What about me? Put yourself in the picture 

A fully inclusive day of events as part of the Southbank Centre's Imagine Children's Festival on Friday 21st February 2014 in the Level 5 Function Room at Royal Festival Hall.

This day of fun, imagination and creativity focused on making books inclusive of, and accessible for, everyone, as we celebrated all children and allowed them to get inside some of their favourite books. The day included something for everyone – drop-in workshops, as well as ‘quick fire’ activities for those just passing by. Find out more about the artists involved in the day and read our report on how they day went.


Main workshops

10.30–11.00 – Signed Poetry

Young deaf poets from Life and Deaf perform signed poetry, including a new story that they have co-written with Julia Donaldson.

11.00–12.00 – Max the Champion

Meet the authors and illustrator of this inclusive picture book. Sean Stockdale, Alexandra Strick, and Ros Asquith talk about the process of creating the book, before giving children the chance to make their own Max medals and bookmarks.

12.30–2.45 – Re-imagine a Book

Following an introduction by illustrator Jane Ray, this drop-in session comprises a number of activities, offering children the chance to re-imagine some favourite books with the help of popular illustrators, including Jane RayEileen Browne, Sarah Garland, Rebecca ElliottCarol Thompson, Annie Kubler and Ros Asquith:

  • For boys? For girls? For CHILDREN – Fed up of girls and boys being portrayed in a limited way? Change that by flipping gender stereotypes in popular stories.
  • Put yourself in a book – Can’t find anyone like you in the books you read? Add to the artwork of popular books to put yourself in the picture.

Regularly throughout the afternoon - "Meet the Artist"

Got a burning questions to ask? Find out what you’ve always wanted to know when we put authors and illustrators (including Pippa Goodhartin the hot seat. These quick-fire sessions will also include mini tactile storytelling from ClearVision Books. Check times on the blackboard on the day to see when your favourite artist is taking a turn in the chair.

3.15–4.15 – Panel Discussion: What is normal?

A panel including author/illustrator Babette Cole, illustrator Jane Ray, Fen Coles, Co-Director of Letterbox Library, editor Sue Baker from publisher Child's Play and parent Karen Newell, will discuss how ‘normal’ is presented in books, and what messages this gives to children about society.

Parallel Sessions

Drop in activities
from 10.30–3.00.

Giant Canvas

Children can draw themselves as a story character and comment on how they feel when they see a diverse range of characters in books, with the help of illustrators, including Jo Empson, Rachel Bright, Claudia Boldt, Vanda CarterSarah Arnold, Trudi Esberger, Emily Standbury, Sarah Underwood and Tamara Webster.

Sensory Stories

Jo Grace, a specialist in developing and delivering sensory stories will tell stories with small groups of children.

The Curved House Kids 

Ever wanted to make your very own book?  Come and meet The Curved House Kids team, empowering children to write or illustrate their own books. Draw a picture to go with the stories for your chance to win free books and an author visit for your school.


The Royal Festival Hall is fully accessible. Please use the lift by the artists entrance, and then Lift 1 on the green side of RFH for step-free access to the Level Five Function Room. If you are driving, there are plenty of accessible parking spaces. There is more information about access on the Southbank Centre website.

There will have a BSL interpreter available on the day for visitors who communicate using sign language. Find out more about the artists involved in the day.