Authors and Books

Booking visits, workshops and Skype contacts for all our authors in 2020 now

Cheryl Moskowitz in Conversation in Hong Kong 2019

Leigh Hobbs and Joanna Grochowicz were also visiting the UK in the Autumn of 2019. Read more about their work below…and buy their books from this page too!


Cheryl – taking even more poetry to Hong Kong…

Cheryl Moskowitz is a poet, novelist, translator and a facilitator of writing for children and adults.

Cheryl is undertaking a series of Books go Walkabout on-line engagements, workshop sessions using Skype, with Law Ting Pong School in Hong Kong this Autumn.

Buy a copy of Cheryl’s poetry below…

Cheryl is an American born poet, novelist and playwright living in London, UK.

She has an amazing and interesting portfolio of work and projects including; writing poetry, projects in schools and performance in literary arts and music.

Books Go Walkabout has worked with Cheryl in schools in Hong Kong, and via Skype, to students in primary and secondary schools.

She brings to life the innate rhythm within children, enabling poetry to be completed both individually and as a class. This is really successful and children are inspired to use techniques and word play methods.

Her poems have won awards and been published in several leading literary magazines. In 2014 she became the poet-in-residence at Highfield Primary School, London and in March 2018 is one of four poets shortlisted for the Moth Poetry Prize .

The following ideas for the classroom were part of the BookFest Programme which was held at https://www.kellettschool.com/ in Hong Kong.

Our team at Books Go Walkabout provided educational resources to support the author event.

Cheryl has lots of ideas and further information about her work on her website, hear Cheryl reading some of the poems from Can it Be About Me?          http://www.cherylmoskowitz.com

Can it be about me? - cover image and web link
Buy Cheryl’s book on-line here for despatch in the UK or to Hong Kong
Buy this book here – choose your delivery destination

Using Cheryl’s book Can It Be About Me?

Suggested preparation work for Years 1 & 2. Curriculum link – Writing poetry

Book – Can it Be About Me?
• Teacher to read a selection of poems from Can it Be About Me?
• Make a collection of poetry books in the class.
• Read about Haiku’s and Cinquains (Can it Be About Me, p. 29,30)

Suggested Activities
• Use familiar rhymes to start work with the whole class on poetry.
• Find the rhythm in the poem and begin to explore rhyme at the end of lines
• Write down and make a collection of favourite words
• Sing some songs and make a list of individual words that you remember easily
• Start to create a Haiku ( Cheryl will work on Cinquain’s too )


More about Cheryl… Cheryl studied Psychology at Sussex University. Subsequent training includes Mime, Mask and Movement with Leonard Pitt (Berkeley, California), Drama Therapy with Sue Jennings (Herts College of Art and Design, St. Albans) and Psychodynamic Counselling at the Highgate Counselling Centre.

She began writing and performing poetry in the 80’s with the poetry collectives Angels of Fire and LIP, during which time her poems were published in various anthologies (publishers inc. Chatto & Windus, Rivelin Grapheme, Women’s Press and Five Leaves).

Dramatic works include plays for Quicksilver Theatre for Children, Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, The King’s Head, Channel 4’s She Play series, and BBC TV drama

In 1996 she co-founded the organisation LAPIDUS (Association for Literary Arts and Personal Development) and taught on the Creative Writing and Personal Development MA at Sussex University 1996 – 2010′.

Source: Website of Cheryl Moskowitz


Cheryl as Poet in Residence at Highfield Primary School – a great film about a poet resident in a school…!

Don’t forget you can see more of Cheryl’s creative work on her own web pages here.     


More authors in the UK in 2019

Joanna Grochowicz is an exciting new author from New Zealand, writing about Polar Explorers in the early 20th Century. She brings the detail of the explorers to life through extensive research on their diaries and other materials.

The journeys and conditions in the polar ice caps are explored in detail and abound with interest on survival of both man, dogs and ponies alike.

Joanna Grochowicz – author

Her enthusiasm for the explorers is evident and this shines through the books and in her amazing interactive workshops and school visits. How do people survive together when life is in danger? What happens to teams and comradeship when you lose faith in your leader?

Many more questions too on courage, bravery, determination, loss and disappointment.


For students from Years 5- 9 these are important questions and can be part of the PSE curriculum for all students.

There is no doubt that Joanna’s books will fit into many areas of the curriculum, from history, geography and science to PSE and English.

We have been working with Joanna for 2 years now and love her enthusiasm, ability to work with students and teachers, and for her amazing books. Just now waiting for her third book in the Polar Exploration series.


Books Go Walkabout has organised a tour with Joanna into the UK in the Autumn of 2019 and also a visit to Shrewsbury International School in Hong Kong, on her way home to New Zealand.

Travelling the globe is the way to go to share ideas, thoughts and stories.

Joanna’s skill shines through beyond the words as she writes with intrigue and knowledge about the stories and challenges on this epic but cruel journey.  Her understanding of Amundsen details his faults as well as his abilities, and although she admires his courage, his methods were often very hard.

Let us know if you would like to find out more about how to book Joanna for an event at your school or organisation. Contact us here


Amundsens’ Way – Race to the South Pole, is Joanna’s second stunning book about the Antarctic explorers of the early 20th Century.  Roald Amundsen was determined, heroic and courageous, but not best liked, however he did win the race to the South Pole in 1911. (Buy here)

Joanna’s skill shines through beyond the words as she writes with intrigue and knowledge about the stories and challenges on this epic but cruel journey.  Her understanding of Amundsen details his faults as well as his abilities, and although she admires his courage, his methods were often very hard.

Amundsen’s Way is Joanna’s second novel of narrative non-fiction, her first Into the White – Scott’s Antarctic Odyssey, is hugely successful and was a finalist for the New Zealand Book Awards 2018. The illustrator for both books is Sarah Lippett. (Buy here)

Amundsen’s Way is published by Allen and Unwin of Australia and will be released in the UK in  Autumn 2019.

Books Go Walkabout is planning Joanna’s next visit to the UK and currently talking with schools and organisations on bookings in November.

Her charismatic storytelling abilities will captivate any audience of young people, it’s a great story!


Leigh Hobbs is an Australian artist and author, best known in Australia and the United Kingdom for the humorous children’s books which he has written and illustrated, although he has produced works across a wide range of mediums.

Leigh Hobbs and Mr. Chicken

His books principally feature the characters Old TomHorrible HarrietFiona the PigMr Badger and Mr Chicken, and characters from the 4F for FREAKS books.

He was the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2016 -17.

Leigh is best known for the twenty children’s books he has written and illustrated featuring his characters Old Tom, Mr Chicken (Buy Here), Mr Badger (Buy here), Horrible Harriet, Fiona the Pig and the Freaks in 4F.

His book ‘Mr Chicken Goes to Paris’ has been a constant best seller in the Louvre Museum Bookshop for nine years, while Old Tom was turned into an extremely popular television series and, in 2017, Horrible Harriet was adapted for the Sydney Opera House stage.

Leigh was a secondary school art teacher for twenty five years, and has had experience inspiring children to create in words and or pictures at countless Literary Festivals including the Hay, Oxford and Cheltenham Festivals and school visits around the world.

Leigh’s work with schools

Leigh has huge experience of working with children, as an illustrator, author and lecturer, and before that as a teacher. He makes sure all children have fun at his presentations and learn a huge amount about writing and using illustrations.

Teachers too will find new ways to be creative, and free themselves and the children to draw, write and discover new characters. Leigh aims to have children relish the act of creating, drawing and writing at their own individual levels.

“This is about how different we all are, not who is best”, says Leigh.

As part of the presentation or workshop each child will have a unique drawing and have developed a special character in his workshops as described below.

Leigh’s Presentations and Workshops

Creating Characters Workshop

Suitable for most primary age groups (for children: 6 – 12yrs and lasts approximately 60 mins.

The theme of the presentation is ‘Creating Characters’. Ideal length: 55-60 minutes. The AIM is to have children relish the act of creating, drawing, writing, – free from the pressure of assessment or ranking. The sessions are very much hands on workshops and from the beginning the students are told that ‘this is about how different we all are, not who is best’.

Students draw Old Tom step by step following Leigh’s instructions, all the while noting that even though every drawing will look like Old Tom, ‘every drawing will be different because each student is different’.

After that the students relax, show each other their work, and then draw Mr Chicken while selecting different ways to draw different facial expressions.

After this the students are ready to create their own characters in words and pictures.

Leigh also gives presentations and / or workshops to older students and adults on the subject of ‘Visual Literacy’. This is a very interesting presentation with plenty of time for discussion and enables students to understand how visual images and concepts effect learning and interpretation, enhancing text and story.

A press release from The Sydney Morning Herald …

At the Sydney Writer’s Festival he had 2500 enraptured children drawing with him- he is both artist and author and he is a fan of the increasingly vulnerable school libraries and their librarians.”

The power of the book, the influence of the Laureate

In an interview in Mirrors, Windows and Doors, at the commencement of his Laureateship, Leigh was asked about the abandonment of the library – as both an intellectual resource in schools and communities, and as a valued concept in the learning process. (We have the same foreboding about ‘the book’ in the UK too, Ed.)

In a wonderful, energetic and focused reply Leigh described his tenure …

”…as the Australian Children’s Laureate, during my two-year term I’ll be visiting every state in Australia at least once as an advocate for the power, value and importance of reading. I’ll be running workshops and doing presentations for and to adults on visual literacy, the power of picture books and creating characters in ‘words and pictures’.

And for the kids I will be running workshops with the theme of creating your own characters…in words and pictures. I was a secondary art teacher for twenty five years, so my teaching survival skills are quite honed”.

Source: http://mirrorswindowsdoors.org/wp/

Grounded, energetic and enthusiastic – just as Leigh delivers his workshops or argues for the profound influence of the book and it’s creativity driving influence on young minds in workshops – whatever the age of the audience.

A love and feel for place

Last year Leigh conducted a brief tour of Australian illustrated children’s books for The Guardian in the UK.

Mr Chicken and The Guardian - image and web link
Mr Chicken en-route to The Guardian offices?

In a wonderfully illustrated article, Leigh compares and contrasts his own work with those of other artists. It is a comparison which highlights, we thought, the vivacity, colour and movement of Leigh’s own work, but also shows how mood and feeling are created, by others in storytelling,  through the use of the image.

In his comparision Leigh looks at the work of Shaun TanGreg RogersGregg Dreise and Marc Martin amongst others.

In his generous and affirmational article, Leigh counterpoints his own style and methodology of story creation with that of indigenous artists and others, who use colour and tone in ways that are very different from Leigh’s work, but are as emphatically telling in their quality to generate reflection and feeling.

Leigh’s article for The Guardian is a triumph of context. If you are interested in the imagination of young Australians, and the proponents of creativity for it, then Leigh’s tour is the exemplar.


Books and creative people – across the world