Category Archives: reading

Hooray for the Summer Reading Challenge!

I gather this year has been a good one for the Summer Reading Challenge, a scheme to keep children’s reading habits going over the long summer holiday. I don’t think that was ever a problem for me as a child – always happy to go to the library for another Enid Blyton – but I must admit, I’d pretty much forgotten everything  else I’d learned at school from the previous year, come the first day of the autumn term!

Prize giving day for the Summer Reading Challenge at Bream Library – Forest of Dean

 

 

I posted once before about how I was involved in the first ever Summer Reading Challenge, an idea dreamed up by Andrea Reece at Hodder Children’s Books. So I’m always very happy to be asked to play a small part over the summer.

Last week, I went to Bream Library, just down the road, where I told some stories and handed out the medals and certificates to all the children who had completed their Challenge this summer – Well done all!

It seems the challenge has been a bit oversubscribed this year – probably due to the fallen value of the pound and everyone staycationing – I guess Brexit has a had a small positive influence on something after all!

My Sock Puppet Recommends… The Dragon Trilogy by me!

A sock puppet, in the modern literary world, is an author who adopts a fake persona with which to write glowing testimonials about their books on Amazon and other book review sites. Worse still, they write derogatory reviews of their main competition’s works and give them one star ratings! (This is an adult author thing. We children’s authors are far too nice to do such things!)
However, during my fabulous week at the Hull, Big Malarkey Festival, I made a Dragon, Sock Puppet and it keeps talking to me from it’s little lair in a corner of my studio.

“Tell’em!” it whispers.”Tell’em about your dragon trilogy books!”

I always do as I’m told, so here we are – I’m telling you about my dragon books and giving you links to Amazon below. Not blatant marketing at all, just making a Sock Puppet happy!

The Great Malarkey Festival – Hull 2017

I can’t believe a week has gone by since The Great Malarkey Children’s Festival in Hull.

I got back Sunday night and had to pile straight into a major rewrite of a story on Monday and Tuesday before heading off to London on Wednesday for the Fabulous Harper Collins 200th Birthday Party at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Then, On Thursday I gave a YouTube tutorial to Authors at the Society of Authors in the morning followed by a Children’s writers and illustrators committee meeting in the afternoon. Paddington was closed, so I had the most horrendous journey home, in the heat, staring up in numerous, boiling hot railway carriages, so today, having just spent the afternoon on a major weeding expedition – they keep growing while you are away – is the first day I’m starting to feel a  bit relaxed again!

Anyway, here are all the remaining videos that I made about the sketchbook I kept at the festival, as the Illustrator in Residence.