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


World Book Day

I hope you had a fantastic World Book Day. It’s sort of turned into more of a World Book Week now, hasn’t it? It’s great that so many people love books enough to celebrate them and dress up as the characters. Costumes are pretty easy if you’re a fan of Harry Potter or Mildred Hubble, however they get more difficult if your favourite book is Emily Sparkes – even I’m not entirely sure what Emily looks like – she just sort of is! So, I was super-pleased that reader Isobel sent me this amazing picture of herself, dressed as Lena from ‘Emily Sparkes and the Disco Disaster.’ Lena is one of my favourite characters to write and Isobel gets her look just right!


This picture is of my daughter dressed as Chloe Clarke!img_2595


Did you dress up this year?


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.


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!


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


I haven’t actually started building yet…