Greenwich Book Festival 2016

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Today, Sheena and I took Dave Pigeon to meet pupils from primary schools in the London Borough of Greenwich at the Greenwich Book Festival.

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One hundred and eighty pupils from seven different primary schools came together to create their own pigeon characters and two incredible action-packed stories.

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We were so impressed with the talent and creativity of these budding young authors and illustrators and how well they all worked together to decide what would happen next in their epic pigeon tales.

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We heard a story, which would be very much approved by Dave Pigeon himself, where Dave and Skipper escaped the clutches of swamp creatures in a sewer underneath a swimming pool.

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And in a Dave Pigeon spin-off we had two new characters: a princess pigeon called Sophia and a pigeon called Peanut who had to battle their way out of a cage using their pocket lava guns.

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Sheena and I had the most wonderful time in the glorious grounds of the University of Greenwich and were treated like author and illustrator royalty, complete with a lovely parting gift of the most delicious ‘Thank You’ biscuits known to man.

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A huge pigeontastic thank you and well done to Greenwich Book Festival 2016 for such a wonderful day.

Competition Time!

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Here’s my article about the inspiration for Dave Pigeon in the Spring issue of the Suburb News.

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If you are aged between 6 years old and 11 years old and fancy entering the Dave Pigeon Writing Competition you have until 22nd June to get your entries in to the Suburb News at rapublications@hgs.org.uk. Stories should to up to 400 words long and can be about anything so long as you have been inspired by Hampstead Garden Suburb. Winners will receive a Dave Pigeon goodie pack!

Good luck and get writing!

Time to share some pigeontastic news

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It’s Monday and it’s a wonderful review from Minerva Reads for Dave Pigeon as he gets top billing this week on a pigeontastic bird book post.

I’m also beyond excited to share with you that the brilliant folk over at This Book is Funny, a campaign to get funny books into the hands of children, have chosen Dave Pigeon to be one of their poster books for 2016. I’m over-the-moon delighted that Dave Pigeon gets the This Book is Funny sticker of honour.

Have a look at the line up of hilarious books here and I think you’ll agree that Dave Pigeon is in the most excellent company.

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And as if that wasn’t enough, I’m so chuffed to share with you all that Dave Pigeon has been longlisted for the North Somerset Teacher’s Book Award 2016 in the Read Aloud category. I’ve been blown away by the support for Dave Pigeon and this is just the most wonderful news to celebrate the book being out in the world for the past month.

It’s a celebratory Monday! Jammy biscuits and fizzy pop all round! However you are spending your Monday, I hope it’s a pigeontastic one.

The Dave Pigeon Launch Party

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Yesterday, the brilliant Pickled Pepper Books hosted our Dave Pigeon launch party. There was bunting. There was cake. There were crafts. And there were enough jammy biscuits to feed a small nation.

The party celebrated the launch of my debut book Dave Pigeon: How to Deal with Bad Cats and Keep (most of) Your Feathers. Illustrated by the amazingly talented Sheena Dempsey and published by animal-loving publisher Faber&Faber, the book tells the story of two plucky pigeons who are writing their autobiography of revenge. When asked, I often describe the book as the Hunger Games for pigeons and cats. Only not the Hunger Games at all. It’s more about two hungry pigeons and an even hungrier cat and they are all a bit rubbish at games.

Here is a photo montage of our wonderful afternoon at Pickled Pepper Books, dedicated to absolutely everyone who came along to the launch and to those who weren’t there but sent us their wonderful messages of support. It’s means the world to me to see so many people back our Dave on his journey to the bookshelves.

With love and feathers

xxx

IMG_1165Husband and cub dressed for the occasion

DSC_0008Pickled Pepper Books also dressed up for the Dave Pigeon Launch

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DSC_0027Fabulous feather glitter tattoos, courtesy of my lovely little sister

DSC_0025Our budding artists decorating their bird gliders

DSC_0033When your sister-in-law turns up with the most incredible surprise: AN ACTUAL DAVE PIGEON CAKE (no pigeons were harmed in the making of this cake)

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DSC_0044Speechy things with our birdrilliant editor Alice

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DSC_0062 Story time

DSC_0085Signing, signing, signing

Join the Pigeon Party

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To celebrate ‘Dave Pigeon’ being out in the world and to say a huge thank you for your incredible support, Sheena and I would love to invite you all to the Dave Pigeon launch party this Sunday. There will be free arts and crafts for the kids and there will be cake so we hope to see you there!

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How to design a Dave Pigeon window

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It’s been exciting times at Team Dave Pigeon HQ. The wonderful Steve and Urmi at Pickled Pepper Books offered us the chance to take over one of their splendid windows in the lead up to the Dave Pigeon Launch Party! (Yes, this is like Christmas for me.)

Our window is in place and I couldn’t be happier. It’s a vision of Dave Pigeon-ness in glorious blue and grass. Should you ever be in need of wanting to create a Dave Pigeon window yourself, here’s my guide to how we designed our space.

First, we needed an idea. This was easy. Sheena’s incredible spreads in Dave Pigeon provided endless inspiration. This one of a flock of birds flying off from the garden, is one of my favourites.

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This spread soon inspired an idea of a flock of birds flying out of a large Dave Pigeon book. That’s when the sketching happened:

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But would it work? How do you get a bunch of birds to emerge from a book? Enter an old Coco Pops box, Lego plates, mini print-outs of the birds and the book, oh and a lot of string:

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Convinced by the mini prototype, we got to work building the book to fit the window until… TA DAAAAH we had a large foamboard book! (I didn’t have a 50 pence piece to compare sizes so I had to use my 5-year-old son.)

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Then came the Dave Pigeon Window Day. Sheena used her magic skills and contortionist abilities to draw in our heroes, Dave and Skipper, on the window with chalk pens.

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Then came the job of trimming grass to fit our window for a truly garden feel, thanks to the husband.

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This was the ‘left a bit, right a bit’ bit:

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And voilà! Our gorgeous Dave Pigeon window was dressed and finished. You can see the window now up until just after Sunday 8th May 2016 at Pickled Pepper Books.

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Hugest thanks to Team Dave Pigeon Window: Sheena, James, and Steve and Urmi from Pickled Pepper Books because the secret to a lovely window is team work and a bucket load of coffee.