Posted in book launches, picture books

Our first book launch!

Last Wednesday, 2nd of October 2013, we attended our first ever book launch!

It was to celebrate the publication of the crazy, zany but fantastic book The Weasel Puffin Unicorn Baboon Pig Lobster Race by James Thorp and Angus Mackinnon, which we reviewed here.


Image courtesy of

Here are Holly’s thoughts on the experience.

The other night, me, my mum and my dad went to The Weasel Puffin Unicorn Baboon Pig Lobster Race book launch. It was so much fun! They had these pretty cupcakes that tasted brilliant, sausage rolls, crisps, drinks and smoked salmon sandwiches with cream cheese and the crusts cut off. The launch was at a place called Poke in Shoreditch in London and we all had to wear little stickers that had ‘Poke’ written on them to show we had signed in. I even got my book signed!

The travelling was good too except on the Underground. First we took the train from Oxford to London Paddington which was an hour and then from Paddington to Liverpool Street tube station which was half an hour. Then we walked to Poke which was 15 minutes. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and we would love to go to another book launch again!

Sam’s thoughts

We’ve not attended a launch before and Holly was beside herself with excitement at the prospect not just of attending it but staying up late on a school night! And for such a prestigious evening too. Despite being squashed on the Underground like sardines, we found it amazing to emerge into the buzz of rush-hour London in the financial district. Holly was amazed at the glass-fronted buildings and thought them quite beautiful. Any pre-launch butterflies she had experienced on the train rapidly disappeared as she looked at the angles and the reflections as the setting sun caught the glass and city lights started shining.

Poke was quite an amazing building – you could tell that artistic people worked there! There was a huge red chandelier in the Lobby and large toy robots as decorations. We caught the lift to the fourth floor and walked into a party atmosphere. There were posters everywhere from the book, tables with refreshments and the amazing cupcakes Holly referred to with little flags sticking out the tops, with animals from the books on them. We chatted to the ever-friendly Amanda Brettargh, who handles all the publicity for Digital Leaf, and then were treated to the launch speech from both James and Angus, who were delighted and exhausted to be launching the book and a musical accompaniment to it, which we all watched and listened to. Great music and hilarious voices make the book a totally suitable title to bring to life.

Just before we left to dash back to Oxford, Holly spoke to James and Angus and had her photo taken with them. She was quite shy about meeting them in person which might show a little in this photo! But believe me, she was so full of her experience on the way home that, by the time we finally put her to bed she was asleep in minutes. And then talking about it all the next day!

Holly with Angus and James at the book launch!
Holly with Angus and James at the book launch!


We would like to thank Amanda and all her colleagues at Digital Leaf for inviting us to the launch and for all their kindness and hospitality! We loved it!




Childtastic Books started out as a collaborative blog, written by me and my young daughter Holly. Now she's nearly a teen, she's off doing exciting and new things but I am still here, reading, writing and reviewing books for children and young adults of all ages. I miss her input but I hope she will pop in from time to time to do some guest posts! A little about me - I have just finished an MA in Children's Literature from the University of Roehampton (result pending, eeek) and am a part-time primary school librarian. The other part of my time is spent writing and editing, my own work and others, and I am waiting for my first non-fiction book to be published - a teacher resources pack for Handa's Surprise. I welcome comments and love to hear from visitors to this blog. Please note though that, because of time constraints, it is rare that I can read and review books from self-published authors. I receive so many requests and feel badly about not being able to keep up with them all. Thanks for visiting! Sam

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