Wednesday, July 31

Nicola's new shop - Teeth and Claws

One of Nicola's Dinosaur cards available in the Teeth and Claws Shop! - Triceratops...
Hello there monster friends! just a quick blog post to let you know about Nicola's new shop - Teeth and Claws, selling illustrated prints, cards and gifts with bite... we (the monsters) are sure you'll enjoy having a little look around, particularly if you like dinosaurs! RAWR

Monday, July 22

Creepy House, Summer Reading Challenge...

Beaky Monster checking out the Creepy House Summer Reading Challenge material!

Summer is here and school is out (if not quite yet then very soon, I promise!) and what better time is there to get reading? ... This Summer, Beaky Monster wants you to sign up for the Creepy House Summer Reading Challenge! and it doesn't cost you a penny. (The Monster Machine is honoured to be part of the challenge)

The theme this year is 'Creepy House' with stunning artwork created and brought to life by award winning illustrator and author Chris Riddell.

Beaky Monster getting ready to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge

So, how does it work?

1- It's really easy, your child can sign up at your local library, you'll get an incredible Creepy House poster illustrated by Chris Riddell to get things started! 

2- Read six library books of their choice during the summer, collecting stickers along the way (all FREE)

3- Children who complete the challenge get a certificate and/or shiny medal.

and will hopefully inspire a lifetime love of reading for pleasure too :)

Beaky Monster overwhelmed by the stunning Chris Riddell Creepy House artwork...
So what are you waiting for? get yourself and your family down to the library today and get reading!

Visit where children can follow their progress online, find new books to read and gain exclusive access to authors.

Follow The Reading Agency on Twitter @readingagency

Some of the beautiful artwork with a couple of the Creepy House characters all by Chris Riddell.

Monday, July 8

Read it Again! The Cambridgeshire Children's Picture Book Awards 2013...

Earlier this year my picture book The Monster Machine, published by Pavilion Children's Books was shortlisted for an award! and on the 4th of July I had the pleasure of taking part in the 2013 Read it Again! Cambridge Children's picture book awards. Myself and beaky monster travelled down from Nottingham to the beautiful town of St Ives (there is one in Cambridgeshire too) it was a huge honour to be shortlisted, and we had a fantastic day meeting lots of excited children from 14 different schools.

A huge congratulations to Jenni Desmond who won the award with her beautiful picture book Red Cat Blue Cat!
Proud Beaky Monster with his runner-up trophy!

It was fantastic getting to speak to so many children who had read the books and hear their thoughts and comments, one little girl came to tell me that her dad is an inventor too! which is very exciting, I wonder if he might make a monster machine someday?

I couldn't feel my hand at all by the end of the day with all the drawing and signing! but a lot of fun was had by all. Haha.

Now, there was clearly a lot of love for Monster Machine, which was really nice to hear, including a number of very intense children who came over to tell me that they had voted for the monsters! haha :) It was fantastic to be presented with a runner up trophy and certificate, I've never had a trophy before, so it's going up on the book case! 

I would love to thank all the children who took part in the Read It Again scheme, I hope it has inspired some serious new readers and hopefully some future authors and illustrators too!
Also a huge thank you to everyone involved in putting together Read it Again! and for all the hard work that goes into promoting the award and taking the books around all the schools and libraries, I spoke to  number of librarians on the day and the pure love of children's books and enthusiasm for getting children reading was overwhelming. 

Keep up the excellent work!
Brilliant Monster Machine artwork from Erin, Year 5 at Barton C of E School

The monster name badge I got to wear on the day!
Read it Again! on the Cambridgeshire libraries website