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Spring (-ish)!

Spring has sprong??sprunged springed ?- Well, it’s here anyway. Sort of. Because apparently it’s going to snow again his weekend, but for now the sun is shining and I feel inspired to do something. The trouble is I often feel inspired to do things like clean out the kitchen cupboards, when what I should be doing is writing. Writing strange like that, at least it is for me. I really want to do do it – then when I get time I start looking at ‘Cheap Garden Ideas’ on Pinterest and realise I’ve wasted two hours. So enjoy the daffodils and I’ll say goodbye for now and get on with my new book… but I might take the dog for a walk first. 😀

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Author Visits!

I love this time of year – it’s when children’s writers are at their most busy, visiting schools for World Book Week events. School visits are one of my favourite things about being a writer. I love meeting readers and finding out about the books they like – and because I write funny books, I get to tell funny stories in class, and hear about all the funny things that have happened to the children. In fact it’s usually one big gigglefest (unless you’e a teacher reading this, when obviously it’s a very serious learning experience)

Below is a picture of a school visit I did a while ago, dressed as the character of Emily’s Mum from my books. Note the vegetables and dreaded pink poodle wellies!! (There is also a random muppet, I don’t know why. There are no muppets in my books!)

I hope to see you sometime on one of my school visits, if your teacher would like to find out about having?a very serious learning experience?in your school, details are on the contacts page.author-pic

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Summer Reading Challenge

I recently went to Broomhill Library in Ipswich, Suffolk to give out awards for the Summer Reading Challenge. An amazing number of children had completed the challenge to read at least six books during the holidays – almost 300! Here’s a picture of super-readers Evie and Molly. Well done everyone!21430046_902274813246967_1361629101604111842_n

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Book Birthday!

Hooray, Hoorah and Happy day and other things beginning with ‘H’! (Good things obviously, not just ‘hippopotamus’). It’s an Emily Sparkes Book birthday. The fourth book in the series ‘Emily Sparkes and the Backstage Blunder’ comes out today. It’s a story about Emily and a school play – and of course nothing goes to plan!

I was kind of inspired by my memories of being in school plays and also my children. My daughter did have to be a duck once and her only line was ‘quack’ and my son once came home with a letter saying ‘Your child has been chosen to play – a donkey.’ None as bad as my friend’s daughter though, who was chosen to play a tree! Not much scope for improvising? – or even moving, actually. I also got things rather badly wrong in a school play once, when I played the part of a mother whose son was being sent to prison. I was supposed to go up to the judge and wail, ‘Please don’t!’ but I was trying so hard to act distressed I lost concentration on my lines and ended up saying ‘Please, do!’ And yes – the audience did laugh!

I hope you enjoy the latest story. I’d love to hear what you think, so if you do read it, please get in touch.

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Get Involved in the Laugh Out Loud Awards!

 

lollies Really exciting news this week – ‘Emily Sparkes and the Friendship Fiasco’ has been shortlisted in the first ever ‘Laugh Out Loud Awards’ (nicknamed the ‘Lollies’)!

This is a new award celebrating everything funny in children’s books. A panel, chaired by none other than the great Mr Michael Rosen, has chosen a selection of the funniest books published last year and now they need schools to vote for their favourites. Your school can get involved, too! All you have to do is read the books and vote – easy. You don’t even have to read them all – although the more you read the funnier life gets! If you’d like to persuade your school to get involved in the ‘Lollies’ there’s a link here to a letter for you to take to your teacher. Lollies Letter

Or if you are a teacher (in which case – get back to work, those books won’t mark themselves!) there’s a link for you here. scholastic.co.uk/lollies

So get reading and get laughing!

P.S.

If you vote for mine I’ll give you a front row seat when I build my first Inter-stellar Galaxy Travellator.

P.P.S.

I haven’t actually started building yet…