Monday, 30 March 2015

Yankenstein!

Well, writers are always working on something and last year was an especially busy one for me with no fewer than three children's books published. But I was also working on the sequel to my first children's novel Prankenstein and I'm very excited to have a copy of the new book in my hands, fresh from the printers!

The original story, Prankenstein, was the tale of a prank-mad boy called Soapy and his two friends (twins from Estonia) who set themselves up as detectives to try and discover the mystery of a strange and crazy creature who is driving the town round the bend with outrageous, funny pranks. When the trio track down Prankenstein they come in for a mighty shock.

The new book features the same characters and is called PRANKENSTEIN VS YANKENSTEIN!


In this story Soapy's American cousin, a tanned and mega-sassy girl called Topazz, comes to stay with the family and all is going well until Soapy finds himself chained to a loo seat one morning when he wakes up. Soapy is convinced it must be prank-fan Topazz but she strongly denies it. The two fall out and it's not long before things get really hairy when another horrible prank-playing monster comes on the scene. Soapy's friends, the Twince, try to help him but Soapy is thinking the unthinkable: to unleash Prankenstein. Can the planet survive a clash between these two hoaxy beasts?

Like Book 1, the story has lots of laughs, twists, mysteries, chases, fun and astonishing pranks. Here's what some newspaper reviewers had to say:


There are more brilliant illustrations from Richard Morgan too:

 
 
 

Prankenstein vs Yankenstein will appeal to any boy or girl or 8-11 who loves to laugh and likes an exciting adventure with crazy goings-on. As well as pranks it features cheese, chickens, a bike-bath combo, Harrods, eggs, missiles, custard, and yellow-bellied sapsuckers - what more could you possibly want?


The book is published on 14th April and you can pre-order it now from your local bookshop. Or you can buy it online from the usual places such as Waterstones and Amazon (have a look at Hive too).

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Being on Blue Peter

Well, WHAT an exciting week I have had! When I was young I never missed watching every episode of legendary kids' TV show Blue Peter - everyone was the same. Those were the glory days of the great John Noakes and the highly respectable Valerie Singleton who each week in the early 70s would assemble a working model of a nuclear power station from a few wire coat hangers and an egg box (or so it seemed to my innocent mind). It was great stuff - I mean, come on, look at their HAIR:

Peter Purves's shirt is pretty snazzy too.

So it was a very special moment for me on Thurs 5th March 2015 (World Book Day) when I appeared live on the programme to pick up a BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD for Best Book With Facts, for The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff. Wow, it doesn't get much more exciting than that.

The winning book!

The day began early at MediaCityUK in Salford/Manchester with an appearance on Newsround when Lindsay from Blue Peter announced the winners. I met the winner of the Best Story category, the lovely Pamela Butchart and we both sat in front of the cameras to be interviewed and to say how we felt about winning. It was hard not to get carried away and do lots of whooping!

Me, Pamela, Lindsay and Jenny
It was quite nerve-wracking being on live TV but we got through without too many gaffes or moments of being tongue-tied and then it was onto the Blue Peter studio to meet the other presenters, Barney and Radzi, and the show's editor and producers - they were all amazingly friendly, helpful and good fun. First we had a look round at the CBBC and Cbeebies sets before grabbing some pics of the Blue Peter studio. I also met up with The Silly Book's brilliant illustrator Scott Garrett - writers don't often meet their illustrators so this was a treat for both of us. Oh, and they gave us our BADGES.


Then we had several rehearsals for appearing live on the show at 5.30. We met fab Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman, who would present the awards and also the children in the studio who had helped pick the winners (what smart, smart kids...).

The badges are bigger than you think...
Then it was the anxious moment while the show started and we waited behind the famous BP doors ready for our cue to step in front of the TV cameras... LIVE!

Waiting to go on: Pamela Butchart along with Thomas and Scott, founder members of the Hairy Illustrators Club 
Suddenly we were ushered through into the studio and were given our awards by Malorie Blackman - I was ginning so much that some of my back teeth were dislodged. We answered a couple of quick questions and felt rather special... Malorie was given a GOLD badge!


Between us we have just the right amount of hair...
Then, suddenly, the end of the show arrived and we had the first chance to look at the glass trophies and pose for some pics while dodging Radzi's shaving foam.

Scott Garrett and Andy Seed: proud creators of a Silly Book
We also had a chance to get some selfies and pics with the presenters, guests and rabble in the studio.


Barney's Miss Trunchbull costume was a highlight - here's some of the padding
So, there we are, a very exciting day for an author indeed. You can read more about the winning books here:

BBC News
and here:
The Guardian Book News

And you can buy a copy of the Silly Book and see what all the fuss is about at your local bookshop or online from:
Bloomsbury or Waterstones or The Book People or Amazon (indie is best, tax avoiders worst!)



Saturday, 7 February 2015

An author visit to Nigeria

One of the great privileges of being a children's author is the chance to visit schools and enthuse children about books. Occasionally a special invitation comes along and I received one recently which enable me to spend time at the amazing Children's International School in Lagos, Nigeria.


I was one of three UK authors, along with Adisa the Verbalizer and Judy Waite, to visit this new school, which caters for both primary and secondary kids in Africa's largest city. We were greeted with enormous enthusiasm and warmth by the staff and had a great time working with the children from Y1 to Y9, all of whom were delighted to meet us.



The trip was arranged as part of the school's Book Week and one of the highlights of the visit was seeing the children's fancy dress parade where they dressed up as book characters. Can you recognise any of these?




I was delighted to be given the chance to tell KS2 children about the importance of reading and to inspire them through stories, poems, interesting facts and extracts from books. I also led a 3-hour teacher training session working with staff from several local schools across the city, helping them to instigate strategies to encourage reluctant readers and to promote reading for pleasure, something which is enormously important to every child, whether African, British or otherwise.


We were also given a guided tour of a nearby art gallery and a local market by the school's wonderful Head of Library Services, Keji, who gave us an amazing demonstration of the art of haggling as we negotiated for bargains among the craftsmen and women and sellers of Nigerian clothes and objects. We also drove around the city and saw some of the vibrant street scenes in this vast, growing city.



Nigeria has received a lot of very negative press in recent months but we found everyone we met to be friendly, welcoming and full of positive energy. This is an exciting country to be in, and we must learn not to judge a nation by the actions of a tiny faction in a distant corner or by rumours of disease. 

We tried the local food (be warned - it's delicious but very spicy and strong-flavoured) and enjoyed the heat (around 30 degrees each day) although returning to -2 in the UK wearing thin clothes was a shocker! Altogether it was a memorable visit and I hope to go again one day.



Writer Judy Waite and poet Adisa - my excellent companions for the visit









Saturday, 6 December 2014

Blue Peter!

This has been a very exciting week as it has just been announced that The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff has been shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2015. It is one of just three titles chosen in the 'Book with facts' category and one of only six overall. I am really thrilled to be chosen for such an important and well-known award.


The shortlisted books are chosen by a panel of judges including authors and then 200 children from schools around the country choose the winning titles from the two categories in March. As the logo shows, this is the 15th year of the competition.

Silliness rules!
I'm up against two other brilliant-looking books in the 'facts' category but hope that the Silly Book's unique selection of jokes, fun facts, poems, amazing info and silly things to do will win the day. And of course, I have Scott Garrett's fab illustrations and Bloomsbury's ace design team in my favour too!

The shortlisted books

Michael Morpurgo (lovely man and great writer) appeared on Blue Peter to help announce the shortlist and he was also awarded the GOLD Blue Peter badge, no less, for inspiring so many young readers. What a great idea. You can see a video of the Book Award part of the show here.

You can read more about the Blue Peter Book Awards here and can find out how you can get involved as a judge in future if you are at a UK primary school. 
By the way you can buy The Silly Book at HALF PRICE here!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

A Review of Reviews

Time to review some reviews that have appeared for my new children's novel, Prankenstein.


Moontrug said:
The story is brilliantly funny – every page makes you chuckle, snigger, giggle, smile, snort and chortle – and the characters are larger-than-life: a Granny who thinks Soapy looked like Winston Churchill as a baby, a Mother who is terrified of having anything delicious, like jam, in the house, a nanny whose knickers get sewn together and BEST of all, The Twince – two Estonian twins with epic accents: ‘I can feel it in my bonce.’ 
Full review here.

Readaraptor said:
This was a very fun read with some hilarious bits dotted about and some great accompanying images.
Full review here

Read It Daddy said:
With a good dose of dark humour that put us in mind of David Walliams or Roald Dahl, Andy Seed's first book for Fat Fox Books, "Prankenstein" is a funny and original story that veers between a detective novel and a knockabout chaotic caper.
Full review here.

Treasury Islands said:
a well crafted, funny, and escapist read which I’d like to compare to David Walliams or Dav Pikey, if only doing so wouldn’t suggest Prankentstein was much lower quality than it is. 
Full review here

Wondrous Reads said:
Above all else, Prankenstein is very funny with a great turn of phrase. I pretty much laughed all the way through it, particularly at Soapy's flippant, sarcastic comments and blunt humour.
Full review here.

Fantastic Reads said:
This is a fun book for fans of a Horrid Henry seeking more challenge, or of Mr Gum...
Full review here.

Buy the book from Waterstones.
Or Amazon. But best of all from your local bookshop...

Friday, 3 October 2014

Prankenstein is here!

Imagine you could do any prank you wanted...

Now published!

Prankenstein, my first novel for children, is now out there in bookshops and is waiting for readers of 8-11 who like something funny, adventurous and fast-paced, with a mystery at the core. It's the story of Soapy, a boy who loves pranks but daren't play any for fear of his parents. When crazy pranks start happening all around him, Soapy sets out with his friends to investigate.

The three young detectives discover that the culprit is a strange, hairy creature full of mischief - but who is he, where did he come from and why is he doing these outrageous pranks? Soapy finds the answer and uncovers a shocking secret...

Reviews have now started appearing including this fabulous one from Treasury Islands:


You can read the rest of the review here.

The book includes some high quality illustrations by Richard Morgan:


Prankenstein was also chosen by The Sun newspaper as their recommended book for ten year-olds for their new Get Kids Reading campaign.

Here's a blog post about some of the pranks I did myself when younger, on the Federation of Children's Book Club Groups site.

And you can read more about Prankenstein here.
And buy it from Waterstones here.
Or Amazon here.


Beautiful Bath

Last weekend I was in beautiful Bath for the excellent Bath Children's Literature Festival. It's a big week-long book bash and all sorts of people were there from Horrid Henry to Nice Henry Winkler and Tom Gates (well, Liz Pichon, his creator). I really enjoyed performing at my own Seriously Silly Stuff event to a great audience - there were only a few seats left and we all had lots of laughs based around the content of The Silly Book. Well done to those kids brave enough to get on stage and do a knock-knock joke with me.



Bath is really a lovely city and I recommend the Abbey and the parks in addition to the splendid Georgian crescents. The Lit Fest is not to be missed for kids - great programme.



Ryedale Book Festival is coming...

Next weekend, the 11/12 October is Ryedale Book Festival here in sunny North Yorks, based in the historic market town of Malton. It's a great little festival with a lot going on (Michael Morpurgo is there this year) - you can see the full programme here.


I will be doing an event this year as usual too: SERIOUSLY SILLY STUFF (as performed at Bath) - it's at Saville St Chapel, Malton on Sunday 12 Oct 2-3pm. Aimed at ages 7-11, there will be loads of laughs, jokes, funny true stories and poems. Everyone who comes will also get a free joke shop novelty or moustache pencil too! Tickets are just £2 on the door. It's a great chance to get a signed book.
Finally, the winners and runners up of the fabulous P-FACTOR schools' poetry comp will be performing there too. Not to be missed.


Monday, 1 September 2014

Free joke shop goodies!

If you live in the York area and you have kids aged 7-12 then here's a wonderful free treat for them on Sunday 7th September. Best-selling author Andy Seed will be having a book launch for his new funny novel Prankenstein in York and will be giving away two free joke shop novelties to every child who comes along.

Kids get two of these FREE!
The event will be held at Love Cheese cafe, Gillygate, York and will feature a fun prank workshop by Andy where he will talk about (harmless) pranks, pranks he has done and about his fab new book Prankenstein, all about a boy's search for a prank-playing monster. The event is free and lasts about 50 minutes. There are three times available: 11am, 12 noon and 1pm. Parents can book their children in by calling the cafe on 01904 622967. The cafe will provide free refreshments for all children booked in.

Andy will be signing copies of his new book at the event too - don't miss out!