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Yesterday evening, I frocked up to go to lovely Burgh House & Museum in Hampstead, northeast London, for a celebration with independent bookseller Daunt Books. They'd run a children's short story competition and compiled the stories by the winners into this lovely book!



Here's illustrator Jim Field, who created the cover! I'm a massive fangirl of Jim's work; if you don't know it, check out his books, he's brilliant.




I love the way the front cover gives hints at how each story begins:



And ends! (Without giving actual spoilers.)



The stories were great; this one in particular, by five-year-old James, made me laugh. And another one by 10-year-old Isaac called The Efficient Elf, from the point of view of a high-strung officious Santa's helper who knows how things at the North Pole could be run much better. At the end of the event, Jim and I got all the authors to sign our copies of the book!



Philip Reeve wrote the introduction and would have been there but his plane had only just landed from two weeks in New Zealand, working on the set where his Mortal Engines is being made into a big film.



Kudos to Daunt and the team for a lovely evening - Jethrow Smith, Bethany Hocken and illustrator Emma Shoard - and for making sure the book was so beautifully printed.



Thanks to Philippa Perry for her help, and thanks to Daunt for including Jim and me! Congratulations to all the winners, and to people who entered but didn't get included, keep writing anyway! Be sure to pop by one of Daunt bookshops when you're in London, they're some of the most beautiful you'll ever see, with a well-chosen selection of books. (You can follow them on Twitter: @dauntbooks, Jim: @_JimField, Philip: @philipreeve1 and Burgh House: @BurghHouse1704.)

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