Tuesday, October 21

Pop Up Workshop Sherborne Literary Festival

I was delighted to give a Monster Pop Up Workshop for children as part of the Sherborne Literary Festival. For a start, the venue was only 50 metres from our front door!
It's great to see Sherborne creating a Literary Festival such as this and a real pleasure to support it. The strong line up included such literary luminaries as James Wong, Helen Yemm, Gyles Brandreth, Victoria Glendinning, Ann Widdecombe, Helen Rappaport and Rachel Joyce. A host of events had been organised around the town, including outreach events in local schools and libraries.
There was a quite a buzz in the town and the staff of Winstone's Books of Sherborne, including my wonderful wife Helen, were busy fulfilling the bookselling needs of the various events.

I had a great group of eager children, their parents and grandparents for the event.  Ably aided by my wife Helen, 5 yr old veteran pop up creator Tabitha, great friends and neighbours Jenny and Annie we set to. Armed with copious amounts of my favourite Rothmill coloured card, sellotape and scissors, we made pop up monsters, dinosaurs and one or two rabbits! The children were really creative and inventive and it was a great pleasure to see so many Mums, Dads and Grandparents getting stuck in too.

I'm always struck by how much fun the 'grown-ups' have at my workshops, I really should give them specifically for an older audience. It seems we need to be given 'permission' to play as we get older, which is in many ways a sad thing. So to see so many Mums and Dads creating their own pop up paper monsters filled my heart with joy and they were clearly loving it!

I gave the children a brief tour of my pop up books and showed them lots of my ideas, roughs and importantly my mistakes, before showing them how to make a very simple pop up monster face. They then took my simple idea and flew with it, adding their own unique touches and ideas.

I've had some lovely feedback from the event and, as is so often the case, the magic of creating pop up monsters had even the wriggliest child sitting down and concentrating, whilst they brought their own special character to life. One little lad who simply cannot sit still for more than 20 minutes, sat happily focussed for over an hour. That's very rewarding to be part of.

There is something about the magic of creating a three dimensional creature out of our most common two dimensional material. A few simple folds and cuts, some sellotape and a racing imagination, very soon it's smiles all round and a wonderful hum of concentration. I make a point of spending individual time with every child, it's fascinating to see what they create and incredible to hear the stories that they tell me about their pop up beasties. Even the most reluctant of storytellers has created the backstory for their characters without even thinking that that's what they're doing.
It works it's magic time after time and never ceases to amaze me.
Try it for yourself!

You can find simple pop up card templates to download and lots of ideas on my Pop Up Paper Blog.

Many thanks to John Gaye and Helen Stickland for these great photos.
If you would like a Pop Up or Drawing Workshop at your school, library or festival, please visit the Author Event and Pop Up Workshop page on my website or email me here..

Thursday, October 9

Ten Terrible Dinosaurs

Ten Terrible Dinosaurs...


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A shiny brand new edition of this favourite children's dinosaur book has been published by Random House, under their Picture Corgi imprint.
I'm really pleased to see this book back in print as part of the wonderful new World of Dinosaur Roar! Originally created as a companion book for Dinosaur Roar! I wrote the text for this book sitting on someone else's stand at the 1996 Bologna Children's Book Fair in Italy.
It was one of those lucky texts that just arrived, fully formed, all I had to do was write it down. That doesn't often happen...
It did in the case of One Bear One Dog and also Bears. I would love to know how that works.
Ten Terrible Dinosaurs is a counting book but a counting book in reverse. We start out with ten mischievous dinosaurs and end with just one.
I had great fun drawing all those naughty dinosaurs. It was one of those rare books where I sat down with a miniature dummy of the book and started drawing on page one. I then drew every single spread, in order, in one fell swoop. Again, that very rarely happens!


Thursday, September 18

BIG FUN Education: An author event with Paul Stickland



Dinosaur Roar! Video Hangout with BIG FUN Education!

It was a great pleasure to be part of +BIG FUN Education's inaugural author event live on Google Plus recently. It's the very first time that I've presented a Dinosaur Roar! author event live in a google plus video hangout. Confidently hosted and assisted by founder +Annabelle Howard and +Azlin Bloor, I had the extraordinary experience of reading and engaging with children in both Hawaii and Argentina!
I used the colourful Keynote presentation of Dinosaur Roar! which I use at author events and workshops in schools, libraries and festivals and, with a minor hiccup, it worked really well. Being able to zoom in on details of my dinosaur illustrations, allows children to enjoy the details that they would normally only be able to appreciate in a book.
The children had some great questions for me and it was so cool to be able to see and converse with them on the other side of the planet!
I've been wanting to try out this amazing hangout technology for a long time and I'm so grateful to Azlin and Annabel for de-mystifying the whole process. It's giving me ideas for other author events!
Time to get the hang of hangouts!


Wednesday, August 13

Free Dinosaur Roar Coloring Pages

Kids love dinosaurs, we all know that! Kids love colouring too, so here are the complete set of 13 FREE Dinosaur Roar! Colouring Pages for your children to colour in. Every single illustration from the best selling children's dinosaur book, Dinosaur Roar! ready for your kids delight!
Great for teachers in schools or nurseries for kid's dinosaur art and craft activities and especially for a dinosaur themed week at school or nursery. These free dinosaur printables from this favorite children's dinosaur book will add to any dinosaur themed activities.
Click on any image to visit DinosaurRoar.com where you can download the whole roaring set of Dinosaur Roar Coloring Sheets.


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Some tips on how to share these pages with your children after the fold...

Tuesday, July 15

How to Build a Dinosaur!

When the amazing team at Seven Stories asked me to build a giant Dinosaur Roar! for their Creation Station, how could I say no?!
I was delighted to be invited to be Artist in Residence at The National Centre for Children's Books, Seven Stories in Newcastle in July 2014. Seven Stories is the most amazing place to visit if you, like me, love children's books. Everything in the building is designed to foster a love for children's books and children's literature.
Wonderful exhibitions featuring the world's best children's book illustrators and authors work, the most incredible children's bookshop and a busy program of events to delight the lucky children that live within reach. What a resource, the children of the Noth East are very lucky indeed.

Seven Stories' dedicated, friendly and resourceful staff really pulled out the stops to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Dinosaur Roar! I was really honoured.
So when Lorna Duncanson emailed me suggesting that I build a giant dinosaur during my time there, I leapt at the chance!

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Sunday, June 1

New Dinosaur Roar! Website

Great news, the new Dinosaur Roar Website is up and running!

Dinosaur games, dinosaur competitions and all the latest Dinosaur Roar News!

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On the new Dinosaur Roar Website we have a wonderful collection of Free Dinosaur Roar Colouring Pages. Every single page of Dinosaur Roar! ready for your kids to colour in. Follow my colouring with inks or try out your own colour schemes, crazy colourful dinosaurs!
 13 Free Dinosaur Roar Acitivities for kids to download and print!

Visit DinosaurRoar.com

Saturday, May 3

Dinosaur Roar iPad and iPhone App!

Great news, the brilliant team at +Immediate Media Co have released...

The Dinosaur Roar App for iPad and iPhone!

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Listen, Read, Record, Colour, Name and ROAR!


Kids just love dinosaurs, they seem to be hard wired for it!
There are a lot of dinosaur apps for kids out there but this is the Dinosaur Roar app for kids!

The World of Dinosaur Roar welcome's a great new kid's dinosaur app for iPad and iPhone.
Buy it here!


It's been great fun seeing the development of this app. My four year old daughter means that I have struggled to keep it out of her grasp but what better way to test an app designed for kids and preschool children.
Simple fun here. The designers at Immediate Media have done a great job of distilling the things that kids love about Dinosaur Roar! So we have a strong emphasis on storytelling. Listen to the story read by a delightful cast or read the story. The favourite feature in this household is recording your own reading of Dinosaur Roar! We have been helpless with laughter at our own silly, childish and very possibly rude version of the text! Brilliant fun, kid's apps aren't usually that funny.
I love the idea of getting your favourite  dinosaur  Grampa or Granny to read the text for their favourite grandson or daughter, saving it for later, great feature.

Then there are some great colouring pages, which you could easily print out to colour in and have fun with. There's a dinosaur name generator too. More details below:

"Inspired by the best-selling picture book, Dinosaur Roar! by Paul and Henrietta Stickland, the new Dinosaur Roar! app, created by Immediate Media Co, is a must for all young dinosaur fans.
Using Paul Stickland’s original designs and Henrietta Stickland’s wonderful rhyming text, the app is aimed at 2-4 year olds and incorporates different storytelling functions, creative colouring options, as well as a fun ‘shake and name’ device. Children can watch, hear, colour in and touch their favourite dinosaurs as they stomp, shuffle, run, chomp, blink, squeak and roar their way across the screen.
Storytelling options let you listen to the story narrated by a child’s voice, or alternatively you can read the story yourself – with the option to record and save – while the innovative scrolling function takes you on a continuous journey through the dinosaurs’ world.
For colouring fun, simply select your favourite dinosaur from the menu, then using your fingers to add colours and patterns, you can recreate the original, or be as creative and colourful as you like. A save function allows you to preserve your mini-masterpiece, plus each dinosaur can be coloured in again and again (and again)!
Sara Oldham, Editor, Pre-School Titles, Immediate, said: I'm a huge fan of the Dinosaur Roar! picture book, which has been delighting children for 20 years. It has been a real privilege to work with the book's illustrator, Paul Stickland, to bring his beautiful paintings to life. We're sure young fans will be thrilled to have this playful family of dinosaurs at their fingertips. And with educational benefits that include reading, writing, creativity, co-ordination, maths and emotional learning, we're sure parents will love it too."
Peter Curtis, Director, Nurture Rights, added: The Dinosaur Roar! app is a perfect companion to the much loved picture book by Paul and Henrietta Stickland. It’s wonderful to see that the book, that has shaped so many young children’s early reading years, has now been reinvented for a new generation. Immediate have brought the book to life beautifully and kids will be roaring for more!"
The classic picture book Dinosaur Roar! by Paul and Henrietta Stickland, was first published in the UK in 1994 and has become a publishing phenomenon, with sales of more than five million books worldwide. As this iconic children’s title marks its 20th anniversary, owners Nurture Rights have appointed Penguin Random House as the new publishers, and have also teamed up with the Natural History Museum to develop and market the Dinosaur Roar! brand. Dinosaur Roar! is the inspiration for a major new project for pre-schoolers being developed by Nurture Rights, in association with the Natural History Museum, with a percentage of royalties from sales of the app going to support the work of the museum."

The Dinosaur Roar! iOS app for iPad and iPhone is priced at £1.99 in the UK and available worldwide for download from iTunes