Boys will be boys …

I love Finn, Paddy and Conor dearly. So dearly that I dedicated my new book Flying High! to them. The day after it was published, I went round to their house to give them each a copy of the book. It was fabulous to see their faces light up when they realised their names appeared in it.

So far so good.

But when we went outside to take a photo of each of them with their copy … well, have you heard the expression ‘herding cats’?

Even with just one of them, it seemed like too ambitious an undertaking …

But persistence is all in photography. And here, at last, is the shot I was looking for:

Happy birding, boys! I hope you enjoy your books!

And if you have a photo of your child with their copy of Flying High!, do send it along to me (letting me know where it was taken), and I’ll pop it on the (soon-to-be-created) Flying High! gallery page of this blog.

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life

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Quick: Buzzing! sale – 50% off!

Quick – time to grab your copy of my award-winning book Buzzing! at a mere £5! That’s the cheapest the book has ever been! It’s part of my publisher, Brambleby Books’ Black Friday 50% off weekend sale – which ends tonight (Sunday 27 Nov 2016).

Buy your copy here – while stocks last!

A perfect present for any nature-loving/giggle-loving/rhyme-loving primary children (and all young-at-heart grown-ups too!) And the perfect antidote to  nature deficiency disorder!

buzzing-banner-sm-8-15

Whilst you’re at Brambleby’s site, check out the discounts on their other great natural history books too!

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life

 

Sneak preview …

Here’s a sneak preview of the cover of my new book, Flying High!, which will be published later this year by Brambleby Books:

The cover of my forthcoming new book, to be published by Brambleby Books this summer

The cover of my forthcoming new book, to be published by Brambleby Books this summer

Isn’t it wonderful? Designed by Tanya Warren at Creatix Design for Brambleby, and featuring a superb photo taken by Lee Walker.

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted that this is very much the companion volume to my first Brambleby book, i.e. Buzzing!  But whereas Buzzing! was all about minibeasts, Flying High! is – you’ve guessed it – all about birds.

Flying High! takes you through the seasons, bird by bird, poem by poem, fact by fact. (Oh, and giggle by giggle, of course!) All accompanied by stunning photos from a whole array of talented bird photographers. And a fabulous Foreword by the RSPB Vice-President himself, none other than Professor Sir John Lawton CBE FRS.

All very exciting!

I’ll let you know when publication is imminent …

Anneliese Emmans Deanwww.theBigBuzz.biz – Bringing poetry to life

 

 

Insect Festival 2015

The Museum Gardens in York was teeming with even more insects than usual last Sunday as it hosted the biennial Royal Entomological Society Insect Festival.

Insect Festival 2015 (Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

Insect Festival 2015 (Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

Unusual additions included the butterfly above and the fly below, aka the very talented (and just a tad barmy) author of SWAT!, Mike Barfield (with whom I went to the Hay Festival last year):

Mike Barfield, author of SWAT! (Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

Mike Barfield, author of SWAT! (Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

Mike and I were on hand at the Brambleby Books stall …

With Mike Barfield at the Brambleby Books stall

With Mike Barfield at the Brambleby Books stall

… to entertain visitors and sign copies of our respective minibeast-themed books. (Mine being, of course, Buzzing!) Here I am in action:

It was great to see young and old alike at the Festival lapping up the huge variety of exhibits and minibeast-themed activities on offer.

Introducing visitors to my Buzzing! book. (Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

Introducing visitors to my Buzzing! book. (Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

Hats off to the man who swore blind he did NOT like poetry, but allowed me 2 minutes of his time to change his mind. He left, a good 5 minutes later, laughing and with a signed copy of my Buzzing! poetry book in his hands.

Children perusing copies of my Buzzing! book at the Brambleby Books stall.  (Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

Children perusing copies of my Buzzing! book at the Brambleby Books stall.
(Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

This was the fourth time the Insect Festival has been held at the Museum Gardens in York – and the fourth time I’ve been there. (Find out what I got up to at the 2013 and 2009 Festivals.) According to the RES it was the most successful Festival yet, with more people attending than ever before. Let’s hope it will return to York again in two years’ time.

(Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

(Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

I took the opportunity, whilst I was there, to go along to the Buglife stall and sign up to become a Tansy Beetle Champion. If you live in and around York, would you like to become one too? You can find out more here.

Thank you to Nicola and Hugh Loxdale of Brambleby Books for all they did to make our stall run so well. And to all the other contributors and everyone at the RES and beyond who made the day such a success.

Nicola Loxdale, Director of my publishers Brambleby Books.

Nicola Loxdale, Director of my publishers Brambleby Books.

Anneliese Emmans Dean theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life

 

Hay-on-Mud

Never have I performed my Buzzing! show to such a fabulous collection of wellington boots as at the Hay Festival last week!

Welly boot wearers peeking in as I was setting up for my Buzzing! show at Hay

Welly boot wearers peeking in as I was setting up my Buzzing! show at Hay

It was ever so slightly wet there. And ever so slightly muddy. As you can see:

The Hay Festival artists' car park

The Hay Festival artists’ car park

Fortunately, Mike Barfield and I arrived well prepared:

Mike Barfield and I arriving at the Hay Festival suitably wellied

Mike Barfield and me arriving at the Hay Festival suitably wellied

As did my publishers, Nicola and Hugh Loxdale of Brambleby Books:

With my publishers, Nicola and Hugh Loxdale of Brambleby Books

With my publishers, Nicola and Hugh Loxdale of Brambleby Books outside my venue, The Cube

My Buzzing! show went well:

Performing my Buzzing! show at the Hay Festival

Performing my Buzzing! show at the Hay Festival

And the children asked all sorts of fascinating minibeast questions afterwards. (Most of which I was able to answer!)

Then we repaired to the Hay Festival bookshop, where I had a lovely time chatting with lots of children (and their parents and grandparents) and signing copies of my Buzzing! book for them.

Book signing at Hay

Book signing at Hay

More book signing at Hay

More book signing at Hay

The book signing continues ...

The book signing continues …

I was very chuffed because this was my first opportunity to see the reprint of my Buzzing! book (yes, the first print run has sold out!) This version has a slightly different front and back cover, and looks good!

My first glimpse of the new reprint of Buzzing!

My first glimpse of the new reprint of Buzzing!

Thank you to everyone who made my day at Hay possible, from Mike Barfield (who not only is an A1 chauffeur, but also put on an excellent show called SWAT! based on his excellent book of the same name), through publishers Nicola and Hugh Loxdale, to the lovely young lady from the Festival who escorted me throughout my stay and saw to my every wish. Now, I believe she was called Cleo, but I hope she will forgive me if I have her name wrong. (I did warn her at the time that names are not my forte!)

With the very helpful Cleo, from the Festival

With the very helpful Cleo, from the Festival

All in all this was a mightily muddy day I shall never forget!

I was back at the Festival three days later to take part in a Radio 4 programme being recorded in the BBC tent. However, that’s another story …

Anneliese Emmans Dean www.theBigBuzz.biz – Bringing poetry to life

All the fun of the Insect Festival!

Well, my Insect Festival 2013 began on Saturday morning at the Radio York studios where I was reviewing the papers and also assisting Festival organiser Luke Tilley tell listeners about the insect joys in store. Luke chose to do this by bringing in crickets for us all to sample. I say ‘us  all’. In fact, I chickened out. Or rather, cricketted out. But here are BBC presenter Julia Booth and her production assistant Jack gallantly tucking in to grilled (or were they baked?)  crickets in a cajun sauce:

BBC Radio York presenter Julia Booth with assistant Jack eating crickets in cajun sauce!

BBC Radio York presenter Julia Booth with assistant Jack eating crickets in cajun sauce!

The Insect Festival itself was the next day, a blistering hot Sunday, in the Museum Gardens in York. And it was teeming with people of all ages.

I was signing copies of my Buzzing! book on the Brambleby Books stand …

Signing copies of my Buzzing! book at the Brambleby Books stand at the Insect Festival, York, 7 July  2013

Signing copies of my Buzzing! book at the Brambleby Books stand at the Insect Festival, York, 7 July 2013 (Photo by Christina Surdhar)

… and had the pleasure of meeting all sorts of interesting people:

At the other end of the Brambleby Books stand was the very talented Mike Barfield, signing copies of his wonderful book SWAT! How he survived the heat dressed in his fly outfit is beyond me …

Mike Barfield, author of SWAT! at the Insect Festival 2013

Mike Barfield, author of SWAT! at the Insect Festival 2013

Not only did children enjoy being swatted by him, they were also fascinated by the fly-themed origami creations he was handing out:

Decoding Mike Barfield's SWAT! origami handouts at the 2013 Insect Festival

Decoding Mike Barfield’s SWAT! origami handouts at the 2013 Insect Festival

Hats off to Luke Tilley and the Royal Entomological Society for such an enjoyable and educational Insect Festival. Here’s to the next one, in 2015!

Hugh Loxdale, Luke Tilley, Mike Barfield and my publisher Nicola Loxdale of Brambleby Books enjoying the Insect Festival 2013

Former RES President Hugh Loxdale, Festival Organiser Luke Tilley, author Mike Barfield and our publisher Nicola Loxdale of Brambleby Books enjoying the Insect Festival 2013

Anneliese Emmans Deanwww.theBigBuzz.biz – Bringing poetry to life