Thursday, 29 March 2012

Sunshine, Smiles and Dinosaurs

The big smiles on the faces of these lovely sisters sums up the wonderful afternoon I spent with Year Five at Mayfield Primary School in Cambridge today. The pupils were kind enough to help me out by being a practise audience so I could try out my Dinosaur Detectives talk, which I'll be giving at Wordfest and several other venues over the next few months.

What a wonderful attentive and enthusiastic audience they were too! And then we had great fun making up the names of new dinosaurs and writing poems about them - using a 'diamond' exercise that I borrowed from the inspirational Fourth Grade writing teacher Ed had when we lived in Oregon. It was part of his legendary project on The Painted Hills, and worked just as well for dinosaurs!

At the end of the afternoon, I sat outside in the sunshine and signed books. Children were queuing across the playground. It was heaven! Thank you very much to all the children and to your teachers too for inviting me into your school.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Party Time


It's only a week until the next two Adventure Island books are released, and to celebrate we're going to have a launch party. The wonderful people at Heffers Children's Books in Cambridge are hosting the event. As you can see from the invitation there will be cakes, jam tarts and ginger beer (as well as wine, of course) colouring pages and puzzles for younger children AND that special mystery surprise. My lips are sealed as to the nature of this mysterious item, but will let you into the secret that I am working on it already and I'm hoping that it will be UPROARIOUSLY HILARIOUS!

If you will be anywhere near Cambridge on 26th April please do come along - it would be lovely to see you there. Just e-mail Heffers or me directly to let us know that you are planning to come so we know how many jam tarts to put in the oven!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Laugh and Learn

One of Annie Brundrit's beautiful designs
One of the best things I did when I first got into the world of making stuff up and writing it down was to join SCBWI - the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. They offer so much support for aspiring and published writers and illustrators, and it's been rewarding and fun to attend their conferences, workshops and talks - not to mention meeting lots of lovely people along the way.

Most recent was a Saturday Social in Norwich, organised by Joyce Taylor, our wonderful and dedicated Central East Co-ordinator.

I haven't laughed so much while learning so much at the same time in ages!