D Is For Dogs

Okay, so the whole point of this blog was to explore themes in picture books and dogs don’t really count as a theme… However, as I lost my own little dog, Bean, to cancer in February, I figure you can cut me some slack. Bean was my best friend, cuddle buddy and writing companion. You can read more about him here. He was also the inspiration for my debut picture book, The Bum That Barked. It seems fitting tribute, to explore some of my favourite doggy stories and to kick off with Bean’s book.

The Bum That Barked. By Elisa Peacock. Illustrated Rowena Aitken

It feels a bit weird reviewing your own work, so perhaps I will just tell you a little about how the story came to be. While walking on one of our favourite routes, we crossed the little stream where I often stopped to sit, while Bean paddled in the water.

 

 

Bean did quite a mammoth (insert your favourite descriptive euphemism here) fart! The look of surprise on his face was a study. He was clearly unaware that he had produced said sound and my mind immediately clicked into story mode. What if Bean’s bum could talk, what if it sang? What if it had its own agenda and wanted to be famous! How would that work?

There and then the story was born. I had written quite a few picture books by this point but had yet to be accepted for publication. It was early days in my writing career and this was the first book that just seemed to, ‘fall out.’ I had so much fun writing it and couldn’t believe my luck when the lovely folk at Tiny Tree were keen to publish. At last a dream come true and all thanks to my wonder dog, Bean.
The Bum That Barked is a bonkers book and has been well received by all the children I have been lucky enough to share it with. I never wrote it with a theme in mind but during the writing process the message emerged; be proud of who you are and value those things that make you unique. Giggles are guaranteed and it’s great fun to work with on school visits. @rowenaaitkens illustrations are wonderful and I will always be grateful for her helping me conceptualize a rather crazy main character! Check out the theme tune here to get a window into the wacky world of -The Bum That Barked!

Dog Gone. By Rob Biddulph

Another beautiful story by picture book maestro Rob Biddulph. I love the way this story is written from the dog’s perspective – Edward Pugglesworth, or ‘Teddy’ for short. It tells the story of the day Teddy loses his human, Dave, in the park. Distracted by squirrels, Teddy pulls too hard on the lead and by the time the squirrel chase is over, he has lost his human…

Teddy has heard tales of a troll that lives in a shed in the woods. It gobbles dogs with its eating machine. Could Teddy’s human have fallen foul of this villain? Teddy bravely enters the cabin in search of Dave. In the darkness, he is confronted by a pair of scary, green eyes. Teddy turns tail and runs, only to be met by a dead end – the park’s perimeter fence! The troll catches him up. He grabs hold of Teddy and gives him an unexpected… CUDDLE!
Bob’s beautiful pictures reveal that this is in fact the park warden, riding not an eating machine but his warden’s wagon! I can honestly say I didn’t see this skilfully executed plot twist coming. I expected the troll to be helpful, as we all love playing with the idea of traditional villains but I didn’t get any inkling that this was going to be the park warden’s cabin. Genius writing from Bob as ever and packed full of gorgeous pictures of dogs. If you or your little ones are looking for dog drawing inspiration and of course a rip roaring doggy adventure, look no further. If you want to have a go at drawing Teddy, because who doesn’t love a pug, follow this link. Dog Gone also contains the important message, that sometimes you can find kindness in the most unexpected places.

 

Dr Dog by Babette Cole.

Babette Cole is my hero. It was a very sad day for storytelling when she passed in 2017. One of those enviable people, able to both illustrate and write her own work. I fell in love with her books after studying her work during teacher training, (possibly my favourite half term of learning ever!) I have read this book so many times, it feels like an old friend. First published in 1994 and still relevant today; Doctor Dog gives advice about washing hands to help control germs. It also provides humorous tips on how to avoid the spread of thread worms; ‘Never scratch your bum and suck your thumb!’ This book is so much fun and I can’t help wondering if The Bum That Barked was in some way subliminally inspired by Babette’s book. In The Bum That Barked, one spread is dedicated to a huge fart. In Doctor Dog, grandfather’s habit of mixing beans and beer, results in a fart that blows the roof off their house!

story is about a family, the Gumboyles. A motley and rather selfish bunch, who don’t take their health very seriously. When their dog, who is a doctor, goes off to give a lecture in Brazil; they call him back, to diagnose and treat their various maladies.
The story comes to its climax when Dr Dog himself is diagnosed with stress, a result of all the extra work his family have caused him. The last spread shows him relaxing on the beach…Unfortunately, the Gumboyles follow him. Oh dear!

Funny and educational, I have used this story to enrich the teaching of PSHE sessions about personal health and hygiene. It elicits enthusiastic discussion about the issues tackled; these include smoking, nits, excessive drinking and those wiggly, bottom worms mentioned earlier!

If you have never read it, grab a copy today and check out Babette’s back catalogue of wonderful books. These include the classics, Prince Cinders and Princess Smartypants, Tarzanna, Hair In Funny Places, Mummy laid An Egg! And Truelove. I could go on AND on…
The Great Dog Bottom Swap By Peter Bentley. Illustrated by Mei Matsuoka.

I was tempted to include some more of my personal favourite dog stories here; this being a tribute to Bean, I probably could have justified it too! But focussing on my original intention with this blog, e.g. – to increase my repertoire and discover new stories – I stumbled across this book by an author I had never heard of. Well, I say I had never heard of him but when I started looking at his titles, I did recognise a few. The Yoga Ogre, being one of them. I loved this book but hadn’t noted its author.
This is a deliciously silly book, about a very fancy dog party. So swish is the venue, that it requires you to leave your bottom at the door!

Through a series of mishaps, the hall where the event is being held catches fire. Every dog runs for their life, ( no one is hurt – phew!) but in the chaos, when the dogs collect their bottoms on the way out, they all get mixed up. From that day to this, every time a dog greets another, it smells its bottom, hoping it might finally be reunited with its lost behind.

A few more recommendations.
Harry The Dirty Dog by Gene Zion. This book had to get a mention, as it is the first picture book I remember reading with my mum.
The Very Very Very long dog by Julia Patton.
Some Dogs Do by Jez Alborough.
Dogs Don’t Do Ballet by Anna Kemp. Illustrated by Sara Ogilvie.
Dogger by Shirley Hughes. Another golden oldie but how can you write a list of doggy picture books without mentioning Dogger!

17th February 2021

How cool are these new installations? Sadly, I am old enough to remember using these old boxes for their original purpose – for actually ringing people!

 

How cool are these new installations? Sadly, I am old enough to remember using these old boxes for their original purpose – for actually ringing people!

As kids we discovered a way of tapping the call box phones to trick it into giving us free calls. We mostly used this feature to order our friends unwanted pizza. Not that pizza is ever truly unwanted… Next day we enjoyed hearing the stories of angry delivery men and wrangling over payment!

Another option was to find a faulty box which would connect you indefinitely for just 10p!

I remember the pressure to finish up your conversation when there was a queue outside, people would knock on the glass if they felt you had been in there too long!

These old boxes often had a distinctive smell! But they were a life saver on cold nights out, when we often huddled inside to warm up. The reverse the charge call option was also handy if you didn’t have enough money left to get a bus home and needed to organise a lift!

It is lovely to see these old boxes re-purposed. Enjoy them if you are lucky enough to have one nearby.

November 22nd 2020

I am excited to share with you some fabulous news. My next picture book will be published in 2021, by the amazing folk at Sage’s Tower Publishing! I can’t share any details yet.

New book ALERT!!!

I am excited to share with you some fabulous news. My next picture book will be published in 2021, by the amazing folk at Sage’s Tower Publishing! I can’t share any details yet. So for now, just join me in a happy dance to celebrate the next stage of my writing journey.

Looking far too serious in my new profile picture…

C is for Compassion

The definition of compassion is often confused with that of empathy. Empathy, as defined by researchers, is the visceral or emotional experience of another person’s feelings.

The definition of compassion is often confused with that of empathy. Empathy, as defined by researchers, is the visceral or emotional experience of another person’s feelings. It is, in a sense, an automatic mirroring of another’s emotion, like welling up at a friend’s sadness or being moved to tears by the difficulties facing the protagonist in your favourite story. Altruism is an action that benefits someone else. It may or may not be accompanied by empathy or compassion, for example in the case of making a donation for tax purposes.

Although empathy and altruism are related to compassion, they are not identical. Compassion often does, of course, involve an empathic response and an altruistic behaviour. However, compassion or kindness is defined as the emotional response when perceiving suffering and involves an authentic desire to help.

For a while now, random acts of kindness have been big news, with many books and platforms lauding the benefits of being kind and compassionate in your actions. It is heart warming to see people responding to this call for kindness. Whether it be carefully considering shopping choices to lessen the impact on our environment, giving to charity, or making our gardens insect friendly, there seems to be a rallying call, nudging us to explore compassion from all angles and to relish the opportunity to act in the service of others.

As a supply teacher I travel to lots of different schools, many who have core values such as resilience, perseverance and honesty. But increasingly, I also see kindness  and compassion being added to these lists. In these tumultuous times perhaps we are realising that approaching people and things in our lives are ill served by anything other than kind words, understanding and love. Only through working together, valuing all and a will to move forward together can we truly affect change. Compassionate acts make you feel good too!

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson. Illustrated By E.B Lewis

When I asked Twitter for recommendations of picture books about kindness, this was the first to come back. I am sad to say I had never heard of it, even though I am a teacher and have read a picture book every day of my 24 year career, (Yikes, how time flies!) I am reminded how many wonderful stories are out there, and as an author, how lucky you are when someone finds yours!

When Maya moves to a new school, she is teased and ignored by her peers. She doesn’t have the cool toys the other kids have and Woodson skilfully portrays the fact that Maya’s family are experiencing financial hardship. The children call her, ‘Never New.’ Chloe, the narrator, is also guilty of this behaviour. The bullying continues until Maya moves school. After being taught about kindness in class, Chloe begins to feel guilty and wants the opportunity to be kind to Maya but it is too late.


I think Woodson’s choice to make the bully the narrator of this story is important –  it teaches children that unkind people can learn from their mistakes. Woodson’s storytelling is gentle but with a tone that challenges prejudice and allows space for inclusion and diversity in her characters. The guilt Chloe feels is palpable and the message is clear. I think the gentle rhythm of the story allows Woodson to convey this without it being too didactic. I simply felt the sadness of Chloe’s missed opportunity to connect with Maya and be a force for kindness in her life.

This book would be perfect for generating discussion in PSHE lessons and mindfulness/wellness sessions.

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan.T.Higgins

I stumbled across this story in a second hand bookshop recently and fell in love! I always feel slightly guilty buying picture books second hand. As an author you want to support others, but being a New York Times best selling author, Mr Higgins is probably not hanging on every sale like us lesser mortals!

It’s the first day of school for Penelope Rex, and she can’t wait to meet her new classmates. However, it’s hard to make human friends when they’re sooo delicious! But when Penelope gets a taste of her own medicine, she finds she may not be at the top of the food chain after all and is forced to re-evaluate her approach to making friends.

This book is so funny and I love the illustrations. Being a T-Rex, Penelope can’t resist eating her potential school friends. Her teacher orders her to,”Spit them out at once!” which Penelope does. I really enjoyed the spread of the regurgitated class covered in dino gunk! After a talk from her father, who delivers the line,“Children are the same as us on the inside. Just tastier.” Penelope vows NOT to eat her classmates. But the illustrations show Penelope perfectly positioned at the bottom of the playground slide, jaws open wide, with some rather nervous children at the top! I also love the image of her finger painting, her subject being a huge pair of dinosaur jaws with a child disappearing inside. Hilarious!

Understandably, the children don’t exactly warm to Penelope! So, feeling lonely, she tries to befriend the class goldfish, Walter. But when she puts her fingers in the bowl, Walter takes a bite and Penelope realises it’s not nice to be eaten.

This book takes a sideways look at kindness through the eyes of a predator. I am not sure we can claim Penelope ever develops true compassion, but at the end of the book she definitely does her best to demonstrate kindness. This book is great fun and giggles are guaranteed!

Arthur Wants A balloon by Elizabeth Gilbert Bedia. Illustrated by Erika Meza

Arthur’s gloomy dad rushes him through the park every morning, through grey and rainy weather. Arthur wants a balloon from the park’s vendor, but Dad always says no. One rainy morning, the balloons magically appear on their doorstep, and Arthur figures out the perfect way to bring the sunshine out, even if only for a few moments.

This is a book highlighting the effect that parental depression can have on a family. It’s a story about suffering but also a tale of love, hope and compassion. A young reader will grasp onto the concept that even in the worst situations, there can be light. I love Meza’s clever mix of black and white with vibrant colours.

This book was also a Twitter recommendation from @Alex_Hamill and I have to admit I have yet to read it ( although it is on order!). However, after the recommendation and reading a blog post on @cjfriess’s website, storysnug.com it sounded so beautiful I had to include it. As an aside, if you haven’t visited Story Snug, I would highly recommend it. It is a great resource for interviews and children’s book news and chat.

Just reading the reviews and interviews with the author of this story brought a tear to my eye. Tragic events in the author’s own life, being the inspiration for this book. Arthur wants a balloon to give to his Mum in hospital but in the end he gives the balloons to his father, (tearjerker alert!) in an attempt to spread some joy at a difficult time. A beautiful book, released May 7th 2020. I wish it much luck on its journey out into the world and can’t wait to add it to my picture book collection.

Leonardo, The Terrible Monster by Mo Willems

Leonardo is a terrible monster. Terrible at being a monster, that is. He doesn’t have thousands of teeth, he’s small, he’s cute and, despite his best efforts, he can’t seem to frighten anyone. Then one day, he meets a nervous boy called Sam and finds out that being a good friend is a whole lot more rewarding than trying to scare the tuna salad out of people!

Another fabulous story form Mo Willems, with wonderful illustrations and an interesting use of space on the page to drive the message home. Leonardo researches to find the perfect victim to scare. He finds said victim, Sam, a young boy sitting all alone, looking very sad. I like the design;  a whole double spread is utilized to introduce Sam, crying down in the corner of one of the pages. The rest of the spread is blank, making Sam look very small and his sadness seem amplified.

Leonardo sees his chance and creeps up behind him and gives Sam his best SCARE! Satisfied that he has done a good job, he tells Sam, “I scared the tuna salad out of you!” But Sam replies, “No you didn’t.” The next spread, in contrast to the sparser spreads, is full to the brim with Sam’s stream of conciousness, informing Leonardo that, actually, he is crying because his brother broke his favourite toy AND he has hurt his foot!

Leonardo then makes a big decision. Instead of being a terrible monster, he decides to become a wonderful friend!

Thanks for joining me on a journey into picture books about compassion. As ever, I could go on, but thought I would just include a few other titles here that you might like to check out. A special mention goes to, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. A book I remember coming across many years ago and finding quite heart breaking. Worth googling if you are interested, as I was unaware there was so much controversy around the book and its author, ( far too much to go into here!)

When Sadness Comes To Call by Eva Eland (A book about being kind to yourself during difficult times.)

Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Millar

Tomorrow I’ll be kind by Jessica Hische

Please comment below if you have any favourites to add to this list.

B Is For Bravery

Bravery is a common human trope. Whether conveyed through myths and legends, Pixar movies or comic book heroes, the theme of bravery is often at the heart of many.

28th of August 2020

Bravery is a common human trope. Whether conveyed through myths and legends, Pixar movies or comic book heroes, the theme of bravery is often at the heart of many a great story.

There are probably very few of us, who wouldn’t benefit from an injection of bravery. We all have our own monsters lurking, and whether we are on the road to conquering said monster, or still quietly cowering in the corner; stories about bravery can help us look at that journey and decide our next move. For children, who deal daily with new challenges, changes in routines and boundaries; books about bravery and courage can be key to their development and understanding of an evolving landscape.

Black Dog by Levi Pinfold

This story is currently in my top ten all time picture books and was recommended to me by a class of year 4 children I was working with. When I told them I wrote picture books, they immediately dug this one out from the book corner. They had been using it in literacy lessons and had clearly fallen in love. It feels very special when children take the time to recommend a book to an adult. This was also the way I was also introduced to Wonky Donkey. I don’t know how I had managed to miss that one!

When a huge black dog appears outside the Hope family home, each member of the household sees it and hides. Only Small, the youngest Hope, has the courage to face the black dog… who might not be as frightening as everyone else thinks.

The artwork in this book is stunning! Each page has a main illustration but the book also includes other images, reminiscent of graphic novels or a storyboard, (and the work of Raymond Briggs). Pinfold uses these to great effect, beefing up the story and demanding attention from the reader. I love the toys dotted around the house, responding to the situation with their hands flung up in despair. You can even follow the cat’s  

reaction to the events!

I enjoyed seeing the the dog grow outside and how the inside of the house looks from the dog’s point of view. There is some fun language play too. I like the use of ‘Guffen’ and ‘big Jeffy’ to describe the dog. Being a fan of rhyme, I also enjoyed the humorous song Small uses to entice the dog to chase her. She encourages the creature to follow her into smaller and smaller spaces. Bit by bit the dog is downsized and follows Small into the family home through the cat flap! This book plays with our perceptions of fear and bravery and forces us to think about how our outlook on events, decisions or even other people, can forge them into something much more intimidating and ferocious than they really are. A truly beautiful and thought provoking book that younger children will enjoy, thanks to the dimensions added by the clever illustrations. But this book is also riding the wave of picture books to share with older children, who will understand the deeper and more profound message.  

After The Fall ( How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again ) by Dan Santat

I am a big fan of Dan Santat’s work. The Adventures Of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, (about an imaginary friend looking for a REAL friend) is the kind of story you kick yourself for not thinking of! I first fell in love with his illustrative work in Samantha Bergers’s Crankenstein series. After The Fall, with words and pictures by Santat, is the story of what happens to Humpty Dumpty when the king’s men have put him together again. At the start of the story Humpty tells us, there were some parts of him, ‘that couldn’t be healed by bandages and glue.’

Poor Humpty is basically suffering from a form of PTSD. He cannot do what he loved before, climbing the ladder to look at the birds and enjoy the views as they soar over the city. For a while he settles for this change of lifestyle and decides to make paper aeroplanes instead. This way he feels a connection to the birds in the sky. But one day his paper plane flies beyond the wall and Humpty takes the brave decision to climb the ladder. Santat’s skilful use of language at the end of the book creates a bit of a tear jerker spread for me. Humpty climbs, ‘One step at a time…’ and says to the reader at the end, ‘Hopefully you won’t remember me as the egg who fell down. But the egg that got back up and learnt how to fly.’ Santat then shows us via illustration that Humpty hatches into a bird and flies into the skies above the wall. Genius! (Sniff.)

Superheroes Don’t Get Scared by Kate Thompson

This book is hot of the press, released 3rd September 2020, by debut author, Kate Thompson. The book follows Maisie Brown, who dreams of being a fearless superhero, because they never get scared…right? But when mum and dad explain that even the strongest, boldest and bravest hero can sometimes feel afraid, Maisie realises there’s a superhero in all of us.

This fast- paced rhyming story has a collection of inventive and often very funny comic characters; check out the fearsome and frightening Burpnado, brilliantly brought to life by illustrator Clare Elsom. In addition to the reassuring message that it’s normal to feel scared sometimes, the story also empowers children to face their fears and discover their inner superheroes, because, as Maisie learns, there can be no brave without fear! Every child deserves to recognise and celebrate their own inner superheroic bravery. With some giggles along the way, Superheroes Don’t Get Scared is a welcome new addition to my picture book collection.

Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt

This is an old favourite of mine and although the whole point of writing this blog is to increase my repertoire and encourage myself to use new books when focusing on different themes, I can’t help slip this one in!

Scaredy Squirrel never leaves his nut tree. It’s way too dangerous out there. He could encounter tarantulas, green Martians or killer bees! But in his tree, every day is the same and if danger comes along, he’s well-prepared. Scaredy Squirrel’s emergency kit includes antibacterial soap, plasters, a parachute and a mask.

Day after day he watches and waits, waits and watches, until one day … his worst nightmare comes true! Scaredy suddenly finds himself out of his tree, where germs, poison ivy and sharks lurk.

But as he leaps into the unknown, scaredy discovers something really uplifting …he’s a flying squirrel!

This is such a sweet tale about breaking out of your comfort zone and finding a whole new world of possibilities. It has also been kept relevant by the current Covid-19 pandemic, as on the first page Scaredy insists, ‘Everyone wash their hands with antibacterial soap before reading this book.’ In his emergency kit he also has a face mask. The book could be a fun way of generating discussion around keeping safe in school.

When I read this book for the first time I didn’t see the pay off coming i.e. that Scaredy was a flying squirrel! I still remember the class I read it with being delighted with this element of the story, and it is such a joy to share that moment of realisation with a group of kids. I have used this book to introduce the concept of timetables too, as well as the obvious theme of anxiety, breaking out of your shell and facing fears and phobias. I love Watt’s illustrations and scaredy’s iconic nervous smile. If you enjoy this book there are more to read. Scaredy Squirrel is now a series –  enjoy!

Thanks for joining me on a journey into books about bravery. A couple more deserving of a mention:

The Storm Whale In Winter by Benji Davies.

The Dark by Lemony Snicket.

When You Are Brave by Pat Zietlow Miller and Eliza Wheeler.

Please comment below if you have any favourites you would like to share.

A Is For Anger

In a bid to increase my repertoire, come with me on an alphabetical adventure through the themes, sentiments and takeaways of picture books.

In a bid to increase my repertoire, come with me on an alphabetical adventure through the themes, sentiments and takeaways of picture books.

As a teacher it is easy to get stuck in a rut, albeit a happy rut! When I think of picture books about anger, my first instinct, ( and don’t get me wrong, I am not about to stop using these little treasures) is to reach for Polly Dunbar’s Penguin or Hiawym Oram’s Angry Arthur – illustrated by the wonderful Satoshi Kitamura.

By the way, slightly unrelated but if you haven’t stumbled across Oram’s, Two old fogeys go to….series, they are definitely worth a look. A series about travelling later in life, when the spirit might be willing but the legs less so!

There is a wealth of picture books about this sadly omnipresent emotion and if we want to explore anger and try and get on its good side; it is probably best to have a big arsenal of books at our disposal, exploring rage from all perspectives.

Fergal is fuming by Robert Starling

A dragon with a short temper is not a good combination, as Fergal’s family and friends soon find out. He burns the dinner (literally), reduces the football goal to ashes and absolutely cannot play a nice, quiet board game. It is only when he starts to notice other animals have clever tricks to calm down that Fergal begins to win back his friends, especially when he discovers dragons can cool off in a very handy way.

I love the onomatopoeia used in this book, to describe Fergal’s angry outbursts and Starlings cognizance of the things that get children truly angry are spot on. Check out the spread of Fergal’s reaction to having to eat his greens! The different approaches presented by Fergal’s friends to help him cool down are gorgeous, including the old count to ten trick – suggested by mum. The cat stretching, (yoga anyone?) and I particularly like the wolf’s solution; climbing up a hill to make a really big noise. The wolfie equivalent of screaming into a pillow!

My Big Shouting Day by Rebecca Patterson
Bella is having one of those days – her biscuit is broken, she has a hurting foot and ballet is TOOOO itchy for words. All she can do is shout! But by the end of the day, when she’s all tired out from being shouty, Bella knows there’s one magic word and one magic mummy to make things better again…

This book has the ability to bring a tear to my eye. The spread when Mum, despite Bella’s protestations reads her a bedtime story and Bella apologises for her shouty day, is beautifully executed. I am terrible for random tears. This happened most recently when I discovered, Grandpa’s Island by Benji Davies. I was asked to read it while on a supply day and having never read it before, the spread when Grandpa leaves his walking stick behind, declaring, “ No, I think I’ll be alright…” took me by surprise! When asked by my year one class, who had missed the implications of this sub-plot, why I had a tear in my eye – I blamed the hay-fever. It was January! My Big Shouting Day, with its tear jerker spread, is possibly my new favourite book about anger.

Crankenstein by Samantha Berger, illustrated by Dan Santat
Who is Crankenstein?
He is a monster of grumpiness that no one can destroy! MEHHRRR! He’s alive!
He may look like any ordinary boy, but when faced with a rainy day, a melting ice lolly, or an early bedtime, one little boy transforms into a mumbling, grumbling Crankenstein. When Crankenstein meets his match in a fellow Crankenstein, the results could be catastrophic – or they could be just what he needs to brighten his day!

How can you not love this title! Also, check out the detail under the dust cover of the hardback version; the anatomy of a Crankenstein is revealed. Serious scare hair. A sneer from ear to ear! Fabulous and no doubt incredibly expensive to produce, (I’m not jealous, honest!) This book is sweet, simple and fun. I love the pay off, when the boy spots someone else as bad tempered as himself. Not only does he laugh and realise how silly he has been but he also gains a friend. His cranky mood is lifted for now…Check out, A Crankenstein Valentine too!

Comment below if you have any suggestions for books to be included. I am particularly looking for new releases. Next month, B is for Bravery.

2nd of April

The route to publication is a steep learning curve! To celebrate the publication of my new book, The Bum That Barked, I am now offering a critique service for fledgling picture book writers.

Hello!

The Bum That Barked picture book was set to be released on the 2nd of April. However, due to the current situation we have decided to postpone its release until the 11 th of June.

Lots of time for Bean and Bongo to work on their stage show and design some snazzy new costumes!

To celebrate what would have been the book’s release date, we are running two competitions to win a signed copy of the book. Head over to my Twitter page @elisapeacock for details.

Hopefully by June we will all have something to celebrate. Until then, stay home and stay safe!

#DrawWithRob 23 Teddy – YouTube

You can order a copy here buff.ly/2UeUKM8 @TinyTreeBooks

April 6th

Head over to Lou Treleaven’s website to read her blog about The Bum That Barked and my journey to publication. Lou’s site is full of great advice for aspiring authors and is a treasure trove if you are ready to start submitting your work. Her list of agents and publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts is the most comprehensive and up to date I know.

https://bit.ly3c5qNob

17th April 2020

Drum roll please…CONGRATULATIONS to Evie Hannah! I was surprised by the number of
entries and it was a tough call, but I love this picture of Bean and Bongo dressed as a clown.

Drum roll please…CONGRATULATIONS to Evie Hannah! I was surprised by the number of
entries and it was a tough call, but I love this picture of Bean and Bongo dressed as a clown. I hope
you enjoy the book Evie.