Monday, 16 July 2012

“I call this game fun in a box,” said the Cat.

It’s often said that when you give a child a toy, they may spend more time playing with the box it came in than with the toy itself. This goes double if there is a paper-engineer in the family and when our kids were little, large cardboard boxes were seldom discarded — they were put aside for the next birthday party when they would be cut and folded into …

… a pirate ship … 

… a dinosaur … 

… a dragon …  

… or a castle gateway. 

In our family, a party is not a party without some creative use of cardboard. 

Perhaps that explains why my son Max — presumably thinking that being six foot three at the age of fifteen did not make him conspicuous enough — decided to attend his school prom dressed in a cardboard top hat and tails.

So while other students were fussing with their dinner jackets and ball gowns, I was helping Max package himself in corrugated cardboard and parcel tape. Here is the wondrous result.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Edinburgh event tickets now available

I’m delighted to say that I’ve been asked to do an event at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival. It’s my first time at the Festival and I am just doing one event on Wednesday 15th August.

I’ll be talking about my forthcoming picture book, Callum’s Incredible Construction Kit, illustrated by Ben Mantle. It's about a boy who loves building things and, as well as reading the book, I’ll be talking about my own love of building things and how this has influenced many of my stories. At the end of the event, children will be able to make and decorate a simple Callum pop-up to take away with them.

Click here to book tickets for the event (and see my alarmingly cropped photo) at the Festival’s website, where you can also find out about the many other authors and illustrators attending.

Callum’s Incredible Construction Kit will be the 50th book I’ve had published, the first being Doohickey and the Robot, back in 1999. The book is not out until 3rd September, but I’ve just received a couple of advance copies and they look terrific.

And here’s a sneak preview of one of the spreads.