oundle festival, polly dunbar’s show, new hamster book

Yesterday, the Oundle Festival of Literature hosted my You Can’t Eat a Princess! event in this appropriately palatial hall. They squeezed in exactly 301 children and we had a great time drawing aliens and designing space ships.

Here’s Leigh Giurlando, who organised my visit, and Joanna Patterson Gordon, who runs the beautiful Oundle Bookshop in the town’s market centre. And a lovely chappie who helped with the setup. Fellow princesses, take note: no ball gown is ever complete without a fetching piece of string tied round the waist.

Sadly, when Viviane Schwarz met me at Kings Cross station after returning from Peterborough, I was no longer wearing my royal apparel. We went for coffee and I got to see the American edition of her marvelous new hamster book with Alexis Deacon, A Place to Call Home. Which she illustrated while she was moving house, which rather suits the theme.

Viv and I went on to lovely Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street for the launch of an exhibition of beautiful painted illustrations by Polly Dunbar. Nearly everyone in children’s publishing must have been in that room! Here’s Polly in her smashing new dress and shoes, with Alexis Deacon and his comely angel halo.

The exhibition, The Picture Book World of Polly Dunbar runs until 24 March, so do go on over and have a look! And Daunt Books has loads of Polly’s books for sale, which you can have her sign tomorrow, 19 March.

I’d only ever spoken with Book Sniffer by e-mail, who had gone by Mr P, which made me assume Book Sniffer was a man. But no, it’s a blue stuffed dog and the lovely Emma. I’ve promised her a blog entry, so you might see that before too long.

I see Philip Reeve has blogged about his first Skype-based event, in America. I need to think if I want to do that sort of thing; it would be great for doing low-cost events in other countries.

Here’s a brand-new Ants comic from James Turner (eruditebaboon).

And one more thing, a video of the remarkable Warwick Johnson Cadwell drawing a gorilla. A great way to end a day’s entry.

YouTube link

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