Dinosaur Puzzles for Future Palaeontologists is here

By | 6-8 years, 8+ years, Blog, News

Calling all future dinosaur experts! Real-life palaeontologist, Dr Dave Hone, has located a bountiful dig site but he needs a brave explorer to help unearth the fossils and discover the mysteries of our prehistoric Earth.

This brand new puzzle book from Curved House Kids sets ten science-themed challenges for kids that help them build knowledge about a subject they love (dinosaurs!) while also strengthening skills that make a great scientist: problem solving, critical thinking, curiosity, patience, visual literacy and creativity.

This exciting new puzzle book is from our Think Like A Scientist series which takes real research and science and turns it into a fun and challenging STEM puzzle book. Not only are kids entertained but they also get a dose of careers inspiration from real experts all around the world.

Dave Hone has helped us to craft this paleo adventure based on a real discovery. The book is inspired by the research paper ‘Bite marks on the frill of a juvenile Centrosaurus’, published by Dave and fellow palaeontologists Darren Tanke and Caleb Brown.

The team took a fossil that had been found at Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada, and analysed the bite marks to identify which dinosaur the fossil belonged to, and what the likely cause of the bite marks was. The 10 puzzles in the Dinosaur Puzzle Book take children on this very same journey – from locating the dig site and unearthing the fossil, to analysing the bite marks, collecting data and reporting on the find.

Kids aged 7+ will LOVE this book and we think adults might too…!

About the Expert

Dave Hone is a senior lecturer and researcher at Queen Mary University of London. His research focuses on the (non-avian) dinosaurs as a whole and especially the carnivorous theropods, and also on the flying pterosaurs. He is passionate and curious about dinosaurs and wants to know:

  • How did they hunt and feed?
  • How might they have communicated?
  • Was there social structure within herds?
  • How large did they get and what did this mean for their biology?

Find out more about Dave Hone and his work on the QMUL website.

Grab your copy today >>> Download a free dinosaur activity!

Dinosaur Puzzles by Future Palaeontologists is written by Kitty Harrison and Lucie Stevens with Dr Dave Hone. Illustrated by Ben Hawkes. Published in June 2021 by Curved House Kids.

Primary school science programme starring Tim Peake translated to inspire next generation of Welsh astronauts

By | 6-8 years, 8+ years, News, Principe Space Diary, Principia Space Diary

Children’s publisher Curved House Kids is excited to announce that their hugely popular primary school science programme has been translated into Welsh, with a mission to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and astronauts. 3,000 copies of the Discovery Diaries will be made available to primary schools in Wales in support of their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) teaching.

With support from the Welsh Government, the UK Space Agency and the Science and Technology Facilities Council, all three programmes (the Principia Space Diary with ESA Astronaut Tim Peake and by Lucy Hawking, the Mission Mars Diary by Lucy Hawking and the Deep Space Diary by Dr Olivia Johnson) will be available to Welsh-medium schools and learners, ensuring they have access to high-quality, leading space education resources. 

The Education Minister for Wales, Kirsty Williams, said:

“Learning about outer space can be a child’s first experience of science and technology and is often the first small step into a lifelong passion for STEM subjects.

“The Discovery Diaries are a great example of how different disciplines, such as art and science, can complement each other and lead to a broader and more meaningful understanding through our new Curriculum.

“I’m really pleased the Welsh Government is supporting this project so that our next generation of Welsh astronauts can enjoy this in Welsh too!”   

The Discovery Diaries’ translation into Welsh will help schools to embrace the new Welsh curriculum, which hopes to equip children with the skills to become global citizens through the study of six key areas of learning, including science and technology. Due to be fully implemented by all maintained Welsh schools and settings by 2022, the curriculum also hopes to provide teachers with the flexibility to deliver classes in more creative ways, and for children to become more adaptable in an age of fast-paced technological changes and globalisation.

Author Lucy Hawking said: 

“Fun and creativity are so important to learning and the Space Diaries provide the perfect opportunity for students to enjoy STEM subjects in an innovative and inspiring way. I am so pleased that they are being translated into the Welsh language and look forward to seeing the creative and scientific results!”

To ensure maximum accessibility to Welsh-medium and bilingual schools throughout Wales, the translated programmes will be available to schools free of charge via the Discovery Diaries website ( with a suite of teaching resources and lesson plans alongside over 60 creative, cross-curricular activities. 

As learners work through the activities they will meet a diverse team of STEM experts to inspire them to see themselves in STEM careers. Watch out for volcanologist Tamsin Mather, astronomer Sheila Kanani, instrument scientist Pamela Klaassen and engineer Piyal Samara Ratna. 

Kristen Harrison, publisher of the Discovery Diaries series, says: 

“Language is central to how children connect their identity and culture to the wider world, so we are thrilled to offer this series in Welsh and look forward to seeing learners and their teachers being challenged, empowered and inspired in the Welsh language.” 


For more information, images and interviews, contact: 

Rachel Powell (Welsh/English)

PR Consultant

Mob: +44 (0)771 266 3117


Kristen Harrison (English)

Curved House Kids

Berlin Office 

Mob: +49 162 431 6736



Notes to editors

About Discovery Diaries

The Principia Space Diary and the Mission Mars Diary were created by Curved House Kids and author Lucy Hawking with funding and support from the UK Space Agency (USKA), European Space Agency (ESA) and ESA Astronaut Tim Peake. The Deep Space Diary, written by Dr Olivia Johnson and launched in 2019, was created with support from the STFC and draws on the knowledge of experts working on the James Webb Space Telescope. 

Originally launched as a STEM-literacy initiative with the aim of getting 500 primary schools involved in ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s Principia mission to the ISS, the Discovery Diary programmes have taken UK schools by storm with their wealth of interactive activities that encourage children to read, write, draw, research, experiment and problem-solve while strengthening STEM, literacy and visual literacy learning. 

All three programmes come with extensive teaching notes, lesson plans, multimedia, PowerPoint presentations and more. Teachers have the freedom to use the materials from beginning to end, in a linear way, or pick and choose activities to fit with their existing curriculum.

Over 4,000 schools across the UK are now using Discovery Diaries’ learning suite to complement their STEM teaching. Curved House Kids will continue to make the science programme available to a wider range of children by translating teaching materials into simplified Chinese. 


Curved House Kids is an educational publisher specialising in arts-based STEM and Literacy learning for children and young people. Our mission is to ensure that every child, everywhere in the world, is empowered to learn, create and communicate. We enrich education by making challenging subjects – like science and literacy – exciting and accessible. We do this by incorporating the arts into education and by working with like-minded partners who value learning, creativity and innovation.

Cyfieithu rhaglen wyddoniaeth i ysgolion cynradd, sy’n astudio Tim Peake, er mwyn ysbrydoli’r genhedlaeth nesaf o ofodwyr yng Nghymru

By | News, Uncategorized

Mae’n bleser gan y cyhoeddwr Curved House Kids gyhoeddi bod eu rhaglen wyddoniaeth hynod boblogaidd i ysgolion cynradd wedi cael ei chyfieithu i’r Gymraeg, gyda’r nod o ysbrydoli’r genhedlaeth nesaf o wyddonwyr, peirianwyr a gofodwyr. Bydd 3,000 o gopïau o Dyddiaduron Darganfod ar gael i ysgolion cynradd yng Nghymru i gefnogi eu hadnoddau addysgu STEM (Gwyddoniaeth, Technoleg, Peirianneg a Mathemateg).

Gyda chefnogaeth gan Lywodraeth Cymru, Asiantaeth Ofod y DU a’r Cyngor Cyfleusterau Gwyddoniaeth a Thechnoleg, bydd pob un o’r tair rhaglen (Dyddiadur Gofod Principia gyda’r Gofodwr ESA Tim Peake gan Lucy Hawking, Dyddiadur Taith i Blaned Mawrth gan Lucy Hawking a Dyddiadur y Gofod Dwfn gan Dr Olivia Johnson) ar gael i ddysgwyr ac ysgolion cyfrwng Cymraeg, er mwyn sicrhau bod ganddynt fynediad at adnoddau addysg blaenllaw, o safon ar thema’r gofod.  

Dywedodd Kirsty Williams, Gweinidog Addysg Cymru:

“Dysgu am y gofod yw un o brofiadau cyntaf plentyn o wyddoniaeth a thechnoleg, ac mae’n aml yn gam bach cyntaf tuag at frwdfrydedd gydol oes am bynciau STEM.

“Mae’r Dyddiaduron Darganfod yn enghraifft wych o sut gall disgyblaethau gwahanol, fel celf a gwyddoniaeth, ategu ei gilydd ac arwain at ddealltwriaeth ehangach a mwy ystyrlon drwy ein Cwricwlwm newydd.

“Rydw i’n falch iawn bod Llywodraeth Cymru yn cefnogi’r prosiect hwn fel bod y genhedlaeth nesaf o ofodwyr yng Nghymru yn gallu ei fwynhau yn Gymraeg hefyd!”   

Bydd y fersiynau Cymraeg o’r Dyddiaduron Darganfod yn helpu ysgolion i groesawu’r cwricwlwm Cymraeg newydd, sy’n gobeithio rhoi’r sgiliau i blant ddod yn ddinasyddion byd-eang drwy astudio chwe maes dysgu allweddol, yn cynnwys gwyddoniaeth a thechnoleg. Gobaith y cwricwlwm, a fydd yn cael ei roi ar waith yn llawn ym mhob ysgol a lleoliad a gynhelir yng Nghymru erbyn 2022, yw rhoi’r hyblygrwydd i athrawon ddarparu gwersi mewn ffyrdd mwy creadigol, ac i blant allu addasu’n well mewn oes o globaleiddio a newidiadau technolegol cyflym.

Dywedodd yr awdur Lucy Hawking

“Mae hwyl a chreadigrwydd mor bwysig i ddysgu ac mae’r Dyddiaduron Gofod yn gyfle perffaith i ddisgyblion fwynhau pynciau STEM mewn ffordd arloesol ac ysbrydoledig. Rydw i mor falch eu bod yn cael eu cyfieithu i’r Gymraeg ac edrychaf ymlaen at weld y canlyniadau creadigol a gwyddonol!”

Er mwyn sicrhau bod cynifer o ysgolion cyfrwng Cymraeg a dwyieithog ledled Cymru yn gallu cael gafael ar y rhaglenni Cymraeg hyn, byddant ar gael i ysgolion yn rhad ac am ddim drwy wefan Discovery Diaries ( Bydd cyfres o adnoddau addysgu a chynlluniau gwersi ar gael hefyd ynghyd â dros 60 o weithgareddau creadigol, trawsgwricwlaidd. 

Wrth i’r dysgwyr gyflawni’r gweithgareddau, byddant yn cwrdd â thîm amrywiol o arbenigwyr STEM i’w hysbrydoli i ddychmygu eu hunain mewn gyrfaoedd STEM. Cadwch olwg am y fylcanolegwr Tamsin Mather, y seryddwr Sheila Kanian, y gwyddonydd offerynnau Pamela Klaassen a’r peiriannydd Piyar Samara Ratna. 

Dywedodd Kristen Harrison, cyhoeddwr cyfres Dyddiaduron Darganfod: 

“Mae iaith yn ganolog i’r modd mae plant yn cysylltu hunaniaeth a diwylliant â’r byd ehangach, felly rydyn ni wrth ein bodd o allu cynnig y gyfres hon yn Gymraeg. Edrychwn ymlaen at weld dysgwyr a’u hathrawon yn cael eu herio, eu grymuso a’u hysbrydoli yn yr iaith Gymraeg.” 


I gael rhagor o wybodaeth, lluniau a chyfweliadau, cysylltwch â: 

Rachel Powell (Cymraeg/Saesneg)

Ymgynghorydd Cysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Ffôn Symudol: +44 (0)771 266 3117


Kristen Harrison (Saesneg)

Curved House Kids

Swyddfa Berlin 

Ffôn Symudol: +49 162 431 6736



Nodiadau i olygyddion

Gwybodaeth am Discovery Diaries

Crëwyd Dyddiadur Gofod Principia a Dyddiadur Taith i Blaned Mawrth gan Curved House Kids a’r awdur Lucy Hawking gyda chyllid a chefnogaeth gan Asiantaeth Ofod y DU, Asiantaeth Ofod Ewrop (ESA) a’r Gofodwr ESA Tim Peake. Ysgrifennwyd Dyddiadur y Gofod Dwfn gan Dr Olivia Johnson ac fe’i lansiwyd yn 2019, gyda chefnogaeth y Cyngor Cyfleusterau Gwyddoniaeth a Thechnoleg. Mae’r dyddiadur hwn yn defnyddio gwybodaeth arbenigwyr sy’n gweithio ar Delesgop Gofod James Webb. 

Cafodd rhaglenni Dyddiaduron Darganfod eu lansio’n wreiddiol fel menter llythrennedd-STEM gyda’r nod o gael 500 o ysgolion cynradd i gymryd rhan yn nhaith Principia’r Gofodwr ESA Tim Peake i’r Orsaf Ofod Ryngwladol. Maen nhw wedi bod yn llwyddiant ysgubol gyda’u gweithgareddau rhyngweithiol di-ri sy’n annog plant i ddarllen, ysgrifennu, tynnu lluniau, ymchwilio, arbrofi a datrys problemau yn ogystal â chryfhau dysgu STEM, llythrennedd a llythrennedd gweledol. 

Mae’r tair rhaglen hyn yn cynnwys nodiadau addysgu cynhwysfawr, cynlluniau gwersi, deunydd amlgyfrwng, cyflwyniadau PowerPoint a mwy. Mae gan athrawon y rhyddid i ddefnyddio’r deunyddiau o’r dechrau i’r diwedd, mewn ffordd linol, neu ddewis a dethol y gweithgareddau sy’n cyd-fynd â’u cwricwlwm presennol.

Mae dros 4,000 o ysgolion ledled y DU yn defnyddio rhaglenni dysgu Dyddiaduron Darganfod i ategu eu hadnoddau addysgu STEM. Bydd Curved House Kids yn parhau i wneud yn siŵr bod y rhaglen wyddoniaeth ar gael i ystod ehangach o blant drwy gyfieithu’r deunyddiau addysgu i Tsieinëeg Syml.  


Mae Curved House Kids yn gyhoeddwr addysgol sy’n arbenigo ym maes dysgu STEM a llythrennedd yn y celfyddydau ar gyfer plant a phobl ifanc. Ein cenhadaeth ni yw sicrhau bod pob plentyn, ym mhob cwr o’r byd, yn cael ei rymuso i ddysgu, creu a chyfathrebu. Rydym yn cyfoethogi addysg drwy wneud pynciau heriol – fel gwyddoniaeth a llythrennedd – yn gyffrous ac yn hawdd eu deall. Rydym yn gwneud hyn drwy ymgorffori’r celfyddydau mewn addysg a thrwy weithio gyda phartneriaid o’r un anian â ni, sy’n gwerthfawrogi dysgu, creadigrwydd ac arloesi.

Deep Space Diary

The Deep Space Diary is here!

By | 6-8 years, 8+ years, News

To celebrate the launch of the Deep Space Diary, Curved House Kids and the Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) are giving away 15,000 free books to UK schools.

This exciting new school project celebrates the UK’s involvement with one of the most globally-anticipated space missions, the James Webb Space Telescope, and will encourage thousands of British students to realise their inner space expert and explore the Universe.

The Deep Space Diary programme introduces KS2/P5-7 students to astronomy, physics, engineering and space through the story of the James Webb Space Telescope. With the support of the STFC, 15,000 free books will be available to schools across the UK with priority given to those in disadvantaged areas or with high numbers of pupil premium.

The Deep Space Diary is the third book in the series, with the previous two created with the UK Space Agency, author Lucy Hawking and inspired by European Space Agency (ESA) Astronaut Tim Peake’s 2015 Principia mission.

“In 2015 we created the Principia Space Diary to empower younger students to learn about space and science while they followed my mission to the International Space Station. That book, and the subsequent Mars Diary sequel, were a huge success as they tackle a range of challenging subjects in a creative and hands-on way. I’m excited to see the ideas and innovations our young British space experts come up with as they complete this new Deep Space Diary and explore the biggest questions about our Universe.”

ESA Astronaut Tim Peake

I loved creating the original space diary to celebrate Tim Peake’s journey to the ISS. It was a great honour to work with Tim on such an imaginative scientific project which gave primary school students the chance to explore space while learning and having fun. In the follow up Mars Diary, we gave students the huge challenge of planning a mission to the red planet. It has been exciting to launch this series and see how successful it has become. I am sure the Deep Space Diary will continue that success.

Lucy Hawking, author of the Principia Space Diary and Mars Diary

The James Webb Space Telescope (or simply Webb), due to launch in 2021, is the largest space telescope ever built (the size of a tennis court when deployed) and is expected to reveal even more about the Universe than its predecessor, Hubble. Webb is a global project, led by NASA, with some of its key experts in Europe and the UK. The Deep Space Diary makes this incredible human achievement accessible for younger students by delivering complex ideas in creative, student-led ways. The diary was also developed with and features a diverse group of real engineers and astronomers who have worked on Webb or will use it to explore the Universe.

“Celebrating the involvement that the UK has in this revolutionary mission, whilst at the same time giving children an insight in to how exciting being involved in a space science mission can be makes this a very special project; after all they will be the scientists and engineers of the future.”

European Principle Investigator for MIRI Professor Gillian Wright

From today (Thursday 13th June) primary schools in the UK are invited to register at for a chance to receive a free box of 30 Deep Space Diaries plus stickers and a Mission Log poster for their class. Books will be allocated to schools on a first come, first served basis with priority given to those in disadvantaged areas or with a higher percentage of free school meals. Other schools, home educating families and community groups can also register to access the free online programme, or purchase printed diaries via the online bookshop. Books will be delivered in September 2019, at the beginning of the new school year.

Teachers are fully supported with an online portal containing over 60 hours of classroom and home learning activities, differentiated teaching notes, curriculum guides (for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), extension activities, multimedia resources and more. The programme also provides cross-curricular links, combining STEM learning with a breadth of other subjects to ensure that every child can find a way in to science and engineering.

“Our goal with the Discovery Diaries is not necessarily to hot-house future STEM experts (though that’s a happy bi-product!) but to encourage every child, regardless of their skills, interests or circumstances, to imagine, create, question, research, visualise, analyse, problem solve and generally “think like a scientist”. These are skills that will help them throughout their lives and the James Webb Space Telescope is the perfect inspiration for all of that.”

Discovery Diaries Publisher, Kristen Harrison

The Deep Space Diary has been developed by Curved House Kids with Dr Olivia Johnson at STFC’s UK Astronomy Technology Centre and Royal Observatory Edinburgh. A skilled team of practising primary teachers have co-written teaching materials and curriculum guides and Professor Peter McOwan at Queen Mary University of London has provided academic advice and feedback on activities.  

Notes to Editors
Download photos, logos and Tim Peake video from our Media Kit:  
Registrations open 13th June, 2019 and schools who register before 5th July, 2019 will go into the draw for free copies.

UK scientists and engineers are part of a team who built an instrument for the James Webb Space Telescope – the mid-infrared instrument (MIRI), an infrared camera and spectrometer.

MIRI was developed in a collaborative effort between ten European countries, led by the UK and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), with the support of ESA and NASA. The UK team is made up of a partnership between the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), University of Leicester and Airbus Defence and Space with funding from the UK Space Agency. The European Principal Investigator (PI) is Prof Gillian Wright who is Director of STFC’s UK Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh.

In addition to MIRI, University College London’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory is contributing NIRSpec’s on board calibration system and ground support equipment, and a Staffordshire-based company, Tekdata Interconnect Systems, provided the JWST cryogenic harness.

For more information visit:

Curved House Kids is an independent publisher specialising in arts-based education for children and young people. Our mission is to ensure that every child, everywhere in the world, is empowered to learn, create and communicate. We enrich education by making challenging subjects – like science and literacy – exciting and accessible. We do this by incorporating the arts into education and by working with like-minded partners who value learning, creativity and innovation. Curved House Kids was founded in 2013 by Kristen Harrison, a former Penguin editor and the co-founder of the Visual Verse online anthology.

JWST: @WebbTelescopeUK
Olivia Johnson: @cocjohnson
Alastair Bruce: @spacedoot
Naomi Rowe-Gurney: @NRoweGurney
Curved House Kids: @curvedhousekids


Becky Parker-Ellis
STFC Media Officer
Tel: +44(0)1793 444564
Mob: +44(0)7808 879294
If you have an urgent out of hours enquiry, please call the duty press officer on 07092 982664

Kristen Harrison (Publisher)
Curved House Kids
Mob +49 1624316736

Free Creative Writing Resources for Teens

By | 11+, 8+ years, Further Education (FE), News, Teaching Resources, Visual Literacy

Download our latest free teaching resource for students aged 12+. We’ve created a set of creative activities that use art and photography to inspire creative writing and storytelling in the classroom. This free resource has been created in partnership with FXP Festival, a STEM initiative based on a computer and mobile game design and development competition for school and college students in the UK.

Inside this book you will find 6 activities to ignite a passion for creative writing and storytelling, and prime your students for FXP Festival in Cambridge (6-8 July).

The aim of these activities is to give students an experience of language and literacy that they can really make their own. We use visual prompts to ensure that every student can find a “way in” to literacy, and we focus on holistic communication (verbal, visual, creative, text etc). The ultimate aim is to empower young people with the confidence to communicate creatively and effectively.

These activities are designed for years 8–11 and FE and they include differentiation ideas for adapting within this range. All of the activities are flexible in nature so you can incorporate them into existing classes or tie them to your curriculum.

This resource is based on activities designed by writers, publishers and educators at The Curved House and Visual Verse. This edition of the resources is published in collaboration with FXP Festival 2019. It is a free resource for teachers, parents and educators, so please feel free to share. We hope you enjoy and look forward to seeing what your students come up with.

Download this Resource (PDF)

curved house kids frankfurt book fair

Frankfurt Book Fair 2018

By | Blog, News

Rolling out of bed at 3.30am to catch a flight is never an easy task, but with the lure of spending the day surrounded by books in all shapes and sizes at Frankfurt Book Fair, the 6am flight was surprisingly painless.

Curved House Kids Lawrence King Frankfurt Book FairUpon entering the fair I was astounded at the scale. Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s largest book fair but the reality of what that actually means doesn’t hit you until you get your map and enter the first hall, in which rows upon rows of stalls are set up with people from all over the world showing off their books and wares. Zoom out slightly and there’s six of these halls with multiple floors. It’s huge.

As we roamed the halls we got chatting to Katie de Clercq from Lawrence King, publishers of Yasmeen Ismail, Marion Deuchars and many other wonderful artists. They have such a great selection of books and print products all with an artist-led and often quirky vibe. Totally up our street.

Mid-morning had us heading over for a meeting at the Independent Publishers Guild with Lynette Owen, author of the Publishing Rights bible Selling Rights. We are very much at the beginning of our commercial publishing journey and Lynette was exceptionally helpful and full of excellent advice about rights.

On the same floor we found the Irish publishers stand and took the opportunity to speak to Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin and discuss translations of our Discovery Diaries into the Gaelic language for bilingual schools through the country. It was very interesting to learn that only a handful of schools in Ireland are teaching a full curriculum in the native language and if we were to do translations of the Diaries it would be more viable to get funding from an organisation who supports it – anyone out there interested in partnering?? While we didn’t find a Welsh publishers stand, we do know that Government funding exists for the translation of education resources into Welsh and we’d LOVE to do this for our Welsh schools.

Curved house kids frankfurt book fair special dinosaurs nicky dee

Just before lunch we headed down to Hall 6 to have a meeting with the wonderful Nicky Dee who was very excited to show us her latest project: these incredible mountable cardboard dinosaur heads! The models were designed by a paper engineer (that’s a real job title!), and the packaging by me, and they now form part of Nicky’s Special Dinosaurs collection of books and products. Curved House Kids did the artworking and layout for four of these books and we are chuffed to have played a small role in the series. The dinosaur heads are 100% recyclable and we were so impressed to see how sturdy and detailed they are!

Justine Solomons of Byte the Book and Andreas Trefzger of Wolf Präsente joined us outside for lunch where we enjoyed the warm Autumn sun and caught up on what everyone had been doing while at the fair. Justine was fresh from chairing a panel on censorship and morality that you can read about here. And Andi was taking a break from manning his stand: CreaBrulee, connoisseurs of magical washi tape!

Gibbs Smith Curved House Kids Frankfurt Book FairThe afternoon was spent looking for printers for our forthcoming books and snaps cards and we also managed to get some time in checking out new titles from some of our favourite publishers. The art book section was particularly inspiring. Like magpies to shiny objects were drawn to many beautiful cover designs and great ideas. We poured over Gibbs Smith’s extensive collection of BabyLit classics for kids, delighted at V&A’s introduction to Frida Kahlo which gives children a way into exploring and getting more from their recent Kahlo exhibition, then we learnt a huge amount thanks to Sourcebooks Baby University series which ranges from General Relativity and Statistical Physics all the way to Rocket Science and Quantum Physics.

And then just like that, we were back in Berlin.

Curved House Kids live an ecclectic life: we work mainly from an office in Berlin, with UK schools and organisations, combining the arts, education, literacy, STEM and book publishing. Going to Frankfurt Book Fair gave us the opportunity to reconnect and re-engage with just the books part of all of this and it felt a little like going home for Christmas. We are energised for growing our lovely little list in 2019. Watch this space!

Mission Mars Diary STEM KS2

We’re making 15,000 free books available to schools in the UK’s most deprived areas

By | 6-8 years, 8+ years, News

Lucy Hawking and Curved House Kids today launch Mars Diary, an ambitious new primary science programme, in partnership with the UK Space Agency, that aims to get 60,000 British schoolchildren involved in the UK’s ExoMars mission and other human and robotic space endeavours. At the core of the Mars Diary programme is an illustrated activity book that students personalise as they complete a range of creative, empowering STEM activities. Teachers are supported with lesson plans, teaching notes, differentiation ideas, multimedia and detailed curriculum links for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

With the support of the UK Space Agency, 15,000 free Mars Diary books will be made available to primary schools across the UK with priority given to those in areas of high levels of deprivation and education under-achievement. Five thousand of these will be distributed to teachers via ESERO-UK and STEM Learning. To ensure full access to these high-quality materials, all UK primary schools will also have free online access to the entire programme including over 60 hours of lessons for Key Stage 2 (P4-7 / Y3-6).

Mars Diary is a sequel to the hugely popular Principia Space Diary, one of ESA Astronaut Tim Peake’s education outreach projects that has inspired over 95,000 British schoolchildren since its launch in 2015. Watch Tim Peake’s welcome message to the “brave space explorers” who will embark on the Mars Diary programme. View and download Tim Peake’s video message, photos and other programme information in the media kit:

Mars Diary Media Kit

Sue Horne, Head of Space Exploration at the UK Space Agency says:

“I am really pleased that we have been able to build on the success of the Principia Space Diary and we can share the excitement and challenges of Mars exploration with young people. I can’t wait to see the amazing ideas and work that students generate.”

The Mars Diary has been written and developed by Lucy Hawking and Curved House Kids with a strong emphasis on creativity and visual learning. Students will be inspired by real space, STEM and education experts including Sue Horne and Libby Jackson from the UK Space Agency Exploration team, volcanologist Professor Tamsin Mather, Mars weather expert Professor Stephen Lewis, Pamela Burnard, Professor of Arts, Creativities and Education at the University of Cambridge and robotics expert Professor Peter McOwan at Queen Mary University of London.

From today (Thursday 22nd February) primary schools in the UK are invited to register at for a chance to receive a free box of 30 Mars Diaries plus stickers and a Mission Log poster for their class. Books will be allocated to schools on a first come, first served basis with priority given to those who have a high percentage of free school meals.

Other schools, home educating families and community groups can also register to access the free online programme, or purchase copies of the printed diaries via the online bookshop at Books will be delivered late-March. If the popularity of the Principia Space Diary is any indication, schools are encouraged to register fast to avoid missing out on printed books.

The programme is fully supported, flexible and can be completed at any time during the school year. Particular emphasis has been placed on making the complex topic of space science easy for any teacher to confidently deliver, giving them the tools to inspire children to read, write, draw, research, experiment and problem solve while strengthening STEM, literacy and visual literacy learning. The multi-modal approach to learning means students use a wide range of analogue and digital media to complete their tasks: from videos, tablets and phones to images and audio.

Publisher Kristen Harrison says:

“Space and science can be daunting topics for teachers and their students, but what we know from our past projects is that leaving plenty of room for individual creativity and ownership gets students engaged in a really meaningful way, and has a lasting impact. We are thrilled to have the chance to create another project like this with the UK Space Agency.”

The Mars Diary programme is funded by the UK Space Agency, as part of a scheme to support education outreach associated with the ExoMars mission, which is sending a rover to Mars in 2020 to look for evidence of life on The Red Planet.

Notes to Editors

Download Mission Mars Media Kit
Registrations open Thursday 22nd February and successful schools will receive books at the end of March 2018.

About Lucy Hawking (

Lucy Hawking is a British author who writes adventure stories based on science for a primary school age audience. Featuring a boy called George and his best friend Annie who have exciting space adventures together, the George series combines storytelling with science, and gives young readers an entertaining introduction to the world of space exploration. The series is published in over 40 languages. An Oxford graduate, Lucy started her writing career in journalism and worked for British newspapers, radio and magazines before becoming a published author. Lucy has been recognised for her work in science and education with several awards – she won the Sappio Prize for Popularizing Science in Rome 2008 and the UNSW medal 2015 for Science Communication and was awarded a doctorate in science by Queen Mary University of London in July 2015. Lucy is a trustee of the Autism Research Foundation, supporting scientific research into the condition of autism.

About Curved House Kids (

Curved House Kids has a simple mission: to improve education by creating books and learning materials that engage children the way children are engaging with the world. This means visually, interactively and with tools that empower. In 2015, we published the Principia Space Diary, a STEM-literacy programme that followed ESA Astronaut Tim Peake’s mission to the International Space Station. Our goal was to distribute 15,000 free books to children in the UK and with the support of the UK Space Agency we ended up distributing over 40,000 free books and having over 95,000 students register to participate online at

We are proud to produce work that makes children part of the creative process and encourages them to form a positive relationship with books and science that will bolster them for a successful education. Curved House Kids was founded in 2013 by Kristen Harrison, a former Penguin editor and co-founder of Visual Verse online anthology. Kristen sits on the board of the International Visual Literacy Association.

About ExoMars

In 2020, the European Space Agency’s ExoMars mission will deliver a rover to Mars. The rover will travel across the surface of Mars, looking for signs of life. Using its specialised instruments, it will collect and analyse rock samples from below the Martian surface and send its findings back to Earth. ExoMars will be the first mission to combine the ability to move across the Martian surface with the ability to collect and analyse rock samples. For more information on the ExoMars mission, visit:


The European Space Education Resources Office, in the UK, aims to open doors for young people by supporting world-class teaching in STEM subjects, through the context of space. This is primarily achieved through bursary supported CPD, an online resource collection, and through our wider networks. ESERO-UK is part of STEM Learning Ltd. and funded by the European Space Agency and UK Space Agency.

For Further Information and Enquiries

Curved House Kids
Kristen Harrison (Publisher)
Mob +49 176 876 02770

Lucy Hawking
C/- Rebecca Carter, Literary Agent
Janklow & Nesbit (UK) Ltd
Tel (020) 7243 2975

UK Space Agency
Gareth Bethell
Press Officer
Polaris House, North Star Avenue, Swindon SN2 1SZ
Tel 01793 41 8069
Mob 07925 891 949

Tim Peake

Tim Peake to tour UK!

By | 4-6 years, 6-8 years, Events, News, Principia Space Diary

Tim Peake


Tim Peake is heading off on his post-flight tour of the UK this month, visiting all four UK national capitals along with Leicester, Manchester, Salford and Glasgow. NASA astronaut and crewmate Tim Kopra will join Tim for the visits to Edinburgh, Belfast and London.

Tim will be giving presentations at each city, giving his first-hand account about life onboard the ISS and talking about the important science experiments he conducted during his mission.

As part of Tim’s Principia mission, the UK Space Agency has invested £3 million in the biggest education and outreach initiative ever undertaken for an ESA astronaut. Over a million young people have taken part including over 60,000 UK school children that participated in our Space Diary programme!


Cardiff: 13 October 2016

Leicester: 14 October 2016

Manchester: 15 October 2016

Glasgow: 16 October

Edinburgh: 17 October

Belfast: 18 October

London: 19 October

Find out further information on the venues and times here.



Curved House Kids are hiring enthusiastic teachers!

By | 4-6 years, 6-8 years, 8+ years, News, Principia Space Diary, Teaching Resources, Visual Literacy, Worksheets

Curved House Kids are an energetic educational publisher with a focus on visual literacy and visual methodologies. We aim to make the art of communication achievable for all children, regardless of their skill level or circumstances. We take a democratic approach to learning and visual literacy is our secret weapon!

If this sounds like your kind of approach and you’re a practicing teacher in the UK, read on…

Teacher Ad SM1

This year we have run the Principia Space Diary programme in partnership with Lucy Hawking and Queen Mary University of London. This programme has been funded by the UK Space Agency as one of nine educational outreach projects associated with ESA Astronaut Tim Peake’s mission to the ISS. The programme has been a huge success, reaching over 60,000 primary-aged students across the UK, and we are now working to develop new resources and programmes that can be accessed in the classroom.

We are expanding our resources library for primary and early secondary students (Key Stages 1-3) to include more free, downloadable learning materials for teachers and we are looking for experienced educators to review our work and help us build a library of first-class materials. These materials will teach a wide range of subjects using visual methods, and always intersecting with literacy learning and visual literacy.

As a passionate and creative teacher, your job will be to review materials that we produce and help us to align these to the curriculum, making them as effective as possible for busy teachers. You will also attend our annual brainstorm in which you tell us what you think we should be producing and what we’re doing right and wrong. We’ll also show you new ideas and technologies that might improve your own work.

This is a freelance role at an agreed hourly rate and we offer plenty of flexibility to fit in around busy teaching schedules. All work, bar the annual brainstorm, is done remotely and with plenty of notice. We expect it would be around 10 hours per year initially, plus one day for the brainstorm. Expenses will be paid for those who need to travel. 

This call is currently open to all teachers in the UK and Ireland. We are keen to hear from KS1-3 teachers and welcome those with specialisms in particular areas. Our materials are not tied to the curriculum but they need to be complementary, so it is important that all applicants have an up-to-date knowledge of the curriculum.

Please click the link below to complete a very brief application form (it will only take 5 minutes) and we will contact you if we think you’d be a good fit. If you have any questions please feel free to email us at

Apply Now


Bologna Book Fair

Curved House Kids goes to Bologna Book Fair!

By | 4-6 years, 6-8 years, 8+ years, Blog, Events, News

Going to Bologna I didn’t know what to expect. I knew of course children’s books and illustrators but I never imagined the magnitude of the fair. Before this I had only been in my country’s (Colombia) biggest fair the Bogotá Book Fair (Filbo) and in Canada I went to the Toronto Book Fair, both wonderful but very different in size and purpose.

When Kristen and I arrived we immediately felt the joyful energy of this Italian city and were surprised to see how dog-friendly it is. As we walked through it, in less than an hour, we spotted 40 dogs. We knew that this was the place to be.

At the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, creative minds get to show their work and their enthusiasm for their craft. Walking through the stands, we viewed books that have been published all over the world. Where the fair began there were halls filled with the artworks of the selected illustrators, each of them with their own distinguishing style. Germany as the country of honour had a special hall exhibiting their illustrators. Work from this country demonstrated different techniques, from laser cut to fine drawings in black and white, or other illustrations filled with elements and a variety of colors.

Hongchen Yu, China BCBF

Tsutomu Fujishima, Japan BCBF

Michiko Chapuis, Japan BCBF

The fair was huge and I had never been in one of this scale. It had stands for every country; sometimes publishers from a same nationality shared one but in most cases they had their own. As we explored the hallways of the Latin American countries, Chile caught our attention. They produce wonderfully crafted books with talented illustrators, as well as great ideas. The most wonderful surprise was meeting Argentinian publisher Diego Bianki from Pequeño editor, who publishes from the heart and has won prizes at the fair this year and last. Talking to him we saw the passion he has for his craft, which is clear in his books like Tree Book Tree. This is an amazing book that can be planted and a tree will grow out of it. To promote it, he used the motto: books come from trees, today a tree comes from a book.

chomp, chrostpoh niemann

There were also panels about a variety of topics. We had the chance to listen to some about enriched books and interactive book apps, and how this market has to work to make business model strategies get attention for what they are doing. Now publishers are also creating books with augmented reality. This is a new concept of books that isn’t being used in Colombia but it is a worthy tool that we should be pursuing and discovering. Its possibilities are endless.

The panels weren’t only about technology, and I was especially moved by one about refugees and children’s books. Panelists talked about how stories can help children understand why people leave their countries to live somewhere else and how this feels. It’s not just about understanding but about feeling and evoking emotion. This way real empathy is created and children can start building a better understanding with others. I left this panel with the feeling that these stories are needed all over the world and that they are helpful in all types of environments.

After the panels, we met Verena Pausder from Fox and Sheep, and illustrator Christoph Niemann who had great ideas and advice for Kristen.
I can’t end this blog without mentioning the lovely publishers from Ireland we met who adopted us into their group. They not only make amazing books and have creative initiatives, such as the
book clinic, but also have such warm hearts and are very friendly. They truly made this trip to Bologna even better. Children’s Books Ireland, O’Brien Press and Little Island now have a special place in our hearts.
Bologna Book Fair BCBF

Valeria De La Vega is a final year student at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana where she is studying Communications with an emphasis in Publishing. She is interning at the Curved House Kids to learn about publishing children’s books, help translate the books to Spanish and to assist with the development of visual literacy resources.

Y3 students countdown to Principia launch!

By | 4-6 years, 6-8 years, Blog, News, Teaching Resources, Visual Literacy
Design your your own space suit principia space diary tim peake

Designing our own spacesuits

This blog has been written by Tim Bromwich’s Year 3 Class at Cooper and Jordan School, Aldridge

Today in Year 3 we have witnessed the most amazing thing!

We all sat together and experienced a once in a lifetime event. Tim Peake made history by becoming the first official British astronaut to go to the ISS.

Over the past few weeks we have learnt more about space through our Space Diaries, preparing ourselves to become astronauts, and watched many videos from aboard the International Space Station. The more we learnt about life in space, the more we couldn’t wait until lift off. This morning we were all extremely excited by the fact that we could see Major Peake blast off, all the way over in Baikonur Kazakhstan. We huddled together in Mrs BB’s classroom and watched the BBC coverage of the launch. We learnt so much from the presenters, from the training that astronauts undertake to the importance of their space suits.


Creating our first meal in space

We eagerly waited for the countdown and as soon as the timer in the corner got to 10, we joined in with the countdown.

As the counter reached zero the whole of Year 3 cheered, along with people all around the world, as we watched the rockets propel Tim and his team towards space. We all felt overwhelmed with happiness as we saw the rocket successfully leave the launch pad, and were excited to find out more about what Tim would get up to.


The launch countdown and our first creative writing exercise ‘8-minutes to space!’

To make it even better, as the rockets ejected themselves from the craft, Tim turned to the camera gave a big thumbs up and a wave, then went back to concentrating on his flight checks. It felt like Tim was waving to us thousands of miles away in Aldridge.

We will all be rushing home tonight to turn on the television to see how Tim and the team have progressed, and cannot wait until we hear him talk from aboard the ISS.

What a fantastic morning for us all and the start of an awesome adventure for Tim and his crew.

Well done Tim!

Tim Bromwich’s Year 3 Class
Cooper and Jordan School, Aldridge

Principia Space Diary Primary Literacy Resources Curved House Kids Make Your Own Books 27th Lincoln Scouts

Scouts embark on a space journey

By | 4-6 years, 6-8 years, Blog, News, Teaching Resources, Visual Literacy

DOFE LOGOI’m sure you can recall a time when someone asked, ‘Do you remember where you were when…’ usually followed by a major historic event. Imagine future dinner table conversations, when our young people are asked if they remember where they were when the first British astronaut went to the International Space Station under the Union flag, and they reply, ‘Remember it? I was part of it!

The young people in the 27th Lincoln Scout Group, with the support of Eagle Community Primary School, are headed for an out-of-this-world orbit whilst creating a lasting record of their involvement in the Principia Mission. As Major Tim Peake lives and works on the ISS, conducting scientific experiments like determining the ability of human life to survive, grow food, and undertake activities in microgravity conditions, we will be following along on Earth. Our group will imaginatively document their experiences in a unique Space Diary from Curved House Kids and the UK Space Agency Principia Mission outreach programme.

Lincoln ScoutsThis week all seventy of our young people (aged 6 to 14) and leaders started their diaries, putting themselves into the boots of a real astronaut, and living up to the scouting motto, to find out how prepared we would be for space. Watching the introduction video from Lucy Hawking and Dallas Campbell, we found out why it is so important to be fit and healthy for space. Then we completed an Astronaut Workout – jumping for space, stretching up to measure how tall we are, perfecting our balance and floating postures, as well as steadying our breathing to remain calm in our space suits. The young people used these results to consider and discuss the physical impact on our bodies from being in a weightless environment. Finally, we had a look at nutrition and the sort of food astronauts – past and present – would eat, and designed our own healthy meal in our diaries to be packed up for our mission.


Our own space journey began at the beginning of October, on a group camp titled ‘There’s No Place Like Space’ which coincided with the launch of International Space Week.

Imaginations were unleashed on our ‘Area 51’ camp area with its own mission control (camp/office), ISS (kitchen and mess tent) and briefings in the ‘air lock’. Young people became space cadets for the weekend, split into mixed section/mixed age teams named after pods on the ISS (Unity, Harmony, Destiny and Quest), to take part in activities that accumulated points in our own weekend space race.

Our space race challenges included scaling the climbing wall in ‘Planet Exploration’ and decorating souvenir neckerchiefs with space related designs for ‘Space Pennants’, as well as pitching and striking a tent as part of cadets’ survival needs. ‘Ignition’ found the young people building and igniting small fires to be the first team to boil water, and in ‘Rocket Launch’ they explosively launched decorated plastic bottles using a foot pump and hosepipe to create hydro pressure.
‘We Come in Peace’ – interacting with other life-forms at camp fire – was a huge success and a ‘Spaced Out’ quiet area was used by many of the young people under the umbrella canopy of a glowing solar system for a quiet few minutes and planetary discussion. Even our menu was given a celestial makeover with dishes such as Black Hole Breakfast, Gibbous Grub, Moon Rock Meatballs, Radiant Wraps and Cosmic Cocoa.

As with any structured learning, our Scouting programme sets out requirements for all ages, making a balance of activities that not only cover traditional outdoor pursuits but a full range of interests and activities. From learning the names of planets to making a scale model of the solar system, or from knowing what to look for in the night sky to building our own satellite dishes…it’s all part of the Scouting programme.

It’s not all science though; the Principia Mission has given us opportunities to explore humanity itself. Last week we prepared for a Remembrance Sunday parade, taking time to remember the servicemen, women and animals who have given their lives and those who continue to risk theirs. We also reflected on what symbols might be fitting to represent the many humans and animals who went into space, giving their lives to progress the space programme for mankind. We will display these symbols and take time to remember them all during our meeting on 28th January, the NASA Day of Remembrance.

During a ‘Top Secret’ briefing, the group was told of their involvement in the Principia Rocket Science project with RHS Gardening for Schools. We are so excited to know that Tim will be looking after rocket seeds on the ISS that will be making their way to us in Spring 2016, to grow and add our results into the national database.

27th Lincoln Scouts 5We’ll be enhancing our Space Diary use with Principia materials such as Mission X: Train like an Astronaut and Heston Blumenthal’s Design a Space Dinner as resources for diet, healthy eating, exercise, gardening and scientist/experiment badge work, whilst completing the 250 mile Space to Earth challenge during our hikes and expeditions. Our Scout programme links perfectly with the Space Diary chapters to inspire another generation into scouting, science and space exploration.

On camp, we had a ‘Scouts’ Own’ time allocated for reflection and spiritual thought. We talked about Tim, his hard work and perseverance, just two of the many positive qualities that have led to his incredible mission. We also thought about Rick Mastracchio, a NASA engineer whose applications to be an astronaut were repeatedly knocked back. Rick did finally make it to space nine years after his first application, because he refused to give up on his dream. We became confident of opportunities still to come, hopeful that whatever our dreams, whatever we already know, there is always something new to be found if we are brave enough to go and look for it, while recognising that it will take boundless enthusiasm and determination to get us there.

“If you work hard, aim high and follow your dreams then you can achieve what you set out to do.” Tim Peake, November 2015

Anything worth having may not be achieved in one giant leap, but through many small steps. It is reputed to be lonely up in space but we are going to have tremendous company taking our first mission steps, proudly alongside our very own rocket man, Tim Peake, using our Principia Space Diaries.



Ellie Compton
Beaver Section Leader
27th Lincoln Scout Group

Astronaut Tim Peake with Principia Space Diary by Kristen Harrison, Lucy Hawking, Peter McOwan and Ben Hawkes

Principia Space Diary to reach 30,000 UK schoolchildren

By | 4-6 years, 6-8 years, Blog, News, Visual Literacy

Space Diary Logo We are thrilled to announce that the UK Space Agency/ESA have extended funding of the Principia Space Diary project, doubling the number of UK primary school students who will receive copies of the book. That’s twice as many space apprentices, and twice as much fun!

We launched the Principia Space Diary in October with the aim of registering 15,000 UK school kids. One month later we are celebrating sign-ups for 30,000 children to participate in this project. What an amazing response from schools across the UK who have shown such enthusiasm for this and other Principia projects.

Sign up for the Principia Space Diary project

For those not yet familiar with Principia, this is the name for British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s mission to the International Space Station. Tim launches on 15th December and has worked closely with the UK Space Agency, ESERO Schools Network and the ESA to develop a range of educational outreach programmes to engage children and young people. Find out more and get involved here:

Our own Principia project is the Principia Mission Space Diary that allows primary-aged children to document Tim’s journey and work their way through a space apprenticeship. Schools who signed up before today will receive printed books, delivered to them before Tim’s launch on the 15th December.

Principia_Spacsdiary_d6 2_Page_07
Principia_Spacsdiary_d6 2_Page_23

Anyone who registers from today onwards (including schools, home educators, community clubs, after-school programmes etc) will automatically register for the online version of the programme, giving you exclusive access to the book in PDF form to download and print yourself.

This is a STEM-literacy project written by author Lucy Hawking and Professor Peter McOwan from Queen Mary University of London. It presents complex ideas is a simple, visual way and is designed to strengthen science, literacy, visual literacy and numeracy skills; expose children to the breadth of careers in the space science sector; help them learn about themselves; and make sure they have fun. Feel free to contact the publisher, Kristen Harrison (, if you’d like more detail about our methodology.

If you haven’t already signed up, visit

This is your chance to create a lasting memory of Tim’s historical journey.

Calling Awesome Teachers: Be Part of a Unique Space Mission

By | 6-8 years, Blog, News

We’re going into space! Well, sort of…

In December 2015, British astronaut extraordinaire Tim Peake will really journey to space for a 6-month mission on the International Space Station (ISS). As part of Tim’s “Principia” mission, the UK Space Agency have awarded £140,000 in funding to 9 education and outreach projects and we are one of them. OMG! Galactic news!

Together with Lucy Hawking and QMUL’s Professor Peter McOwan, we are producing a Space Diary that will be sent out for free to 15,000 UK primary school children. The Space Diary is packed with activities and challenges that allow the help Tim on his mission – from preparing to be an astronaut, to experiments in space, to navigating space debris for a safe return to earth.

Calling awesome teachers…

We are looking for a small group of 4-6 teachers (in England, Ireland, Scotland and Northern Ireland) to form our testing team. We will need about 5 hours of time between now and the end of October to review the content of our book, our teaching notes and give us feedback on some adhoc questions. All this is to make sure this project is the best it can be for the 500 teachers and 15,000 students who will take part. In return we will credit you in the book; we will make sure your class is one of the 500 schools to receive free books; we will feature you and your school on our blog (if you want to be featured) and your class will get to cyber-meet author extraordinaire Lucy Hawking via a Skype visit to your school.

Will you join our teacher team? To join the crew, email our project coordinator Lucie Stevens at by 28th September.

And for more info, read the full press release announcing the Principia funding on the UK Space Agency website.

Curved House Kids and House of Illustration announce a new partnership

By | Blog, Events, News, Visual Literacy

Islington families invited to create their own stories with House of Illustration and Curved House Kids

Curved House Kids and House of Illustration today announce a new partnership, offering Islington families the chance to publish their own book in an empowering series of workshops, entitled “Our Cally Stories”.

Run as part of Islington Council’s Word15 festival, the 8-week programme will offer hands-on training in understanding visual and written literacy, as well as offering local families unique access to those working in creative sectors.

Commencing today, 23 April 2015, the workshops will be held in Holloway Library, Paradise Park Children’s Centre run by Islington Play Association and House of Illustration’s new Clore Studio at its gallery in King’s Cross.

The programme will map out a typical book development workflow, led and supported by an established author, illustrator and publisher. Young children and their parents will go through the process of planning, writing, editing, illustrating and publishing a professional quality book. Themes will be selected by participants, allowing them to create their own unique stories, and finished books will be produced and shared through local libraries.

House of Illustration and Curved House Kids have come together because of a shared focus on visual literacy, and on using visual tools to empower people to communicate fully in a modern world. This is a guiding principle for the programme, as Kristen Harrison, Publisher at Curved House Kids, explains: “We live in an increasingly visual world, and for the many who struggle with text-based literacy visuals can be extremely effective at breaking down their barriers to reading. We’re thrilled to join forces with House of Illustration, who already have an exceptional education and outreach programme, to provide Islington families with the tools they need to create and share their own stories. ”

The final book will be launched at House of Illustration, at 2 Granary Square in King’s Cross on Thursday 18 June.


About Curved House Kids (

Curved-House-Kids-Logo-BlueThe Curved House Kids produce books and downloadable learning materials, and run workshops that inspire primary aged children to read, write and see the world. Curved House Kids projects are based around the idea that visual tools and visual literacy skills can greatly improve a child’s ability to learn and that by making children part of the creative process we cement their learning (and their love for reading and storytelling) from an early age. We recognise that the world around us is now highly visual, digital and interactive and our methods engage with children the way children are engaging with the world.

About House of Illustration ( uk)

logoHouse of Illustration opened the UK’s first gallery dedicated solely to the art of illustration in summer 2014. Through changing exhibitions, events, courses, workshops and competitions it aims to reach audiences of all ages to learn about, participate in and enjoy illustration in all its forms. Our education department has been running since 2009; we have delivered over 40 projects in schools with high indexes of deprivation. Now equipped with a Clore Studio, we hold regular workshops for families, primary & secondary schools and adults. All workshops are delivered by professional illustrators and aim to empower participants of all ages and abilities with new skills, increased confidence, opportunities for creativity and enhanced visual literacy.

About the Word Festival

imgresThe Word festival celebrates the transformative power of words through a one year programme of high quality, commissioned arts activities, events and learning opportunities that encourage residents across Islington to develop enjoyment in reading, writing and freedom of expression. The festival is a partnership initiative between Inslington Council’s Library and Heritage Services, Arts Services, All Change and Free Word. Word 2015 will take place between 25 May and 19 June, 2015.


Kristen Harrison
Curved House Kids
+49 176 876 02770
Twitter: @curvedhousekids

Emily Jost
House of Illustration
+44 203 696 2024
Twitter: @illustrationHQ

imagine festival southbank curved house kids

Imagine Festival at the Southbank Centre 2015

By | Blog, Events, News

We’re back from a week in London where we took part in the annual Imagine Festival at the Southbank Centre. As part of the ‘Everybody Into Books’ event, organised by Inclusive Minds, we set up a book-making station and had kids help us illustrate and write our books. And this year we also got them to turn us (and themselves) into their favourite characters – everything from hairy monsters to floating mermaids. We made over 20 books throughout the day and are now creating ebooks and uploading them to our Kids Library for you to view and download for free!

This was a special day for books. Inclusive Minds are committed to ensuring all children can access books and see themselves in stories and this event brought together organisations, like ours, that see inclusion as a priority rather than an afterthought. The organisers, Beth and Alex, assembled a panel that included some incredible, smart and articulate young people who openly discussed their experiences growing up in mixed race families and as transgender teens. They pointed out that few, if any, books published in the commercial sector reflect their own experiences and this invisibility can lead to feelings of profound isolation during childhood and adolescence.

Also on the panel was one of our idols, Charlie and Lola creator Lauren Child, who talked about her own approach and that rather than try to introduce diversity for its own sake, she tries to reflect real life and narratives that all children can relate to.

We came away from this day feeling completely energised by the insights of those who spoke, the creativity and enthusiasm of the kids who came and created books with us, and the potential we have to ensure diverse representations of people and circumstances in the characters and stories we create for kids. Until 2016 when we can Imagine again!

curved house kids visual literacy fun palace

Five Gems from our first Fun Palace

By | Events, News

On October 4th and 5th, Curved House Kids took over a corner of one of our favourite local bookshops, Shakespeare and Sons and turned it into our very own (and Berlin’s very first) Fun Palace. But what’s a Fun Palace? In short, it’s a free space where kids and adults can have fun connecting art and science through games, storytelling and drawing. Fun Palaces is a UK based (but global) initiative based on an original idea from the legendary playwright, Joan Littlewood and transported into the 21st century by Stella Duffy and Sarah Jane Rawlings.

We had a wonderful weekend in our Fun Palace and were delighted to see so many faces, old and young. We discovered Berlin kids know how to put the FUN in Fun Palace, and that their parents can give us a run for our money with singing and dancing along.

For those of you that coudn’t make it, here are five ‘Fun Palace gems’ to give you a peek into what last weekend was like:


1. Rap and Rock(s) definitely go together

Kitty the Crystalizer rapped her heart out with her band, The Rocks. Big shout out to Mini-Metamorphic, a band member of The Rocks who managed to play it mega-cool and sleep through his moment in the spotlight.


2. Learning is it’s own language

Language is no barrier when you’re learning about sound waves and making music.  Take eight cups of water, a few German numbers, a poster and some eager volunteers and we had a room full of mini-Mozarts in the making.

3. Breaking the rules is best!

Curved House Kids author Chester Travis’ Picture Poetry session really set the kids imaginations alight. After listening to Chester’s ferocious animal sounds and identifying them, our Fun Palace visitors could create their own mixed-up creations taking the best bits from our animal components. ‘Kick’ was a colorful huge animal that made a mix between a roar and a hiss.


4. The future is bright…

Our Fun Palace mural was a chance for kids to respond to speculative questions about the future. One of them – “show me a world that has never existed” – was enough to get one visitor suggesting “a machine that allows you to learn everything while you sleep”. We are pretty much convinced the kid who came up with this will be a professor one day.


5. …Especially when you come together

Learning is not just about thinking, it’s also about doing and collaborating, and seeing parents and adults getting stuck in and helping their children add to our mural, write raps, dance for our morning warmups and create their own planets for our Saturday planet parade was an inspiring reminder that the Fun Palace isn’t just an idea for kids.

Thank you to Chester Travis, Megan Archer and Timothy Armstrong for sharing your artistic skills and creativity with us and the kids! And a special thanks to photographer Alice Connew for taking so many wonderful Snaps.

Visit the Curved House Kids Facebook Page to see more pics from the event.

curved house kids fun palaces

Berlin’s First Fun Palace: Free Festival of Art and Science

By | Blog, News

Calling all creative kids! On the 4th and 5th of October, for one weekend only, Curved House Kids will set up a Fun Palace at Shakespeare and Sons bookshop.

What’s a Fun Palace? A Fun Palace is a free and creative space, where kids and adults alike can explore activities around art and science. We’ll be filling the weekend with all kinds of engaging and inspiring activities that bring science to life. With sessions looking at space, geology, chemistry, paleontology (dinosaurs!) and the animal kingdom, visitors to the Berlin Fun Palace will be able to explore their favourite subjects through storytelling, songs and games. Join authors, illustrators and artists including Megan Archer, Chester Travis, Kristen Harrison, Alice Connew and Jenna Stout for a fun-packed weekend creating Berlin’s first Fun Palace.

Activities include:

  • Meet the Illustrator: Learn about space, the solar system and gravity with illustrator Megan Archer, whose book Up, Up in to Space! is published by Curved House Kids.
  • Meet the Author: Chester Travis, author of My Summer Snowman, shares his poetry-writing skills while teaching us about the animal kingdom.
  • Rock n’ Roll: A rockin’ game where music meets geology!
  • Dinosaur Doodles: How would you draw a Sordes Pilosus? Or a T-Rex? This drawing game is the ultimate challenge for dinosaur fans!
  • Add your drawing to our “Imagine a Future” mural inspired by author extraordinaire, Lucy Hawking! In one of her videos, Lucy asks: “Can you imagine a future noone else has thought of?”.
  • Splashing Sounds: Learn how to make music with water and sound waves.
  • Planets on Parade: Make your own planet mask and join our planet parade!

This Berlin Fun Palace is one of many Fun Palaces happening in the UK and around the world on 3rd and 4th October, 2014. Over 100 Fun Palaces have been devised to celebrate theatre director Joan Littlewood’s centenary and her vision of creating fun and engaging spaces for anyone to access. Fun Palaces is a campaign for culture that everyone can join – combining arts and sciences, welcoming and free, at the heart of local communities across the world.

When and Where?

11am – 4pm on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th October
Shakespeare and Sons Bookshop and Bagel Cafe, Warschauerstrasse 74, 10243 Berlin
Cost: Free

A full programme of events will be published on the Curved House Kids website w/c 22nd September.

About Curved House Kids

Founded by Kristen Harrison in 2013, Curved House Kids is a Berlin-based publishing house that develops books and learning materials that integrate visual literacy into the teaching of core reading and writing skills. Our work tackles the reasons kids may not be reading, whether it be learning difficulties, additional needs, lack of confidence, or the ubiquitous distractions of digital technologies. By allowing kids to make their own books we empower them to be part of the creative process and encourage them to form a life-long bond with books and storytelling.

About Fun Palaces

In 1961, UK theatre director Joan Littlewood and architect Cedric Price conceived the Fun Palace as a ‘laboratory of fun’, ‘a university of the streets’. It was to be a temporary and movable home to the arts and sciences that would welcome children and adults alike. This wasn’t possible in 1961; it’s very possible now.

Co-directed by author Stella Duffy and Sarah Jane Rawlings, Fun Palace takes the best of that never-built 1960s vision and bring it into the 21st century in a weekend of events, locally curated and attended – linked nationally and internationally, virtually and actually. On 4 & 5 October 2014 there will be hundreds of local, pop-up Fun Palaces across the globe, each one based on the needs and wants of that community, all part of the national network of Fun Palaces.

For more information, please visit:

For further enquiries, please contact:

Kristen Harrison

+49 176 876 02770

chester travis at Shakespeare and sons

Chester Travis entertains the BeSmart Academy, Berlin

By | Blog, Events, News

Back in December we ran a competition to get kids drawing the cover of My Summer Snowman by New Zealand author Chester Travis. The comp was won by 5-year-old Lilly (then 4) who produced this wonderful drawing that really impressed our judge, illustrator Ben Hawkes.

My Summer Snowman Chester Travis The Curved House Kids

Lilly, aged 4

Lilly’s prize was an author visit by the wonderful kiwi native Chester Travis. We held the event at Shakespeare and Sons in Berlin and Lily bought along her classmates to be entertained and inspired by Chester’s reading. The kids got to illustrate their own page from a book and all took home a copy of one of our books.

Thanks BeSmart academy for a great morning and congrats again to Lilly, keep drawing!