Autumn is busily buzzy – not just for schools but for insects! You probably tried to escape from a few over the summer, while I was tracking them down for my next ‘Life-Sized’ book. BUGS comes out early next year, with one creature being so big it needs an extra pull-out page. Clue: it’s not technically a bug, nor an insect and it doesn’t buzz but it’s hairy. No, it’s not a gorilla because it has several legs, a few eyes and you won’t spot it on the cover, either. It’s even bigger than the Titan Beetle below… Any idea? Answer coming soon!
PICKLING WITH WORDS is now just published – a rhyming romp through the history of Britain (from Stone Age to Brexit)…
The moral’s clear in all this verse: If now seems bad, the past was worse!
CLICK HERE for a review of GRAVEROBBERS AND GALLOWS. Its sequel THE TWIST OF THE HANGMAN is now out and waiting for you to order – just click on the covers…
It’s always Silly Season here at Townsend Towers, with yet more silly, cheesy and giggly things afoot while schools chill-out for a scorching summer (unless you’re reading this in Australia where it may be a scorching winter – so why not chill out with some of my Australian editions? and they’re here, too)
So here’s a silly question as a starter. Who is the character from history who connects my two new new books ‘Pickling with Words‘ & ‘Graverobbers and Gallows‘? Here’s a clue from the first title, with its comic verse called James and the Giant Itch … (click on the pic to cheat) Take a look at a READING ZONE FEATURE here
Review from PARENTS IN TOUCH: ‘The harshness of life in Victorian England (although technically Georgian!) is brought to life in this gripping and atmospheric novel by a master storyteller who really has the era captured perfectly. Orphan Cephas Catchpole is apprenticed as a chimney sweep to a cruel master – one of the worst ways of life Victorian children experienced. But things get even worse when Cephas is drawn into the underworld and mysteries about murder, parentage and the dreaded smallpox. The story will have readers avid for more as they are drawn in to the excitement, mystery and danger. It’s perfect to enthuse children for the period. Look out for Book Two!’
Yes, it’s July and new batches of ‘FOUL FACTS and CHEESY JOKES‘ are hatching over the summer… to bring gasps, chuckles and more cheesiness than a Cheesy Wotsit…
Look out for some of these in the Autumn
But now out this month for your summer reading – it’s here at last to mark the 70th Birthday of the NHS! Click on the cover of The Curse of the Speckled Monster: Graverobbers & Gallows to find out just what all the fuss is about. Brace yourself…
Find out more about this book at READING ZONE by clicking HERE
Once upon a time, growing up was fraught with danger. The Speckled Monster was forever skulking in the darkness. Its victims never knew when or where it would attack next. Everyone feared its curse… until 10-year-old Cephas Catchpole discovered a special power over the biggest killer in the history of mankind. His story comes in two darkly Gothic Volumes.
The first is about to emerge from the sinister and skulduggerous underworld of early 19th Century London. Miss it at your peril.
Volume Two comes close on its heels- with more than ‘something of the night’ about its gruesome twists and turns. WARNING – never let your granny see these books.
“A Dickens of a Twisted Tale” Betsey Trotwood “More twists than a twisty yarn with an extra twist” Knitting Weekly “More twistery than a hangman’s rope” The Executioner Times
‘Ignorance, like disease, can only be conquered by the tireless endeavours of the wise. If we are any less ignorant, more civilised or healthier now than in the past, we have education, science and books to thank. All three are as vital today to the future of civilisation… and to slaying the monsters that curse, scare, divide and threaten us.’ Edith Catchpole in ‘The Twist of the Hangman’
A story to celebrate the 70th birthday of the National Health Service, Oliver Twist’s 180th birthday & James Phipps’s 230th birthday, and the great Edward Jenner’s 270th birthday next year! Ah yes, and the imminent 40th birthday of slaying the speckled monster once and for all.
Thanks to North Somerset for this review – click on the cover below
Yes, 4th May seems as good a date as any to announce the count-down to ‘Truly Foul and Cheesy SPACE Facts and Jokes‘ coming to a galaxy near you later this year – so get ready for blast off…
“Out of this world” Astronomer Weekly
“It boldly goes where no book has gone before” Stella Bella
Look out for the BOOK LAUNCH 😛
And thank you to North Somerset Teachers’ Book Awards for longlisting TICKLING WITH WORDS
Just click on the cover to find out more or HERE for a video clip
WHAT THEY SAY… ‘Founded by the ‘Just About Books’ teachers’ book group, the North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award was born out of a desire to celebrate the very best in children’s literature. Love it or hate it, poetry is an essential part of a child’s literary diet. Children need a range of poems that are accessible and they can engage with in a variety of ways and on different levels. We would love to find a collection by one or many poets that offers a whole spectrum of styles and topics’. Now they have – in a great line-up of poetry books. Happy tickling with words, Somerset!
Yay – it’s SUMMER TERM in the UK! The book world is buzzing with book fairs, new book catalogues and yes, BRAND NEW BOOKS. Take a peek at my new series ‘BEASTLY SCIENCE’ – now out there and waiting for you to be enthralled…
Guess what – TICKLING WITH WORDS is going to have a new member of the family. Get ready for the whole of British history PICKLED IN RHYMES with Steph Murphy’s fab illustrations in the forthcoming PICKLING with WORDS…
World Book Week began with a bang at Exeter School, where everyone was buzzing with books. What a warm welcome on such a cold day… as the snow began to fall. Unfortunately, the rest of the week was not so much a write-off as a white-off – so big apologies to all the other schools expecting visits. But hey-ho, the snow has now melted, Storm Emma has blown away and it’s back on the road to make up for lost time. With rescheduled visits and lots of schools booked for Science Week, it’s great to be catching up with old friends in familair schools and meeting new readers of ‘Beastly Science’ and other latest titles. See you soon!
Telling Tales at Exeter School
Ooooh, I’ve just been reminded that this month is my 35th birthday! Not that anyone’s remotely interested, but I’ve now been publishing books every year since March 1983. Blimey!
COMING SOON… a batty picture book to keep you on your toes…
Science Week in Essex (this was Great Baddow High School) was sizzling again and it was great to return to the ever-delightful Sweyne Park High School, as well as talk to the whole of year 7 at Beauchamps High School. Mystery Creatures were on the menu at Alderton Primary’s Book Week, then it was off to the fabulous Imperial Avenue Infants School in Leicester for a fantastic end of term WOW!
More giggles on the way this year…
Plenty more FOUL FACTS & CHEESY JOKES books are taking shape and these will be hot off the press in May. Others (titles are still TOP SECRET) will be hitting the shelves later in the year. Brace yourself…
How about something to celebrate the 180th Anniversary of the publication of OLIVER TWIST, combined with a mysterious story to mark one of the greatest medical discoveries to change the world? Brace yourself for the turbulent twists and turns of Cornelius Catchpole…
There was a time when it was dangerous to be a child. There was a time when you daren’t tell your story. But now, at last, one story can be told… as the curse has finally run its course. It was the dreaded Curse of the Speckled Monster:-
More Foul and Cheesy Facts & Jokes titles are on their way in 2018, including one for next Christmas!
‘Tis the season to be jolly
Till you sit down on the holly.
Brushing prickles from your undies
Often takes a month of Sundays.
All the seasonal romance
Gets lost with holly in your pants.
Look away when, on all-fours
Nan displays her sparkly drawers.
You won’t believe what just fell out…
Tinsel, crisps and half a sprout!
Look out for PIRATES in the New Year
Taking all this research into piratey tales a bit too far, I’ve now had a leg removed to play Long John Silver in pantomime in January. Here I am in Treasure Island…