (You can click on the image below to read it.)

I especially recommend your perusing pages 18 to 21, where not only will you be able to read a couple of my insect poems (from my award-winning minibeast poetry book Buzzing!) but you’ll also find my tips to help you write your own poems inspired by insects.

Instar magazine is brought to you by the Royal Entomological Society – who know a thing or two about insects! – and contains loads of fascinating articles.

Enjoy!

Oh, and feel free to send me any insect poems you write. I’d love to see what you think it feels like to be a particular insect …

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

Sneak preview …

Here’s a sneak preview of the cover of my new book, Flying High!, which will be published later this year by Brambleby Books:

The cover of my forthcoming new book, to be published by Brambleby Books this summer

The cover of my forthcoming new book, to be published by Brambleby Books this summer

Isn’t it wonderful? Designed by Tanya Warren at Creatix Design for Brambleby, and featuring a superb photo taken by Lee Walker.

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted that this is very much the companion volume to my first Brambleby book, i.e. Buzzing!  But whereas Buzzing! was all about minibeasts, Flying High! is – you’ve guessed it – all about birds.

Flying High! takes you through the seasons, bird by bird, poem by poem, fact by fact. (Oh, and giggle by giggle, of course!) All accompanied by stunning photos from a whole array of talented bird photographers. And a fabulous Foreword by the RSPB Vice-President himself, none other than Professor Sir John Lawton CBE FRS.

All very exciting!

I’ll let you know when publication is imminent …

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

 

 

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