Longwood Primary School Illustrator Visit

In November 2023, the Give a Book team visited Longwood Primary School in Tamworth for the grand opening of their brand new KS1 library as part of the Whole School Reading Project. The library was generously funded using donations raised from the Christmas 2022 Daily Express campaign: Books Change Lives.

The aim of our Whole School Reading Project is to promote and increase reading for pleasure throughout a primary school. Along with a library, projects include book clubs, Page to Picture, author visits and book gifts.

In February, illustrator Dorien Brouwers visited Longwood to talk about her life as an illustrator. The workshop began with a talk about how books are made, including a fascinating video of a printing press which the children loved.

After showing the children sketches from when she was younger and using Life: The Beautifully Illustrated Natural History Book for Kids as inspiration – the children created illustrations of their own.

I liked seeing how the illustrator was inspired to draw and improved as she grew up’ – Year 4 Pupil


The pupils had been asked to bring in old, recycled materials from home to create their own dinosaur collages. Here are some examples of the incredible artwork they created:

I liked finding out all of the interesting things that illustrators do’ – Year 4 Pupil

At the end of the workshop, we gifted each pupil who took part a signed copy of Dee’s book Life. The children were over the moon and were incredibly excited to show their mums and dads.

One boy was so grateful for the book and couldn’t quite believe it was his to keep. He was speechless after I gave it to him’ – Mima Edye-Lindner, Director of Projects

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Dorien for teaching us about the wonderful world of book illustrations, for sharing her art and enabling the pupils to create incredible art of their own. The children were incredibly motivated by Dorien’s story.

I have used the book to inspire me to make a fable’ – Year 4 Pupil

I would like to be an author and design the front cover’ – Year 4 Pupil

I’d like to draw because of the inspiration it has given me and it will make my art work better’ – Year 4 Pupil

I want to run my own book company’ – Year 3 Pupil

I want to read lots of books’ – Year 3 Pupil



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