Friday, 26 April 2013

Future talent - in 500 words

The search for the next generation of brilliant storytellers has been on - and this time it's all about getting our youngest writers to get creative and send in their stories.

BBC Radio 2 has been behind what must be one of the most successful writing competitions EVER. And we can't wait to see the results of all that future talent.

We've tracked down and interviewed one of the judges responsible for selecting all those budding Roald Dahls and Anthony Horowitzs - and one of the longlisted writers gives us her insider tips.

Firstly, over to a judge who has been writing seriously for three years, and a winner in a national award for unpublished writers, Georgina Kirk.

Could you tell us a little about the competition?

It’s a story writing competition for children run by Radio 2 Chris Evans' show. It does what it says on the tin. Write a story in 500 words. And there is loads of advice from well known authors on their website.

What was the reason behind it and did you expect to get quite so many entries?

Not sure I can really answer this question as not working directly for BBC Radio 2, but I do think there was a real need to bring children’s writing into the mainstream, make it cool, exciting and attainable.

I do think they were a bit overwhelmed by the response in the first year. Which just goes to show the creative drive bubbling under the surface of our children.

How did you get involved in the judging?

Simples. When the competition was set up in 2011 Radio 2 needed judges and lots of them. Where can you find a lot of people used to reading children’s writing? Schools.
 Radio 2 asked for teachers and librarians to volunteer to be a judge.

I’m a primary school teacher and a writer for children myself. I have a massive passion for storytelling and encouraging people to have fun with their imaginations. The question should be why on earth wouldn’t I want to be involved? I think I signed up the day they asked for volunteers. And this is my third year now.

They are very thorough and do check up on your references. This year I was talking with the school headteacher in the school library talking  about how we could improve it, when the secretary appeared to say the BBC are on the phone, they want to talk to the head about me. I did enjoy the looks on their faces!

How many people were involved in judging a staggering 90,000 entries?

There are a whole army of us involved, all teachers or librarians. We all get approximately 30 ms each to judges so if you do the maths (grabs a calculator) that’s about 3000 judges for this stage in the competition

And – the big question - how on earth did you judge them? How on earth do you tackle something like that?

Well for me it’s easy. I only get 30 ms which I read, enjoy and mark them (actually sometimes I really deliberate over my 30 because I want to be as fair as possible).
The credit for this has to go to the researchers at radio 2 who organize us all.

In the first year it was all done on paper and our ms were mailed out to us, graded  and sent back, it was a tight turnaround! Since then it has all been electronic. Entries are sent into Radio 2 via the internet and by internetty techie magic we are e-mailed a link and a password to access our batch of stories which we can read and grade online.

What were you really looking for when you read something written by such young people?

It’s no different to anyone else reading stories. We’re looking for a great story told well. A story that jumps out at you. The great thing about them being by children is often they are very fresh and exciting. They just don’t see the restrictions that adult writers do.
I really take my hat off to the children that enter because they are doing something I can’t. Telling a story in less than 500 words, is a real challenge

Did you agree any criteria beforehand?

We are given a set of criteria and marking system when we get the ms. It covers things like plot development, character, scene setting and originality, we score each area out of 10 to come up with an overall score.

Did you have different criteria for different ages?

The criteria is the same for both age groups but we only get a batch of ms from one age group so like are marked against like for fairness. This year I was judging in the 10-13 age group.

I suppose as a teacher you’re used to reading work by young people.

Yes, but it does feel different, our focus is solely on the creative aspect of the work, we do not make judgments based on areas such as spelling. It’s great that it really is all about the story.

Did you notice a lot of recurring themes – what was everyone writing about?

Themes that are currently popular in current books do tend to pop up a lot, vampires, fairies, talent competitions and so on. What I find fascinating is very often from reading the child’s story you know what books that child loves to read. Once or twice they have been books that have been written by a friend. That always makes me smile. Sometimes I wish I could suggest a book to them I think they would enjoy.

Was there anything utterly unexpected?

I had one really unusual one this year, and I’d love to tell you about it but as the competition is still underway I’d better not. All I’ll say is that you can make a story from anything if you really want to.

And a bit more about the competition

What’s next for those who have made it through the first round?

Obviously my part has now ended, but I understand that the 3000 entries from the first stage are passed onto the Scottish Booktrust. I would guess that they will have measures in place to put together a long list that will be passed on to this year’s celebrity judges including, Jacqueline Wilson, Malorie Blackman, Charlie Higson, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Richard Hammond.

Who’s not going to want to be a fly on the wall there!

And there’s not long to wait till the shortlist now! The Top 50 will be announced on May 1st

Are you involved in any further stages?

I wish! (winks at any passing BBC researchers) But I’ll be reading the finalists on-line and seeing if I can predict the winners.

Did you get a feeling that talent is alive and well or did you despair over lots of bad spelling!?

As a dyslexic writer myself I can honestly say I don’t care two very big hoots for the spelling. Story story story, that’s what I want. That said there is a huge range of ability shown in the stories and I think quite often they have been done as part of a class project at school so we do get the whole colourful spectrum of abilities. But is there a talent out there? Yes by the bucketful!

Are any of the ones you judged going to be the winner?

Well this is my third year doing this, and let’s just say it’s the first year that I am waiting for the shortlist with baited breath (crosses all fingers).

. . . and so it's over to the star talent: Beatriz Poyton, the multi-talented daughter of her very famous mum, Sally Poyton, who has made it through to the next stage of the competition.

Take it away Beatriz!

Can you please tell us what your story is about?

It’s about a leopard that loses his spot and his friends, and goes on a journey to find spot and get his friends back.

What do you think helped you make your story so special?

I planned the story first, and wrote it in three sections, the beginning middle and end. Then when I edited it I found lots of mistakes, which I corrected so I really improved the story.
I know that you are no stranger to winning competitions. Can you tell us about where else your creative work has featured?

I was a member of Puffin Post, and I won some of their competitions, mostly drawing competitions, I REALLY like drawing.  I like competitions and enter lots because they are really fun to do. I don’t enter them to win things, I do it because I like taking part and the challenges of doing the best I can to the competition requirements.

What is your favourite children’s book?

This is really hard for me to answer , as I like so many books, like fairy tales, and the Goosebumps books I also really like the book I’m reading now but I can’t tell about that until I’m finished. But I think I would choose The Fright Forest books by Marcus Sedgwick, because they are scary adventures.

If you could be a writer when you grow up, what do you think would be the best thing about it?

I really like doing scary stories but also it’s quite fun to just do any story as I like making things up. I also like making it better by editing it, and drawing the picture to go with it. When I grow up I want to be a writer and illustrator.

If you could talk to the judges what message would you give them to help them choose your story as a winner?

I would say that mine is really good story that is funny and exciting, and that I hope they can see that I worked hard to make it better by planning and editing. 

Friday, 19 April 2013

A good time to be a fan of stories: The future of storytelling

Hank Green is a genius. That's essentially what he's famous for. Oh - and a nerd. He's a genius nerd.

He's also not an author. Not in the traditional sense, anyway.

Four years ago, Hank and his brother John (he of The Fault in Our Stars fame - more on him later) started a project: Brotherhood 2.0, which became VlogBrothers, which now has over a million followers on YouTube and spawned an entire movement in the form of Nerdfighters. An entire movement! The rules of Brotherhood 2.0: every day for an entire year, Hank and John would communicate via a vlog.

How to be a Nerdfighter

Every day, they posted a video, and their followers grew, and catchphrases caught on and soon enough their followers ruled the world. (OK, that hasn't happened yet. But just you wait...)

A year ago, Hank Green took the fun, success and audience he found with VlogBrothers and turned to stories: Pride and Prejudice, to be precise. And so the Lizzie Bennet Diaries were born. Hank worked with Bernie Su and LOTS of other people - including writers - to bring a classic piece of literature to people in a way that had never really been attempted before.

Hank Green introduces Lizzie Bennet

Lizzie vlogged once a week - the main way to follow the story. But you could also follow Lizzie and other characters on Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr, and as of right now, the first episode has had over a million hits. So far. Other characters showed up on the vlog, too - including a bow-tie sporting Darcy. Kitty became a cat. Mary? Lizzie, Jane and Lydia's cousin. All of the big scenes were there, tweaked for a modern day Elizabeth and a modern day audience. The language was kept a little old-school, meaning it still felt like Austen.

Episode 1

It was genius. An absolutely brilliant, clever, funny take on Jane Austen that used everything available to story tellers today to bring something to life to anyone who wanted to take part. And the audience it got was HUGE.

What all of this really means, is that with more and more new ways to get stories out there, it's a good time to be a fan, and it's a great time to be a storyteller!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Bookaholic Interview: Book-Crosser Janice Markey

Have you ever found a book where you least expect it? Lying on a bench, or on a bus, or in a shop or office? Janice Markey did, and now she's a prolific book-crosser. Book-crossers the world over are busy leaving books in strange places for passers-by to find. When they do, they can register its location at, and so its journey around the world can be followed by anyone, at any time.

But Janice Markey took things one step further. In a small village in Oxfordshire, there is a tree. Every now and then, the tree can be found decorated with books, and the even better news is that they are there for anybody who wants one: especially children.

Here at Space on the Bookshelf we don’t just celebrate children’s literature, but the people who celebrate children’s literature too. There are many passionate and hardworking people who promote children’s books, helping children foster a love of reading: librarians, book groups, teachers and bloggers.  These Bookoholics move around unnoticed and are rarely celebrated, so we thought we’d do just that: celebrate the remarkable work they do in a series of interviews, starting with Janice.

Can you tell me what book crossing is?

Book crossing is a world wide community that does wide release and exchange of books. I started when I found a book on my allotment that someone had put there just for me. It was ‘The Piano’ by Jane Campion. I didn’t know who had left it there for me, as people in the book-crossing community use code names, but months later I found out it was friend and librarian Lorraine Moore, who thought I’d like it. I didn’t have a computer at the time, so I didn’t really embrace book-crossing until two or three years later.What is it about book-crossing that inspired you to become a book-crosser?

The whole ethos of the site is about giving away books, but as much for me to get books to read as well as to give. I like that you can track the books you release, as each book has a unique code so you can see it moving. One book I found, I released in Venice after I’d read it, and its now in Australia doing the rounds!

Tell me about the Village Book Tree  - why that tree? How often you hang books from it? 

It’s a suitably shaped and positioned tree. How often I hang books from it varies, but on average it’s once a month. I got the idea from an New Zealand book-crosser who does it on a tree in Christchurch Park every New Year’s Eve.

Do you ever leave book-crossing books at other locations?
I do another book-crossing tree outside my school, this one I do weekly. The book trees are my two static locations; the others are random wild releases.

Where do you get the books from?

Library sales, charity shops, donations, book sales, left over books from the school fete, or books that are cleared out from my school or the local libraries. I mostly concentrate on kid’s books and I never spend more than 20p on a book.

In February last year when the village book tree was adorned with book-crossing books, there was also a sign saying, ‘Becky’s Book Tree’. Who is Becky and why was the book tree dedicated to her?

I glad you asked about Becky. Becky is the daughter of a book-crosser in Washington who I met at a book-crossing convention there. Becky, who was also a book-crosser, was killed on her bicycle when she was nine and half years old.  Her Dad asked the book-crossing community to release a book on her behalf on her birthday: 14th  February, Valentine’s Day. So I do a whole tree and post photos on the book-crossing site. It provides a lot of support to her family.

Book crossing is a really caring community; the whole world was offering the family support.  Every year, on her birthday, people release books for her across the world.

Lastly, Why do you book cross?

I book-cross to get children excited about reading. Finding a book on a tree is exciting to a child!

And finally: the questions that we ask everyone!

What was your favourite children’s book as a child?

The Enid Blyton different mysteries, first the ‘Mallory Towers’ and then the ‘Secret Seven’ and ‘Famous Five’ books.

What is your favourite children’s book as an adult?

Six Dinner Sid by Inga Moore about the cat who gets six meals and ‘Avocado Baby’ by John Burningham, about a baby that is fed avocado and becomes super strong.

What makes Children’s books so inspirational?

Primarily the illustrations, and a good front cover, that is what sells it to me.

According to the Book Crossing website, there are currently 1,671,209 Book Crossers worldwide and 9,546,013 books travelling throughout 132 countries.  To find out more about Book Crossing Press Here.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Review: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish, by Mo O'Hara

Here on Space on the Bookshelf, we like to cover a book from every angle! So here you can find a review by one of us, a review from a child, and a review from a writer's perspective (see the 'Spotlight on Writing' feature below), as well as an interview with the book's author and editor. And here's what everyone thinks of My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish...

Adult review

My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish by Mo O’Hara is a fiendishly funny read that can be enjoyed by the whole family. To start with, the acid green cover with the title Zombie Goldfish is a real magnet for little eyes and its back illustration of the plight of the goldfish is hilarious, setting the tone of the book.

The book includes two stories. The first sets the scene with Tom whose ‘Home Monanal’ Mostly Evil big brother Mark turns into an evil scientist when he gets a science kit and sets about experimenting on a goldfish, killing it in green goo. Tom and his best friend Pradeep resurrect the goldfish with a battery, but with unexpected effects: the goldfish turns into a zombie, with the power to hypnotise with his eyes, making people do his bidding, and his bidding is revenge!  So the younger boy names him, most aptly, Frankie.

The adventure ensues, and it's a battle of wits between evil scientist Mark who is bent on capturing the Frankie and continuing his experiments (MAWHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!), Tom, Pradeep and Sami (Pradeep's toddler little sister) who are trying to protect the fish, and Frankie. Frankie is out for one thing, vengeance on Mark, and uses his hypnotic eyes, his amazing skills at controlling a bag of water, to get his way!

Along the way lessons are learnt, not least by Frankie, whose love for Tom saves Mark from a pretty bad blow to the head by a skateboarding he’s riding...

The second tale ups the anty and the laughs with the entrance of Pradeep’s older evil computer genius brother Sanj. The evil older siblings team up and cause BEDLAMM at Tom and Pradeep’s school, whilst the younger brothers, Sammi, Frankie and the dinner ladies prepare for battle.

Mo uses humour that both children and adults (especially dads) will all find amusing, including a laugh out loud Star Wars quip that refreshingly doesn’t rely on toilet humour (a quick count revealed only one mention of snot and one burp in the whole book!). The illustrations really enhance the story, working with the text to great effect, with some of the jokes finish through the pictures (‘keeping an eye on you in hospital’ was my favourite), and a lovely flip animation of Frankie jumping out of his bowl in the bottom corner of the page.

But the real strength here is the book’s appeal for boys, including competent but reluctant readers, with the cover reeling them in (sorry for pun, couldn’t resist…), the fast paced action and humour, combined with illustrations that work to help tell the tale and keep them hooked!

This is a fantastic début novel, and we look forward to reading more funny, action-packed adventures from Mo.

Child's review
by Spike, age 6

Tom’s goldfish Frankie DOESN’T like Tom’s big brother Mark, because Mark is an EVIL SCIENTIST and killed him with green goo.  Tom and his best friend Pradeep saved Frankie by using batteries, but he came back a ZOMBIE GOLDFISH!

Frankie , Tom and Pradeep have funny adventures at home and at school. The writer has made the story really funny like the bit when Mark puts Frankie in the freezer. Frankie doesn’t mind being in the Freezer but he didn’t like being next to the fish fingers!

The Pictures are really good and funny too, and Frankie makes me laugh. 

If you'd like to win a signed copy of My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish (who wouldn't?), just email us at with your name and address. The winner will be picked at random on the 13th of April, a worthy date for a book about a zombie goldfish, we think you'll agree...

Author Profile & Interview Mo O'Hara, My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish

Originally from America, I moved to London because I wanted to live abroad but spoke no foreign languages. After a brief and unsuccessful stint as a serving wench at the Tower of London I found work as an actress and comedy performer. I've performed regularly at the Edinburgh and London comedy festivals. A few years back, I got a job touring around the UK as a storyteller and that’s when I discovered that kids liked, laughed and didn't fall asleep when I performed stuff that I wrote myself. I was hooked on writing and performing for kids. Some quotes from kids about my storytelling sessions are:

“I guess you were a bit better than the rabbits with big heads that were here last week.”
“Can I rewind you and watch you again after lunch?”
And “How did you know me to put me in your story?”

I still live in London with my partner and two children, still speak no foreign languages (unless you count American) and I still have a sneaking suspicion that the rabbits with the big heads were really better than me but the kid was just being nice.

What was your favourite children’s book as a child? 

I wasn't a big reader as a kid actually. (Shock horror!)  I read from a very early age but liked to read fact books mostly and I loved reading plays. I loved Winnie the Pooh when I was little. And loved Shel Silverstein poems too. It took me a while to connect with a proper chapter book, though. I remember reading a book called 'Plain Girl'  by Virginia Sorensen about an Amish girl , when I was about 8 or 9 years old and feeling for the first time that I could really get into the head of the person in the story.  Also 'A Wrinkle in Time' a bit later, started me on a lifetime love of Science Fiction.

Just a couple of Mo's favourites...

What is your favourite children’s book as an adult?

I read Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner recently and that was absolutely incredible. I was totally unprepared for the amount of time I spent thinking about that book after I read it. It requires a lot of the reader, but it's so worth it. I loved Dark Parties by Sara Grant last year too and can't wait to read her next one. With  humour I love the Mr Gumm books for the surreal and the Danny Baker books for the silly. I now LOVE Roald Dahl stuff but when I was little the only one I read was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I've read most of his other books now as a grown up and wish I could go back and crack up 8 year old me by sharing them with her. My kids have a healthy diet of Roald Dahl now. 

What do you think makes children’s books so inspirational?  

For me it's voice and character. I want to have that same experience I had as an 8 year old when I connected with a character for the first time. I think the best way to do that is through a clear and authentic voice. If it's funny too then you have me completely.   

Why did you start writing for children?

I have a quote from Matilda over my desk, 

'Do you think that all children's books ought to have funny bits in them?' Miss Honey asked. 'I do,' Matilda said. 'Children are not so serious as grown-ups and they love to laugh.'  

That quote and Quentin Blake picture reminds me why I write. I write to make kids laugh. That's the bit I loved when I was acting for kids and that's the bit I still love most when I'm writing for them.

"Children are not so serious as grown-ups and they love to laugh."
What made you want to write this book?  

I wrote this book for a SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Slushpile Challenge.  So I suppose on one level I started to write this book to get an agent, but I still think I wrote it to get a laugh. Old habits die hard.

I chose to write this story though because when I was little my big brother and I brought our goldfish back to life with a 9volt battery.  We'd seen a lot of hospital shows on TV and decided we could defib the fish and ... it worked. He lived for another year at least. 

From the start I had Tom's voice inside my head and I wanted to write a story with sibling relationships and friendship at the heart.  Oh yeah, and zombies of course. 

What is your favourite aspect of writing for children?  

My favourite aspect of writing for children is reading  the stuff to kids and hearing them laugh. That is honestly the best bit. If you told me that I could write but had to then be locked up and could never meet the kids who read my stuff and never see them crack up at a joke I wrote I would be miserable. I don't know if I could do it.  I get the most buzz from delivering the punchline to the kids and from seeing what they come up with. Kids are the best, non-sensored improvisers and I don't think I've ever had a school visit where I wasn't knocked out by at least one thing that they said or did. I like the getting the ideas down on the page and I love writing dialogue. But editing is really hard. Please tell me it gets easier the more you write?

‘My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish’ uses the illustrations to help deliver many of the jokes. Did you work closely with the illustrator? 

I've never met the amazing Marek Jagucki, who illustrated Zombie Goldfish. Macmillan found him and he has brought the book to life really. The kids I speak with love the illustrations.

I especially love the extra bits he puts in.  He added a random pigeon into a couple pages and I love that pigeon so much I'm going to write a mini spin off for him. 

He is just a funny illustrator, so the humour comes out in his drawings. The characters are brilliantly drawn and his pictures make me laugh at the jokes over again! 

I've got my eye on you...

The book is very funny! Is it difficult to write humour? Are you naturally a funny person?  

I think I'm a quietly funny person. I'm not the life of the party. I was never the class clown or anything, but I was always thinking funny stuff (or stuff that cracked me up at least) and sometimes I would feed funny lines to another kid to say when I was little. I was incredibly shy as a kid and it took me until college (US meaning) to come out of myself a bit. Acting helped a lot. I think I'm more gregarious now and the older I get the more confident I get really. I'll probably be a really arrogant pensioner at this rate!

Thanks very much to Mo O'Hara for joining us. If you like the sound of My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish, make sure you enter our giveaway! All you need to do is email us at with your name and address. Make sure you put the title of the book in the subject line. We'd hate to send you the wrong book about a Zombie Goldfish! The winner will be chosen at random on Saturday 13th April.

Editor Interview: ‘My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish’ Editor Rachel Kellehar, Fiction and Non-fiction Editor, Macmillan Children's Books

What was your favourite children’s book as a child?
Strangely, my favourite children’s book as a child (or rather, as a young adolescent) was Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, which isn’t a children’s book at all. I’ve always loved fantasy novels, and this tale of a young antichrist and his ‘would be’ satanic and angelic mentors is utterly hilarious.

What is your favourite children’s book as an adult?

The children’s books I have come back to again and again as an adult, always finding something new, are the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. I’d be hard pressed to pick a favourite, but if I had to, I’d say Northern Lights is the one I love the most. Lyra is just such a brilliant character. I wish I was as cool and tough as she is.

What do you think makes children’s books so inspirational?

Books are portals into other worlds. When you read, you’re not just entering the author’s world; you’re creating your own version of it inside your head. That’s why books are so brilliant.

What do you love about 'My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish'and what makes it stand out?
Who doesn’t love zombies? Especially zombie pets! Everything about My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish is just completely brilliant. Mo O’Hara is a fantastic writer and I love all of the characters she has created, especially Frankie! I wish I’d had a zombie goldfish of my own to help me out when I was ten!

What made you want to work in children’s publishing?

Storytelling has existed since the beginning of time, (or at least, since the beginning of people), and I just love a good story. I tried storytelling as a journalist, but it just wasn’t as fun (because you have to stick to the facts, unfortunately). In children’s books, there are no limits, it’s all about imagination.

Is it easier to edit a debut author’s book or an established author?

That’s a funny question! Every book and every author are different, so there’s no way of ever knowing how easy or difficult an edit is going to be.

Spotlight on Writing: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish by Mo O'Hara

Mo at the Launch Party for My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish
Mo O'Hara’s début novel My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish brings parody to children’s literature the likes of which its readers (5-9 year olds) have been weaned on to through the medium of film, including Shrek (too many parodies to mention), Cars 2 (Bond) and Toy Story 2 (Star Wars). Here, Mo puts parody to extraordinary use, appealing to both parents and children. The book is fast-paced and very funny and is almost a parody of parody with a sense of humour not dissimilar to Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in Shaun of The Dead and Paul, but here, a focus on young readers remains throughout. 

The main characters, Tom and his friend Pradeep, are downtrodden and slight nerdy and yet thwart all plans made by their evil scientist and evil computer genius big brothers using secret made-up codes, their code for danger being colour matched to the taste of jellybeans. The humour is both gentle and childlike, like the jellybean code, and more adult-focused, like a Star Wars joke that will make most adults howl with laughter. Mo adopts tricks like recurring jokes, and phrases that will stick in your head and make children giggle before the sentence is even read, like ‘Swishy Little Fishy’ and the centipedes dancing in Tom’s stomach. 

Mo, whilst combining witty writing with a thrilling tale, has also managed to land My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish with serendipitous timing: Teen literature and films are stuffed full of Zombies. One thing children aspire to is to be able to enjoy the same things as their older teenage brothers and sisters. In the 80’s when older siblings were watching ‘The Lost Boys’ and reading Anne Rice’s vampire novels, their younger brothers and sisters were reading The Little Vampire by  Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. In the 90’s it was Buffy and Mona.  With My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish, Mo has written a book that is suitable for much younger readers, bringing zombies to ‘life’ in a safe and funny form for children.

Mo’s unique approach to writing for children, using parody, suffocated humour and a fin-on-the-pulse of current trends makes My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish  a fast and witty read for both children and adults. 

Don't forget to enter our competition to win a signed copy of My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish! If you want to enter, just email us at with your name, address and the title of the book in the subject line. The winner will be chosen at random on Saturday 13th April.