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seawigs from meltham c.e primary school!

Look at this brilliant Seawigs created and tweeted by Year 3 at Meltham C.E Primary School, near Huddersfield!

They tweeted: A touch of Seawig Night Fever in Year 3 today! and We have loved 'Oliver and the Seawigs' and your books are on lots of Christmas lists this year.

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live at the old vic!

I'm going to be on stage at the Old Vic! This is slightly scary, but also completely amazing since I'm not even an actor. Here are the awesome ladies I'll be storytelling with - Celia Imrie and Noma Dumezweni - plus Michael Rosen. Do come along if you're near London on Saturday, 16 Dec; it should be a fun event! (Booking details here)

fuzzy the guinea pig

Congratulations to Alec Anderson, one of the four winners of my newsletter Pug Competition! Alec is a very talented comic artist himself!

Alec got to choose between a drawing of a pug or a portrait of his pet, and he chose Fuzzy the guinea pig.

Here's Fuzzy with my picture right next to his cage. :) (If you want to subscribe to my newsletters, you can use this link. If you don't get one right away and you're on Gmail, check your 'All Mail' folder.)

the ministry of biscuits

When I first came to Britain from the USA, land of triple-chocolate brownies and Dunkin Donuts, I wondered about something: why were British biscuits so... boring?

The Rich Tea biscuit, this was not a cookie like anything I knew, this was only a very slight improvement on a piece of cardboard. But British people bought millions of packets of them. Things have changed in the last few decades, we now have brownies and raspberry white chocolate cookies and Krispy Kreme, but the Rich Tea, the Garibaldi, the Nice biscuit linger on. Last night I went to Brighton to see a comedy musical that explains this terribly British phenomenon.

Written twenty years ago by Philip Reeve (who's now my co-author but 20 years ago hadn't any idea I existed) and his friend Brian Mitchell, The Ministry of Biscuits had me gasping with laughter. The story's set in the late 1940's at the government's ministry tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that biscuits in Britain are nice, BUT not so nice that they lead to moral decay. A young employee meets a French secretary who questions these not-very-nice biscuits, and in a flush of love, he tries to impress her with his outrageous new creation, the Triple-Chocolate Gingernut Cream Surprise. Scandal ensues, in a story influenced by Ealing comedy and Orwell's 1984 (but with biscuits).

Of course, I had to wear a special fascinator for the occasion:

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liverpool readathon pugs!

When I was in Liverpool for the Liverpool Readathon, I taught loads of kids how to draw pugs, and I just got some lovely ones from St Gregory's Catholic Primary School through the post!

Here's some TV coverage of more than 20,000 children reading to raise money to buy books for children at Alder Hey children's hospital, with some shots of my visit. Well done, everyone! Find out more about how your school can get involved on Read For Good's website.

(Read my earlier blog post about Liverpool Readathon 2017 here.)