Monday, 31 March 2014

Jonny Duddle brings awesome tales of pirates and dinosaurs to the Oxford Literary Festival

Pirate Grrrrl ready for duty!
A little Duddle-bug gets in some research before the event

We figured it was about time we went to one of those infamous literary festivals, and what better way to spend Mother's Day (Sorry mummy!) than seeing a legendary figure in children's books, Mr Jonny Duddle. Dressed in our best pirate clobber, we met up with awesome blog-mates Anne-Marie (from Child-Led Chaos) and Helen (from cAPPtivated Kids) and their hubbies, mum and kids to see Jonny talking about his work. 

Oxford's Christchurch College was the venue, and on a gorgeous sunny day we crammed into the Blue Boar Lecture Theatre to see Jonny Duddle do his thang!

Can I get an Oo-Arr?
As you can see, Mr D has a rather natty wardrobe - clad in pirate gear he told us about his extremely interesting life - living and working aboard a real-life pirate ship (like the one you can see in the picture behind him). 

Swordplay (no children or book-bloggers were harmed during this event, we'd like to point out!)
Charlotte and the other children all sat at the front of the theatre on cushions, enthralled at JD's tales - before he read from his first pirate book, the awesome Pirate Cruncher!

Hats are not too hard to draw, but parrots eating carrots? Ooch!
After reading the story, Jonny showed off his skills by drawing a pirate - with lots of interaction from the children on what the pirate should look like (I take my pirate hat off to Jonny for managing to draw such an awesome pic with lots of gentle 'heckling' and great suggestions from the kids!) I had a giggle at the fact that his daughters hijack his sketch books at home to draw their own pics - this happens a lot here too (but I love Charlotte's drawings so I let her off!)

Fiddle dee dee! A pirate par excellence from Mr Duddle!
Jonny let loose a little secret about the next adventure for the Jolley-Rogers (the family stars of "The Pirates Next Door" - who invite Matilda to join them on a very special trip. We're going to keep schtum  about the rest of the story just in case we're not allowed to talk about it!)

Jonny then shifted topics and with a bit of author magic...

Pirate transforms into explorer for "Gigantosaurus" duties!
...Jonny changed clothes and became an explorer to read from one of his new books, "Gigantosaurus" - A fabulous dinosaur adventure!

We had a great fun day with the collective kids all running around and burning off some energy afterwards. It was brilliant to finally meet the man himself, who kindly signed Charlotte's copy of "The Pirates Next Door".

Jonny poses for a photo op outside in the quad

We look forward to seeing what adventures he comes up with next (and if he really is planning to write a fairy book :)

See our reviews of Jonny's Books: