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Elephants and pianos keep appearing in my work. 

There are pianos and elephants at The Grandest Hotel on Earth. And the new book I’m writing has them too!

Elephants are the most majestic creatures. They fill me with awe and wonder. When I came across Paul Barton and his piano playing for elephants, I was captivated. I have watched his clips on YouTube many times over.

I particularly love this one.

Peter the elephant’s love of music is undeniable. The music delights him. He has to move his body and he has to woop and holler. (His mate seems to be having a pretty good time too!) I think Peter feels exactly the same things I feel when I listen to music that I like. 

Take a look and see if you can relate to how Peter the Elephant feels when he listens to music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjsu3SGAdLs

 

Vincent has finally hit the shelves! It’s been great criss-crossing the city visiting bookstores and hearing what people think of the book! We also had a launch party with smoking sodas and whatever-flavour-you-think-of-balls….Weirdly most people thought they tasted like cheese and bacon. It’s funny how our imaginations desert us at the most inopportune times. Anyway, here’s a few reviews and photos….I’ll be signing books this Saturday 20 July, 10am at Lindfield Learning Hub. Come along if you’re in that neck of the woods…

REVIEWS

“This is absolutely GRAND! I adored it. What a wonderful read!”

Karen Foxlee
Author, Lenny’s Book of Everything

“… so alive with magic and wonder … simply impossible to resist. This is a charming and surprisingly moving delight for readers aged eight and older seeking more of Nevermoor’s capriciousness, with all the sensitivity of Kate DiCamillo’s best. Four stars.”

Phil Lesnie, BOOKS+PUBLISHING

“Utterly beautiful, completely joyous, just stunning..”

Megan Daley, Children’s Books Daily

This book is sure to win awards, including children’s choice book awards. It is highly recommended.

Dianne Bates, Buzz Words

“..an epic and addictive adventure for junior readers. This is a book-world to fall into headfirst, dream about when you aren’t reading and fantasise about long after you’ve come to the end… This is a book that is destined to become a treasured favourite in so many homes and I predict lots of people are going to be talking about it.”

Shaye Wardrop,  Kid’s Book Review

The moment I opened this book I was whisked away into this fantastical world and really did not want to come out. But of course I FLEW through the book because it is utterly unputdownable.”

“This is the type of book that will be loved by kids aged 8 to 11. It is full of all the best things that your dreams could imagine!”

Rob, Lamont Books

This novel is so engaging it is difficult to stop reading it until the very end!

Patricia Halsall, Magpies

“..an imaginative and hopeful read full of charming characters and an intrinsic sense of humanity…..that I liken to one of my favourite junior fiction novels, Withering-by-Sea.”

Better Read Than Dead Bookshop

“This is a delightful read for 8 plus readers that has heart and is smart. Quirky. Full of great imagery. Echoes of Dahl and the work of filmmaker Wes Anderson. Lisa Nicol is an Aussie writer to watch!”

Paul MacDonald, The Children’s Bookshop

“I give this book five out of five stars – yes it is THAT GOOD!”

Momo Time To Read 

‘Absolutely Grand….If your little reader enjoyed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, they will love this book.”

Better Reading

A smoking soda & the last bowl of whatever-flavour-you-think-of-balls

Laughing at my own jokes and posing with Vincent perched on my right shoulder like a parrot….

The Grandest Hotel on Earth has a new sign! Unfortunately it was erected after the book was written so it doesn’t feature on the cover. But it’s up now. Imagine at night when there’s nothing but the stars and the moon and the hotel sign floating in the night sky. Must look incredibly Grand!

Even without the sign I think the cover of Vincent looks beautiful. The hotel was drawn by the wonderfully talented Nancy Liang and the cover was designed by Rachel Lawston. Nancy also animates her illustrations. Here’s an animated version of The Grandest Hotel on Earth. 

I was so excited after I read the first review of Vincent I started swearing like his potty-mouthed sister Rose.

I wanted to share it with the world!

But my Dad always told me there’s nothing worse than people who blow their own trumpet. Blowing your own trumpet means boasting about yourself. So I feel a bit conflicted sharing this review. Like I’m showing off (which clearly I am).  But I’m just so thrilled that somebody liked the book!

So sorry Dad. Cover your ears and pass me that horn!

And many thanks to Phil Lesnie.

Don’t miss out people!

National Geographic Kids is giving you a chance to win a copy of my new book Vincent and The Grandest Hotel on Earth. 

Just click  here to enter.

Good luck!

Don’t forget, the book will be available in bookstores on 2 JULY.

 

You know it’s been too long between posts when you can’t remember how to log in to your own website. Which could be good for security. Say if someone dangled me by my feet over a cliff and yelled “tell me the password to your website or it’s all over baby!” I could honestly reply “Well I’d genuinely love to help you but I can’t remember.” Might get me out of that sticky situation.

I’m beyond excited about my new book Vincent and The Grandest Hotel on Earth coming out on 2 July! You won’t believe this place. It really is wilder than the African savanna, more fantastical that Disneyland and more magical than Shangri-La. Can I just say pocket dogs and sloths…and wait till you hear about the rooms….

What a great morning I had at Better Read Than Dead doing a creative writing workshop. We took some of Dr Boogaloo’s medicine, fired up our imaginations and let our pens go!

Whenever I do a workshop, I am reminded how clever and imaginative kids are. Their stories made me laugh and cry.

And SUCH original ideas!

Words & Music Workshop

How I would love to get this close to a humpback.

You know there’s a whale at The Boogaloo Family Clinic of Musical Cures

His name is Leonard and boy can that whale sing! 

The whale in this video reminds me of Leonard.

If you thought a 30,000 kg animal was too big to dance, think again…

 

Knock knock!

‘Who’s there?’

‘Is there anything for afternoon tea?’

This conversation happens at around 3.30pm each day as my children arrive home from school & want to be fed.

‘Sure’ I yell through the yellow door, ‘there’s apples, nuts, bread….’

‘Yeah, but is there anything to eat?’ comes the reply.

It’s my eldest son. He’s fussy. Real fussy. And if it ain’t got sugar, it doesn’t classify as afternoon tea.

Behind that yellow door is my office. I painted it yellow as a salute to my most favourite author – Roald Dahl. He had a writing hut at the bottom of his garden and his door was painted yellow. The yellow door inspires me and reminds me of Roald Dahl every day. I’m so lucky to have a place where I can write. Roald Dahl put it nicely when asked about his writing hut:

You become a different person, you are no longer an ordinary fellow who walks around and looks after his children and eats meals and does silly things, you go into a completely different world. 

Here’s a picture of his writing hut where he wrote Matilda and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

When Roald Dahl opened his yellow door and went inside, he was able to imagine entirely different worlds. Maybe the yellow door helped with the passage from one world into the next. I was once told yellow was an illusion we all shared.  I’ve no idea where I heard it but it’s stuck with me. Whether it’s true or not or makes sense doesn’t matter to me. I just love the idea of an illusion we all share. Something imagined that we imagine together. A lot like reading a book.

p.s In truth all colours are an illusion. It is our brains that see colours, not our eyes.  Colours are not real at all. What is real is light!!