Book events

Tracey Corderoy at Cheltenham Festival

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Today, we went to the Cheltenham Festival- it was wet and windy, but it was worth it! Being great fans of the Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam books, we were delighted to see that she had written a book for older children- ‘The Pony with No Name’. Having read this and thoroughly enjoyed it, we were keen to hear what Tracey had to say about her new story.

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Using pictures as a backdrop, Tracey read the section of the story where Bryony (her main character) first sees her new bedroom in the house her family are moving to. Beautifully expressive, it was a real pleasure to listen to her read; there was not a sound from the audience!

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Having set the scene, Tracey told us about the similarities between her and Bryony and how these shaped the story. Living in South Wales, Tracey grew up neat the beach and sadly, her father died when she was a little girl. Both of these things appear as part of Bryony’s story. Tracey also told us about how she had longed for a dog or a cat as a child and how her mother said no- a fish, yes; a budgie, yes- but it was only when a kitten ‘followed’ her home that her mother let her keep it! Bryony has a cat called Blueberry Muffin and loves riding. So that she could write convincingly about this, Tracey went to her local riding stables and had a lesson which she showed us a film of. Such dedication to her art!

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Tracey’s sessions are always beautifully prepared and full of fun. Everyone made a colourful rosette to celebrate the story and then there was a horse-y quiz- which by some miracle we scored full marks on!!

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This was a lovely session- listening to Tracey read is reason enough to go and see her. ‘The Pony with No Name’ is a delightful story and I look forward to reading more books in the series.

You can read our review of ‘The Pony With No Name’ here.

Apologies for the photos- the lighting was not the best!

David Roberts at the Bath Festival

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On Sunday, I was delighted to have the chance to hear David Roberts talk about his wonderful book, ‘Suffragette: The Battle for Equality’. It was an amazing session!

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David’s interest in the period was first kindled when he did a project at school when he was 14. He was shocked to find out how few rights women had and in creating this book, discovered many less well known figures who were significant to the movement.

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Wonderfully knowledgeable about the period, David entertained us with stories about the men and women who bravely fought against inequality in all manner of inventive and original ways. Muriel Matters is one of his favourite figures; he told us the story of how she chained herself to the grill of the Ladies’ Gallery in the House of Commons!

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Another House of Commons story involved Emily Davison, the lady who was to die after being hit by the King’s horse at the Derby, who hid in the House to be listed at that address in the 1911 Census. The above picture shows her sneaking in through a door which David has been to see. He also told us that the mouse in the picture is him!

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It was a truly fascinating session and was over far too soon! Fortunately, the book is equally fascinating!

You can read our review here.

Peter Brown at the Bath Festival

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When you have the chance to hear an author whose books you love, but who does not often appear in this country, it is very exciting! Here at JAB HQ, we love Peter Brown’s books and so when we knew he would be at Bath, we knew we had to go and see him.

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Having a grandfather who painted encouraged the young Peter to take art seriously and enjoy creating pictures. He joked that he could remember thinking that he could be an old man making art one day- and now he is! (far from it!) His grandfather was obviously a great influence on him.

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When he was 6, Peter created his first book which was inspired by his dog going missing. His mother helped him to put this together, but the illustrations were all his own.

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Many of the books Peter has written are only published in America (why???) and it was whilst working on one of these, ‘The Curious Garden’, that the idea for ‘The Wild Robot’ came to him from an illustration he had created: a robot in a tree. He kept coming back to this idea- and ‘The Wild Robot’ was the story that emerged.

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Peter then taught us all how to draw Roz, the robot at the heart of the book. His advice for getting better was to keep drawing- something the children in the audience took very seriously as they beavered away at the tables!

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Peter loves to add pink to his pictures, explaining that it makes the other colours come alive- it helps them to be ‘more themselves’! He demonstrated this beautifully by scattering pink on his picture of Roz.

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It was a wonderful session- over far too soon- but it was a real pleasure to meet the man himself afterwards! I hope we didn’t have too many books for him to sign. I also hope we don’t have to wait too long to see him again as we have copies of ‘The Curious Garden’ on their way to us!

Thank you Peter for a wonderful event- come to North Somerset anytime!

The Wild Robot Peter Brown

Little, Brown and Company ISBN: 978-0316381994

The Wild Robot Escapes Peter Brown

Little, Brown and Company ISBN: 978-0316382045

My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I am Not) Peter Brown

Two Hoots ISBN: 978-1447257486

You can read our reviews of ‘The Wild Robot’ here and here. You can read our review of ‘My Teacher is a Monster! (NO, I am Not) here.