I’m delighted that Battle of the Beetles has won the ‘Your Choice’ category of the STEAM Children’s Book Prize 2019, which is voted for by the young readers taking part in the award. The awards that are voted for by children always mean a lot to us authors, because it is you we write the books for. A big thank-you to everyone who voted, and huge congratulations to Christopher Edge who took home the big prize for his wonderful book The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day.
From Beach Cleans to Ocean Dreams:
Authors4Oceans is thrilled to announce that M. G Leonard, Dougie Poynter, Lauren St John and Christopher Vick will be appearing at Grand Designs Live, in London on 5th of May at 2pm, talking about the collective and our initiatives to save our seas.
I have a little news that I am excited about. I’ve been working with the German education publisher Klett, to produce three books of varying lengths and vocabulary for German students reading English.
All three books will be published in Germany this year. The first (of 10,000 words and for confident readers of English as a foreign language) is called Spider Wig and published this week. The second book is called The Old Steam Train and will be published in July. The third book is called The Umbrella Room and will come in early Autumn.
The stories are contemporary, funny and I’m proud of them. I will also be recording the audiobooks that accompany these texts.
Few things are more lovely than when your book wins an award. It’s gratifying because writing books is hard work. Writing this book was the hardest work of all because I wasn’t allowed to make anything up.
The most special awards are the ones voted for by children, because they are who my books are for. If they vote for your book to win an award then you must be doing something right, right?
I wrote The Beetle Collector’s Handbook because I am passionate about children discovering how wild and wonderful beetles are, and so this award means a HUGE amount to me. It’s made my year.
A big thank-you to everyone in Doncaster at the book award and especially those fantastic children that voted for my beetle filled book.
I love World Book Day. It’s always a busy week for authors, and this year has been no exception for me.
My favourite thing about this week, are the pictures you all send me of your amazing costumes.
I can’t tell you how wonderful it is when someone dresses up as a character you’ve written.
So to celebrate your creativity and thank you all for dressing up as one of the Beetle Boy characters, every year I post your pictures on my website in a gallery.
You can send me your pictures after world book day, there’s no deadline. I’ll add them to this gallery as they arrive.
Here are the amazing characters from the Beetle Boy world:
Did you know roughly 3.5 billion toothbrushes are sold every year, and many of them still exist? Or that it will take over 450 years for a toothbrush to break down into micro-plastics, and even then, what happens to the micro-plastics?
Inspired by the many terrible stories of plastic in the ocean and my work with #Authors4Oceans I have begun scribbling about these things. I am very proud and excited to share the news that I will be publishing my first picture book early next year on this very subject.
I have written a picture book for young readers about the adventures of a cheerful yellow toothbrush called Sammy. It will be illustrated by Daniel Riley. It highlights the life and journey of single use plastics. I hope it will encourage conversations between children and their adults about how we use plastic in our homes.
Keep your eyes peeled for The Tale of a Toothbrush in 2020.
There is no nicer way to start the new year than to find a glowing review for The Beetle Collector’s Handbook in the January edition of BBC Wildlife magazine.
“…as delightful as it is educational…” says Sally Ann Spence.
I’m hoping the book will prove a big hit with the bug hunters this spring.
The British Interplanetary Society have partnered with UCLan Published to announce a new children’ book prize - The STEAM CHildren’s Book Prize. And I am delighted to be able to announce that Battle of the Beetles is on the shortlist. I’m over the moon that the book has been acknowledged int his way, because I believe that the Arts need to become more of a part of the STEM curriculum. Science and Art compliment and inspire one another.
The aim of the prize is to highlight the importance of STEAM subjects and praise the publishing industry and authors for championing them. By providing children with engaging fun, and exciting literature, they’ll hopefully be inspired to take an interest in STEAM further into their education.
Heads up schools and teachers in Cornwall. I'm doing a day of events at The Eden Project, in February 2019, talking insects and storytelling, set in the Biomes that inspired Lucretia Cutter's evil lair.
Come and bring your class!
Your day will include exploring the hidden world of insects in our Invisible Worlds laboratory, some beetle-inspired craft to take home and a chance to explore the Rainforest in search of the amazing interconnections between insects and plants.
I will be on the children’s floor of Waterstones Piccadilly this Thursday drinking mulled wine, signing books, eating mince pies and chasing people around with mistletoe. If you fancy a party with about twenty children’s authors and picking up some Christmas presents at the same time you should come! We’d love to see you.
PS. STEPHEN FRY IS GOING TO BE THERE!!!
Beetle Boy has won the Children's Choice Book: Gold Medal for 2018 from a list of the Top Ten Children's Fiction (Adventure Fantasy) selected by Reading Promotion Committee of China Library Association. I cannot tell you how moved and proud I am that Beetle Boy has been bestowed this honour. I was over the moon when I was told we’d reached the longlist of 100 books. I never dreamed we would win, but we did!
35 Chinese libraries, three hundreds schools and 100,000 students are involved in the award. The children cast votes for their favourite books and Beetle Boy won the most votes!
This award was first run in 2014 and was initiated by the Shenzhen Library.
You can READ MORE here, but you will need to click Google Translate.
Here are some pictures I was sent of the ceremony and my publishers in China (Beijing Huaxia Winshare) accepting the award.
The Beetle Collector’s Handbook has been longlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2019
Since 2000, the enormously popular and influential Blue Peter Book Awards have been recognising and celebrating the best authors, the most creative illustrators and the greatest reads for children. The Blue Peter Book Awards 2019 celebrates children's books published in the last year in two categories: the Best Story and the Best Book with Facts.
I am over the moon that The Beetle Collector’s Handbook has been selected for the longlist for this prize and have all my fingers crossed.