Almost 300 children from Coram Beanstalk partner schools in London attended the 6th annual Beanstalk BookFest last week, with workshops from Coram Beanstalk ambassador, Liz Pichon and Maria Motunrayo Adebisi.


The event was once again kindly hosted by Frances Holland School and schools came from all over London to experience inspiring and interactive workshops, generously donated by the authors.

Children from six different schools were treated to a 'Tom Gates' session with our ambassador, Liz Pichon which included a doodling masterclass and a question and answer session. 'How did you come up with Tom's hair style?' and 'What made you start writing about Tom?' were just a couple of the many questions asked by the enthusiastic and highly-engaged audience!


I am writing to thank you so much for letting us attend the Liz Pichon eventYou made the dreams come true for so many of our children!! The Beanstalk Bookfest has become the highlight of the Broadfields calendar.

Sharon Keane, Broadfields Primary, Edgware

In the afternoon, a further three schools joined Maria Motunrayo Adebisi for a session around her book 'Koku Akanbi and the Heart of Midnight' which included interactive quizzes on everything from the meaning of Maria's middle name to guessing the story from the Simone Douglas illustrations and inspiration for the story and characters in the books.


Coram Beanstalk is an incredible organisation that supports young children with their reading. The Bookfest which involved interactive presentations from myself and other authors was well organised and allowed children from several state schools to interact and engage with authors directly. The volunteers from Coram were all so helpful and friendly which meant that I thoroughly enjoyed being part of this experience and I would 100% do it again!    

Maria Motunrayo Adebisi

Many of the schools even brought along their Coram Beanstalk reading helpers to join in the fun, all of whom very much enjoyed the sessions and seeing the children they work with so excited and engaged with the sessions.

Meeting such an exciting new author, and hearing about the inspiration for her stories was invaluable.

Reading helper at Argyle Primary

I found Liz Pichon's session inspirationalThe children were thoroughly engaged throughout and asked lots of relevant questions at the endHer illustration of how to draw and make up a character is something I will use in my reading sessionsHer enjoyment in creating the Tom Gates books and artwork was infectious. It was a lovely event to attend just before the start of half term. Thank you.

Reading helper at Grange Primary