Well that was a lie. I had a monstrously good time at the launch for I DO NOT LIKE BOOKS ANYMORE! at Gosh Comics on 10th May – so many of my favourite people in one room and oh my giddy aunt THE BISCUITS!!
The biscuits were made by the completely amazing Emily Wilkinson who has been baking my books since before they were books (see previous biscuitmania). One of my favourite things was seeing photos of children clutching monster biscuits at breakfast time – very impressive of their parents to get them all the way home without even nibbling their ears (the BISCUITS’ I mean!).
I’m so hugely grateful to everyone who came and made it such a lovely evening, and to Gosh! for being grand hosts again (and just the most brilliant shop). And I was extremely touched by the things Deirdre and Lizzie, Walker Books Publisher and my Editor, said – I’m very very lucky to work with them.
Many thanks to Emma O’Donovan and Penny Dixie for the photos.
I was so extremely happy to hear that The Girl with the Parrot on her Head is an Honor Book in the Ezra Jack Keats Awards. It’s especially lovely because Keats’ books are glorious, and because these awards are given to “books that portray the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family, and the multicultural nature of our world.”
I was sorry to miss the ceremony in Mississippi, but representatives from Candlewick were there and kindly read out my thanks and posted my award – which I had no idea was an actual shiny thing!
Many thanks to the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation (which does all kinds of excellent stuff) and to Walker and Candlewick for publishing this quite strange book.
I was extremely excited to be shortlisted for the first ever Klaus Flugge Prize (for debut picturebook illustrators) for The Girl with the Parrot on her Head. The party had gold balloons AND tiny macaroons! Nicholas John Frith won for his very beautiful Hector and Hummingbird: interviews with him and all the shortlisted illustrators are here.
Thank you very very much to the judges! And to Andersen for starting the prize.
My second picturebook, ALPHONSE, THAT IS NOT OK TO DO! was launched on April 20th at London’s most splendid comics shop, Gosh! by a crowd of very lovely people and an unreasonably delicious new instalment in the Emily-Wilkinson-bakes-my-books saga (see here, and here, and here, and here for Emily’s page).
I arrived in a tiswas, thinking, “AIEE, what if no one comes?” followed by, “AIEE, what if someone comes?” and, “AIEE, biscuits stuck in traffic! What if people come mainly for biscuits and get justifiably enraged?” But those nice comics folks calmed me right down with tea, and got me started on signing The Heap.
I was overwhelmed by so many friends and relations coming along to celebrate Alphonse, and that was before the biscuits and Natalie and Alphonse arrived to make sense of it all – sitting down centrepieceishly in the space between all the books and drawing their giant pig (which was eaten and magically regenerated two times! And then decisively consumed in our third attempt).
Thanks so much to everyone who came, and to Gosh! and Walker Books. If you couldn’t make it but would like a signed book, I think Gosh! may still have part of The Heap.
The Girl with the Parrot on her Head has been out in the world for two days now, stomping about, sneaking into bookshops. Already Julia Eccleshare has written about the book at LoveReading4Kids where it’s also debut of the month! EXCITING TIMES. I’ve written about the process of making The Girl with the Parrot on her Head over on Walker’s blog Picture Book Party (where you can also find out how to make a parrot, or SOMETHING ELSE, to live on your head).
Two days before publication we had an amazing launch party at Daunt Books in Hampstead (thanks to Trudi Esburger for the better photos). If I’d put as much thought into the speaking part as the snackfoods I might have said something sensible. We had bears, hula hoops, not-actually-broken-umbrellas and truly incredible wolf biscuits by my cake-genius friend Emily of Love & Cake.
We also had a lot of lovely people and a counter covered in books. In a weird reversal of my expectations, we ran out of books and had wine left over. It was totally predictable, however, that the wolves all vanished in no time at all.
Here are my entirely brilliant Editor and Designer from Walker Books:
Me drawing in books (when does it stop feeling like defacing school property?):
And illustrators! Some of the many excellent friends, family and book-people who made it so grand:
Very many enormous thanks to everyone who helped and all who came along!
Follow Emily of the wolf biscuits or on Instagram.
Read about the making of The Girl with the Parrot on her Head at Picture Book Party.