Category Archives: Peta

Happy World Book Day!

Well, this is a bit different. It’s World Book Day and I’m at home. No school visits today. It’s the first time this has happened since I published my first book, Hairy Fairy, back in 2014.

All school visits are fun, but there’s something special about WBD!

I love my school visits on World Book Day; the children have that special level of excitement that only a day out of school uniform, combined with a ‘special visitor’ in the classroom, can create.

I know some authors will be doing ‘virtual’ author visits today. Personally, I haven’t been promoting virtual visits so far: partly because I figured that teachers had enough to contend with, juggling virtual and face-to-face teaching, without adding me to the mix; partly because of my own efforts at ‘homeschooling’.

Anyway, as from 8 March, I am more than happy to get back on the school visits horse. If you’re a headteacher, teacher or PTA member and are interested in arranging a virtual visit to your school, please click here for more information. In the meantime, I am very happy for you to share my recent sessions at the IW Story Festival with your class. I am also happy to answer any questions your class may have for me, and respond to any work inspired by my sessions. Please email me at

Happy World Book Day!

From Source to See: this session explains the steps I went through to produce my next book; includes writing tips. You know your class best, but would probably suit year 4 up.
The Niggle: in this session, I read my rhyming picture book about anxiety and resilience and talk about the anxiety children may be feeling at the moment. I demonstrate how to make a ‘positivity cube’. best for years 1-4?

A bit of positivity for the IW Story Festival

Only a week to go until the start of the IW Story Festival and my first session, How to Beat the Niggle, which is on at 1.15pm on Wednesday 17 February.

It’s been a tough 12 months for everyone, and I think all of us have felt the strain, at least from time-to-time, so I thought it was a good time to dust off my book about childhood anxiety and resilience, The Niggle, to read at the festival.

And in case that’s not positive enough, I will also be showing you how to make a positivity cube like this:

The positivity cube in action!

You can get ahead of the game and print out the template for the cube from here.

Join me on Wednesday 17 February, 1.15pm on IW Story Festival You Tube Channel

Can you make a scary face? Can you wiggle your fingers? Yes? Then this is the session for you! Don’t just listen to the story of The Niggle – about a little monster who whispers in five-year old Joe Jackson’s ear and makes him afraid – but join in! We all get a niggle in our ear from time to time, but there are things you can do to beat it: Peta will show you how to make a ‘Positivity Cube’ so you can get creative and conquer your fears and worries!

Join me at at IW Story Festival for a chance to win a dedication in my new book!

I hope you will be able to join me at the IW Story Festival, on Thursday 18 February, at 2pm, when I will be talking about the process I went through to produce my new book, Crab, Dab & Blenny. I will also be offering one lucky person the chance to have my new book dedicated to them, or a person of their choice. Join me for the session for your chance to win!

Crab, Dab & Blenny will be published later this year

Find out how my experience of living on the Isle of Wight, my love of rock pools and my worries about plastics in the ocean, inspired my story.

The IW Story Festival runs from Wednesday 17 to Saturday 20 February, all sessions are on YouTube and FREE! You can see the whole programme here #crabdabandblenny

Final Lockdown Special Offer!

It’s the final day of this latest lockdown and my latest and last Lockdown Special Offer. This week, you can get 10% off all purchases, plus free UK delivery on everything from my online shop.

To get the discount, just add the following coupon code when you check out: DQ2H94W4. Offer runs until next Tuesday, 8 December, so HURRY, HURRY, HURRY to get your discounted stocking fillers! Sorry, UK orders only.

All my books come signed by me – and I’m happy to add a personal dedication, just let me know what to say in the ‘order notes’

3 for 2 special offer on books from my shop

Oops. I’m a bit late posting this week’s Lockdown Special Offer. But fear not, it will still run for the full seven days. This week I am offering UK customers of my online shop three books for the price of two. And there’s no pesky coupon code this week: just add the first two books to your cart in the normal way, then, when you checkout, put ‘3 for 2’ in the ‘Order notes’ box, along with the name of the third book.

Don’t forget, you can also use the ‘Order notes’ box to request any personal dedications. Unfortunately this offer is only available to UK customers and closes at midnight on Wednesday 2 December.

My final Lockdown Special Offer will be posted next Tuesday, 1 December.

10% off everything plus free postage!

Hi! just to let you know about this week’s Lockdown special offer in my online shop: until Monday 23 November, I’m offering 10% off plus free postage on all purchases. Just click on this link and put in coupon code HB3SMST3 at checkout to grab yourself a bargain!

Look out for my Lockdown special offers!

In lieu of the usual round of autumn festivals and pre-Christmas fairs, I’m going to be running a series of Lockdown special offers over the next four weeks. To kick things off, I am offering 20% off all UK purchases from my online shop between now and Monday 16 November 2020. All you need to do is add the coupon code 6E5H2BZ6 at checkout.

Click on this link to visit my shop.

Fungi fun

So, this is where the fairies live…

I think I may be developing a new obsession! My Isle of Wight Story Festival pal, storyteller Sue Bailey, took me and fellow committee members Jules Marriner and Holly Medland for a fun fungi walk in the forest on Wednesday. Wow!

I have walked in similar areas many times, and maybe noticed the odd toadstool or mushroom, but when you have someone with Sue’s enthusiasm to encourage you, you can find SO MANY! We only walked for an hour or so, and I must admit, I didn’t count, but we must have spotted more than 20 different types of fungi, in all different shapes and sizes.

And, if that wasn’t excitement enough, Sue told me how to make a spore-print!

Isn’t this spore-print beautiful?

Forest walks will never be the same again! Thank you Sue for opening my eyes to the fun of fungi!

Jacob Starke Reading for Exmoor Dark Skies Festival

Because of all the current covid shenanigans, I wasn’t able to run any Jacob Starke Loves the Dark sessions at this year’s Exmoor Dark Skies Festival, but I was able to video a reading and craft session which premiered last Saturday, but which you can still catch here if you have little ones in need of entertainment this half term:

Hear the story, make the bookmark!

Peta’s fun things to do at home

Hello again! As you know, since lockdown, I’ve been posting fun activities to do at home every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (excluding holidays, I’m not a madwoman.) This is my 20th post, and I think this round number is a good point at which to take a break – hopefully I have built up a helpful bank of activities that you can dip into as and when you feel the urge!

For my last ‘fun thing to do’, I want to revisit the idea of creating pictures from nature that I shared as the third activity (for a reminder, click here), based on my book, Jacob Starke Loves the Dark. This time, the focus is on making rubbings from nature – using crayons, charcoal, chalk, whatever you have to hand – and using these rubbing to make a picture.

20: Making a picture from nature rubbings

During lockdown you have to make do with what you’ve got in the house. I would have loved to have done this with coloured chalks, pastels and charcoal, but what I had was wax crayons, so this is what I used.

To make up for this lack of variety, I used different types of paper, as you can see in the three step guide below.

Top tips:

  • if you’re taking your rubbing from an object that can be moved (eg a leaf, rather than a tree trunk), put it on a hard, flat surface first
  • use a variety of different mark-makers (chalk, charcoal, pastels, crayons) if you have them
  • use the side of your crayon etc for rubbing, not the tip
  • use a variety of different papers you have around the house – newspaper and brown paper work particularly well, but also baking paper, silver foil
  • you could always draw in some details, if you feel that way inclined

Have fun, and don’t forget: I’d love to see what you create – you can email a photo to, post it on my Peta Rainford’s Facebook page @dogpigeon, or Tweet me @PetaRainford