There’s been a lot of talk about the Roald Dahl stories lately, so here’s a polite reminder that
OTHER BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE!
But if you are after a Dahl-esque vibe (without the controversy!) then it is delicious of The Reader Teacher and Books For Topics to include ‘The Great Chocoplot’ in their ‘BookMatch’ & ‘Branching Out’ selections.
Download these marvellous posters from The Reader Teacher here and from Books For Topics here.
There are so many more books beyond the publicity displays and hype!
It’s been amazing to see my ‘Shinoy and the Chaos Crew’ books spreading chaos throughout the world. And especially fantastic to see one of the graphic novels, ‘Mission: Weird Weather’ breaking into the Top 100 in Japan’s Foreign Language Books for Children!
Also great to see the Japanese symbol for my name. That’s a first!!
Thank you to all the brilliant readers in Japan. I am honoured.
It was fabulous to be at the launch of Cressida Cowell’s latest book, ‘Which Way to Anywhere‘ a while back (I’ve been behind with my site admin duties lately!!). In a funny and moving speech it was lovely to hear the story behind the story, where this book came from an idea that began 25 years ago. So cling onto those ideas, people!! Cressida was so generous with her time and it was great to have a chat her and my headteacher wife about the importance of reading for pleasure and all the good work that teaching staff do in schools.
It’s always exciting to see where in the world my books turn up.
Here is a fantastic pile of books in a beautiful school library in Perth, Western Australia. They have been selected by librarian and huge book champion, Michelle. Please check out her Instagram account, @itsalibrarianlife, which is packed with great book recommendations and general library fun.
And look at what is at the top of this epic stack – The Great Chocoplot!!
Thank you, Michelle, for bringing such marvellous variety into your library and for choosing Chocoplot. It is an honour to be there!
Mega thrilled that one of my graphic novels will be included in the HarperCollins and Literacy Trust’s Little Big Book Club. The club is about fostering a love of reading in children from low socio-economic backgrounds by giving them access to books. Something very close to my heart. Five students from each school choose four books from a catalogue of 25 titles selected and donated by HarperCollins. I’m delighted that my Shinoy and the Chaos Crew adventure, Mission: Submarine Scare, will be part of the project. Hoping this brings lots of fun and chaos to those young readers.
Reading out loud is not something that comes naturally to me, but after reading to my daughter and then to whole school audiences as a visiting author, I found that I really love it. I hope my short video, which you can see here, will help encourage other parents and teaching staff to find a love of reading to their children.
Thank you, Little Wandle Letters and Sounds for the opportunity.
The Great Chocoplot was first released on World Book Day 2016.
Exactly six years later, on World Book Day 2022 it was back in a Number 1 Best Seller slot!!! I’m thrilled and amazed that it continues to sell (and sell better than ever!). Eternally grateful to everyone who has ever bought a copy or borrowed it from a library. I very much appreciate all the schools who use it as part of topic work or as their class novel.
Thank you, thank you. It’s a dream I still haven’t woken up from yet!
Please buy your books from your local bookshop whenever you can 👊
And yes, it is a best seller in a slightly unusual category – but I’m still counting it!! 😆
The Great Chocoplot is a ‘Teachers’ Pick’ on Amazon!
What a wonderful start to a new year as the schools go back.
Huge thanks to all the teaching staff who have nominated and recommended Chocoplot for this honour. I am already in touch with a number of classes who are starting Chocoplot this term, which is hugely exciting.
Good luck to all staff and pupils for what I’m sure will be a difficult term. I hope my silly story brings some light relief and some sneaky chocolate.
PS Please consider getting your copy of The Great Chocoplot from your local bookshop or library if you can.
Thrilled to get my hands on the latest edition of Bookmark‘s The Story Corner.
Such an honour to have written the introduction (with my dog, Milo) to this fabulous magazine which is specially created to encourage those who don’t normally engage in books to find a love of reading. These copies are packed with stories and activities and are heading out into schools across the UK. I’m sure they will be snapped up by pupils keen to get started in this new year.
Bookmark do so much to inspire our young readers and you can download a FREE copy from the link here.
Front cover and page layouts by the fantastic Sarah Harrison.
The fantastic Books for Topics website has included ‘The Great Chocoplot’ as part of their 50 Recommended Reads for Year 4. What a huge honour! Check out their website here, where you can download a handy poster and checklist for your classroom.
Thanks you, Alison (at Books for Topics) for choosing Chocoplot!
My week took a strange twist when I received a message from a BBC producer asking me if I wanted to appear as a surprise guest on Colin Murray’s BBC 5 Live radio show while he was interviewing Steve Cram. He was chatting to the Olympian, World Champion and multiple World Record Breaker in advance of the start of the Olympic athletics programme about his life as a runner.
You would have thought maybe Seb Coe, Steve Ovett or Daley Thompson would have made a more appropriate guest to sing the praises of one of Britain’s greatest ever athletes. But no, I was asked.
You may ask why? Well, it’s probably not what you think.
But if you click on the link here you’ll find out. I’m on at the start of the programme, but the rest is well worth a listen too.
Incredibly honoured to be Middlesbrough Libraries‘ Author of the Month.I’ve had the pleasure of doing many events in libraries and schools in the Middlesbrough area and always received a warm welcome (in spite of the fact I come from Newcastle!!) and my audiences have always been a lot of fun.There is such a wonderful culture of reading for pleasure in this area. I am hoping that as libraries continue to reopen and expand their services and activities once restrictions allow, that everyone in Middlesbrough will rediscover what fantastic libraries and librarians they have there.
Please check out here to see me talking about my books and banging on about why libraries are so great.
When I was a kid, I used to create my own comics, which were stitched together with my mam’s leftover wool. As printers and photocopies were not a familiar sight in the 70s, I only ever produced one copy of each comic. Therefore, I had to knock on doors of my hometown of Wallsend (a then shipbuilding town on the banks of the coaly Tyne) and hope that any friendly folk would want to ‘loan’ my copy for 5 pence per day. Sometimes, after a week, I’d get enough money to splash out on a can of Top Deck, a packet of Tudor crisps and sometimes even a Texan Bar from the offy at the end of the street.
Today I received a ‘Big Box of Chaos’ (as my publisher called it) with multiple copies of my new set of 12 graphic novels (as the cool kids call them). Luckily, they have not been illustrated by me, but by the AMAZING Amit Tayal. It has been such a team effort, especially with my editor, the fabulous Zoë Clarke, dealing with my stories constantly drifting randomly from the synopsis which had gone through rigorous approval meetings with the High Council at HarperCollins!
These are now going to go ALL OVER THE WORLD for, admittedly, a little more that 5 pence a pop, but you do get to keep them.
The best part is that I don’t even have to knock on any doors!
There are 12 brand new non-fiction books available based upon my ‘Shinoy and the Chaos Crew’ series and using characters and ideas from the books.
They have been written by a group of brilliant authors (far cleverer than me!) to investigate the curious and unusual topics that have cropped up in Shinoy’s adventures. They would make a fantastic addition to any primary classroom and I’m sure will trigger lively discussions and fire imaginations.
I am totally mega excited to announce that there will be twelve ‘Shinoy and the Chaos Crew’ graphic novels being released in June (2021).
It has been great fun writing these stories with my ever-so-creative editor, Zoë Clarke, and our amazing illustrator, Amit Tayal. We have tried to cram in even more action and thrills than we thought possible.
I can’t wait for more Chaos to be released into the world!!
You can take a sneaky look and maybe pre-order them here.