Category Archives: School Visits

Countdown to Craigland’s Primary

So another week, another school. This time I’m off to Craigland Primary School, in Craighall, Johannesburg. I am over the moon at being able to go to this school, where the headmistress Ms Irmela Turner has been so warm and inviting.

I will be chatting about the series of books I have written and how they deal with issues around bullying, cheating and where the main characters (including Polly the parrot) all have challenges/disabilities. I think my book is unique in this respect as there is nothing else out there in the market that covers this so extensively as a story book.

So kids and parents get ready I will be with you on Thursday, (Oh and by the way teachers, my sessions are rarely quiet as I believe that interaction and participation are the best ways to lean.) So it’s gonna be noisy, and fun (with a sprinkling of learning in there too.)





Oh Wow another School!

Just had a call from the principle of Craigland’s Primary School, Gauteng.

She asked if I can go into the school to talk to the children on the 24th November. Looks like it’s going to be a busy month.

We will be talking about what a disability/challenge is and how we all have one – can’t sing, can’t dance, can’t spell, can’t count, can’t swim, can’t cook plus a host of others, which the kids will help me identify on the day. Then we’ll chat about why it’s not cool to bully each other, as we all have something someone else can bully us about and how we wouldn’t like that.

I give examples from my books Polly’s Piralympics, How Polly Became a Pirate and Polly, Ya Nay Can Fly and we will discuss how we can stand up to bullies, and where to get help.

I am so excited about going to Craigland’s and interacting with the children. I know it is going to be a very special day.

#PollysPiralympics, #HowPollyBecameAPirate, #PollyYaNayCanFly, #Paralympics, #Pirates, #KidsBooksWithPirates, #KidsWooksWithDisabilities, #BullyingIsntCool

Brilliant News! Polly will shortly be flying into the lives of pupils at Craighall Primary

Craighall Primary talk on Why Bullying is NOT Cool  just confirmed for March 2017!

Yes I just had confirmation from Craighall Primary that I will be going into the school on World Book Day (2nd March 2017) what an honour. The children will be dressed as their favourite characters from their favourite books and who knows maybe in 2018 they will be dressed as Polly the parrot or a pirate?

I will be talking to the children about why it isn’t cool to bully others. And how we all have how we all have challenges; some obvious – one eye, one arm, no legs; some less obvious – being deaf, blind of having a stutter; and some harder to detect – can’t sing, can’t dance, can’t spell, can’t ride a bicycle can’t cook, can’t play a musical instrument, can’t run 100m in under 10 seconds. How we shouldn’t pick on/tease or bully others, as maybe one day someone else may also bully us too.

this is a topic that I am passionate about and feel starts from a young age, which if halted early would make the lives of so may more bearable.

In my books some of the characters get bullied. In some cases nothing is done and they get very sad and depressed, reflecting the real world we live in. But on board ship there is a zero tolerance for bullies and they are dealt with severely. I also show what can happen if friend stand up for the victim against the bully, and how bullying can be stopped.

I can’t wait to go into Craighall Primary to enjoy an interactive day with the boys and girls and to see how ‘Polly’ can maybe influence their thoughts around the subject of bullying and physical and mental challenges.

So pupils at Craighall watch the skies for Polly to fly into your lives… and remember she is always watching you.


A visit to Bennies to deliver a new book for their library


I had the pleasure of meeting with Mrs Mackinnon, head of St Benedict’s Junior Prep yesterday to deliver a copy of Polly’s Piralympics for their library.

As we entered the library I was greeted by a wonderful bunch of Bennies boys. The grade three’s were asked by Mrs Mackinnon, who wanted to read the new book first.

I was overwhelmed as every hand shot up. In fact one of the boys was even reading a previous book I had given to the school and was keen to show me The Magic  Vuvuzela.

It is always so rewarding to visit St Benedict’s, the boys love to read and use the library every week, where they swap their books regularly. Their enthusiasm for reading and writing their own books is a credit to the encouragement they receive from a vibrant atmosphere of good solid learning and values, from passionate teachers.

I can’t wait to visit again, hopefully in the New Year when Polly’s Eskimo Piralympics will be completed and another of Polly’s adventures with the pirates will fly into their library.


#StBenedicts, #pirates, #paralympics, #schoollibrary

The first 100. Delivering the first copy of Polly’s Piralympics to St Benedict’s Junior Prep this morning.

Oh yes, so the moment finally arrived. I collected the first 100 books from Leith my broker yesterday. Feels strange actually having them in my hands. WOW and that special ‘New book smell.’ love it, love it, love it.

So I am off to St Benedict’s Junior Prep, in Bedfordview Johannesburg this morning to deliver the first book to their library. I have a special affinity with Bennies as I have visited there before and given talks to the boys on ‘Being an Author.’

St Benedict’s gives wonderful encouragement to it’s pupils to write, be creative and use their imaginations, so it seems fitting that they should receive this copy first of Polly’s Piralympics. They still believe in good old fashioned reading and have an extensive library that the boys regularly use. I hope they will enjoy my donation adding one more book for growing minds to read and enjoy.

Polly’s Piralympics – Polly the parrot comes up with the idea of sharing their last bounty of prosthetic arms, blades and racing wheelchairs. Polly’s captain, Captain Hake then challenges the other pirates to a Piralympic Games, (Paralympics for Pirates.

With 18thcentury galleons, swords, walking the plank, gold doubloons, 21st century technology, sonar, Wi-Fi, mobile phones, prosthetic limbs, blades and racing wheelchairs, put it all together and you have the Pirate Piralympic Games.

Read how the multicultural fleet of pirates, vuvuzela playing Zulus; kilted, bagpipe playing Scots; cowboy guitar playing Americans; tattooed Maoris; yellow turbaned Indian and Abba singing Viking pirates, all compete for Captain Kingklip’s locker of GOLD doubloons.

The Games include a 3 legged race, walk the plank diving competition, catapult shooting, climb the rigging gymnastics, fencing, and a Pirate Masterchef competition, plus many more. Through these the pirates learn comradeship, what happens to cheats and why bullying isn’t cool.

#StBenedict’s, #Bullyingisntcool, #Pirateparalympics

St Benedict’s Author Day

Bennies Bopp-new-cover-for-webpageys ROCK!

I have just had the most awesome day at St Benedict’s, Bedfordview, South Africa, with their Grade 3 boys. I gave an interactive presentation on what it is to be an Author and the processes involved from the initial idea to pen to print.

The boys were AMAZING. They answered all my questions as well as added to the answers I thought I already knew. We chatted about an authors tools, processes in writing, spider diagrams, illustrations, editing, proof reading, printing, distribution, and where to buys books.

Raised hand and lots of answers were the order of the day. Plus it was refreshing to learn that they are encouraged at the school to write a book themselves, KUDOS – St Benedict’s. Great to see so much enthusiasm from these lads, in a school which obviously encourages the imagination in their pupils as well as their creativity.

I had the most inspired day and couldn’t wait to blog about it.

Thank you so much for having me at your School and keep ’em peeled for my free kindle book coming out this FRIDAY 7th and SATURDAY 8th OCTOBER. – THE MAGIC VUVUZELA.


Back to School at St Benedict’s

Yes today I feel like I’m 10 years old again.

This morning I will be chatting to Bennies Boys in Bedfordview, South Africa about what it is to be an Author and my new book Polly’s Piralympics. We will also chat about and why its not cool to bully someone with a disability.

Yes 10 years old again, oh how I wish. But I’m off to school to give a talk about that it is to be an Author and also to look at my new book Polly’s Piralympics (Paralympics for Pirates.) Why I wrote it and the importance of talking about disabilities with young people so that it does not become an issue for bullying.

As I said earlier I feel like I am 10 years old. I have butterflies in my stomach but the nerves are always good, it makes me edgy and alert for the questions the Grade 3’s will launch at me, and believe you me, they do.

Yes I have done this before, but his time it is that little bit more special as it is around my new book and an area I feel strongly about.

I believe we all have disabilities/weaknesses – can’t dance, can’t sing, can’t cook, can’t ride a bicycle, can’t run 100m as fast as Hussain Bolt. Its just, well some are more obvious than others, one arm, no legs, one eye, and then there’s the harder ones to see until the person talks, a stutter, being deaf, being blind.

Kids can be very cruel at school and my book and the subject of my talk today is to try to make them aware that even though they may seem ‘normal‘ we all have that weakness, and if we bully someone else, when others find out our weakness they will bully us too.

So I cant wait to meet with the Grade 3’s today and will no boubt blog later about my day, so follow me and watch this space… ttfn


#StBenedictsBedfordviewSouthAfrica, #Polly’sPiralympics, #BoysLiketoWriteBooksToo, #WeKnowAllAbouttheParalympics,