Dutch Day (featuring Chickens)

There is something wonderful about having Barry Cunningham as your publisher. He used to dress up as a puffin (for Puffin) and travel around with Roald Dahl, talking to children about what they loved to read. Now you never quite know what he’ll think of next.

Today was Dutch Day. Barry has set up a relationship with a Dutch publishing company (The Look is coming out in Dutch in the early summer), and a selection of Dutch (and Belgian) booksellers came to Somerset to meet a selection of Chicken House authors and do a lot of chicken-related activities.

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It was mad. It was wonderful. We got to hold the actual, real live chicken. It laid an egg, but luckily not while I was holding it. (I was worried it would – it seemed that way inclined.) The Dutch (and Belgians) were all, as we expected, fantastic. We got to play with Barry’s Wurlitzer (he has a Wurlitzer) and do readings in strange places in Barry’s house.

In the garden is the real chicken house that gave the name to the company that gave you … Threads and The Look and a bunch of other books you may have read.

At the end is a picture of St Catherine’s Hill in Frome, around the corner from the Chicken House office, where I popped in to talk typeset pages with Esther. It’s one of my favourite shopping streets – full of vintage shops, flower shops and bead shops. As if someone had known I was going to come and quickly laid on all my favourite stuff.

All in all, a good day. How can an author not be pleased when her book is arranged around a pink chicken? This author was pleased.

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