Spring performances 2024 › Portsmouth

Past event

Neal Layton's library performance

How did it go?

Portsmouth Library service, The Children's Bookshow and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) collaborated to offer two Portsmouth schools, Ark Aryton Primary and St Jude's C of E Primary, the chance to work with award winning author and illustrator Neal Layton.

Neal read Stanley’s Stick and The Tree and talked to the children about how he makes the pictures using lots of different media including drawing, painting and collage. He also talked about the magic of trees, birds and how children can help to protect the environment and habitats in their local area. Children loved looking at the beautiful blackbird’s nest that Neal brought in to show them.

Following this performance Neal visited both schools and worked with each class creatively making a variety of birds using collage. They made geese, ducks, blue tits and sparrows! All the brilliant work that they created in these sessions has gone on display in an exhibition at Portsmouth Central library and we hope children and their parents will visit over the Easter holidays!

Funding from The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) enabled us to give every child their own signed copy of Neal Layton’s brilliant environmental fable The Tree to take home and keep. BTO also gave each class a bird nesting box, two bird feeders, bird seed and identification books so that children can encourage birds into their school grounds and enjoy watching and identifying the different species.

"Thank you so much for our amazing day on Monday. The children (and staff) thoroughly enjoyed it! It was so lovely to see them so engaged in their creative activity as well as being enthused as readers and future authors/illustrators. I’m looking forward to visiting Central Library to see the exhibition." (Librarian Ark Aryton Primary)

I really liked making the geese, he (Neal Layton) was helping us and the best bit is it will go on display!” (child Ark Aryton)

My favourite part was being shown how to do drawings.” (child Ark Aryton)

I loved getting a free book, that was so kind.” (child Ark Aryton)

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

Each child attending will receive a **FREE** copy of _The Tree_ to take home and keep! cover

Each child attending will receive a FREE copy of The Tree to take home and keep!

Portsmouth Central Library, Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth PO1 2DX
Monday 25th March
9:30 am
Approx. 1 hour
Age range:
Years 2, 3 and 4

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Neal Layton

Neal was born and raised in Chichester, West Sussex and whilst growing up spent much of his time playing in the dirt, making homemade catapults and drawing pictures. Although gaining a place to study science at University, he went to Art College instead studying BA Graphic Design at Newcastle, and MA Illustration at Central Saint Martins. His latest picture book A Climate in Chaos and how you can help was published by Wren and Rook in 2020.

In Praise of The Tree

“Just 51 words elevate our thinking and leave us with a sense of hope.”

Where the Books Are...

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