News and Stuff


Read Said FRED

Chris Callaghan, The Great Chocoplot, ChocopocalypseI am thrilled that a chapter of ‘The Great Chocoplot’ has been chosen to be included in ‘Read Said FRED’, an anthology of stories for dads to read with their children.

I originally wrote my story while I was a Stay-at-Home Dad as a surprise present for my daughter at Christmas. The plan was that we would have a giggle reading it together over the Christmas holidays. I had purposely put in lots of silly voices to act out and an even sillier dad for us to roll our eyes at and snigger (instead of it being me for a change!).

My story, almost accidentally, became published and I am incredibly flattered and honoured to have a snippet in this great collection alongside some amazing names like Julia Donaldson, Jonathan Stroud, Gary Northfield, Sir Tony Robinson, Frank Lampard, Peter Bently and more! As well as the fantastic artwork from illustrators like Nick Sharratt, Jon Klassen, Lydia Monks and (my personal favourite) Lalalimola.

It has been developed by The Fatherhood Institute as part of their Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED) programme. Obviously, there is nothing stopping mums, grandparents and any keen readers getting involved, but this is a scheme particularly aimed at dads and their children.

One of the greatest parts of being a dad, in my opinion, has been that time at the end of the day when my daughter and I would open a book together. Sometimes I’d read, sometimes she would and sometimes we’d take turns – but it was always a shared experience. My pleasure wasn’t just in the story itself but in those precious moments together and watching the changing expressions on her face. Her eyes and mouth would open wide at moments of shock and surprise, she would frown at the sad moments, squirm at the icky parts and giggle at the funny bits. Leaving the story at a what-happens-next-moment would ensure that we said ‘goodnight’ with it still bouncing around in her head and becoming part of her dreams. A perfect way to end the day!

 

I hope this encourages more dads to share in the absolute joy of reading with their children.

Thank you to Jeremy Davies and all at the Fatherhood Institute for involving me in such a great idea.

 


Celebrating Easter at the Roald Dahl Museum

The Great Chocoplot, Chris Callaghan, Roald Dahl, Museum

 

I had a truly gloriumptious day at The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.
It was a great honour to be asked to do some Chocoplot events over Easter at the home of our greatest storyteller and I loved every minute.
It was quite surreal to see my silly story in the museum book shop next all of Roald Dahl’s amazing stories. Thank you to everyone who came along – it was great to meet you and you all joined in brilliantly.

Huge thanks to the staff, who made me and my family feel very welcome.
It was so much fun and a day I will never forget!

 


New Chocoplot Versions Coming Out Soon …

The Great Chocoplot, Chris Callaghan, Chocopocalypse

schokopokalypse, The Great Chocoplot, Chris Callaghan, Chocopocalypse

Delighted to see that very soon the UK Audio version of The Great Chocoplot will be released by Oakhill Publishing. I haven’t got my hands (or ears) on a copy yet, but I can’t wait to hear how David Thorpe tackles some of the strange voices and accents!

Also, the cover of the German hardback has been spotted on the Chicken House Germany website. I haven’t got a copy of that either yet, but I love the slight variation with the cover. Lalalimola’s fab illustrations are still there but the purple has been replaced with a bluey kind of colour (I’m a bit colour blind, so you’ll have to see for yourself!). It will be called ‘Schokopokalypse’ which I am assuming means ‘Chocopocalypse’ and will be released in Germany on August 31st!!

Aufregend!!!          (That means ‘exciting’ – I think!)


World Book Day

I had a fantastic time visiting schools and libraries to celebrate World Book Day (or week, as it turned out!!). Here’s some photos from my sessions at Stockton Central Library. It was great to see lots of local pupils – they came, they saw, they laughed (some of them!) and they even bought books!

Thank you to everyone for all your fab chocolate panic faces and your extremely loud shouts of ‘Chocopocalypse!’ – it’s always fun to shout in a library!

(Thanks to Doug Moody for the brill pics.)


Awesomest News!!!

It is fantastic to announce that The Great Chocoplot has won an award! Yes, I know! Whoooo hoooo!!!

It’s the winner of Worcestershire’s Awesomest Book Award 2017!

The Great Chocoplot Worcestershire Awesomest Book

 

To be shortlisted with some amazing books was an honour in itself, but to actually win is … well, awesome! Last year’s winner was Awful Auntie by David Walliams – so my book is in very special company! The award is especially wonderful as it is voted by the children readers themselves, who are involved in the scheme to help promote reading. It involved over 800 children from 18 schools! I am incredibly grateful to everyone who read the shortlisted books and I hope they all had fun will continue reading many more books to come.

A huge thank you to all the children that voted and to their teachers and teaching staff for playing such an important role. I am very thankful to all the hard working and wonderful librarians for putting the whole award scheme together and for their, often under-appreciated, skills and enthusiasm.

Obviously, I must thank my fab publisher, Chicken House, for their belief in my silly story and to our incredible illustrator Lalalimola for her brilliant artwork – which always raises a smile.

I’ve even shared some chocolate (which I don’t normally do!) with my wife and daughter to celebrate. I am very, very flattered (and a little full up with chocolate)!

The Winner being announced

The Winner being announced (Photo from Worcester SLS)

The Great Chocoplot Worcestershire's Awesomest Book Award engraving

Engravings on the Awesomest Book Trophy (Photo from Worc SLS)


Phizz-whizzing News

The Great Chocoplot comes to the Roald Dahl Museum

 

It is my delumptious delight to announce I will be taking part in the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory celebrations at the Roald Dahl Museum this Easter.

It is a giganticus honour to be able to talk about my chocolatey story in such gloriumptious surroundings – the actual place where Roald Dahl lived!!!

I can’t promise any Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delights – but I’m sure it’ll be a razztwizzler of a day!


Saturday for Syria

Saturday for Syria

 

I will be taking part in an event called ‘Saturday for Syria‘ on January 7th at the Exchange in North Shields.

There will be loads of music, bands, children’s activities and crafts. Superheroes and princesses will be floating and flying around as well as storytellers, artists and authors.

It is all to raise awareness and aid to help children and families who are suffering because of the terrible war in Syria.

It would be great to see lots of Tynesiders there (and anyone from beyond too!) to help us support this important issue.

 

Thank you.


The Chocopocalypse is Coming to the US!!!!

The Chocopocalypse is coming ...

The Chocopocalypse is coming …

WARNING: USA ON FULL ALERT FOR CHOCOLATE CRISIS

Delighted to be able to reveal the brilliant cover for the US version of ‘The Great Chocoplot’ – which is to be called ‘The Chocopocalypse’.

It will be unleashed on an unsuspecting American public in the Fall of 2017.

Huge thanks to Delacorte Press / Penguin Random House for spreading chocolate panic and to the incredibly talented Mary Kate McDevitt for creating the amazing art work.

The countdown to the Chocopocalypse has begun …


Irish Times Favourite!

I had a fantastic early Christmas surprise when I found out that The Great Chocoplot had been chosen by The Irish Times to be one of their favourite children’s books of 2016!

Irish Times

I’m extremely flattered to be amongst some amazing books and very grateful to fellow author, Kieran Fanning (who wrote the brilliant The Black Lotus) for choosing my book as one of his selection.

Kieran's Review

I’m certainly feeling all Christmassy after reading those lovely words. Thank you Kieran.


Chocolate Crisis Hits the Czech Republic!!!

Yes, the Chocopocalypse has arrived in the Czech Republic. I should feel a little guilty about celebrating this – but I don’t!!! It’s brilliant news!!!

The Great Chocoplot – or as it is fantastically called, Velké Čokoládové Spiknuti – has been released there by Fragment / Albatros Media (with very grateful thanks to Elinor at Chicken House).

Lovely Czech Version Zelinka Wellinka

I love flicking through the pages trying to spot familiar words. My favourite, that I’ve spotted so far, is that Jelly’s nick name – Jelly Welly – has become Zelinka Wellinka! Love it!!!!

Good luck to Jelly and her family in their new home – I’m sure they’ll be warmly welcomed.