Dave Pigeon (Royal Coo!) makes the Alligator’s Award longlist!

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I’m thrilled to announce that Dave Pigeon (Royal Coo!) has made the Alligator’s Award 2020 longlist! This brilliant award celebrates illustrated young fiction, the often unsung heroes that get children hooked on books for life. I couldn’t be more proud of Team Dave Pigeon and to be amongst so many brilliant books.

Hugest congratulations and jammy biscuits to everyone!

Torn Apart: The Partition of India, 1947

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I’m so proud to reveal the cover for my new book Torn Apart: The Partition of India, 1947, designed by Jamie Gregory and Two Dots Design Studio.

It’s October 1947 and two young boys find themselves thrown together during the dramatic changes of Partition. As the new India and Pakistan are born, can a friendship between these two children rise above the tensions between the two countries?…

Described as a thrilling and moving account of the largest movement of people in history, Torn Apart: The Partition of India, 1947 tells both sides of the story through the voices of children at the heart of Partition and publishes this August with Scholastic.

This was a very important story for me to write and I was thrilled when Elizabeth Scoggins and Charlie Wilson at Scholastic approached me with the project.

I was born in the UK but grew up aware of a historical tension between India and Pakistan that no one really defined for me as a child. Researching this story gave me a chance to delve deep into Indian history and answer questions that I had long been unable to ask. It wasn’t easy as I had to face some heartbreaking truths about this very gruesome and cruel time but I also discovered some of the most wonderful examples of humanity I had ever come across. There were beacons of hope shining through this dark time and in telling Ibrahim and Amar’s story I hope readers will see this.

I can’t wait for this book to be out in the world and I hope the friendship between Ibrahim and Amar shows that peace can triumph.

Happy World Book Day from New Zealand!

Swapna Haddow Adventures With Little Rabbit, Halfway Round the World with the Haddows, Roosting With Dave, Scrapbook Leave a Comment

It’s World Book Day and I wasn’t going to miss out on all the fun back in the UK so I was chuffed to be invited to speak to the Writing Extension group at Kaikorai Primary School, where I met with sixteen brilliant young writers.

We talked about planning stories and shared ideas on writing. And then we played a game of beat the buzzer and invented a story all about a witch before the pupils created brilliant foldover stories together.

I had an absolute blast and can’t wait to hear all the stories the pupils come up with. Thank you so much to Miss Ferguson for inviting me to join the Writing Extension group.

Happy World Book Day to all of you celebrating today. I have loved hearing all your messages about your Dave Pigeon adventures and I have been thrilled to see so many of you dressing up as Dave Pigeon characters to celebrate. Here are some of my favourite costumes from World Book Day 2020:

My Dad is a Grizzly Bear

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Happy New Year, readers! I’m so pleased to share the cover of my debut picturebook, illustrated by the very talented Dapo Adeola, coming in May with Macmillan Children’s Books.

The story follows a boy with a wild imagination and his lively family.

In this family, it’s just possible that Dad is a grizzly bear . . . He has fuzzy fur, enormous paws and loves the outdoors. He sleeps a lot, even in the cinema and when he’s awake, he’s always hungry.

What else could Dad possibly be?

Watch this space for more exclusive beartastic reveals in the run up to May!

The Wild Imaginings Children’s Writers and Illustrators Hui

Swapna Haddow Halfway Round the World with the Haddows, Roosting With Dave, Scrapbook Leave a Comment

I’ve just had the best sort of weekend for me – a booky weekend. The Wild Imaginings Children’s Writers and Illustrators Hui took place in my new hometown of Dunedin last weekend, with the WILD in Wild Imaginings standing for Writers and Illustrators Love Dunedin and it turns out we certainly do.

Team Wild Imaginings put on a fabulous weekend of workshops, panels and talks for children’s writers of New Zealand, hosted at the Dunedin Public Library, Dunedin Public Art Gallery and the Athenaeum Library. It was a chance to meet lots of the New Zealand talent I had heard about and for us all to share our experiences of the publication journey.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, book folk are the best folk. I was made to feel so welcome at the hui and made lots of new friends.

L-R: Jackie McMillan (hui organiser and super librarian), Jo Bone (Illustrator), Me, Elissa Brent Weissman (author)

We heard from the super talented illustrator David Elliot, the super inspirational Maria Gill and the superwoman Dame Wendy Pye amongst many, many others.

I loved hearing from Ella West on turning a novel into a film script. We learnt all about loglines, film script etiquette and that dastardly copyright contract small print.

Ella West

On Sunday, I ran a workshop on writing a young fiction series. We spoke about the market, bestselling young fiction, writing a proposal and how this is the best age group to write for because they don’t eat the gluesticks during your event.

Photos courtesy of Elissa Brent Weissman

Thank you to everyone who came along to the event. I can’t wait to read all your young fiction books soon. And thank you VERY much to the organisers for such a wonderful and unforgettable weekend.

The Young Fiction Workshop gang

A Children’s Literary Christmas: an anthology

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Halloween is over and it’s time to get excited for Christmas! Fresh off the press is ‘A Children’s Literary Christmas‘ which features my story ‘A Winter Surprise’. And look how gorgeous this winter delight is:

This is the perfect read in the run up to Christmas to get you in the Christmas spirit and I couldn’t be more delighted to see my story about Jumbie the squirrel, snuggled between The Wind In The Willows and The Phoenix and the Carpet.

Happy reading!