It’s an actual book. And it’s actually out. Just like the jasmine.
It’s an actual book. And it’s actually out. Just like the jasmine.
The What On Earth Institute of Wonder comes out 31 August. I’m excited and nervous all at once…..
Recently, I was sitting at my desk in a bit of a funk. I was having problems with a story.
I couldn’t seem to get it to work no matter what I tried. I hated everything I was writing. Maybe I don’t have any more stories, I worried. Fear curled up in the pit of my stomach like a sleeping snake. So I just kept on writing – anything! – trying not to disturb it.
Then one morning, early, while I was writing, writing, there was a scratchy kind of tapping noise at my office door.
I got up and opened it. And watched in disbelief as a strange bird walked in, climbed up onto my desk and plonked itself next to my keyboard.
I had never seen a bird like it.
It was as big as a duck with owlish eyes and mossy green feathers. And I don’t mean to be rude, but it was quite fat.
‘Well, since you seem to be all out of stories,’ said the strange bird, ‘how about you write one of mine?’
It can talk?
‘You better believe it,’ replied the bird. ‘And have I got a story for you.’
Well, I had to admit, I was intrigued. For a writer, that’s a good sign. So I inched towards my chair, trying not to go too close to the fat feathered creature, and sat down.
‘Ahem,’ I sorted of coughed, my hands hovering over the keyboard. ‘So..um.. what’s your name?’
‘Hector,’ said the bird, ‘And I am a kakapo. That’s K – A – K – A – P – O.’
Glorious photo of a Kakapo by Mike Bodie
This week I received the grandest drawing. It’s by a nine-year-old girl called Taleea. After reading Vincent and The Grandest Hotel on Earth with her mum, she drew this magnificent picture of Florence and Vincent having breakfast (with a giraffe of course!). Florence looks SO incredibly grand and Taleea’s attention to detail is astounding. Note the musical emerald footwear, Vincent’s name above the top pocket of his uniform. And the gorgeous painting on the wall of the hotel itself, the snowcapped Mabombo Ranges soaring into the night sky behind it. Just breathtaking. Thank you so much Taleea for letting me exhibit your beautiful drawing on my website. Perhaps one day you might like to be a children’s book illustrator and you can officially illustrate my books! Wouldn’t that be grand!
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…
“This is absolutely GRAND! I adored it. What a wonderful read!”
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.”
“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!”
‘Absolutely Grand….If your little reader enjoyed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, they will love this book.”
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.
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….
Well you’re going to have to read the book to find that out of course!!!!!
Dr Boogaloo and The Girl Who Lost Her Laughter
But because you seem like a decent person, I’ll show you a picture…..
And then you can get to thinking about what, when, why and how does THAT work!
Illustration by Daniel Gray-Barnett