Thursday 24 May 2012

WELCOME on board the Good Ship Book Sniffer - Jonny Duddle!

Avast and aghast Land Lubbers, Salty Sea Dawgs and Ship Mates, Tis now time to hear from piratical hero of the high seas Mr Jonny "the Doodle" Duddle
Shall we make him walk the plank at cutlass point or just pop him straight in the Book Sniffer quick fire cannon!?

Cannon!? correct! here goes


Tuesday 22 May 2012

Is there an Elephant in the room?

YES there blimmin' well is - lorks a lordy we have a big fat exclusive peek at Michelle Robinson's brand new (and I mean NOT EVEN published yet) picture book ..

This is SO hot off the press this is teh US cover! COOOOOOL!

So here's a big trumpety fanfare for ...

What To Do If An Elephant Stands On Your Foot! (Written by Michelle Robinson Illustrated by the lovely Peter H Reynolds)

Tilt your your safari hats at a jaunty angle and grab your binoculars for this mad-cap japeish tale of survival which tops even Bear Gryllis most bonkers escapades, as we meet an intrepid explorer on a bungled jungle adventure.

An anarchic tale of calamity unfolds before our very eyes involving all your favourite and most fearsome jungle beasties, The reader is lead through the pages of the story following various pieces of invaluable "survival advice" some might say...unsuccessfully...

I'm not sure about you but I wouldn't mess with this kitty!

With riotous twists and turns a snarlsome Tiger encounter, a bag full of the cheekiest of cheeky monkeys and rhino with a grudge and some snappy crocs with mischief on their minds all leading the reader conveniently back to the beginning of the story which is just where you'll want to be because you'll be reading this one to your little chimps over and over again

We give What To Do If An Elephant Stands On Your Foot 5 Bananas and a coconut for good measure out of 5!

Oook Oook!
Speaking of cheeky monkeys - Follow Michelle Robinson on Twitter @MichRobinson - You won't regret it!

THANKS for sending us this exclusive sneak peek - we'll be swinging from the lampshades like naughty monkeys for the rest of the day!


Monday 21 May 2012

The Pirates Next Door - By Jonny Duddle

Well shiver me bloomin' timbers land lubbers, I appear to be the last to jump on board the jolly ship that is
 The Pirates Next Door! by Ship Mate Jonny Duddle
Here I am modelling a Johnny Depp style piratical moustache grown just for this very special occasion,

The Pirates Next Door is Jonny Duddles second Pirate book for Templar and one for which he has just scooped the very well deserved Waterstone's Children's Book Prize! TOOT TOOT!
Ever been to Dull-on-Sea? it's a bit like Dorking but with PIRATES!

Little Tilda a sassy small person with a taste for adventure befriends a pirate boy who just happens to have docked his family pirate ship just next door (as you do). This is quite possibly THE most exciting thing ever to happen in Dull-On-Sea (population 2227) A proper ropey old band of piratical types cause all sorts of havoc around town much to the dismay of the local residents all of who have taken umbridge at their new slightly unusual (for unusual read, hairy, smelly, peg leggy and rough as a gnats chuff) neighbours.

Jonny is a complete craftsman and master of characterisation and his illustrations require pouring over for may hours to spot all the little hidden treasures!
Things of note which I spotted included:
  • A dog with a peg leg
  • The exhaust from the back of the pirate car making plumes of skull shaped clouds
  • The shaving cut on Tilda's dads chin complete with bloody tissue
  • Skull shaped cereal - I wish that was real!
  • Tilda's black cat making saucy eyes at the peg legged dog (an on going romance)

Eventually the Pirates decide to move on to Oceans new, much is the way of the Pirate but not before they leave behind something for the residents of Dull-On-Sea to remember them by! (revealed in a stonking fold out)

The clever rhyming text weaves and twirls and smashes though the pages with moments of sheer gigglesome joy.
A cracking unique piratical rumpus of a story which demands at cutlass point to be read over and over again!
We can't wait to find out what will happen next with these beardy reprobates. Where will they dock their pirate ship next...

We give The Pirates Next Door 5 gold coins out of 5!
Buy it NOW or walk the plank!
YES we will be firing him out of the quick fire cannon! It would be rude not too!

Sunday 13 May 2012

The Frank Show - written and illustrated by David Mackintosh

Every now and again a book appears on the doormat at Book Sniffer Towers which is even more unexpectedly wonderful than I ever imagined.

I had heard whisperings about The Frank Show on the sniffer grapevine so was eager as a beaver in a Christmas tree forest to get my mitts on a copy.

The Frank Show - written and illustrated by David Mackintosh

I was expecting a beautifully produced, exquisitely designed book with delectable illustrations and a nice-ish story but boy-oh boy hombre was I blown out of the water by this little smasher.

There are very few books which prominently feature the role of the grandparent these days which is a crying shame seeing as they play such a huge influential role in the lives of lot's a lot's of little sniffers.

The Frank Show is a story about a small boy who has to introduce a member of his family to the class, his parents are far too busy and his little sister is not that interesting at all which leaves the only other option Grandad Frank.

The boy thinks old people are a bit boring and that Grandad Frank mostly just complains about everything but as the story develops Franks wonderful life is revealed and it turns out he's IS cooler than a cucumber.

He eats pickled onions straight from the jar, he can tell when its about to rain because of a funny feeling in his arm, he has a tattoo, He hasn't brought a pair of pants in ten years, he can catch a fly with his bare hands (and let it go again) AND he has a rubber band ball that is 28 years old! That my friends is just the tip of the iceberg!

A beautiful rib tickling extravaganza and one I will read again and again and again (as I eat pickles out of a jar)

Three cheers for grandads, three cheers for Harper Collins and three cheers for David Mackintosh (designer extraordinaire)

And now I cast my mind back to the fond memories I have of my grandfather "Pa" who bred Orchids, made home made fireworks in the potting shed, baked the best bread any human has ever tasted, tied our go-kart to the back of a car, always took marmite on holiday and some Ryvita biscuits, was once poisoned by a sausage, lost his sense of smell, always had a small bowl of Alpen for breakfast, kept a jar of Fox's Glace mints by the sofa, taught me to Snorkel and painted beautiful buxom mermaids on pots. By Jove he was a good un' and I miss him.

All images (c) David Mackintosh

Thursday 10 May 2012

50 reasons why Oliver Jeffers should visit our blog!

RIGHT! Here goes.. If this doesn't work nothing will.....Here are 50 reasons why Oliver Jeffers should appear on the Book Sniffer blog when he's in the UK!

1- I lent him a pen at an event at Waterstone's Piccadilly a few years ago and I need it back

2 - I first met Oliver at the Ottakar's launch for the hardback of How to Catch a Star where
     he pinched a display copy of his book off the table for me and signed it - I'd like to thank
     him for that..He told me never to steal and that it was bad.. I never have. 

3-  The corner of aforementioned treasured signed hardback copy of How to Catch a Star
      was chewed (gummed) on by my elderly 19 year old cat and I have been bereft
      ever since... I might need a new one.

The damage!
Yeah I chewed your Jeffers.. what of it?
4- He is on stage at Hay Festival at the same time as my illustrative buddy Leigh
    Hodgkinson and she's gutted she won't get her book signed so I'd like to do that for her.

5- He and I have similar moustaches - I'd like to compare notes on grooming

6- My copy of Stuck is still stuck up in a tree in the garden and I can't get it down so I
    wonder if he could use my pen to help unwedge it

7- I play the kazoo he plays the Uke, I think we'd make a rather snazzy skiffle band

8- I have reviewed  the Huey's here

9- My review for the Huey's started a new tend in "Jumper Lunges" I'd like to jumper lunge
    for him by way of thanks

10- I have an App review blog too - The Heart and the Bottle was my fave app

11- My new born baby purchased a Heart in the Bottle necklace for me for Mothers Day this
      year.. I'm still not sure who'd been giving him pocket money, and at 4 months old I'm not
      entirely sure how he placed the order over the Internet

12- I brought one of each colour of the Great Paper Caper

13- I have pre-ordered This Moose Belongs to Me and told everyone I know to do the same

14- He beat me in a paper aeroplane flying competition at one of his book launches Id like
      to quiz him about his paper folding techniques *cough cheat*

15- I frequently re-post content from his fabulous facebook page to great critical acclaim

16- We used to email each other about picture books we liked but lost touch when he went
       to America-land

17- I have set up an Oliver Jeffers appreciation board on the Book Sniffer Pinterest account

18- Author Giles Paley-Phillips says "everyone who is anyone has to go on the booksniffer
      because sniffing books is better than eating them "

19- Illustrator Emma Dodd says " Oliver You should visit on the Book sniffer Blog because
      it's fantastic and entertaining and... Mr Pug is a HUGE fan ..... and loads and loads
      of people read it...

20- Book Seller and Book Sniffer Robert Welton says "I want Oliver on the Book Sniffer blog
      because A) my son only goes to sleep with his books... B) could any other author's
      be as sweet, gentle and have that 'awwwwwwwww' factor... C) I bloody love lost
      and found...

21- Actress Deborah Wastell says Oliver should appear on the Sniffer because  all the
      mummies and the mummies' friends love him. Fact.   


22- Lottie Stoddart says "Oliver needs to meet the Book Sniffer because the Sniffer needs
      advice on head wear and Jeffers is good at hats"

23- Rosi Book Eater wants us to let her know if he smells nice so we need to sniff him for
      that reason alone... I imagine he smells of wood, chocolate and fine dark ale..... and
      freshly sharpened pencils

24- I need to tell him how much I appreciate the hidden gems underneath the dust jackets

25- I have only had occasion to wear my bow tie once this year

26- Author Michelle Robinson says "Oliver should appear on the Sniffer "because he is the
       King of working with children and animals, and you are both ;)"  ...and there will
       probably be cake. Come on, Jeffers. CAKE....AND who wouldn't want to be sniffed by a
       pug, anyway?

27- He lives in America-land and we are curious to know about "grits"

28- I'm a Book Sniffer O'Donovan so I expect we are related somehow!

29- More from Author Michelle Robinson 'Because Book Sniffer is the most highly regarded
      pug in children's publishing'

30- and MORE  'Because the pug had a large following of clever, attractive book buying

31- and morrrre from Michelle Robinson "and also, if he doesn't, we can accuse him of
      being cruel to animal(s).

32- We have 1114 eager beaver followers on Facebok clamouring for your appearance on
       the Book Sniffer blog !

33- Aimee Olley - Teacher from the Emerald Isle says "I have been looking at Oliver Jeffers
       work in The New York Times recently. But my dog ate the paper.... And now I have
       diddly Jeffers to look at. So please share with the people back East! "

34- We have ordered a truck load of Oliver "Jaffa" Cakes just in case he turns up for tea

35- Could you say no to this?

36- or this?

37- or this?

38- MORE from Michelle Robinson ... And a bit of intimate puggy probing will almost
     definitely lead to his next brilliant book idea. Right?
39- I need a new photo of him..I accidentally took this one last time I saw him...
Mario Testino eat your heart out!
 40- This dude is still stuck in a tree somewhere near book sniffer towers and he needs

41- Now I'm stranded in the burbs there's no way I'll get to Edinburgh fest to see him!

42- I know the best pubs in Hay-on-Wye.. but I'll only tell if he appears on the Sniffer..

43- He can star in our "guys in bow ties" Book Sniffer photo gallery

44- I made a pledge to myself and wished upon a new years star that this year would be the
      year that we got Jeffers on the blog.. so short of getting his name tattooed on my ample
      butt, I'm not sure how else to do it!

45- From Illustrator Nicky OByrne  "Because it would be fun. For everyone!"

46- From Illustrator Nicky OByrne "Because we need to find out what he smells like."

 47- From Illustrator Nicky OByrne "Because of cake and biscuits."

48- The rainbow and the pot of gold definitely end here at Book Sniffer towers!

49- We'll name baby number two Huey!

50- I quite like his books..LIKE ALOT!

51- Bonus reason from Illustrator Kitty Dinners. "Because we love him?!"

52- Another bonus reason from Helen Boyle of TBK magazine .."Because it's the hippest, bookish, beauty of a blog bonanza and you serve lovely cakes..."

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Oliver Jeffers The New Jumper

I love a good Pantone and Oooh my this book has a juicy Pantone Orange to die for, Who needs sunshine when you can bask in the warm and wondrous glow of a new hardback Oliver Jeffers picture book .. BLISS

So this book features "The Huey's" I'm not sure what the collective noun for Huey's is.. perhaps a gaggle or a squabble or a murmur.
Anyway apparently Oliver has been doodling these little dudes for a while now and now they have their own book (and I expect series)

In The Huey's in The New Jumper we are introduced to the Huey's (Bean like characters with handsome noses) A collective of little beings who all like acting / looking / living the same, mostly the are quite happy and don't like change. All except for Rupert, he is a trail blazer, a fashionista and leader and an innovator, much like Oliver Jeffers (and myself!)
One day on a whim he decides to knit himself a snazzy jumper. His flamboyant new dress sense goes down like a bag-o bricks with the other Huey's!
Rupert enlists Gillespie to join his jumper gang and soon it catches on faster than clackers in the 70's. Soon every single Huey has a brand new snazzy orange jumper.. and so once again they are all the same.. phew... that is until Rupert acts upon his next fashionable whim.

Vive La Huey's and Vive being and individual in a snazzy jumper.

This is nothing like Oliver's other work and stands up out and proud looking different and being fabulous.  Three cheers for brave books with only one colour.

Other highlights include new Book Sniffer Facebook craze, the "Jumper Lunge" Rupert busts an awesome proud-as-punch-to-be-different-jumper-lunge in his new jumper so we've adopted this as a new self congratulatory pose - Made good tea? *Jumper Lunge* Remembered to put the bins out? *Jumper Lunge* finished that last pesky spread? *Jumper Lunge*.. It's universal - bust one out today!

Be proud - jumper lunge today!

Wait a minute... Where's me jumper?