February 22nd, 2021

Bookshow at Home A-Z of Artists

Bookshow at Home with Elizabeth Laird

This week we are celebrating an artist beginning with the letter E and we have chosen multi-award winning Elizabeth Laird who's been shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal six times. Elizabeth took part in The Children’s Bookshow in 2010 at the Unicorn Theatre in London. We especially love her novel Welcome to Nowhere which was inspired by the people she met when visiting and volunteering in two Syrian refugee camps in Jordan. In this newsletter we’ll be focusing on another of Elizabeth’s wonderful books, a picture book, Grobblechops, a story for younger readers that was picked for Children's Book Week Mental Health Week Scheme by The Reading Agency.

Book of the Week: Grobblechops

Amir doesn’t want to go to bed. He’s afraid there might be a monster waiting in the dark. What if he has big teeth and growls like a lion? And what if the monster’s mum and dad come too? Grobblechops joins Tiny Owl’s other titles in their fabulous Tales by Rumi series. Who would have thought that a poet and scholar from Iran eight hundred years ago would have so many marvellous stories to tell?

Author in focus

Elizabeth Laird is an award winning author of over 150 books including novels, picture books and folk story collections. She always wanted to be a traveller. Having lived all over the world Elizabeth now lives in Britain, but she still likes to travel as much as she can.

Her first big adventure was teaching in a school in Malaysia when she was eighteen. She went trekking in the jungle, and decided that an adventurous life was for her, even though she went down with typhoid and was bitten by a sea snake! She has won many awards, including the Children's Book Award for Kiss the Dust, the Smarties Young Judges Award, and the Lancashire Book Award. Her latest book is called A House Without Walls and was published in 2019 by Macmillan Children's Books.

Enjoy Elizabeth Laird reading Grobblechops


In Grobblechops, Amir is a worrier. Even when Dad offers him a solution, Amir just comes back with a ‘what if’ and another even bigger worry. Being anxious is completely normal and is nature’s way of keeping us safe and helping us to achieve goals. However, not all worries are helpful worries, and before we know it, just like in Grobblechops, a little worry can become a huge, scary one!

If we tell someone our worries, or write them down, it can help to take the worry off our mind. One way of getting rid of worries is to feed them to a worry monster: they love eating up all your worries. As you write your worries down, it will also help to talk to someone you trust about them. You can decide which worries can be fed to the monster and forgotten about and which ones you might need some help to deal with.

Here are two ideas for creating worry monsters:

Make A Worry Monster Model

You can use any box for a worry monster but tissue boxes are ideal as they already have a hole cut out for the monster’s mouth. The one pictured has been made from an empty cereal box which has been undone, turned inside out and glued back together again – making it an ideal surface to then paint, colour or add bits to. Once you have created your monster, write your worries onto small pieces of paper, fold them up and feed them to the monster!

Make a Fold Out Worry Monster

Step 1
Fold the paper in half and then fold back one edge back towards the middle.

Step 2
With the extra fold at the top, draw the outline of your monster so that it crosses the fold. Add feet and a face, ensuring that the fold is in the middle of the lips.

Step 3
Unfold the paper and join up the top and bottom of the body. Do the same to the mouth. Add some arms.

Step 4
Colour in the monster and then write your worries in its mouth.

We’d love to see your worry monsters! To send us your work to display in our gallery use the link below, or upload to twitter with the hashtag #BookshowAtHome.

Email us your work for our gallery

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