Thursday, October 06, 2011

'The Pirates Next Door'

My new book 'The Pirates Next Door' was published last Saturday! Ooo-aRR! Available in all good book stores now!

'The Pirates next Door' is published in hardback by Templar Publishing in the UK. The paperback should follow sometime in 2012. The hardback has a lovely fold-out dust jacket that transforms into a poster of the Jolley-Rogers family. I'm absolutely delighted with how the book turned out. It's an identical format to 'The Pirate Cruncher', with the same page count and a fold-out gatefold spread where the Pirate Cruncher's fold down spread was before. But the fold-out jacket makes it feel a little chunkier, and has the poster and a family tree.

I would've posted on Saturday, but I was reading 'The Pirate Cruncher' at Bath Children's Literature Festival. I arrived nice and early with time to hook up my laptop and get changed into my pirate costume, and when I looked into the room I'd be reading in, I nearly fainted. It was massive!! (But very beautiful!)

Afterwards I met one of my long time heroes of illustration, Chris Riddell, and his regular writing collaborator, Paul Stewart. This was a big thrill for me, and I even got a few books signed that I'd taken along (just in case). It was a little funny meeting people I so admire whilst dressed as a pirate, but the kids like it, and it helps me transform from boring old Jonny Duddle, into someone who reads stories to 150 people in a room.

The Jonny Duddle Pirate Experience...
(Thanks to Seven Stories in Newcastle for this picture!)

While we were in the south-west of England, I also took the opportunity to take my family along to Aardman studios. I've been working with Aardman for almost four years on a stop-motion movie, 'Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!', and it was great fun to show my wife and daughters the characters I've helped design, the film sets and modelmaking rooms.

Rosie makes friends with an Aardman bunny in reception...

We had a wonderful time, and everyone at Aardman did so much to make my ladies welcome. We even got a private viewing of some of the finished movie, including some in 3D, which my six-year-old daughter Daisy, absolutely LOVED. So thanks to Aardman, and in particular Amy Wood, for making our visit so magical....