29th November Dragon’s Den

Welcome to The Dragon’s Den

*Please ensure all cameras are off and mics are switched off or muted.*

Special Guest – Ed Boxall

Ed Boxall is an artist, writer, and performer. His books, songs and pictures are a fabulous mix of real life and his magical, mythical dream world. Ed began his career writing and illustrating with titles such as Francis The Scaredy Cat and Mr Trim and Miss Jumble, both published by Walker Books. In recent years Ed has become very involved in children’s poetry both as illustrator and poet. His book Me and My Alien Friend (published by Troika) was recommended for The Summer Reading Challenge. He has also illustrated solo collections and anthologies for poets Brian Moses, James Carter and Roger Stevens. Ed’s most recent book Carried Away with the Carnival is a picture book for young children that celebrates all things carnival and the magic of the city at night. In this photo Ed is reading from the book – check out those wonderful illustrations!

His self-published Pearbox Books are a series of poem-stories for both children and adults. These dreamy black and white illustrated books include Dolphins Keep Me Safe in Dreams and High in the Old Oak Tree. Ed is also a dynamic performer and educator who loves to run workshops and perform his poems, songs and stories in schools, arts centres and festivals. Many of his handmade prints capture moments from life: children’s encounters with animals, walking on the beach, eating porridge and peas. Other images have a more ambiguous poetry: people light fires in sea shells and drift on empty seas.

All Ed’s books are available through his website, here’s some of his favourites:

Me and My Alien Friend

Carried Away with the Carnival

High in the Old Oak Tree

Ed will read from the following pages. As always, children are invited to use the Response Padlet to ask Ed questions or comment on his writing.

 Fun Run

I can’t run fast and I get out of breath
When I try to keep up with Jemma and Beth
I don’t understand why they always want to win
Seems they get to the end before I even begin.

So I thought a ‘School Fun Run’ an awful idea,
I couldn’t escape a terrible fear
I dreaded the thought that I’d come last.
And all of the school would cruelly laugh

Well today was The Run and I changed my mind
I learnt to run can be fun when you’re left behind
‘Cus I got to know Jack at the back like me,
He said “just enjoy moving don’t think about speed”.

I’d never spoken to him before but he’s really alright,
In fact we’re going roller-skating later tonight.
Well when we turned a corner,
here’s the surprise,
Jem and Beth were waiting for us to arrive

We all ran together to the finish line
We all jumped across at just the right time.
We all ran together to the finish line
We all jumped across at just the right time

© Ed Boxall


I Will Live In A Tree house
And Look After The Animals

You were going to walk to school with me.
You agreed.
You said you’d call for me at 8:15.
I waited a long time.

You never came.
I got to school late.
You were there already,
sitting on a table laughing with everyone.

You said ‘oh sorry I forgot’ as if it didn’t
matter at all.
So I am going to climb a jungle tree,
build a tree house,
And look after the animals.
I will be fine.
I will be free:
The parrots, monkeys, bears and me.

You’ll never find me there,
In the great huge swaying canopy,
among the creaking branches,
and rustling leaves,

where the wolves,
prowl below
protecting me from enemies.

©Ed Boxall

My Walk to School Friends

Swishing tails, silent paws,
staring through windows, dozing on walls,
I say hello to my walk-to-school friends:
Butcher, Beowolf, Belinda and Ben.

Butcher. Edwin Road. Number 22.
Big black cat. Bad attitude.
He glares with angry disapproving eyes,
and greets a stroke with a scratch and bite.

Swishing tails, silent paws,
staring through windows, dozing on walls,
I say hello to my walk-to-school friends:
Butcher, Beowolf, Belinda and Ben

Ben. Duke Street. Number 21.
Old pirate cat whose travels are done.
He tells gory stories to the kittens at night,
About how his tail got bent and he lost his left eye.

Swishing tails, silent paws,
staring through windows, dozing on walls,
I say bye to my walk-to-school friends:
Butcher, Beowolf, Belinda and Ben

© Ed Boxall



After school when everyone was tired,
When Dad was on his laptop
and Mum was on the phone,

I’d climb the tree,
and leave the garden far beneath,
The Twilight Dragon was at the top,
Waiting for me.

His feathers would flutter,
with every sunset colour,
Pink magenta red yellow and gold,

I ‘d climb up
his heart beating under my feet,
and find a strong feather to hold.
Very tightly.

Me and the only dragon
in the universe,
would fly silently
Over the factories
the chimneys
the cities
To the wide open sea

Faraway from the noise and chatter of my day
over the horizon,
To his home behind the sky

We’d wander for hours,
talking as we explored,
his deep blue mountain lakes,
his rivers and empty moors.

In the distance,
I’d hear Dad say dinner’s ready.
Across time I hear him now.

The Twilight Dragon
is still alive as on those evenings,
When I’m alone and very silent,
I still find him.
He’s the only dragon
in the universe,
He’s alone, like me.
Anyone Could see him
if they looked up
But they never look up
They never see

©Ed Boxall

Ed Boxall  – Response Padlet

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