So after an action packed couple of months away I finally come back here to my humble blog to try and write about all of the awesome adventures with people, places and events and try to squish them down into a short summary called a blog post... How hard could that be?? Its a bit like trying to close the door on a shopaholics wardrobe!! This may in fact take a few posts but I will attempt to bullet point the pointiest points here.
Celebrating the launch started with the lovely help of our publishers TATE, and in particular our events co-ordinator extraordinaire 'Lucy' (aka Lovely Lucy) who was a joy to tour with around London. We started as you can see from my previous post in Libraries in Greenwich and Woolwich with crowds of children ranging from 5-8 years old. Chris and I did an interactive reading of the book and then I discussed with students the importance of eyebrows and how fun it is to create expressions with them! We had such a wonderful time seeing how each child interpreted the story in their own way and created the most outrageous eyebrows for their own Admirals! It was world book day in the UK so the children were dressed in an array of costumes based on favourite book characters.. I do recall one rather rememberable teacher being half eaten by a shark by her choice of costume!
The following weekend we made visits to delightful parts of London starting with the lovely people from Pickled Pepper Books who had decked their shop front full of Brunswick books! We even got the chance to meet Gareth Malone one of Chris's favourite choir directors!
Our next stop was Ottie and the Bea another beautiful family run book store dedicated to children and young at heart adults. It was especially wonderful to see how they had used our activity sheets and printed out Brunswick as well as the Admiral to add eyebrows to! So many wonderful little artists turned up to listen and draw with us! We had a lovely time with the team and as we left felt as if we had inherited family not just friends!
We then had the privilege to scale the heights and peruse the much talked about view of London from the top of New Zealand house! Which was a rare treat and a good view despite the dismal weather!
A great part of our trip was spent in schools introducing students to Inspector Brunswick which was delightful especially to see what they did with the portrait of the admiral! Cup cake eyebrows were a stand out!
The next weekend was spent at the prestigious TATE Modern Museum!! One of the unexpected perks of having your book produced by a publisher with museum connections is you actually get to run workshops in them! We met with the lovely bookselling team and Chris donned his bright suits especially for the occasion!
Here he is with our friend Sagra inviting passing families to our workshop!
It was such a treat to see Brunswick in the TATE bookshops sitting along side our favourite authors and illustrators!
While touring London we also go a chance to pop into a variety of Bookshops! I thought Chris and I were quite restrained when it came to the actual number of books we bought while away on this trip! We only sent home one box-full each rather then the three I posted last time!! We managed to pop in and find Brunswick in small and large book shops - Primrose Hill, Daunt Books, Foyles and Hattchards (Londons oldest bookshop - older than colonised NZ!) to name a few!
We were invited to meet the lovely Pam Dix from IBBY at the CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) head quarters and had a lovely look at the how they promote the teaching of literacy. We even got to sign the wall of fame with many well known illustrators/authors!
Then came the almighty London Book Fair! At this stage we changed into our business suits and tried to look official as we walked the halls and corridors of the fair. Stopping by for meetings and listening to wonderful talks on all things books and book related!
Afterwards we bumped into Klaus Flugge the founder of Anderson Press and sponsor of the Klaus Flugge Prize which this year was won by Nicholas Frith. He was charming to talk to, had lovely things to say about our book and graciously agreed to have his photo with us!
We listened to a talk about ways to create unique children's books by authors and illustrators from Estonia, Lativa and Lithuania! Which was very inspiring! It was then that we started what I am sure will be a long friendship with the Latvian illustrator & publisher Ruta and Alise! So happy to have met them and excited for all three states as they will be the feature countries next year at the London Book Fair!
It was lovely to visit the TATE stand and see the wonderful Lucy, Holly, Max and Rachel hard a work! Also a delight to see Brunswick on the wall with so many other beautiful children books!
An awesome full circle moment was when we had drinks with our lovely editor, Holly, in the members lounge of the TATE Britian, the place where Brunswick and the Case of the Missing Eyebrow all started.
At that point it was time to rest up and do a bit of travelling for a few weeks in Barcelona, Avignon and Verona before finding our way back to Bologna in time for the Bologna Children's Book Fair.
As this post is getting really long perhaps I'll talk more about that in the next one...