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PAM ROYDS 1924 - 2016

Pam Royds on Grasmere , 1971 with Sally Christie, children’s author and daughter of Philippa Pearce. I was just twenty two when I fir...

About Me

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My blog is about writing and illustrating children's books which I have been doing since 1974. www.gillianmcclure.com has all my books. I also have another blog: www.paulcoltman.blogspot.com where I publish my father's poems.

Sunday, 25 March 2012


When I visited a Nursery school in quite a deprived area near Kettering this March, I did my workshop based on The Little White Sprite, which starts with me drawing an old hollow tree, and I was surprised at the children's vocabulary. I've done this workshop with older, less deprived children - Reception and Year 1 and they often struggle with words like 'twig' and 'bark.'

But these very young children, some only three years old, knew all about trees. Not just that, they were very receptive to the idea there might be a mysterious world inside an old hollow tree and magical creatures living there. I discovered the reason for this was they'd all participated in one of the
Forest Schools. These schools aim to 'develop a love of the natural world' and, more interestingly, to encourage an ‘understanding when to take risks and when to take responsibility.’ So my story, where a child goes through a hole in a hollow tree and plays the little white sprite inside, but then has to decide to return safely back home again, really struck a chord.

Sunday, 18 March 2012


This event was organised by the History Department at Essex University where I'm one of the Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellows. It was part of the Essex Literary Festival.
     I was interested in Nigel Cochrane's thoughts about e books. As an academic librarian, he sees them as here to stay but at the moment they are expensive; there’s VAT to be paid on e books unlike volume books and publishers are charging academic libraries very high prices for e books and then making them re-buy, having imposed a limited license.  
     The categories, it was agreed, that are unlikely to succumb completely to e books are cookery books (nobody wants their kindle covered in grease) and children’s picture books. There was a discussion as to whether very young children can retain information from a screen in the same way they can from a book.
     I firmly believe, from my observations at Waterstones signings, that there are enough discerning parents looking to foster a love of reading in their very young children for there always to be a niche market for high quality picture books.

Sunday, 4 March 2012


World Book Day and a new book and a new workshop.

I spent an afternoon with years 3, 4, 5 and 6 at Seaford College in West Sussex. We thought up a sequel to Zoe’s Boat - Zoe and the Dog going off in search of the cuddly crocodile, seen on this page swimming away when a big wave hits the little boat.
The children did a single page of the narrative in picture frames using black felt tips. Getting away from pencils, rubbers and rulers and working on A3 sheets of paper made them work more quickly and freely. It was a lot of fun. Here are three examples of their work: