2018 › Oxford

Past event

Viviane Schwarz and Gitte Spee Performance

How did it go?

We welcomed 240 children and teachers to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History in September to meet two great European illustrators: Gitte Spee and Viviane Schwarz. Arriving for the performance to be greeted by a towering T Rex skeleton certainly made an impression! We enjoyed hearing each author talk about how they work and read us one of their books, and there were lots of probing questions from the audience. But the highlight – and noisiest part of the performance! - was definitely the live drawing: taking suggestions from the audience and, at one point, collaborating on a joint drawing, Viviane and Gitte demonstrated their techniques, great talent and huge sense of fun.

What people said:

Children were able to ask questions, and both Viv and Gitte drew their illustrations live on stage! Both adults and children were amazed at how they created their drawings.

Forest Farm Oxford Montessori

Gitte Spee Workshop

Viviane and Gitte each visited two schools to run illustration workshops and sign free copies of their books. Gitte taught the children how to draw Buffy, her mouse heroine, and how to show emotions through facial expressions in their own characters.

Each child taking part in the workshop received a book to take home and keep.

Did you go to this performance or attend one of the related workshops? Send us your photos and feedback to be featured on this page

Museum of Natural History, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PW
Monday 24th September
11:00 am
Approx. 1 hour
Age range:
Years 2 and 3

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Gitte Spee

Gitte Spee was born on the island of Java in Indonesia and moved to the Netherlands when she was eleven. At first Gitte illustrated books for lots of other writers but after a while she started to write herself. She found that she enjoyed this the most as when she writes and draws she can create a unique world. Her most well known books include Mr. Big, Monkey and Mole and the Inspector Gordon series written by Ulf Nilsson.

Praise for the Inspector Gordon series

Beautifully written with gentle humour and compassion. The colour illustrations by Gitte Spee capture the mood of the tale perfectly; her squirrels are full of exuberance, Gordon is world-weary and Buffy is refreshingly enthusiastic. The result is an ideal introduction for young readers to the world of novels.

The Source (New Zealand)

Viviane Schwarz

Viviane Schwarz makes books, comics and games. She was born in Germany and studied American Literature and Linguistics at Bonn university before moving to England and studying illustration at Falmouth College of Arts. She has written and illustrated over a dozen picture books and a graphic novel as well as designing games and interactive installations.

Praise for How to Find Gold

Schwarz’s illustrations are truly lovely, from the simple lines of the characters to the stunning double spreads of the discovery itself. This story celebrates the imagination, play and adventure – children (and adults) will be behind Anna and Crocodile all the way.


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