Posted in blog

Jake, Harry and Matthew

What a week it’s been. We’ve been celebrating awesome books, with three very different bookish events.

First up was Rob Lloyd Jones, with Jake Atlas and the Tomb of the Emerald Snake.

When Jake’s parents vanish, Jake and his sister team up with shady tomb robbers to find them in the Egyptian desert in this riveting page-turning adventure. The Atlas family is in trouble: Jake hides an addiction to stealing; his twin sister, Pan, has to conceal her genius, for fear of bullies. The siblings can’t stop fighting – with each other and with their parents, stuffy professors of Ancient History. But Jake’s and Pan’s lives take a dramatic turn the day they discover the truth about their boring mum and dad. When the family go to Cairo on holiday, and Jake and Pan’s parents mysteriously vanish, it’s up to the twins to find them. They team up with shady tomb robbers, master high-tech gadgets and locate a lost tomb in this story of a family that finds itself in the deserts of Egypt.

Rob visited St Bede’s Primary School and Larchwood Primary School, sharing his life story with the children. We found out a lot about Ancient Egypt, as well as the process that authors go through, from first darft to final, finished copy.

jakeatlasThursday night was Harry Potter Book Night, so we stayed open a little later for magical quiz. The shop was filled with enthusiastic witches and wizards, all keen to share their expertise in the ways of Harry Potter. The teams began with a tuneless rendition of the Hogwarts song, before answering some pretty tough questions. Congratulations to Team Fantastic Beasts (who can be seen below in the striped tights), for beating the opposition.

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And then there was this month’s Book Club. Our pick for January was Lisa Thompson’s The Goldfish Boy – we were delighted that this was the chosen title, as it’s a firm favourite at Chicken and Frog.

Twelve-year-old Matthew is trapped in his bedroom by OCD, spending most of his time staring out of his window as his neighbours of Chestnut Close go about their business.

That is, until the day he is the last person to see his next door neighbour’s grandson, Teddy, before he goes missing.

Now Matthew must turn detective and unravel the mystery of Teddy’s disappearance – with a little help from a surprising and brilliant cast of supporting characters.

To make the Book Club even more fantastic, Lisa (and her publicist from Scholastic, Lorraine Keating) joined us for Book Club, answering questions thrown at them by the children. Lisa even stayed around after Book Club, to sign books of keen readers, who dropped in to meet her.*

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What a wonderful week!

Now we’re just crosiing our fingers, hoping that Lisa can be added to this year’s schedule for the Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival.

*We have two signed copies left!

 

Posted in blog, events

#HarryPotterBookNight

hpnight

What a magical afternoon we had yesterday! This week marked the second Harry Potter Book Night – technically it was Thursday, but as we tutor after school it made sense to shift our celebrations along to Saturday.

As last year was far busier than anticipated, we asked people to book in this time, so that we could be fully prepared. And oh boy, I’m pleased that we did, as we managed to squeeze in over 40 children plus parents. It was a little warm by the end of the afternoon!

This year the theme was potions and charms, so we decided to create our own potions books. Here’s some of the Hogwarts’ students crafting away,

HP4There were all sorts of potions invented, from invisibility to knowledge. The young wizards and witches took to potions very well.

As well as the books, all of the children were sorted into their Houses, sung the Hogwarts Song and took part in the incredibly difficult quiz. Hats off to Ravenclaw, the winning house this year…it was close though, so let’s see what happens next year.

Mr Frog and I created something rather nifty, so that the children could pose for a crazed photograph. Here are a few suspicious looking characters:

HPmeHPmaxHPJIM

Although Harry Potter Book Night celebrates the books, rather than the films, in honour of Alan Rickman, who will always be Snape, “Always.”

Posted in blog, events, schools

Farewell 2015, Hello 2016.

As page 365 of 2015 reaches its final paragraph, we would like to take this opportunity to wish one and all a very happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.

The year ahead promises to be a bookish affair, with the 150th anniversary of The Jungle Book, Harry Potter Book Night, World Book Day, the centenary of Roald Dahl and the launch of a certain Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival. As well as all of that, we will be welcoming authors into the shop and schools, plus helping schools with their book orders, running our tuition centre, Book Club, Creative Writing Club and of course, ringing in the New Year to the sound of Lego.

So, until next year dear readers…may your book collection grow ever more interesting.

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