Storytime at Tate Britain January 2017

Alex Barrow and I have visited lots of many primary schools since publishing our first books in 2014. We have done readings, accompanied by Alex's 'fast-draw' illustrations, run workshops, attended  Book Jams, numerous children's festivals and bookshop events. Alex has even delighted children and teachers alike with an impromptu accordion tune or two on a couple of occasions!

Busy-busy at the South London Gallery dino workshop, part of the South London Gallery Children’s Book Fair 2017

As a team we can deliver:
  • London-based, fun and fact-filled workshops built around the sights, sounds (and smells) of London Calls! Suitable for ages 5-9 (Reception to Year 5). 
  • Early science fun with a fast-paced, rhyming, quick-draw journey around the body in A Roller-coaster Ride Around the Body. Suitable for ages 6-10 (school years 2-5).
  • For a slightly younger crowd, a trip through London to the Zoo (and home for tea) workshop that revolves around A Possum's Tail
  • And now another stroll through the city streets in A Possum's Tail enticing 'prequel', Samuel Drew Hasn't a Clue. This story celebrates some delicious and interesting traditional high street shops, and encourages children to imagine and draw their own!
  • Or how about some dinosaur-based fun, with dino-tastic pet discussion and drawing based on If I had a Dinosaur.
  • And coming up in February 2020, the next in the series, entiled: If I had a sleepy sloth...
  • Help Mouse find a new house and discover the adventures of his fairytale friends in A House for Mouse ...
  • Or make some masks and be more Bear (or Owl-ish) in A Song for Bear workshop!
Independently, I run poetry and art workshops and Alex runs printing/illustration workshops. We have both also run workshops as part of kids arts and science magazine, Okido over the past 10 years.

As a long-term project that grew out of one of our reading/illustration sessions, Alex worked with  an entire school of kids at an Anglo-French pre-prep in Hammersmith, London to create a truly wonderful permanent wall mural inspired by London Calls! (see below)

Every school is different and the needs of every group of children will vary so we adapt  and go-with-the-flow wherever we go.

All I need are my glasses - and all Alex needs is a flip-board, some paper and pens!

*Dinosaur, *London Calls, *Possum's Tail and *A House for Mouse all have accompanying activity sheets, and *A Song for Bear has accompanying masks to make - scroll to the bottom of the page to see. Just let us know before the event, and we'll email the pdf to print out beforehand.

 If I had a dinosaur (published by Thames & Hudson)  
A Roller-coaster Ride Around the Body (published by Franklin Watts/Hachette)
London Calls! (published by Tate Publishing)
A Possum's Tail (published by Tate Publishing)
A House for Mouse (published by Thames & Hudson)
A Song for Bear  (published by Thames & Hudson)

Have a look at some pictures from our workshops, festivals, bookshop windows, gallery events and more here…
Alex and I on stage at the Big Dog Children's Festival, Dumfries, March 2019
And at the fabulous children's shop Ottie & the Bea Blackheath, for A Song for Bear event
Running an event at the fantastic Stoke Newington Literary Festival

Illustrator Alex Barrow, Gabby Dawnay (that's me) & Joseph Coelho (poet & playwrite) at Dundolnald Primary School Library Launch September 2018

FOYLES Bookshop, Charing Cross Road, Author Event April 2018 

Shortlisted for the ASE Book Award 2017

Corpus Christi School, Brixton quick draw Roller-coaster ride!

Big Red Bus display at Tate Briatin

'If I had a dinosaur he'd carry me to school...' children's artwork

More marvellous dino artwork!

Ottie and the Bea bookshop event

Book display in Peckham primary school

Busy-busy at the South London Gallery dino workshop


South London Gallery drawing

Random Storytime magazine competition - London Calls!

Tales on Moon Lane bookshop dino-window!

Dino-window detail

More dino-window, plus Alex, Kasper and Hero the whippet!

Quick dino review!
Storytime at Tate Britain

Storytime at Tate Britain! January 2017

Storystock festival, October 2016 Half Term, Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith

Fabulous display at Peckham Park Primary

The nursery in Coram's Fields

London Calls visits the Storystock festival at the Lyric theatre, Hammersmith, October 2016

Possum's page on the Pop-Up Hub

Artwork from a Y5 class, Kew Prep

Activity sheets!
La Petite Ecole Fran├žaise
The London Calls Magic bus, populated by the imaginative illustrations from a Tales on Moon Lane event.

The Star nursery
Y1 thank you cards from one of our workshops
Peckham Park Primary!


Excellent news!




The Y2 class at Tidemill Primary, in Deptford, wrote poems about London based on my poem "If I were a…"


I was officially 'Poet of the Month'!

"If I was a tiger... I'd be roaring as loudly as people shouting"

Owl & Bear mask templates


BACKGROUND information...

My first picture book - called A Possum's Tail - is a collaboration with brilliant illustrator Alex Barrow and came out 6th February 2014. A second book called London Calls! is a whistle-stop tour of London, led by a Pearly grandma and her granddaughter. London Calls! came out on 4th September 2014 and is my second book with Alex Barrow. A Possum's Tail was nominated for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal.
Both books are by Tate Publishing.

Please see my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE or CURRICULUM VITAE for more details & updates.

As well as writing children's books, for children's television and two award-winning children's magazines, I do both private and commercial art commissions, a selection of which you can see here.

The children's shoes are part of an ongoing series of "first shoes", including several cards commissioned by the Almanac Gallery.

Hand-drawn, bespoke invitations, announcements, portraits and menus, such as the examples here are also available upon request..

Any enquiries please email:


I've been a regular contributor to children's art and science magazine OKIDO since 2007. HAPPY 10th BIRTHDAY (WOW) beautiful Okido!

An Okido animated kids tv show, based on characters from the magazine is currently in production with Doodle/Squintopera The original adaptation of the show (co-created/adapted by myself, producer Ceri Barnes and Doodle Productions) was acquired by CBeebies. 52 x 11 minute episodes will be coming to a screen near you soon in 2015.......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .............................
N E W S F L A S H! MESSY GOES TO OKIDO Series TWO has now finished production, and will be coming to your screens S O O N ...! (Autumn 2018, to be exact)



Cartoon Forum 2011 Okido booklet

Cartoon Forum 2011 Okido booklet
Okido Cartoon Forum 2011

Happy Birthday OKIDO!

Happy Birthday OKIDO!
Okido was 5 years old this issue...the wonderful art and science magazine for kids I've been lucky enough to have worked on for the past - 8 - years now