I’m hopefully going to visit Moscow again this year – for the Moscow Book Fair early in September. Exact dates and more details when I have them! This photo is from my lovely trip back in 2017.
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Come and join the launch of Reading Children’s Festival at the launch event, Forbury Fiesta, on Saturday 11th May. I’ll be doing two storytime events, at 11am and 11.45am, with a chance to draw your own book covers and make cat bracelets too. My events will be in the bandstand, and there will be lots of other fun things to do all over Reading’s Forbury Gardens.
This is a very busy time of year for children’s authors – World Book Day! I’m still doing World Book Day events this week too, but here are photos from some of the schools I visited last week. Above are some of the children from Birch Copse School, in their gorgeous library!
And this is me with the librarian from Reading School, where I talked to the boys about how I started writing, and also helped out with a GCSE English Language group – fascinating watching someone else analyse your writing!
Hope everyone had a fabulous World Book Day!
There’ll be a special World Book Day celebration going on at Kidzania this Saturday! I’ll be there between 11am and 1pm, talking about The Perfect Kitten. Come along and say hello!
Come and hear a kitten story, and make a glittery kitten picture at Hungerford Library on Friday September 14th, 4pm.
Three new books are coming out soon! The Shelter Puppy is about a gorgeous whippet cross puppy called Winston, and it’s published in June. Chloe Centre Stage is the first book in my drama school series, Shine, and The Secrets Tree is the fourth Hounds of Penhallow Hall book – they’re both published on July 12th. Thanks to the amazing artists for the covers and illustrations – Sophy Williams, Monique Dong and Jason Cockcroft.
I’ve just been on my third author visit to Russia! This time it was to St Petersburg and Kaliningrad. It was really great to visit such a different Russian city.
I did one event in St Petersburg, talking about all my different books, and the inspiration behind them, and then answering questions. I’ve been thinking about the cats at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg ever since Tatiana from Eksmo, my Russian publisher, told me about them. And at this event I was asked if I’d ever write about them. It’s definitely a sign that I should!
Kaliningrad is a plane journey away from St Petersburg, and it looks very different. It has a beautiful modern cathedral with huge windows.
It’s lovely at night too!
Kaliningrad is really famous for producing amber, and I got to visit the amber museum, which is housed in part of the old city fortress walls.
Amber is ancient fossilised tree sap, and the museum has a collection of the rarest sort of amber, which has leaves and insects from hundreds of thousands of years ago trapped inside. Sadly, this just proves that I’m still scared of spiders even if they’re hundreds of thousands of years old! But I loved the fir cone encased in amber.
This is one of the beautiful paintings I was given at my event in a wonderful children and families library in Kaliningrad – it has amber pieces decorating it! I love the swirly Van Gogh style of this tree too.
I was given so much beautiful artwork, including this cat, which I really love!
Maisie Hitchins is really popular in Russia at the moment, which is so exciting – it’s great that Russian children are reading about a girl detective racing around Edwardian London! This is just one of the drawings of Maisie.
The main reason for the trip to Kaliningrad was to be part of the opening celebrations for a new bookshop – always the loveliest event for an author! The shop is part of the Bookvoet group, and they had invited lots of authors to take part – it was brilliant to meet them all. Bookvoet also commissioned cartoons of each author with a famous monument in Kaliningrad – this is mine!
Lots more photos of amazing artwork will be up soon on the pics page!