The antithesis of Athens (last week).
Thank you to everyone at the British Council in Athens and London and the Public Bookstore on Syntagma Square for making the events a success last week. Curses to metro strikes, but three cheers to everyone who still made it to the talk in the afternoon. The students from the St Catherine’s British School were tremendous listeners and drawers too, and made the workshop a breeze.
The Public National Book Awards were very glamorous and entertaining. Antony Horowitz’s Greek is very good (though I’m no expert) and he had the crowd behind him from the first ‘kalispera’. He is a great representative for the UK as guest country for this year’s awards. I really like his new range of book covers too.
The British Council’s Drawing Words exhibition looked terrific in the foyer of the Megaron (Athens Concert Hall) and is also in Public bookstore.
Big thank yous to Rachel, Anastasia, Maria, Katerina (British Council) and Viky (Public.gr).
I will be speaking about my books at the British Council’s Drawing Words Exhibition when it’s in Athens, Greece. The exhibition is touring around all over the place. The exhibition features a selection of British illustrators, curated by Children’s Laureate Lauren Child. I’ll be speaking with school children and art students and they’ll be asking me questions, and no doubt I’ll have questions for them too. It’s on show at the Athens Concert Hall so if you’re in the area, drop by and see it.
When it came to clearing out the studio last week, I couldn’t part with all my dummies. But I did throw out (recycle) about one hundred of them. They’re invaluable, but heavy. I draw in them and draw out of them – tear out pages and draw on them. The blank pages make me think of the space between the printed letters and ink. They are also good for mime artists.
The US Edition of Waiting for Chicken Smith is out today May 14th, published by Candlewick Press. This one has french fries in it.
The Australian mint recently spelled ‘responsibility’ irresponsibly on their new $50 bill. There was quite a negative response to this. They should embrace their error and own their proofreading mistake. Look out for correctly spelled bills by counterfitters.
Location: Hammersmith. A delicate balance of unrecyclable jumbo paper cups and king size filter tip on a real slow burn. I suspect two coffee (or tea) drinkers and at least one light smoker. Maybe a first time smoker who has a bad memory or was distracted by something. Both drinkers makeup free. Most likely has had some art school training or works in a shop where they are responsible for window displays or folding things. Maybe someone who has worked as a Japanese zen rock gardener.
Tonight the Premier League launched the new Primary Stars poetry book ‘Beautifully Different, Wonderfully the Same’ in Pall Mall.
The book is full of children’s poems on the subject of diversity and some celebrity poems too, inspired by Joseph Coelho’s poem, whose title was used for this book’s title. One of the winners of the poetry prize was there too, travelling down from Birmingham to read her poem to a packed room of adults drinking champagne. Maariya signed my copy of the book and when I asked her what she and her dad were doing that night in London she said she was driving back to Birmingham because she had school the next day.
Whether they had written a poem before or not, children are always fearless and candid when they try writing and this anthology is no different.
Thanks to everyone who made it along to the Royal Academy Festival of Ideas yesterday. And thanks to the RA, Catherine, Amy, Mary Sackville-West, Abi Sparrow, and to everyone who sorted out the AV. It’s a fine venue, and we were very comfortable being in the hot seat there.