With the school holidays almost upon us, and with so many children having beachy staycations this summer, I thought this would be the ideal time to promote my new rockpool-based rhyming picture book, Crab,Dab & Blenny, so I’m taking it on tour! More specifically, I’m having my first ever blog tour, with Crab,Dab & Blenny being reviewed/featured by 25 bloggers over five days, starting Monday 12 July. Phew!
It’s going to be exciting and nerve-wracking in equal measure!
So please keep an eye out for the reviews, and like and share (if they’re good ones!) on social media. Here’s the schedule:
I’ve had some wonderful early reviews for Crab, Dab & Blenny; really couldn’t have been better if I’d written them myself!
I thought Crab, Dab and Blenny was utterly brilliant. Peta Rainford understands children so well. Crab, Dab and Blennyconsiders the difficult issue of plastics in the sea, but the author makes it accessible without ever being patronising, and it is entertaining and actually uplifting, as well as educational, so that it is a really fantastic book. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Crab, Dab & Blenny is a beautiful, rich, educational story that will not only gives children a wonderful tale but also arms them with the knowledge that not only is plastic bad for the environment but how they can help when they are next at the beach if they see plastic lying around.
A lovely tale, but with a serious and current environmental message, the pupils in school loved hearing this read aloud, and it prompted lots of discussion about what we can do to help stop waste ending up in the sea. The bright illustrations and fact that it was written by a local author about beaches near the school (St. Helens) added to the enjoyment, and really brought it home that this is an issue that affects all of us.
I’m really excited about this book. It feels very close to my heart: inspired by the beaches – and particularly the rockpools – of the Isle of Wight, where I live. The beaches are beautiful, but, like a lot of other people, I am frustrated and upset by the amount of plastic washed up on a daily basis. So I’m hoping my book will not only pass on my enthusiasm for rockpools and rockpooling, but also help inform young children about the problem of plastic pollution.
Here’s the blurb for Crab, Dab & Blenny:
Fish friends Dab and Blenny are upset by the plastic that washes into their lovely rockpool home. Crab, on the other hand, just LOVES the shiny bright colour… But when Blenny gets caught in plastic twine, Crab finally understands the danger of plastics in the ocean.
Crab, Dab & Blenny is a fun, rhyming picture book for 4-to-8-year-olds, with an important environmental message.
If you want to find out more about the inspirations behind the book, and how I put it all together, my video session for this year’s IW Story Festival, From Source to See is still available on YouTube:
I hope you will be able to join me at the IW Story Festival, on Thursday 18 February, at 2pm, when I will be talking about the process I went through to produce my new book, Crab, Dab & Blenny. I will also be offering one lucky person the chance to have my new book dedicated to them, or a person of their choice. Join me for the session for your chance to win!
Find out how my experience of living on the Isle of Wight, my love of rock pools and my worries about plastics in the ocean, inspired my story.
The IW Story Festival runs from Wednesday 17 to Saturday 20 February, all sessions are on YouTube and FREE! You can see the whole programme here #crabdabandblenny
Can’t believe a whole week has gone by since the inaugural IW Story Festival took place – and I’m still feeling the buzz!
I’m part of the core organising committee – along with Elspeth Giddens, storyteller Sue Bailey, and fellow local author/illustrators Jules Marriner and Debbie Webb, who all worked liked dogs but were determined and positive throughout! We had a vision: to inspire creativity and imagination though stories of all types, in children from the Isle of Wight – particularly from ‘hard to reach’ families – and beyond. We didn’t know if we could pull it off. But we did. With bells on. (l should add: although we were the core team, we couldn’t have done it without the help and support of many other wonderful people.)
Hundreds of children and families poured through the doors of the Riverside Centre in Newport to see authors, illustrators, storytellers, poets, puppetry and theatre. They took part in junk modelling, book making, World Book Day costume making and encounters with bats, bugs and owl poo!
The success of the event was helped, in no small part, by our fabulous headliners: Korky Paul, Nick Sharratt and Sarah McIntyre, who brought in the crowds and were all charming and generous with their time and drawings. Sarah wrote her own blog, which gives a fabulous flavour of the fun of the festival. You can read it here.
My own session – where I read Jacob Starke Loves the Dark and led some nocturnal animal mask making – was great fun and resulted in some fabulous badgers, foxes and owls.
The festival was also the first outing for my new book, Milly’s Marvellous Mistakes – it was exciting to see it on display in the festival bookshop run by Medina Books. Even more exciting to sell a few copies!