MAY Books Delight!

Plenty of new books are popping up this month and it’s been great fun working with gifted illustrators who turn words into stylish images. All sorts of picture books for babies and toddlers are on their way, some with flaps that open to reveal secrets (the books have the flaps, not the babies & toddlers – on the whole). The art of the children’s book illustrator is to bring words alive in fantastic ways that capture imaginations, bring smiles or leave lasting impressions. Thanks to all for creating WOW covers and pages packed with pictorial pizzazz. Here’s a quick sample…

Read all about Isobel Lundie’s work on these books and the art of book illustration HERE.

Coming at the end of the month is another in the LIVE FROM THE CRYPT series, with more fantastic illustrations and quirky cartoons. If you dare to meet the ghosts of infamous pirates, brace yourself…

There’s lots of piratey penwork from the swashbuckling Rory Walker…

For more news and samples of our latest picture books click on the cover below. MAY illustrated books delight the world!



All the number 2s for 2022!

No, this isn’t an April Fool. POO has arrived with a big SPLASH!

With all the current worries for our planet’s climate and its energy needs, could we all be sitting on the answer? Could the whiff of change be under our very noses? Never has a book brought such relief – and it’s out NOW. Read it at your convenience and join the worldwide movement. It could save the world!

Depending on what you call it… and whether you like palindromes…

How Poo Can Save the World By John Townsend How Poop Can Save the World

The extra ‘P’ makes all the difference for the palindrome: Poopy asses say ‘poop’

On a cuter note, we were out and about (with Roderick the naughty puppet) in schools recently with all sorts of books for toddlers.



Then it was off to Ilfracombe Junior School with Year 5 & 6 – what a lovely bunch, too. They knew masses of AMAZING FACTS…

untitled image

Yippee! Published this month and in ALL GOOD BOOKSHOPS…

Try listening to this one for a good night’s sleep, Mr Putin…

Audio Player

World Book Day (Week and Month)

World Book Day

Yes – March is the month when the world goes BOOK CRAZY and some people insist on dressing up as a character or a ‘thing’ from a book. I’ve seen all sorts of wonderful creations in schools – including a teacher disguised as a giant book and a boy who covered himself in chocolate (as Charlie from the Chocolate Factory). It didn’t end well.

You could always dress up as an Egyptian ruler or a famous character from the book below to celebrate this year’s 100th anniversary of the world-shattering discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. What a cool look that would be!Interview with the Ghost of Tutankhamun (Live from the Crypt) by [John Townsend, Rory Walker]               Good luck with all the bandages (and gold)!

There again, you may prefer to appear as a magical creature…



However you mark World Book Day/Week/Month, you might agree that books can be totally OUT OF THIS WORLD. Like Mrs Zoom, I may wear a space suit for my travels to schools this month…

Mrs Zoom and the Blue Rocket - Boom! (Board book)

Yes, new books are on their way through March that are literally OUT OF THIS WORLD – and even inside it! With a book you can travel to the ends of the Earth and beyond in a cosy armchair…

Space - Scribblers Board Book (Board book)

Why not order these books before they’re released and STEAL A MARCH? (See what I did there?) Just say those three words to me if I’m visiting your school this month and you could be in for a surprise! HAPPY BOOK WEEK.

Click on panda below for why books matter every month!




Once upon a time there was a BIG BLOCKAGE. Due to a nasty virus all over the world, everything ground to a halt. Stories, big ideas and amazing imaginations never stopped, of course – but getting them into books, then sent around the world took FOREVER. Things were well and truly STUCK. Then, one day in February 2022, things began to unclog, unblock and WHOOOOOSH… before long things were on the move once more. Brand new children’s books began to appear on dusty, empty shelves. And the exciting world of shiny new books lived happily ever after. Phew!

Yes, all being well, lots of fun bedtime animal stories will be whizzing into bookshops at the end of the month – to bring a dollop of cheer to storytime before bed (or any other time, for that matter).

Folk tales from around the world are originally told and illustrated to bring bedtime a touch of style. Sweet dreams guaranteed (almost).

There’s nothing like a tale from deep among the trees to send you to sleep with a cheery chuckle, a satisfied sigh or a point to ponder…

Enjoy these collections of age-old stories getting a sparkly new twist…

You can read a couple more extracts HERE 

Still interested? Then take a look at my interview about writing HERE

While on the subject of bedtime stories to send you to sleep with a smile (or just a whiff of the weird and wonderful), another ‘story a night through a whole month’ (lots of windows to open on the cover to show each night’s tale) will be coming later. As a sort of Alice in Wonderland meets The Addams Family, The Monster Ball is packed with wacky characters preparing for the BIG NIGHT at the end of the month at spooky Graveside Manor – and yes, YOU are invited! More about this crazy caper coming soon, so watch this space…

Plenty of other STORYTIME books should be coming soon as the world unlocks and unblocks through 2022. There’ll always be SPACE for more books, as you can find out HERE with a quick quiz…    Happy READING, LISTENING & SLEEPING!

Look at BOOKHYPE here to see my other books or below for LIVE from the CRYPT






New Year – New Books!

2002 already has all sorts tucked up its sleeve, including plenty on the way for tucking in next Christmas’s stocking! Litttle stocking-filler books for toddlers on Magical Pets, Days Out and Toddler Academy will be arriving this year. At last count, there were over 20 of my new titles arriving in 2022 – all in time for NEXT Christmas (if deliveries aren’t held up like last year). Here is a selection – with thanks to the great illustrators bringing my words to enchanting life:-

Hello Dragon - Magical Pets (Board book)

Hello Llama - Magical Pets (Board book)

Hello Unicorn - Magical Pets (Board book)

Snow - Scribblers Board Book (Board book)

Beach - Scribblers Board Book (Board book)

No More Nappies - Toddler Academy  All About Time Sticker Book - The Scribble Monsters (Paperback)

More bedtimes with animal stories from around the world are on their way – set in forests, the great outdoors and in icy winters…

Sweet dreams and happy snoring throughout 2022. Click on ZEBRA below to send you off into blissful sleep (plenty more where that comes from!). There’s also more nonfiction for older readers on the way this year – with news of brand new books packed with surprises coming soon. HAPPY 2022 🙂 🙂


‘Tis the season to be bookish

Sshhh – don’t tell anyone but Santa is already packing his sleigh and heading your way. Yes, it’s already beginning to look a lot like Christmas as zillions of brand new books are being wrapped and smothered in needles under the Christmas tree. There may even be a few of my very latest December titles joining them. Ho, ho, ho…

A few more historical characters are dropping into the LIVE from the CRYPT TV studio for chinwags, gameshows, ghostly banter and giggles – with a few murders in the mix with ROMAN EMPERORS. All good family entertainment! Discover some of the strange secrets these ghosts took with them to the grave – now to be revealed on live TV…

These two books are the latest in the series, with two more due next year – all with plenty more of my titles on the brand new sparkling website at Salariya Publishing – just click on the new logo below…

There might still be time to grab the brand new CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES winging its way around the world – with its own built-in Advent Calendar and a story-a-night leading up to Christmas Day.


Just click on the poster above for Amazon or on the picture below for another blog with details of more WOW Christmas books out NOW.

So, HAPPY BOOKS & reading to one and all and HAPPY CHRISTMAS!


November Gallimaufry

As Christmas Term whizzes along at a rate of knots, there’s plenty going on with books, too. Schools, children’s writers and books were buzzing at The Appledore Book Festival Schools Week recently, where I was delighted to meet hundreds of children of all ages. I was sorry to miss one high school visit because of a Covid outbreak, especially as they do Accelerated Reader – featuring a number of my titles including THE STONE BALANCER. Here it is so they know what they missed!

Stone Balancer - YA Fiction (Paperback)In fact, I just spotted this review for it – thanks very much!

‘This book is set in a small seaside town in England in the present day. Fin is a quiet, reserved 14-year-old boy. He lives with his sick mother, who worries about him, but he distracts himself from his troubles by practising his hobby of stone balancing, which is balancing pebbles and sea stones to create a sculpture. He decides to sell photos of his sculptures to raise money for a local guide dog charity. He befriends a girl called Sophie, who spots something unsettling in his photos. When his mother has to go to hospital for a few weeks, his Uncle Calvin comes to stay with him. Fin soon finds out that his uncle has a violent streak and is only there to swindle Fin out of the inheritance he got from his grandfather. Sophie and Fin also try to solve a murder.

The Stone Balancer is an incredible YA book filled with twists and turns. You’ll feel so hooked onto every word that you won’t be able to put it down! If you enjoy murder mysteries this is 100% the perfect book for you. This book is filled with emotion; fear, anger and joy! It’s very well written, the characters are believable, the story never drags as you’re pulled into Fin’s world. The relationships between the characters feel fully believable and the story is very convincing.

I thought it was a brilliant read and I look forward to reading his next YA book.’

Cate Reid, teen reviewer     ATOS book level 5.9, AR points = 10.0

For those younger at heart (try not to get TOOOOO excited), the brand new CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES is winging its way around the world to a book shop near YOU! If you manage to get a copy by 1st December, you will have your own Advent Calendar and a story-a-night leading up to Christmas Day. What’s not to like?


If your copy is held up, it won’t be long so just start singing:

“On the days before Christmas, things aren’t how they should be…

Twelve stranded lorries,

Eleven plane-loads grounded,

Ten staff off absent,

Nine fuel tanks empty, 

Eight deliveries missing,

Seven warehouse closures,

Six orders cancelled,

Five power cuts…

Four factories shut,

Three-week delays,

Two more months of strikes,

And supplies stuck ten miles out at sea!”

Never mind – there’s always next year when all sorts for babies will be coming along for bedtimes – with little facts for growing minds…  

Seeds - Scribblers Board Book (Board book)

Space - Scribblers Board Book (Board book)

Happy National Non-Fiction November…

For the theme of HEROES in this year’s National Non-Fiction November, I dare to suggest we should consider vaccination pioneers and medical researchers whose discoveries have saved countless lives. You can meet the ghost of one of the great French heroes of science in my new book!

Discover how Louis and Marie Pasteur discuss their ground-breaking work and what happens when they meet other medical heroes like Edward Jenner and Alexander Fleming on the TV chat show sofa. Be prepared for fun, facts and frequently gross, grisly and gruesome NON-FICTION.

Happy November reading, whatever your age!



October on the Road

It’s great to be back in schools this month to share latest books and tell new tales. And there’s plenty to talk about!  Get ready for a fizzing mix of funny, cute, scary, yuck and totally outrageous… oh yes, and a really cool way to save the planet.

First up – meet an amazing bunch of ghosts from history as they pop up to appear on the TV chat show sofa…

In case you hadn’t noticed… everyone is talking about climate change – for good reason. Everyone is doing something else, too – mainly in the bathroom. Both topics are related! That’s because poo is everywhere. Most of us try to avoid it and get rid of it as fast as we can. For centuries poo was public enemy number one. But maybe it’s now time to think again because it has the power to create a bright new future. That’s right – your poo can help save the world! Discover how people have used dung all through history, what happens to poo after you’ve flushed it away, and how it contributes to global warming. Explore how we can use poo to power our cars, homes and even rockets, and how scientists are using other ingenious sources of renewable energy. Full of wacky pictures,’yuck’ poo facts and fun, this book brings hope that cutting-edge scientific research into biofuels and sustainable technology could be the breath of fresh air we need to save us from climate disaster. Coming in the New Year…

How Poo Can Save the World: and Other Cool Fuels to Help Save Our Planet by [John Townsend, Steve Brown]

‘Poo is an amazing treasure, prized by plants and animals alike. Without poo, life as we know it would end – but we humans turn our noses up at the stuff. We’re missing out – honestly. If you’re a human and you’re not sure what poo can do for you – read this book!’ Daniel Roberts (Co-Founder of The National Poo Museum)

With that delightful thought, it’s time for bed and to DREAM…

All day I’ve climbed up in the trees,

Eating in the swaying breeze.

That’s my favourite thing to do,

Nibbling lots of nice bamboo.

So, whether you’re just going off to sleep, off to the bathroom or busy meeting ghosts, there’s a book just for you! If I’m coming to your school anytime soon… I look forward to meeting you and swapping stories as we get back to LIFE ON THE ROAD. Happy Reading! 🙂 





Yes, how totally ridiculous – it’s another 100 or so sleeps yet to Christmas! But many stores are already stocking their shelves and hanging up the tinsel, so it’s just as well Santa is busy behind the scenes at the North Pole. You can find out just what he, Mrs Claus, the elves and animals are up to all through December with a story each night in The CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES. This sparkly new book is available from the end of next month but here’s a sneak preview…

Cover of The Christmas Chronicles - complete with gold foil and advent style door openings.

Not many people know this, but Santa has a very bossy older sister called Maud Claus. She insists on coming to stay for Christmas but doesn’t seem to realise just how busy Santa and his wife are. They are far more concerned about a little girl in hospital in Africa, so drastic measures are called for. Then a polar bear cub arrives while a reindeer goes missing. All this time the postman keeps arriving with sacks and sacks of messages from children around the world. There’s so much to do and where has the cat gone? Like Santa, you’ll be exhausted by the time you switch off the light each night and fall fast asleep dreaming of all things cosy, cute and Christmassy.

Find out what Santa sings at bedtime each night to his trusty cat and dog, Tinsel and Sparkle. You won’t be able to resist joining in!

Hold tight as we build up to a magical sleigh ride and the wondrous night of the year when the world celebrates all that Christmas brings and means. HAPPY CHRISTMAS to all our readers!

Available from all good book shops and online – order early to avoid the Christmas rush!

The Christmas chronicles by Townsend, John (9781913971335) | BrownsBfSClick on cover for USA

Jam-packed JULY

Just About Managing? This month looks chock-a-block with lots going on after this crazily strange school year. The holidays should bring a great chance to do all sorts of new things and to READ NEW BOOKS!

Despite all the uncertainties lately, it’s good to be receiving invitations for author visits next term and for 2022. For schools and anyone else asking about latest titles, books for different ages and what’s coming, take a look HERE.

In the meantime, look what’s popping up for little’uns this month…

‘Some little children can forget to pick up junk behind them…        We’re here to scribble our advice and find ways to remind them’

Meet the Scribble Monsters – Inky, Blot, HB, Pablo, Nibs & Smudge. These playful characters help young children get to grips with cleaning up, keeping places litter-free and thinking about others. Yes, good old-fashioned politeness and respect are on the way back!

Good manners are about to be COOL like never before!

By the way… if you go down to the woods today, beware of of a big surprise. You may notice forest creatures telling stories, reading aloud or busily ordering my forthcoming book for winter bedtimes.     Forests have a special magic all of their own. No wonder they have whispered their stories forever…

Inspired by traditional folktales from around the world, these stories are brimming with fun, suspense, scares and delightful full colour artwork. Due out next year, this book will answer some of those mind-boggling questions about How The Bear Lost His Tail, How The Frog Became King of the Marshes, How Kangaroo Got A Tail, Why Owls Stare, How Sneaky Fox made Secret Silver Soup, How The Stag Got His Antlers, How Dogs Became Our Friends and How Raven Brought Light To The Forest. Magical answers are on their way…

Just enter the forest… where all sorts of animals are waiting… as you step among the whispering trees into another, enchantingly wild world. Coming to a bookshelf near you soon and then magically within reach! Or if you’re looking for something more down-to-earth for talkative toddlers, board books are on their way with plenty to find inside…

More news soon, more new books on their way for all ages and plenty of best wishes for the BIG jam-packed holiday. HAPPY READING!


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