Stroud Book Festival Schools’ Day 2021

In November last year,

We met some brilliant women scientists…

Sparked poetic daydreams and rhyme with jellybeans…

Discovered the magic of reading & the power of stories to change our world….

We presented a day of events specially programmed for our local primary schools, and suitable for children across KS2.

We were delighted to welcome students to live events in The Sub Rooms in 2021. Thanks to the Summerfield Trust, we were delighted to offer schools the opportunity to join us virtually instead.

9.30 – 10.30am



Years 3-5

Illustrator, author and suffragette descendant Kate Pankhurst tells the stories of some of the incredible female scientists whose hard work and persistence changed our understanding of science and transformed people's ideas of what women can do.

We learned about Mae Jemison’s out-of-this-world story as the first African American woman in space; the lengths that Elizabeth Blackwell went to in order to become the first female doctor, and many, many more!  There was drawing, dressing up and most importantly, there was lots of inspiration to change the world!



11.30am – 12.30pm



Years 3-6

Award-winning poet Alex Wharton gave us an event full of rhyme, rhythm and free verse as he read from his new poetry collection, “Daydreams and Jellybeans” (illustrated by Katy Riddell) and also shared hints and tips for making poetry of your own.

Alex’s poems for primary age children are both funny and sensitive, promoting inclusion and nurturing a love of language, reading, confidence and self-expression.

A wonderful time full of wonderful words, celebrating the beauty of nature and the power of poetry to inspire!



1.30 – 2.30pm



Years 4-6

Award-winning author Piers Torday – also a leading voice on children’s books, reading and literacy - joined us for a heartfelt and inspiring journey through storytelling, his writing career, and growing up with the magic of reading. In this captivating event.  We heard all about Piers’ life as a young boy, and discover how he found joy in bedtime stories and family walks through the woods.

Piers also told us about his brand-new book, “The Wild Before, sequel to his bestselling “The Last Wild” series, which begins with quite possibly the bravest hare who ever lived.  Full of environmental themes, as well as friendship and hope, it celebrates the power of stories to change and help save our world.


About our kind sponsors:

The Authors Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) is a not for profit organisation started by writers, for writers. It campaigns to ensure authors’ rights are recognised in the UK, the EU and internationally. It also produces a wealth of resources for schools which aim to educate young people about copyright: what it means, what it does, and how it benefits creators, readers and viewers. For further information see


Since the Summerfield Trust was established in 1989 it has paid more than £7 million in grants to good causes in Gloucestershire benefiting the arts, the natural heritage and environment, community projects, education, recreation and sport, and the vulnerable and disadvantaged. The Trust is delighted to support bringing Stroud Book Festival’s Schools Day to any school who wishes to attend online. For further information, please see



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