Blog Author Gareth Peter invites us to join the dinosaur party, with his brand-new Picture Book
And what a party it is…. Tim Budgen’s colourful illustrations make this such a fun picture book. I feel so proud that I get to work with him and the amazing crew at Simon and Schuster, who saw potential in my bonkers idea. But let me share with you how this book series initially came about.
I am a dad and have adopted two little boys who are my whole world. They make me smile every day… and one such day sticks in my head for a fantastic reason.
My youngest has a stuffed unicorn toy, and when he was still learning his words, he couldn't quite say ‘unicorn’. Instead, he called it a something–icorn and then threw it across the room. I decided to pick it up, hand it back to him, and tell him the correct pronunciation.
He then looked at me, smiled and said something-else-icorn… then threw it back across the room. I thought, what a fun game (not) but that was that moment that I stopped and became lost in a new world… one where there were lots of different unicorns, all with different names which represented their individual characteristics.
Adding an adjective to the start of a word, opened up limitless possibilities for types of character, and I really loved this idea. I just had to frame it, and this simply became going magical picnic. Ta-da! But then I also added a twist, which allows the reader to see themselves within the book… and be included at the party.
I originally wrote this as just a bit of fun but decided to send it off to my agent and their response was amazing. She encouraged me to try and write more. Initially, I thought she wanted Unicorn TWO – The Revenge of the Unicorns. But actually, what she suggested was different types of character. So this sent me off on a whole wonderful journey with different picture book characters, such as dinosaurs, Christmas elves and spooky beasts.
And then, with what seemed like the blink of an eye, two publishers were interested in the book… but more importantly - a series. For me, the perfect fit was Simon & Schuster and as soon as they mentioned Tim as the illustrator, I was absolutely over the moon.
Dinosaur street is a celebration of character and words and colour. I hope they make people smile and enjoy reading with their grownups.
These books are an absolute dream to work on and I couldn't be happier doing them. I get to be wacky, creative, imaginative and then Tim weaves his own magic into them, adding so much colour texture and depth. I hope the Who Will You Meet series will become a repeat and fun read at bedtime.
Every time I pick one up, I'm reminded of that unicorn game with my little lad and I will be ever thankful to him for throwing the toy across the room. Fingers crossed that this series continues… but I'll let you into a secret. I've already written several of the titles.
So, the final question I have for you all is… Who will YOU meet?
Gareth Peter's roarsome drawing challenge and giveaway
Get your pens out and your thinking caps on. We want you to create your very own dinosaur! From a Flashysaurus, Splashysaurus, Whoops-there's-been-a Crashysaurus, what kind of dinosaur would you be?
Illustrate yourself as a dinosaur and send us your beautiful creations! Take a picture of what you've made and email them to [email protected] before 23:59 on April 24th to be in with your shot of winning a signed copy of 'Who Will You Meet on Dinosaur Street'. Channel your creativity… and bag yourself a roarsome prize.
A huge thank you to Gareth for sharing his new book with us. It’s out now in paperback (£6.99, Simon & Schuster) so head over to their website.
Welcome to Dinosaur Street! Home to Flashysaurus, Splashysaurus, Whoops-there's-been-a Crashysaurus, and a whole host of other loveable characters. With the most energetic rhythm and rhyme this is huge fun to read aloud and will encourage lots of reader engagement. The hilarious Who Will You Meet series is sure to become a repeat-read family favourite.