It was great to see children joining up for the online author session with the Bracknell Forest Library today. With so many children burnt out from screen time, I didn’t think I would get to see such enthusiastic faces and share ideas with like minded creatives during our hour long session.
The start was a bit wobbly with my early entry into the Zoom meeting, which reduced the time available. Luckily, the super librarian, Sarah, created a link to a second session so that we could continue with story time once the first session timed out. Moofy and Flo took their debut, sharing their story of how things can sometimes go wrong when helping friends. The children responded well to the story and gave a thumbs up to my questions about helping others.
We then moved on to a second story for the older children called Cecil the Bully. Reading it aloud reminded me of how much fun it is to capture villains we encounter in our every day life. The children engaged with the story and were happy to continue after an interruption in the session to click onto the new link. We broke the story telling up with an activity of creating our own villains. What an amazing bunch of children! Some very creative ideas came out of the session and very inventive names for their villains. A very talented boy called Andrew even had time to draw his robotic villain and shared the illustration at the end of the session.
Cecil and his gang didn’t get to finish their tale of slapstick pranks at the Easter Sticky Competition, but I do hope the children enjoyed their time listening to the stories and the illustrations which I posted on the shared screen. It was a very different session compared to the face to face meetings we usually have in the library. As the world evolves and changes to the circumstances we are now presented with, we will continue to adapt and apply our skills to entertaining and educating the children online. After all, the children today proved that you don’t need excessive amounts of time to create villains, and the super heroes required to fight them.
Feedback from today’s session:
“Dear Bracknell Library,
I wanted to say how much my son and I both enjoyed Elouise’s virtual story time this morning.
Eloise De Sousa’s session was so enjoyable. She tailored the story time so that it was suitable for all ages; I saw children from KS1, aged 5-7 AND KS2, aged 7-11 engaging with the session and it was clear everyone especially loved the work-shop style element at the end of her readings.
Thank you so much for providing these free of charge to families during this difficult time. It really has raised our spirits this morning and my son is now inspired to start writing a new book!
Encouraging our children to learn through lockdown has been a challenging process. From online lessons to socially distanced picnic meet ups – we have tried it all! Listening to their needs, we’ve discovered that writing prompts are not enough. Temptation has turned most children to televisions, social media and gaming instead of learning, writing and creating. We have had to do more with our sessions to capture their attention and keep them enthused. Here is what we have done to provide our young writers with enough inspiration to keep writing…
After a wobbly start to Scat’s re-launch, thanks to C19, Scat has finally found firm footing for his return. Ready to face his readers with a new cover and a revised version of his book, this wily feline feels confident that more children will enjoy his fabulous tale.
Bullying affects everyone. It’s not easy to overcome the sense of helplessness you feel when you are bullied by someone. Nor is it easy to understand that some bullies have their own terrible tales to tell. Scat follows the path of vengeance against his bully but soon learns that there are consequences to every action.
Watch Scat’s story here and share it with your family and friends.
The Bracknell Forest Library Service are loading new videos of books read by their authors for your enjoyment during lockdown. I was lucky enough to be included in their line up with my book, Space Dust. If you recall, this little adventure was written for the Library Service during last year’s Summer Reading Challenge.
Writing a book is one thing; recording it without my comical faces or extreme hand gestures was near to impossible! Add to that the intermittent sounds of Millie, our dog, joining in the recording and you have a video of Space Dust.
If you’d listen to watch the story, click on the pic below:
If you’d like to buy your own copy, paperback or ebook, click on the pic below:
Thank you for writing Space Chase for the summer reading challenge 2019. The title and illustrations draw children towards the book. Children are drawn into the story with the use of imagery. The pace and use of rhyme is perfect for children from 4-10 years. This is a good book to use for story times.
“Space Dust,” is a delightful young children’s tale penned in rhythmic prose, truly this author’s gift to the world. Read this story out loud to hear the measured motion of the words.
When Little One’s mother leaves without saying goodbye, it devastates the tot. Big Ox (Grandpa) comes to the rescue, suggesting an adventure to the stars where Little One can look down and wave at his mum.
Off they set in a canoe to the stars. First up is Venus, then Saturn, and the Moon! Yet everywhere they travel Little One can’t find his mum. Eventually, the little boy falls asleep. Grandpa tucks him in his bed where he dreams of moonbeams and fiery bears dancing in his head.
What a delightful read. Young children who enjoy stories read to them would delight in this book. As a bonus, the illustrations are simple enough for a little one to grasp their meaning.
For me, it was the poetic rhythm of the words that made this story a true delight for young and *ahem* older readers. I received an advance reader copy of the book for this review.
A children’s book needs imagery, and Space Dust has that in spadefuls. Imagine the mind of a little one who has been left at home, by mummy, with no explanation at all. That’s what happens to Little One, but he’s lucky as he has Bix Ox with him, to take him on an adventure of his own, into space, on his canoe. They visit planets, and see amazing space creatures, collecting space dust on their shoes as they go. Enjoy Eloise’s beautiful illustrations and poetic words that give the story a wonderful rhythm.
I was gifted a copy of this book to read in my classroom.
Oh what a beautiful book for children from 3 to 11, and if you want to know my honest opinion, I loved it too and read it out loud to my husband who mmm mmm’d (that’s good!).
Eloise de Sousa has a way with words. When I started reading I had a little lump in my throat but soon I was excited on the adventure with Big Ox and Little One, whose Mummy had left without even a goodbye! The theme of space is so relevant as our youngsters learn more about the Universe. The story gathers pace with Little One looking for his Mummy on the adventure that Big Ox has taken him on in a canoe with his “absolute favourite spoon”. They travel passed planets and Eloise has incorporated some real life information about Venus and Saturn, and “Neptune’s glassy cloud” in a subtle way.
Beautiful flow, rhyme and rhythm, as mentioned by other reviewers. Repetition is just right. Imagination is second to none – “sea horses swimming in creamy mushroom soup, Or spring onion beams for them to perform their daring loop-dee-loops” … can you just see it?
I love how sensitive Little One is when he tells Big Ox he is “very sorry if I sound like I don’t care”; but then sees how down Big Ox is by his remark. Little One quickly wants to get Big Ox back to his happy self by suggesting they continue their travels where he may see his Mummy.
Very sensitively written. I love how the story calms down towards the end as sleep overtakes Little One but we know that there are more adventures with Big Ox and Little One to follow.
The illustrations are brave and bold and love that they are by the author herself.
I’m so pleased that I have bought a few of these books for the young people in my family as well as close friends. I’m sure they – and their parents – will enjoy.
I purchased two copies for my Grandchildren. They loved the rhyme, the canoe and the firebears. I thoroughly enjoyed the language used by Eloise. A book that introduced a wider vocabulary this is a huge hit in my eyes. A must for reading in voices and adding drama, lets get one for every child. Gender neutral suitable for every child 3-8. They simply adore it.
This is a delightful little story with massive appeal to the 4-11 year-old age group. You will enjoy reading the adventures of Big Ox and Little One to your youngsters. As they learn to read, I am sure that they will enjoy reading the story back to you.
The beginning of the story is rather sad. Little One’s mummy has left the house without any explanation or “Goodbye.” Understandably, Little One is upset but Big Ox soon comes up with a scheme to pick them both up. He invites Little One to travel into space in his special canoe which he paddles with is “absolute favourite spoon.”
They visit Venus, calling out to Little One’s mummy along the way. Maybe they’ll find her. Maybe they won’t. But they’ll see lots along the way and much silliness is guaranteed.
The book is beautifully illustrated by the author. I liked the rhythm and the rhyme and the flow. You’ll almost be able to sing your way through the story with your children or grandchildren and I am sure that you will all be as happy as Little One when it’s time for bed.
Having enjoyed Space Dust, I am left excited at the prospect that the story leaves me anticipating the pair’s next adventure. There is much promise of a lot more to come. I can’t wait!