Guo Yue and Clare Farrow Workshop

The Children’s Bookshow allocates four free workshops for schools who attend a related theatre performance. Each child participating receives a free book to take home and keep.

In their workshop, Yue and Clare talk to the children about the story of Little Leap Forward (the characters, the illustrations, the events that happen and the choices that the characters make), the real history that inspired it (the Cultural Revolution in China, which began in 1966), and they also ask children to think about the themes of the story (nature, loss of freedom, friendship, love, compassion, creativity) in relation to their own lives and dreams. The children participate actively in terms of reading passages out loud, making their own kites (cutting, drawing, writing), learning to write ‘Kite’ in Chinese, and dressing up in Chinese costumes from the 1960s. So there is a balance between learning and doing.

Suitable for:
Years 4, 5 and 6

It was an incredible way to learn about history – to have someone who actually lived through the time who could share not only what happened but also how it affected people. It was really inspiring for the children to see such a talented author and musician. Thank you so much for an unforgettable experience. We feel extremely privileged to have had Guo Yue and Clare Farrow in our school.

Miss Walton, St Nicholas Catholic Primary School, Liverpool

What you need to know

Length of workshop:
Approx. 1 hour 30 minutes
Location of workshop:
We will come to your school
Number of children:
Workshops are for a class of 30 children
Suitable for:
Years 4, 5 and 6

Please note, a teacher must be present throughout the workshop

Materials needed

  • Flipchart or whiteboard
  • Pencils, coloured pencils, pens, glue and scissors for the children.
  • White A4 paper and long coloured strips of paper, eg crepe paper or coloured art paper.
  • Equipment to show videos with sound.
  • A selection of small musical instruments for the children eg. Cymbals, triangles, drums, tambourines etc (optional).
Little Leap Forward cover

Each child attending a workshop will receive a FREE copy of Little Leap Forward to take home and keep!

Book a related theatre performance to be eligible for one of four free workshops

This workshop is allocated to a school attending a specific theatre performance with 30 or more children; visit the performance page to find out more and book:

Are these performances not in your area? See a list of all our events

About Clare Farrow & Guo Yue

Photo of Clare Farrow & Guo Yue

Guo Yue was born in 1958 in Beijing, China. One of six children, and the son of a violinist, he grew up in a traditional courtyard. In 1982 he came to study the silver flute at the Guildhall School of Music, London. As a musician, Yue has travelled extensively, making recordings and playing on film soundtracks (including The Last Emperor).

Clare Farrow, a freelance arts writer, met Yue in 1994. Their first book Music, Food and Love was published in 2006. Little Leap Forward is their first book for children. Clare has curated the exhibition Childhood Recollections: Memory in Design on the theme of childhood, which was shown at the Roca London Gallery in 2015, and most recently, Timber Rising: Vertical Visions for the Cities of Tomorrow.

More about Clare Farrow & Guo Yue

Previous workshops with Clare Farrow & Guo Yue

On the day

  • Please inform your school receptionist that our artist will be arriving so they can be welcomed warmly.
  • A teacher must be present throughout the workshop.
  • Make sure that all the materials that our artist has requested are ready and available.
  • Please let us know if any of the children have particular requirements, and ensure that their normal carer is present.
  • Check that the free books accompanying the workshop have arrived. These books are for the children to take home and keep, and they may like to ask nicely for them to be signed.
  • The offer of a cup of tea is often greatly appreciated!

Have any questions? Get in touch

Jo Daley

Your contact for this performance is Jo Daley, she will be happy to answer any queries you have:

07769 216493