The Children’s Bookshow brings Canadian author and illustrator Sydney Smith to Hull New Theatre

This autumn, children’s charity The Children’s Bookshow is offering Yorkshire primary schools the chance to see award-winning author and illustrator Sydney Smith in a live performance at Hull New Theatre. 

Sydney Smith performing with The Children’s Bookshow

The illustrator, who has recently been awarded the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award – the highest international honour given to authors and illustrators of children’s books – is coming all the way from Nova Scotia, Canada to Hull for the event, which forms part of The Children’s Bookshow’s 2024 autumn tour of live literature events for children. 

On Tuesday 22 October, Sydney Smith will speak to Year 2, 3 and 4 pupils about his life and work. Children will find out how he creates his pictures, listen to him read his books, and look at his exquisite illustrations on a large screen as he tells them stories. With the chance to watch Sydney paint live on stage and ask him questions, this event will inspire children to read, write and draw!

The event, which will take place during the school day, is open to primary schools. Bookings are open now.

Every child who attends with their school will receive a free copy of My Baba’s Garden (2023), by Sydney Smith and Jordan Scott, to take home and keep. The story of a young boy’s relationship with his beloved grandmother, who doesn’t speak much English, the emotion of My Baba’s Garden is drawn out by Sydney Smith’s beautiful, dreamlike illustrations that perfectly capture the intensity of childhood feelings, and the wistful way we look back on them.

This event will mark the fifth year that Hull New Theatre has welcomed The Children’s Bookshow on its annual autumn tour. Previous events have featured performances from popular children’s authors and illustrators Jon Agee and Catherine Rayner, and poet Michael Rosen. Last year’s performance by illustrator Alexis Deacon sold out the 1,000-seat capacity theatre. 

“We had an incredible time at Hull New Theatre watching Alexis Deacon read us stories and show us how he creates his illustrations. Each child also got a book to keep. What a super morning!” Teacher review from 2023.

Every school that books tickets to the performance also has the chance to receive one of four free in-classroom workshops with Sydney Smith, for 30 or more children. The Children’s Bookshow will allocate this fantastic opportunity to four schools who book tickets to the show.

Founded in 2003, The Children’s Bookshow is a charity that inspires children with a love of reading. The organisation introduces children to world-class authors and illustrators through a programme of theatre events and in-school workshops. The artists selected are chosen from a wide variety of countries and cultures to give young people access to the very best stories, poems and illustrations from all over the world. 

The Children’s Bookshow autumn tour is a live literature roadshow that brings the joy of reading to children across the UK. In 2023, the tour delivered performances, workshops and free books to over 7,000 children.