Chipping Norton

Chipping Norton Literary Festival: Dave Pigeon


At Chipping Norton Literacy Festival, I was delighted to catch up with JAB favourites, Swapna Haddow and Sheena Dempsey aka Team Dave Pigeon! These lovely ladies led a brilliant, fun-filled session based around their third book, 'Dave Pigeon (Racer!). 


They started with a reading from the book, introducing us to the new baddie Dave is up against. This led to Swapna talking about how she creates her villains- making them bad, but giving them something silly to wear so that they don't 'haunt' her! She then sends her ideas to Sheena who has to decide how to draw them. 


The whole audience then got involved in creating a new baddie. The 'who shouts loudest wins' system of voting was used to decide which ideas would be chosen to build our creation and a lot of noise and laughter followed. Inspired by our team effort, everyone then created their own whilst Sheena and Swapna mingled, giving advice and encouragement. 


Next, Swapna guided us through creating a story, complete with actors from the audience whilst Sheena drew the pictures to go with it. The ideas got wilder and wilder as Dave adventured through the outback, fighting off crocodiles and all sorts of dangers before reaching safety. 

The session ended with lots of enthusiastic children asking lots of interesting questions. The Dave Pigeon books are great fun - and this session reflected that perfectly.

You can read our review of Dave Pigeon (Racer!) here    and our review of Dave Pigeon here.

We need to review Dave Pigeon (Nuggets!) soon.

Brilliant Bookshops: Jaffe and Neale


On Saturday, I visited Jaffe and Neale in Chipping Norton whilst at the Literary Festival. A busy, thriving shop, it has a cafe at the front, serving delicious cakes with my favourite section- Children's- tucked away at the back of the shop.


Carefully arranged to maximise available space, there is something here for everyone. Picture books, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, graphic novels all have their place on the pale grey shelving. Carnegie and Greenaway shortlisted titles are prominently displayed and a small table was full of books by authors appearing at the Festival.


A cupboard has been made into a little Book Nook with cushions on a bench to curl up on and share stories. Whilst I was in the shop, several children pulled parents or siblings inside and settled down to share a good read! 


A busy, buzzing bookshop full of bookish delight, Jaffe and Neale is definitely one to visit. I believe they have another branch in Stow-on-the-Wold which I must visit very soon.