Monday, 26 November 2012

A Message from Bradley Bartleby

I don't usually feature guest posts on this blog and I hesitate to call this a “guest post” since the “guest” in question has threatened to set his tigers on me if I don’t do as he asks. But here it is anyway …


Dear Children of the World

My name is Bradley Bartleby. If you haven’t heard of me, that’s probably because you are ignorant wretches. 

My family are immensely rich and I live in a huge house with a garden that is big enough to lose an elephant in. You might think that being rich means that I can have whatever I want. Sadly, this is not the case. While my parents give in to my every demand, not everyone follows their fine example. There is one man in particular, who stubbornly refuses to give me what I want. His name is Santa Claus. While this fat fool gives proper presents to all of you each Christmas, he seems determined not to do the same for me. Ever since I was a baby, the only gift he’s given me is a pair of stupid socks, which is more of an insult than a gift. 

I’m not prepared to put up with this for any longer, so this Christmas I’m going to make sure I get what I want from Santa – this Christmas I’m going to take every present he’s got. 

To achieve this I’ve spent the whole of this year converting my house into a stupendous SANTA TRAP. Although I still have a few jobs left to do, I’m confident that I will catch the crimson clod. I’m obviously hoping to nab Santa early on in his journey, while he’s still got most of his gifts. Either way, it will mean that some of you will not be getting your presents this year. I realize that many children will be upset by this. To those children I say, “BOOHOO!”, “LOOK AT THE LITTLE CRY BABY!” and “TOUGH LUCK!” I’ve suffered many disappointing Christmases - now it’s your turn!

I’m aware that there is a picture book entitled “The Santa Trap” that claims to tell the story of what I’m doing. I have to admit that the first half of this book contains a disturbingly accurate account of my early life and the events of the last few months. The book’s author and illustrator have clearly been spying on me. I must improve the security here at Bartleby Hall – it seems that having ravenous tigers roaming the grounds is not enough.

I didn’t bother reading the second half of the book as it was clearly made-up nonsense. It appears to show events that have not even happened yet!!! The author and illustrator are obviously charlatans and the book’s publishers must be gullible idiots. I would urge you to ignore the book completely – only there is this rather fetching portrait of me on the front cover. 

So I suggest you buy a copy, put the cover in an expensive frame and throw away the rest of the book – or better still burn it!

To set the record straight as to my actual activities, I have taken out a Twitter account @BradelyBartleby and will be tweeting a daily progress report as I put the finishing touches to my trap.  You can find my daily tweets here:

The first tweet will be on the 1st December and the last on the 24th December, after which I will be too busy opening my thousands of presents to tweet any more.

Here’s wishing ME a very merry and present-filled Christmas.

Yours vengefully

Bradley Bartleby

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Seven Stories Callum Events and Bringing Down the Moon Signings

Here’s news of a couple of events I have coming up in the next few months.

Seven Stories National Centre for Children’s Books,
Newcastle upon Tyne, 19th January 2013

I’ll be doing two events at Seven Stories featuring Callum’s Incredible Construction Kit. It’s my first trip to the centre, which I’ve been meaning to visit since it opened.

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 each 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 at the Seven Stories website, where you can also find out about the other wonderful exhibitions and activities that the centre has to offer. The centre takes up seven storeys of a converted Victorian mill, giving rise to its punning title.

Click here to find out more about Callum’s Incredible Construction Kit.

Pleasance Theatre, Islington, 15th December 2012

Before that, I’m going down to London to see Peaceful Lion Productions' new stage show of Bringing Down the Moon (see last blog post) and will be signing books after the 11.00am and 1.00pm performances on 15th December.  So come along and say hello!

Tickets are still available for both these performances as I write this, but other performances have already sold out, so CLICK HERE TO BOOK now if you'd like to see the show before having your book signed.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Bringing Down the Moon Stage Show

I’m delighted to announce that my picture book, Bringing Down the Moon, has been adapted into a stage show. You may have noticed an advert for it at the side of this blog for the last month.

The book, illustrated by Vanessa Cabban, is the first in the Mole and Friends series and has been translated into 20 different languages since its publication in 2001. It tells the story of what happens when Mole sees the moon for the first time and sets out to bring it down from the sky. His friends, Rabbit, Hedgehog and Squirrel keep telling him, “It’s not as near as it looks,” but Mole is determined to succeed.

The book has been adapted for the stage by Ollie Fielding for Peaceful Lion Productions and opens at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington this Christmas, before going on tour in 2013.

The show will be at the Pleasance from 4 December 2012 to 2 January 2013, with performances at 11.00am and 1.00pm.

The show's still being put together, but Peaceful Lion have sent me this photo of a model of the set, by designer Eleanor Field, which captures the atmosphere of Vanessa Cabban’s beautiful illustrations for the book.

They’ve sent me a couple of sketches of the costume designs for Hedgehog and Squirrel to share with you too. But if you want to see what Mole looks like — you’ll have to see the show. 

One performance is already sold out, so CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW!