But Then… is out next week!

Swapna HaddowHalfway Round the World with the Haddows

My brand new picturebook, and my first book to be published in Aotearoa New Zealand, is out next week!

But Then… The almost true story of an overdue book is the far-fetched, tall tale of why a library book is 293 days overdue! The story follows a child and their grandfather who are returning a book to the library. When the librarian points out it’s two hundred and ninety-three days overdue, Grandad recounts an outrageous, funny and far-fetched story of why it took so long to get the book back to the returns desk. Illustrated by Daron Parton, inspired by my friend who had a five-year overdue book and featuring the beautiful animals found around Aotearoa, comes the best excuse for an overdue library book.

My publisher, Scholastic NZ, have teamed up with SLANZA to create resources for a free Story Walk you can host at your school. You can find free resources here.

I can’t wait for this one to be out in the world! I will be doing events in Northland and a huge library readathon in Dunedin to celebrate the book in August so watch this space and come along and join the library fun!

Dave Pigeon story-planning with Theydon Bois

Swapna HaddowRoosting With Dave

This is the aftermath of an online visit with me!

Today, I caught up with Theydon Bois Primary and guess what? They have their very own pigeons! Two racing pigeons were donated to the school from the Royal Loft and the pupils get to keep a close eye on them.

We spoke about how brilliant pigeons were and then had a go at creating heaps of new story ideas. I’m really hoping the pupils get round to writing their Dave Pigeon fan fiction that is set in the brilliant Theydon Bois school.

Thank you to the everyone who joined in today – you are all pigeontastic!

Book Week at Trinity College

Swapna HaddowHalfway Round the World with the Haddows, Scrapbook

It’s Book Week at Trinity College and I was invited to meet with years 7, 8 and 9 to talk all things books. I spoke with the pupils about discovering books as a child, my connection to Matilda and why ALL our stories are important.

It was fantastic to get so many questions about writing, being an author and how to stay on track as a writer. My top tip for the day was to read and read widely if you want to be an author – it helps you figure out what kind of stories you want to tell and how you want to tell them.

Thank you so much for inviting me to celebrate books with you all, Trinity College – I had such a wonderful time.

Reggie Rabbit and the Great Carrot Heist out now!

Swapna HaddowPawsome News

Here is the first book in my brand new young fiction series, Reggie Rabbit and the Great Carrot Heist.

Illustrated by the Becka Moor and written under my pseudonym, ‘Swapna Reddy’, published by Oxford University Press – THIS ONE IS OUT TODAY!

I’ve had the most fun writing this detective series. In this first book, you will meet Reggie Rabbit who wants to be a big-shot detective in Bearburgh City, just like his hero Detective Fox. His parents, however, have other ideas: they would rather he stayed at home and worked on their vegetable stall.

But when a carrot-snatching crime wave hits the canals, the family stall is in danger of closing. Even worse, the famous Detective Fox won’t take the case. Reggie decides to step in, and his best lead is the new parakeet at school, Pipsquark, who has heard rumours of foul (or should that be fowl) play.

You’ll have to pick up a copy at your local bookshop or library to find out if this tiny, fluffy detective can brave the big city and crack the case!

Happy World Book Day!

Swapna HaddowScrapbook

It’s World Book Day but the World Book Day fun started, for me, last week with the Pass the Pen takeover on Twitter. World Book Day in collaboration with BookTrust champion emerging authors and illustrators and I was paired with the BRILLIANT Natalie Denny who took over my account on 27th February to talk about her fantastic series Keisha Jones.

Here in Aotearoa, Gavin Bishop was the World Book Day speaker at the University of Otago. He showed what it looked like to be creating books for an impressive forty-six years and gave us a fascinating insight into his writing and illustrating journey over that time.

I then tuned in with Year 2 at Cliftonville Primary School to talk about our big feelings with my new book Little Dinosaurs, Big Feelings. We talked about all the things that made us angry which included people who were mean and rude, especially to animals. We read Steggie’s story from the book and practiced Dr Diplo’s mindful exercise for dealing with feelings of anger. I had some brilliant questions about why we feel feelings and why we feel angry.

I also got to catch up with namesake Haddow Class, at Horndean CE School, for a bumper Q&A session. We talked about favourite books, counting penguins, how I write and how long it takes to get from Margate to New Zealand!

Thank you so much to everyone who shared pictures of their incredible World Book Day costumes. I’m chuffed to bits that you brilliant readers take the time to create such awesome creations. Here are some of the INCREDIBLE costumes shared on social media:

Bad Panda: Mites, Camera, Action! out now

Swapna HaddowThe Bad Panda Club

The third book in the Bad Panda series, Bad Panda: Mites, Camera, Action! is out now! That’s right! Everyone’s favourite Bad Panda, is back.

A documentary crew have come to the zoo, to film every day life with the animals. But when reality is a bit boring they ship in some animal actors.

Lin and her best friend Fu are less than impressed with the prancing lion that wants to take centre stage. And the smaller animals in the zoo, the mites, are fed up of being overlooked too. It’s time to unleash some bad pandaness!

Insects and pandas unite to create a show about real zoo life that promises to be anything but boring…

I hope you enjoy this one, readers!

National Storytelling Week with the National Literacy Trust

Swapna HaddowThe Bad Panda Club

I’m back at my desk after a month of travelling around Canada on my holidays and I was chuffed to bits to be working with the National Literacy Trust to celebrate National Storytelling Week.

I started with an exclusive extract from Bad Panda: Mites, Camera, Action! which isn’t out until next month!

And then, Conor and I created a brand new animal character based on his brother, Tim. We came up with Tim the Camel, a stand up comedian who was about to go on tour in Antarctica. We even came up with a title: Tim’s Got the Hump!

Thank you to everyone who tuned in. I hope you are spending the rest of your week creating your very own stories too.

It’s ‘Little Dinosaurs, Big Feelings’ Day!

Swapna HaddowRoarsome News

My brand new book ‘Little Dinosaurs, Big Feelings‘, illustrated by Yiting Lee, written with the help of clinical psychologist Amber Owen and published by Magic Cat, is out today! And we’ve already received so much love for the book, including being named Children’s Book of the Month by The Bookseller.

In the book, you will meet Doctor Diplo, the Jurassic kingdom’s best-loved therapist. He introduces ten of his Jurassic friends: Steggie the Angry Dinosaur, Rex the Scared Dinosaur, Bruno the Sad Dinosaur, Minka the Happy Dinosaur, Poppy the Lonely Dinosaur, Percy the Shy Dinosaur, Terrie the Excited Dinosaur, Trev the Overwhelmed Dinosaur, Iggy the Bored Dinosaur and Nino the Content Dinosaur.

Their stories show you how to navigate different emotions, with simple mindfulness tools and exercises, in a full-colour guide on emotions and feelings.

I loved writing this book and it is exactly what I needed as a child so I hope this one helps every little (and big) person master their DINOSAUR-sized feelings.

Happy reading, you roarsome lot!

Signing off for 2023

Swapna HaddowHalfway Round the World with the Haddows, Pawsome News, Roarsome News, Roosting With Dave, Scrapbook, The Bad Panda Club

Phew! That was a BIG year! You’ve all made so many of my dreams come true, starting with a phenomenal World Book Day release for Dave Pigeon.

I was chuffed to bits to see so many schools join in with mine and Sheena’s big virtual event. HUGE thank you to everyone who shared their work with us.

Dave was back again with Dave Pigeon (Kittens!) in July and it’s been awesome to share his brand new story with you.

And next year promises to be even BIGGER! I have a whopping six books out, including new Bad Panda:

There will also be a new Dave Pigeon book in time for Halloween. In addition to my these two series, I have a brand new series, written under my pseudonym Swapna Reddy, and illustrated by mega-talented Becka Moor. It’s all about a detective called Reggie Rabbit and the first TWO books in the series are out next year, starting with Reggie Rabbit: The Great Carrot Heist, hopping on to shelves in June 2024.

And my first book with Scholastic New Zealand is set to hit the shelves next year too! I’ll have more on that soon…

But first up, arriving in January 2024, is Little Dinosaurs, Big Feelings, illustrated by Yiting Lee. It’s not long now until this one stomps into a bookshop and library near you. In the meantime, you can have a read of an early review here and see why it was chosen as The Bookseller’s Children’s Book of the Month for January 2024.

Thank you so much, as always, for all your book love and support. Have an awesome holiday break, everyone, and see you in 2024 for more booky fun!