Sunday 26 January 2014

A party of piratical proportions - Captain Beastlie's Pirate Party! by Lucy Coats and Chris Mould

Avast M'hearties, deck swabbers, landlubbers and general layabouts, We are about to set sail on a piratical picture book adventure of a most scurvy nature. 

Presenting scourge of the high seas....

Captain Beastlie's Pirate Party 

Written by Lucy Coats, Illustrated by Chris Mould 
and published by Nosy Crow 

For those of you of a fragile disposition take heed as you will never have met such a fragrant, uncouth and scurvy ridden creature as Captain Beastlie, The creation of prolific children's author Lucy Coats and illustrated by master of pen and ink Chris Mould
This dream team pairing have created a magnificent masterpiece in Captain Beastlie's Pirate Party, it has everything, Smelly pirates, bountiful cabbages, a monkey in a fez and lot's of cake. 

Captain Beastlie is custodian of a magnificent pirate ship and a ship shape crew to go with it, eager to please whilst battling to keep things spick and span, despite Beastlie's best efforts to create mess and mayhem wherever he goes. 

Captain Beastlie has begun a countdown, a countdown to his birthday and day by day he counts down on his special birthday calendar, all the while unbeknown to Beastlie his capable crew are hatching a plan and a wonderful birthday surprise! 

Little buccaneers will revel in watching the story unfold right beneath Captain Beastlie's nose.  What on earth do Beastlie's crew have in store for their beloved misunderstood Captain? 

Beautiful to read aloud with little Sniffers and one to be read and re-read over and over again, especially the disgusting bits! 

Packed on every page with bright and masterful illustrations with lots to spot on every spread, this book will be relished by potential pirates of all shapes and sizes. 

A beautifully produced 
book full of high jinx - We award 
Captain Beastlie's Pirate Party
 5 barrels of rum 
AND a bonus sea biscuit!

Birthday suit!

WARNING: This book contains...
  • Porridge so gloopy it requires a saw to eat it
  • An incident of unsavoury peanut butter extraction,
  • Numerous festering cabbages, 
  • 7 flashes of pirate pants 
  • & a Pirate Captain in his Birthday suit!

Things about Chris Mould which you never knew...

I run about twenty miles a week (but don't seem to be getting anywhere...) 

My studio used to be part of the largest carpet mill in the world.

I now curate a gallery space promoting children's books artwork.

I cook every day ( and i wash up ;-) )

All my dessert choices must contain caramel and a biscuit base.

I do a 'reasonably ' good moonwalk.

Follow Chris on Twitter - @chrismouldink

Some mind boggling facts about Lucy Coats .... Wow

1: I tripped and fell flat on my face in front of the Queen at Buckingham Palace

2: I support Northampton Saints Rugby team #comeonyouSaints

3 I sing nonsense songs to my 3 dogs.

4 I have an Eck nest on my desk

5: I can roll my eyes in 2 different directions

6: I speak fluent Pirate. Aharr! 

Follow Lucy on Twitter @lucycoats 

Purchase a copy of Captain Beastlie's Pirate Party from your local indy book shop or pre-order a copy here  

With thanks to Dom at Nosy Crow, to Lucy for providing some awesome facts 
& Chris Mould for sending me a copy of Captain Beastlie

Saturday 11 January 2014

Tom McLaughlin and his marvellous Story Machine

                                story machine

The Story Machine - REVIEW

Just before Christmas a smart little seasonal elf delivered a very special preview PDF into my in box - (Always such an utter treat to get my peepers laid upon something before I see it in book form) It was the brand new picture book by Sniffer chum Tom McLaughlin. It's called 'The Story Machine' and is heartily endorsed by none other than that Oliver Jeffers chap.  

We'll the cover says it all doesn't it? - Absolute inspiration in picture book form, I was scrabbling for my Tupperware crayon box almost before I'd even finished the story, and I guess that's the pure unadulterated essence picture books, triggering impossible thoughts and inspiring as yet unexplored ideas. 

Join Elliot as he discovers a magnificent old fashioned typewriter, in turn unlocking the wonder of discovering words and creating stories. However this magical discovery isn't all plain sailing and Elliot realises that his talent for drawing pictures in collaboration with his wonderful Story Machine mean he can explore the outer limits of his imagination and beyond. 

Words and pictures weave and swirl across the pages in a dreamlike fashion as the pair set about creating wonderful timeless stories together. 

A fantastically encouraging story for people young and old who struggle with words and spelling but are invigorated by stories and storytelling.  The Story Machine is a must have, especially for those young readers just beginning to experiment with reading and writing on their own. It's the beginning of a fantastical, never ending adventure and this is a great way to start! 

Tom is an insightful author with a spectacular talent for creating beautiful illustrative spreads which draw you hook, line and sinker straight into the heart of a book. 

GRAB A COPY HERE .. or in your local book shop! 

We are most honoured and chuffed to bits that clever old stick Tom McLaughlin has agreed to come and visit Book Sniffer Towers, his very first picture book The Diabolical Mr Tiddles has always been a tip top fave. 


PRESENTING - Tom McLaughlin


How would your children describe you?

I have asked Harry, my 6-yr-old son and after much thinking, and scratching his head, he said ...nice.

Describe yourself as a child in 5 words? 

Shy, nervous, daydreaming, hat wearer.

Can you tell us a joke? 

Q: Whats the first sign of madness?
A: Suggs coming up the driveway. BOOM BOOM!

What is your earliest memory?

I remember being at my Nans eating chops and mash under the coffee table watching Laurel and Hardy on the TV. I used to watch a lot of those shows when I was little.

Why is it important to encourage children to enjoy books and reading?  

Everything starts from reading. Whether a child goes on to be an accountant or an astronaut, everyone needs to read. The only way to do that is by having children fall in love with words.

About The Story Machine / your work - 
Tells us a little bit about your new book?

Its about a boy who draws pictures with words. He finds a typewriter and wants to make stories, but because he cant spell very well, so he decides to draw stories out of letters instead.

The book is about how how frustrating it can be if youre not good at writing, but yet have stories to tell inside you. being dyslexic its how I felt as a child.

Who would this story appeal to? 

Hopefully as many people as possible

Which other illustrators work do you admire? 
If you could illustrate one children's classic which would you choose? 
How long did it take you to develop Elliot as the lead character in The Story Machine? 

Corny I know, but it came to me while I was asleep at 5am. I had an image of a boy playing a typewriter the was some would play a piano, but instead of words flying out, pictures did. By the time 7am came around, I had the whole thing in my head.

Which other author would you like to collaborate with?

Ive been lucky enough to collaborate with Caryl Hart, Curtis Jobling and Michelle Robinson, anyone else is a bonus!

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Tom and Michelle Robinson  

What are your thoughts on the future of digital publishing?

Anyway to get more people reading is fine by me. I have to admit though, I like how a book feels in my hand. It feels right.

What's the strangest question you've ever been asked at an event? 

Are you Roald Dahl? I took a chance and said yes.

If you could invent any machine what would you invent and why? 

Hmm this is a hard one. Im still waiting on the flying skateboard from Back to the Future.


Or perhaps it should be a mug that keeps your tea warm, or what about a pair of disco trousers. Yes, definitely the last one!


What can you see from your studio window? 

The sky. Its usually grey, but occasionally blue.

what will you be working on next? 

Im collaborating with Disney on a TV project, Im writing and illustrating my first childrens novel for Oxford University Press, as well as writing and illustrating picture books for Bloomsbury and Simon & Schuster.

With HUGE thanks to Tom - 
You can follow him on Twitter! @_TomMcLaughlin 
AND you might also see fit to pop along to visit Tom's fabulous website