Bad Panda: Most Likely to ‘Make us Giggle’

Swapna HaddowThe Bad Panda Club

To celebrate National Reading Group Day 2022, Team Chatterbooks have chosen the books that make it into this year’s yearbook and I’m chuffed to bits to see Bad Panda was chosen as the book most likely to ‘make us giggle’.

Have a look at all the yearbook celebrations here. Thank you, Chatterbooks!

And Bad Panda has been selected as part of BookTrust’s Great Books Guide for 2022 too! Thank you, BookTrust. You can have a look at the fantastic guide here.

SuperGrans Storytime

Swapna HaddowPawsome News

It’s been an awesome three days of storytime with Team SuperGrans and fellow author Emma Wood at kindergartens across Dunedin.

We visited six kindergartens in total where Emma and I shared our picturebooks with the children. The brilliant team of grans then took over in the storytime corner and Emma and I created lots of new looks for a Grizzly Bear dad and a potato called Doug in colouring-in bonanza.

I had an absolute blast with all the wonderful mini readers we met this week. I loved all their recommendations for fun things to do in Dunedin, including finding the best ice cream in ‘Albie’s Mum’s Freezer’ and all the fantastic stories they had to tell us about their favourite pairs of togs.

Thank you so much to SuperGrans Teresa, Helen, Shona, Diane, Anne, Anita and Rosie who joined in this week and HUGE thanks to the brilliant Debbie and Sandy who set up the SuperGrans events.

Dave and Skipper are back for World Book Day 2023

Swapna HaddowRoosting With Dave

It’s been a few years since Dave Pigeon and best pal Skipper went off on a holiday and they are FINALLY back with their very own World Book Day book! Out in 2023, this is the story of Dave versus Bookseller and it promises to be as epic and as feathery as all the other books in the Dave Pigeon series.

I’m so honoured to have been asked to write a book for World Book Day and I got to work with pigeon-illustrator extraordinaire Sheena Dempsey. We can’t wait for you to be back in the world of pigeons and jammy biscuits. Check out the awesome trailer:

So start working on your pigeon costumes, Readers and remember to swap your World Book Day voucher in bookshops and supermarkets for your copy of Dave Pigeon (Bookshop Mayhem!) from February 2023 onwards.

Kaikorai Primary School ‘Paws For Reading’ Book Week

Swapna HaddowPawsome News, Roosting With Dave, The Bad Panda Club

After having to cancel my book week events at Kaikorai Primary School due to COVID, I was finally able to visit today to make up for lost time.

It was wonderful to be back at the school where my own mancub had been a pupil and to see their brand new hall.

I started my day with the Juniors and we had a Grizzly Bear-tastic event, hearing My Dad is a Grizzly Bear and drawing bears of our very own.

I then met with Years 3 and 4 and we created 100 brand new ideas for Bad Panda which is quite handy because I may have a couple more books in the series up my sleeve. We heard about Lin meeting heavily-moustached men and water dragons and riding rafts to the middle of the Amazonian river.

The Seniors did not let down with their imaginations when it came to an afternoon of creating new Dave Pigeon stories. I let them in on some top secret Dave Pigeon news and they created some new adventures for Mean Cat which saw her meeting a new enemy in a character called Greedy Cat and investing in a fleet of supercars to drive down the streets of Dunedin.

Thank you so much to the staff and pupils who made my day at Kaikorai Primary so fantastically fun.

Meet the Fellows at Dunedin Public Art Gallery

Swapna HaddowChildren's Writer in Residence

The Dunedin Public Art Gallery hosted a Meet the Fellows forum with Nicholas McBryde hosting and inviting the public to ask questions about the Fellows’ work.

We spoke about our creative processes and how we hoped our art would engage with the community. With us all at varying stages in our Fellowships (in fact, mine was completed in July), it made for interesting discussion about how we dealt with refilling our creative wells and where we were in our careers.

Photo courtesy of University of Otago

Thank you so much to everyone who came along and for those who couldn’t make it, a recording of the event will be made available via the University of Otago website.

Day of Goodness with SLANZA and National Library

Swapna HaddowScrapbook

Today, I got to spend my morning with the lovely school librarians in Dunedin as part of their SLANZA and National Library Day of Goodness. My entire love of books and writing started with libraries and kind librarians who put aside Sweet Valley High books knowing I would want to read them first, so it was quite a feat not to spend the entire morning fangirling this brilliant group of people.

Instead we talked about seeing ourselves in books, what to do with too many ideas and Sweet Valley of course.

Thank you so much for having me and for a yummy morning tea.

It’s Bad Panda 2 day!

Swapna HaddowThe Bad Panda Club

Bad Panda: The Cake Escape is officially out in the world today! Lin the panda is on a mission to find her missing best friend, Fu – but has he been stolen by the boy who was looking to add to his sinister collection of stuffed animals? And can Lin and her zoo friends find him before it’s too late?

Illustrated by my pal Sheena Dempsey, illustrator of the Dave Pigeon and Bad Panda series, this book is one of my faves and I hope you love it too.

I’m thrilled to bits that it has already made Waterstones‘ radar and is in their round-up of Best Children’s Books to Look Out for in August.

I hope you all enjoy Lin’s latest adventure!

Children’s Writer in Residence: My last month!

Swapna HaddowChildren's Writer in Residence

It’s my last month of being the University of Otago College of Education Creative New Zealand Children’s Writer in Residence! I have had such a wonderful time and I can’t wait to hear who will be stepping into the role next. Here are my top editing tips for once you have finished that epic first draft:

My Children’s Book of the Month is: Aroha’s Way by Rebekah Lipp and Craig Phillips.

Thank you so much to everyone who came along to celebrate the Fellows at the Hocken. It was wonderful to share what I had been up to during my time as Children’s Writer in Residence and to say a huge thank you in person to everyone who has supported me during my time.

Photo courtesy of University of Otago