Author visits

The author of 'Is', Derek Webb, is available for interviews, public readings and school visits.

About the author

Derek has dramatised a large number of children’s books for audio, including The Minpins and Esio Trot by Roald Dahl; several Enid Blyton ‘Famous Five’ and ‘Secret Seven’ stories; and 80 minute dramatisations of children’s classics including The Secret Garden, The Railway Children and The Incredible Journey.  He is also a published poet and playwright and has had many plays professionally produced.

School visits

The actual format of school visits is subject to discussion, but could follow this example:

Short introductory talk about what an author does and some of the work that Derek has done.  A short game, in which children participate, designed to increase awareness of gender stereotyping. An introduction to Isambard Kingdom Brunel and what the novel 'Is' is about.  A reading from an early chapter of the book, with illustrations and a discussion on types of bridges.  A reading from a later chapter of the book, including a participatory demonstration of 'why iron ships float' using a brick and bowl of water.  A Q&A session.

Is - the novel Resources and curriculum links Additional resources Gender Stereotyping Book List

This is the feedback from one teacher whose class attended such a visit:

"The children enjoyed the workshop and a significant number of them said that they were interested to find out what happened to Is. They did enjoy listening to the reading of it. The part that all of them responded to in their Learning Diaries was the demo with the brick and the cotton - they all mentioned that."  Sally Couch, St Woolos Primary School, Newport, Gwent

Costs are realistic and are on a time plus travel basis.  For more information, contact the author at