Monday, 30 March 2020

Online picture book events during lockdown by Juliet Clare Bell

Hello and welcome to the Picture Book Den in these very uncertain times. 

This post is here to point you in the direction of lots of wonderful picture book readings and activities to enjoy and engage with whilst you're at home (or at school). I had planned to check out what was available online for children, families and educators, and then post them up individually here... and then I found this, from our very own former Picture Book Denner, Jonathan Emmett, and Caryl Hart:

When I talked with Jonathan Emmett, award-winning picture book author and former Picture Book Denner, he said:

"The Picture Book Author Events Online facebook page is a spin-off from Caryl Hart's Author Events Online listing page... Although we set up the page with the intention of sharing book videos for children of all ages, after a couple of days it became apparent that so many authors and illustrators were planning to share videos it would be a full time job creating new posts and responding to messages...  so we agreed to limit the page to new videos and livestreams created by traditionally-published picture book creators. We’d like the page to be a one-stop-shop for stay-at-home families with picture book age children and hope that that it will inspire others to set up similar pages for other age groups such as middle grade and YA".

Jonathan asked Chris Haughton (author-illustrator of the amazing Oh No, George!) if he could make an image for the project, and he did!

                                                             (c) Chris Haughton (2020)
Caryl's page also tells you which events are coming up daily:

Be sure to check into:

Ed Vere's how to draw (every Wednesday and Friday)

Chris Haughton's weekly story time (Wednesdays at 5pm BST)

and many more, including Jonathan and Caryl's own weekly live sessions.

I'm not going to link to everything here because Jonathan and Caryl have done the hard work to put it together so please, please use their site. You won't be disappointed.

A few others well worth watching, include Mo Willems' daily doodles...



Draw along with Emily Gravett on Thursday April 2nd and Thursday April 9th at 11am BST

I'm in a very lucky position at the moment where I've got lots of books on the go and lots of deadlines with publishers so I'm trying to juggle working long hours with three children at home. What it means is that I will have missed some of the wonderful picture book events/resources that writers and illustrators have posted. Please do share your favourite online picture book resources for children (rather than writers in this instance), whether they are your own, or someone else's from online) and let's make it as easy as possible for children, wherever they are, to access all the wonderful picture book resources available online.

Sending love to everyone. Happy reading, listening and doing as you stay inside...

And to you all picture book writers and illustrators out there, Jonathan says that if [you're a traditionally published picture book author and/or illustrator and] you’d like your video to be shared on the page, you can contact him using the “Send Message" button under the page header, but please check that the video is eligible under their Sharing Policy first. (and make sure you've got permission to record yourself first. Here's some guidance from Caryl: 

(and in case anyone hasn't heard, to keep you going whilst you're inside, I'd highly recommend PE with Joe (Wicks) at 9am BST Monday -Friday -or watch a recording of them anytime. It's half an hour of exercising along with millions of people, all at the same time and it's great for morale. It's for children and adults, young and old, fit and not so fit. As a writer, I spend a lot of time sitting and although I am pretty sedentary, this has got me enjoying exercising in a way that almost nothing has in many years. We all need to keep our spirits up. Try it!)

Please help us and parents/families wanting to look at picture book readings/demonstrations/drawing sessions online by letting us know about your favourite (and/or your own!) online picture book videos and resources in the comments. Many thanks, and stay safe x


Natascha Biebow said...

Thank you, Clare! Check out also the SCBWI's directory of resources created by childrens' book authors and illustrators:

Hot Frog said...

Hi Clare, I have lots of froggy activities, crafts and 'how-to' videos at

Me reading extracts from Bug Belly

How to draw froglets
YOUTUBE Me drawing Splodge

thanks, Paul.

Nithya said...

Thanks for listing the online links of book reading and activities for kids. It is a timely post during this quarantine period. Hope my kids love them as they are bored inside the house. They actually miss their friends. top IAS coaching in Chennai can also subscribe their students to the online links so that they can enjoy the activities during their leisure.

Juliet Clare Bell said...

Thank you Natascha and Paul for your links to picture book resources.