Storylines Trust tour of Taranaki 2022

In September 2022, I joined the Storylines Trust tour of Taranaki with Ben Brown, Cristina Sanders, Stuart Lipshaw, Michel Mulipola, and Helen Villers. We travelled in a loop around Taranaki Maunga, visiting schools and libraries over five fun and busy days.

My young audiences ranged in size from about 15 students to 115, and in age from Years 0-4. Sometimes I worked with single year groups, and sometimes with multiple age groups at once. Every visit was different, and the engagement and enthusiasm of the children I met throughout the tour was heartening.

After the age range of the audience, the location very much defined the nature of the session. In classrooms we were able to draw pictures and work easily in small groups. In halls and library spaces we tended towards wider ranging, whole-group Q&A sessions. I kept my sessions low-tech, with live readings and hands-on props. This was partly to reduce complexity for myself on my first tour, and partly because I feel that live action and physicality suit our very youngest learners.

It was enormous fun touring with the other authors and our Storylines reps! We all work across different age groups, genres, and writing styles. I learned an amazing amount from each of them, both about the world of children’s books and about the art of telling stories. In fact, the way the stories flowed all week in between school visits and over meals was as educational for me as it was entertaining.

To read my blog posts from the tour, click here.

For information on Storylines National Story Tours, visit their information page here.

School and library photos above taken by Michel Mulipola, Helen Villers, and Katherine Bosworth.