bear story-time: visits to schools, nurseries,
libraries and bookshops
- "Natural talent... Superb interaction
through music and drawings which captured
the children's attention. They were engrossed
throughout her storytelling... Inspirational
for children to become members of the
local library and positive encouragement
to select and read their own books...
" (St Joseph's PS
/ East Renfrewshire libraries)
- "My daughter REALLY enjoyed your
wonderful event. Top of her Christmas
list is all your Hamish books - she feels
really privilaged that you shared your
secrets! ...We go to many book festival
events and I have to say you were really
on the childrens level and so animated
and fun - I was constantly looking at
the children during the event and every
one of them was fullly engaged - so well
done! I hope many more children are excited
and motivated by your workshops in future."
Angela Turnbull, parent
who attended P2 class visit at Morningside
- "Your events (Hamish bear session
and cartoon workshop) were fantastic
and we have had excellent feedback from
the families that attended.... I hope
you enjoyed your time here as much as
we enjoyed having you here. I also hope
to see you again soon Moira."(Fiona
Christie, Aberdeen Writers Festival -
- "Thanks for such a delightful talk.
Emma throughly enjoyed herself and I have
to admit we have been to quite a few authors
visits, but yours has to be the best,
you really know how to connect with the
children, a gift that not many people
have." (Emma's mum)
- Thank-you so much for sharing many tips
and ideas. We had a fantastic time and
are all now quite cartoon crazy! (Miss
Jackson, P6 teacher, RDM School, Scone)
- "You inspired us to write! I think
your talk was very interesting and much
better than Maths! Also, the presentation
was really good and you answered all of
our questions throughly." (David,
pupil, Williamwood High School, Glasgow)
- I've heard from two large bookshops
that my author event was one of the best
they'd ever had.
The Education Resource Service in
Glasgow invest greatly in my visits, preparing
the classes ahead of time and providing
a box with supporting materials. Every
box contains a bear wearing a scarf like
Hamish's, knitted by Pat Carberry. And
now Laura Hogg has knitted a unique Finn
for my visits.
Verbal comments from teachers collected
by another teacher after a session with
150 primary school children:
- 'It was just delightful!'
- 'Moira found the right kind of balance
in her manner with the children - what
a lovely presence!'
- 'She looks like such a happy person,
it really comes across!'
- 'Sue in my class would love to be an
author and she was just, on cloud nine.
I was watching her, watching Moira: she
couldn't take her eyes off her.'
- 'What a talented woman - and so nice
with it too'
OK, I'll stop here before you feel sick
- 'It was fantastic I loved it. That was
the best school day ever. I think she
will become famous one day.' (Dion,
- 'I thinked your illustration's were
fantastic. When I get home I'm going to
write a story about a bear.' (Katie,
- 'My favourite part was when you told
us that your publisher made you do 153
teddies before you got it right.' (Bartolumu
- 'Are you going to write some more books
about Hamish. I liked that you had to
graw 153 teedys. The story was fantastic.
Can you tell me what your dauter looks
- 'I like your droing of cool dude and
all your teddy bear and I don't know why
your publishur took our last bit out because
I rley liket it and I hop that you will
wite anuthe book of teddy bears. Love
- 'Thank you for coming to talk to us.
I liked that Hamish had attitude and liked
to do things his own way (just like me).
I am writing a book and I wonder if you
could give me some tips. I will enjoy
reading your book to my teddies and me
at night' (Jordyn, age
- 'Are you going to make any other Hamish
stories but your first was very very good'
(Frazer, age 7)
- 'My favourite part was when you passed
round your cuddly toys. I loved all your
colourful pictures in Hamish. I liked
when you read us Hamish it was just a
lovely book.' (Laura and
- 'My favourite part was when you showed
us how you drew a bear.' (Andrew)
- 'My favourite was when we had to draw
and write about a bear in 20 seconds'
- My favourite part was when you drew
and when you passed the drawings round
and all your pictures.' (Emma)
- 'Moira Munro visited us at assembly.
She was telling us about her book called
Hamish. It was written for the younger
children. She showed us how she drew Hamish
and how she made the book. She showed
us that she had to draw and draw and draw
her characters before they were right.
Moira Munro said she started from scratch
and that we could all write good a story
about anything if we try. Moira Munro
was very kind and we were all intrested
in what she had to say. We got to bring
our teddies in, which was great for most
people. If we had money we got to buy
a signed copy of Hamish. I enjoyed her
visit.' (Calum, P6)
And just in case you thought I made these
up, here are a few more treasures:
- 'I enjoyed the talk because
I know how much she gets everytime a book gets
- Would you like to do something similar
again? 'I don't really mind but if we had
to I would prefer someone who wrote older books
like Jacqueline Wilson!' (Abigail,
to the top
Puppies, Mermaids and Meanies: create and draw a character
Feedback from grown-ups
- "Enthralling sessions... The teacher was really delighted with their visit. She could immediately see that there was not only real educational value in the children meeting you - she also commented that there was plenty of scope for follow up work. Your sessions were very well structured and thought through. "
(Teresa Lowe, The Village Storytelling Centre)
workshops for children
Feedback from teachers
Following a series of workshops I gave with another
artist at the Vennel Gallery in Irvine, teachers
gave the following feedback directly to the event
What did you think of the tutor?
- Very pleasant, welcoming, knowledgeable and
positive towards the children and their efforts
regardless of ability.
- Very good and encouraging towards the children.
Made them feel that they could draw.
- Nice manner when working with children
Any comments you would wish to add?
- Magic Pencils has really motivated my pupils.
We have now written our own stories for Hamish
and are going to read them to our P1's. Meeting
Moira and Justin has made the whole process
of writing a book and illustrating it much more
realistic and achievable for the children.
- Children really enjoyed visit and discussed
'Hamish' over next few days!
- I felt that the whole workshop experience
was excellent. I would be happy to repeat with
- Really enjoyable and interesting, the children
loved every minute of it.
- The arrival of 'Hamish' caused a great buzz
in our classroom yesterday and a storytelling
session renewed interest and brought bout good
discussion. A wonderful idea.
Feedback from pupils
- 'I was a girl from Springside primary
school. We done Hamish pictures. I love
the book Hamish. Can you send me some
tips about drawing please.' (email
- 'We met a real life author called Moira
Munro. At the end all of us looked at
all the pictures. Everyone enjoyed themselves.'
(Holly and Emily)
- 'We met a real live author and an illustrator!
We had to draw or paint a picture of Hamish.
At the end we got a book mark. We had
fun!' (pupils from Glebe
- 'Utturly brilliant'
- 'Fandaby Dosey'
- 'I enjoyed it very much and I hope we
can do it again.'
to the top
organisers and parents
- "We all felt totally inspired by your
work and learned an enormous amount about the
art of cartooning. I thought your approach to
the children was especially good and they were
obviously very relaxed and happy with their
work and had a great afternoon. I hope I will
be able to recommend you to other groups"
"...to say how much we enjoyed your visit
and what a successful workshop it was for both
the children and the adults. One child was heard
to say that it was the best of the season."
(Caroline Lorimer, NADFAS
- "Thank you for a brilliant workshop.
Rosi was inspired and has been drawing ever
since. She usually draws "Geladine (sic)
the Goth" and she was saying how much she
enjoyed adding to her repertoire of characters."
Feedback from youngsters
- "Your events (Hamish bear session
and cartoon workshop) were fantastic and
we have had excellent feedback from the families
that attended.... I hope you enjoyed your time
here as much as we enjoyed having you here.
I also hope to see you again soon Moira."(Fiona
Christie, Aberdeen Writers Festival - Word 06)
- "I thought you were fantastic... I love
to draw and I have got a lot better. I draw
when I have spare time. I hope I am going to
be just like you when I am older" (Luke,
P6/7, Niddrie Mill Primary School)
- "I hope you come back to Niddrie Mill
again because you are fantastic. Your teddy
bears are fantastic too"" (Robert,
- "I want to do the job you are doing because
I really enjoy drawing. It is fun. That was
my favourite session. I like your movement lines
and you are funny. You are a great drawer. I
hope you come and visit us again" (Steven,
- "It was really good when we were drawing
our scary faces and when we were drawing eyes
on the tracing paper and seeing where it looks
good. I hope you will come back to my school"
- "I liked drawing the angry teachers and
finishing off the faces. I enjoyed it. I liked
everything. You were great and I enjoyed it"
- "I had lots of fun designing a new face.
When you drew a bear, I really liked that. It
was very funny" (Bradley,
- "I, on behalf of Primary 6R have emailed
you to thank you again for your fun and very
entertaining talk!! I loved every minute of
it and enjoyed the drawing thoroughly!!"
(Douglas, Bridge of Allan school)
in search of a publisher: for adults who want
to get a children's book published
- "I thoroughly enjoyed the too short time
I spent with you and the others in your seminar.
Your information was just what I was looking
for to move forward with the two books I have
in mind. Your engaging, enthusiastic and personal
presentation held every second of my attention.
The list of references is excellent and the
fact you brought some of the books along was
helpful. Again, thank you Moira for your splendid
- "Brilliant - so helpful. The step by
step instructions were very good. Seeing the
dummy was also very helpful. Details/guidance
about contracts/length/layout very good. Plus
I loved Hamish!" (Jo Walker)
- "Really enjoyed your enthusiastic and
honest approach. I'm now keen(er) to give writing
- "Very helpful. Lots of practical experience"
to the top
business of being an illustrator/writer
- "I enjoyed a presentation you gave to
our class on the finer points of a career in
this field. On gaining so much insight from
your advice and anecdotes I felt motivated in
pursuing such work for myself, became more able
to focus my passion and vocation into a business.
As a result, some of the drawings and paintings
I have produced over a year will be displayed
in my first solo exhibition early next month...
I felt that I benefited so much from the advice
and information you were so kind to impart..."
Carmichael while a student at Metropolitan College)
- I thoroughly enjoyed this evening: your talk
was so interesting and the drawing tips were
great. I really found it all very inspiring
and loved your story about Princes Square.
(Heather Holton, Erskine Writers
to the top
Any questions? Do contact