Why don't you sit back, relax, and listen to the wonderful Tom Fletcher from McFly reading you the opening chapter of Beetle Boy.
Beetle Boy by M.G. Leonard, with illustrations fromJúlia Sardà, is a White Raven 2017. It has been selected for the White Raven annual book catalogue, of book recommendations in the field of international children’s and youth literature. This year’s White Ravens catalogue contains 200 titles in 38 languages from 56 countries and represents the best children's books in Europe. The list will be launched at Frankfurt and be on display at Bologna next year. It's such an honour.
I am so pleased to be a part of this project which sees a whole bunch of my favourite authors writing stories about kickass girls and heroic women to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage. Needless to say, my story will have bugs in it, after all #BugsR4Girls. Read below what Nosy Crow - the publisher - has to say about the book, Make More Noise! which will be available in bookshops on the same day as Battle of the Beetles is published, February 1st 2018.
Tom Fletcher and WHSmiths have joined forces to create a children's book club, which is wonderful news. The best bit of the story is that Tom loves Beetle Boy and chose it to be one of the first ten titles in the book club. As if this couldn't be topped, he's made a BRILLIANT video about the book club which meant he had to dance around with a giant Beetle Boy! Honestly, I can't tell you how happy I am right now.
You can read more about Tom Fletcher's Book Club, the exclusive content and the other brilliant books on the list here.
I did three days of events at Edinburgh Book Festival this year and I had the best time. Thanks to all the girls, boys and grown-ups who came to meet the beetles, and a special big thankyou to Callum from Cool Creatures for bring the beetles. It's not every day you get to see a giant African fruit beetle flying in a tent in Scotland! Here are some pictures from the festival, but my favourites are of course when I got to do my official portrait with a PYTHON! Thanks Callum for the loan of your beautiful albino python.
My second book will be published by Scholastic USA on 27th of February 2018 with the slightly amended title Revenge of the Beetle Queen and a gorgeous red and black cover.
Finally, I'm able to tell you about The Beetle Collector's Handbook.
I am writing a non-fiction companion to the Beetle Trilogy. You'll discover all the wonderful facts that Darkus finds in his Beetle Collector's Handbook and read his, and his father's, annotations in this book, which will be reminiscent of the nature books from the early 20th Century, with lyrical writing and romantic (but anatomically correct) illustrations, as well as helpful hints on how you can become a Beetle Girl or Boy.
The book will be published after the Battle of the Beetles, next summer. Read more here.
Next Monday evening at 7.30pm on BBC1 - and on the iplayer - I'll be part of a documentary about Dr Sarah Beynon (scientific consultant to the Beetle Boy books) and Andy Holcroft's (bug chef extraordinaire) mission to get the UK eating bugs.
My Hay Festival event with Sarah and Andy was filmed for the documentary, and will feature in the film, when we got the audience munching insects, and I'll be chatting about the wonderful work Sarah and Andy do, and why we fear insects.
Personally, I'm very excited to see it! This is the iPlayer link.
It is literally my utmost pleasure to tell you about this...
An educational family based ‘Beetle Mania’ trail will be hosted by The Dorothy Clive Garden, inspired by children’s book Beetle Boy written by M.G. Leonard.
The trail, which will wind its way around the garden, is free of charge and will start on Monday 24th July and will be available for families to take part in every day over the summer holidays from 10am to 5:30pm daily. It aims to educate families and other visitors about Beetles, other insects, and wildlife that lives within the twelve acre hillside garden, and is part of the charities ongoing commitment to promoting horticultural education and environmental sustainability.
Last weekend I was at Latitude Festival doing a bunch of beetle filled events.
Sam (my partner in crime) and I arrived nice and early on the Thursday, so that we could get our wristbands, pitch our tent and scope out the festival site.
On Friday I had a blast teaching children how to write their own story about beetles, and talking about my own beetle-y stories. I met some truly wonderful Beetle Girls and Beetle Boys.
On Saturday I performed a reading from Beetle Boy and fed everyone roasted insects. The children were very adventurous and most had a try, but the grown-ups were a bit more scared. It's always the way. That's why so many heroes in stories are children. Children are brave and curious.
After the events I got to hang out with a bevy of beautiful authors and meet up with a few old friends.
It was the first time I had ever been to Latitude, but I LOVED it. I will definitely coming back.
Here are some of my pictures from the weekend.
This past weekend I brought my beetles to Salford Quays to meet the wonderful children who'd come to have fun at the CBBC Summer Social. We all had a blast. In the morning I did an event in the yurt, where everyone gamely tried eating my edible insects.
In the afternoon I did a big event in the BBC building, and then we all headed, pied-piper like, to the bookshop for beetle handling and book signing. I met so many fantastic readers and I even managed to fit in a cuddle and a catch-up with Blue Peter's Lindsey Russell, who I am a bit in love with.
I had a wonderful time attending the Bolton Book Awards yesterday, which was won by the marvellous Jessica's Ghost by Andrew Norriss.
The children had made a book trailer for Beetle Boy, which I think is brilliant, and I'm posting here so that you can watch it too.
This is a picture of me watching the video at the Bolton Book Awards.