Here in the UK, we’ve all got the same strange feeling of deja vu. Coronavirus Lockdown Season 2 started last Tuesday and so far episode 1 was very familiar to episode 1 of the first season.

But I’m determined not to let myself sink into the doom and gloom whirlpool so, instead of stocking up on toilet paper, episode 2 will see me filling the car boot with wine.

On that note, I’ve got two things to share that will hopefully bring more happiness into your family.

Children’s Book Festivals have unfortunately been cancelled right across the country (and the globe). But I’m pleased to share that a whole bunch of them have banded together to create an online Children’s Book Festival for schools and families to enjoy . . . and the best bit is that it’s completely FREE!

It’s called “Reading is Magic.”

Six days of free, inclusive and engaging digital events with leading authors and illustrators for schools and families.

It’s inspired by the wonderful children’s author Cressida Cowell, who wrote ‘The Wizards of Once’ and ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ series.

It’s full of seminars for all ages, which are live and then available to watch until the end of the year, and here’s my top three suggestions:

  1. Be Inspired to Write a Book-Themed Song with ‘The Bookshop Band’The Bookshop Band write songs inspired by stories and enjoy nothing more than performing them in book stores around the country. English folk singer-songwriters Ben and Beth perform three magical book-themed songs especially for the Reading is Magic Festival.
  2. Create Your Own Cartoon Portrait with Adam MurphyIn this lightning-fast live-drawing session, Adam will show how he does it, using self-portrait and pictures of famous people from history, and pulling out details to create cartoons which will surprise you and make you laugh. He will then invite you to have a go at creating your own cartoon portraits. Guaranteed to be fun, educational and informative.
  3. Reading for the Joy of It with Two LaureatesJoin not one, but two Children’s Laureates in an all-star international celebration of books and reading with the always brilliant Cressida Cowell from the UK and the superb Jason Reynolds from the USA! They celebrate the joys of reading and writing on both sides of the Atlantic – and the good that can come from the magic of reading when that magic is available to everyone.

Here’s the full schedule.

All the events are free to watch and rewatch until the end of 2020.

Now that Season 2 of Lockdown has begun, I want to do my bit to entertain all those delightful goblins who are locked up again (potentially for 6 months . . . gulp!)

Last time I made my latest book – The Village Creatures – a free download and lowered the price of all my books to 99p. But I want to do something different this time.

So, I’ve added all my books to Kindle Unlimited.

If you’ve never heard of it before, its a book subscription service run by Amazon. When subscribed you have access to over 1 million books, thousands of audiobooks and hundreds of magazine subscriptions. The first 30-days are free and then it’s £7.99 a month, so you and your kids can read as many books as you possibly can (for me that would be roughly 3-4 books, but I’m a snail reader).

I’m also planning on making the first book in my new pirate adventure series – Monsters of the Sea – free to download once it’s finished. I promise you guys will be the first to know when it’s ready.

Right, it’s time to crack open that next bottle of wine. It’s always 5 pm somewhere in the world, and today it is that time in my bathroom where I’ve locked myself in for the weekend.

Happy reading!


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