Terrible Lizards Book Party


Terrible Lizards Book Party

Story Arts Festival Ipswich (SAFI) coordinator extraordinaire, Jenny Stubbs, saw the ‘book party’ concept when she was touring children’s literature festivals in the UK a few years ago now….and I kind of, sort of…took over her idea and ran them out ‘our’ festival.  safi-logo-287x300

We gathered all the authors and illustrators we could who were attending  who had created dinosaur, crocodile or dragon books, hence, ‘The Terrible Lizards Book Party’. Our young audience rotated and floated around each of the presenters, ate ‘Hungry Dinosaur’ cupcakes (thanks to Ann James for allowing me to use two of her gorgeous image as cupcake toppers) and purchased books and had them signed. All presenters, their ‘Terrible Lizard’ books and an outline of their presentation are below.  Apologies for all the photos of my own children – only ones I can show faces of!Dinosaur Book Party

Dinosaurs, Nonna and ChickPea
Nonna explaining a thing or two about children’s lit to ChickPea

To add any of these ‘Terrible Lizard’ books to your home, school or library collection click on cover images or title links to purchase. 

Marc McBride. Well where does one start? The man is somewhat an illustrating legend, having done the artwork for the famed ‘Deltora Quest’ series for many years now. The collectors editions of some of the series are below (click on covers) and are just stunning – matt black covers that I think I need to own. Most of the TLs in the room could have just sat and listened to his accent all afternoon and gushed over him – pretty sure he’s probably used to this! Marc has to love SAFI, as without our festival he’d never have met his partner Sofie Laguna (2015 Miles Franklin winner) . We love Marc right back…for his talent, looks, accent and charm. And because he dares to joke with Jenny Stubbs in the middle of an incredibly stressful time for her #neverjokewithjennyatSAFI. dragon-s-nestshadowgate-dragons-of-deltora-series-3-book-2the-sister-of-the-south-collectors-edition-DSC06663DSC06706

Janeen Brian and Ann James are the author/illustrator team behind ‘I’m a Dirty Dinosaur’ and ‘I’m a Hungry Dinosaur’. The text of each is just fabulous and young readers will stomp and jump and roll their way through each story and be inspired to add some of these words to their vocabulary. Ann’s illustrations are full of energy and joy and that little dino simply dives and romps his way through the two books in this series…with just the right amount of toddler attitude! At our party Janeen read each of the books and the lovely Julie in her dino suit stomped and jumped, while Ann James drew the dinosaur character. Children then had the opportunity to draw using the very same pencils Ann did the original artwork with and fill in the outlines with either mud, or chocolate icing and sprinkles, as Ann did for each of the books. i-m-a-dirty-dinosaur

Stomp, splash, slide, dive . . . This little dinosaur just loves mud! i-m-a-hungry-dinosaurShake, stir, mix, bake . . . .This little dinosaur just loves cake!safi-4 DSC06711

ChickPea was supremely happy with her ‘Hungry Dinosaur’…though she did lick him a fair bit on the drive home and he is slightly less chocolaty today.Hungry Dinosaur4

Peter Taylor and Nina Rycroft are the duo behind ‘Once a Creepy Crocodile’, which I’ve reviewed in full here. This has become one the favourite books with my kindergarten children this year and we’ve done many a croc themed activity so it was quite a treat for me to see Peter and Nina in action with their puppets and music and to watch Nina seemingly effortlessly re-create sketches from the book. Many a lucky child went home with a Nina Rycroft original sketch. You can read more about Peter Taylor and his work here. once-a-creepy-crocodile

Photograph courtesy of Yvonne Mes
Photograph courtesy of Yvonne Mes
Photograph courtesy of Yvonne Mes
Photograph courtesy of Yvonne Mes

Tony Flowers was a hit at our Ninja Book Party, and here again he utterly engaged young and old alike with his illustrating skill. ChickPea went home after the Ninja Book Party totally excited about her new-found ability to draw, and she was fairly insistent that she illustrate with Tony Flowers. I know none of my blog readers believe me…but this kid has strength of will of a Stegosaurus and the fury of a T-Rex when crossed. Tony clearly saw this will and fury in her and made the sensible decision to turn his easel to her height, sit down with her on the floor and draw with her. To have one of Australia’s most talented illustrators sit down with your four year old and work with them is special beyond words and ChickPea has not stopped talking about the ‘Saurus man’. Show and Tell for kindy on Monday SORTED. All the Saurus Street books can be purchased here. tyrannosaurus-in-the-veggie-patch-192x300a-pterodactyl-stole-my-homeworka-diplodocus-trampled-my-teepee

Tony Flowers draws author Kathryn Apel as a Dinosaur
Tony Flowers draws author Kathryn Apel as a Dinosaur

Tony Flowers

I’ve been in awe of Lachlan Creagh and his dinosaurs since attending the launch of his ‘Dinosaur Rocks’ book a few years ago now. It was probably the best themed book launch I have ever attended and the work he had put into making his illustrations accessible for children at this launch blew me away. He’s further refined his activities for young people lucky enough to attend one of his author/illustrator talks – they can cut and fold his dinosaur illustrations, create huge murals with Lachlan and watch his skill with paper and pens. I could happily watch this quietly spoken, very talented man, draw all day – tis incredibly therapeutic watching him sketch and turn simple lines into dragons, foxes, dinosaurs and a host of other magical characters. dinosaur-rocksdinosaur hunterDSC06652

Andrew Plant is an author/illustrator I’ve been waiting to meet for many years now.  I absolutely love authors who bring their professional skills and passions to their work and Andew is very much one of these types! He trained as a zoologist but is now an illustrator, author, science educator, and theatre designer, director and choreographer. His dinosaur themed books, particularly the ‘The Little Dinosaur’ below, which is an absolute favourites in our house with the dino loving four year old. the-little-dinosaur

Photo courtesy of Yvonne Mes
Photo courtesy of Yvonne Mes

For more book themed parties see:

ChickPea’s very own Dinosaur Party

Bollywood Party

Flower Fairies Party

Miffy Party

EJ12 Party

Where the Wild Things Are Party

Possum Magic Party

Pearlie in the Park Party

Belle and Boo Party Afternoon Tea

Very Cranky Ladybird Party

Magic Faraway Tree Party (Hey Bubbles)Hungry DinosaurHungry Dinosaur2Hungry Dinosaur3DSC06661DSC06687DSC06677

The titles of each book takes you to the Australian based online bookstore Booktopia. You can also compare prices on Fishpond and Bookworld for Australian purchases.If you live in the US or would prefer to use Amazon click here. If you live in the UK or would prefer to use Book Depository click here. Purchases clicked through from the Children’s Books Daily site result in a small commission. Commission is used in part to maintain Children’s Books Daily and to support community groups which connect children with books.


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