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MY DADDY IS A SILLY MONKEY  (ages 3+)

MY DADDY IS A SILLY MONKEY
(ages 3+)

A typical day in the life of a single dad, who wakes like a great big bear and then turns into a whirly, twirly octopus as he tries to brush his little girl’s hair, make breakfast, pack a school lunch, tie her shoelaces and send a text. Then he chitter, chatters and monkeys about and makes her very, VERY late for school. Turn the pages to find out all dad’s playful mishaps and guess the animal he will become until by the end of the day, he is a ‘gallumping, bellowing’ monster chasing her through the house, getting everything tidied...
Do you draw?

Do you draw?

  The best gift I ever received as a child was a box of Faber Castell coloured pencil crayons from my father. It was a tin box and if you pressed the back corners the lid popped open to reveal a layer of crinkly tissue paper and 24 crayons each sharpened to perfection, laid out in a rainbow that gave me my first introduction to names like rose madder, cadmium yellow, burnt ochre, raw umber and burnt sienna… the last two long before I’d ever heard of the colours of Italian earth. They all had numbers and were faceted with...

The Sweet Smell of Sliced Watermelon and Swimming with Dolphins

While snow has bucketed down across the Northern hemisphere, I’ve been fighting a duel today with my modem (Broadband doesn’t come easily in Africa!) and have only just managed to pick up all the ABBA news like Leslie’s lovely icy descriptions and Meg’s blog on the Big Outdoors and Elen’s notebook and the 100 odd emails on the books everyone got for Christmas. Sitting here barelegged and barefooted tapping away at these keys I feel about as out of touch and as isolated as being stranded in a snow-bound home. So with the sweet smell of sliced watermelon wafting up...

And the Winner Is…?

  Last week I was at an IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) event that celebrated the nomination of author, David Almond, and author/illustrator, Michael Foreman, for next year’s top prize in international children’s literature – the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Winners will be announced at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in March 2010 and the Awards will be presented at the IBBY World Congress in Santiago de Compostela.It’s given biennially by IBBY to a living author and illustrator whose complete works have made a lasting contribution to children’s literature. David Almond and Michael Foreman, nominated by the...

A Google-eyed slant on the world

As a break from editing the bare breasts and sex out of my Egyptian novel Eye of the Moon for a US publisher, I’m reading Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Jeff Jarvis’s What Would Google Do? simultaneously. The three make very odd companions while I shift from 1500 BC to the 16th century, and then on to the digital world of now. In What Would Google Do? Jeff Jarvis suggests we have to kill books to save them. He says they’re dead because they’re frozen in time with no means to update except by new editions, they’re a one-way relationship...