Saturday, 17 April 2010

Bob Picture Books

Big news and a big bumper book. There is now a new book about Bob and it includes puzzles and stickers as well as a new story and some special poems. This is it. It's called The Bumper Book of Bob.

These are the actual picture books Simon's written so far. You may have already read the first one, Bob, Man on the Moon. In the second one, Bob's Best-Ever Friend, Bob decides that he would like to find a special friend and that's when we meet Barry. The paperback editions of the books have a CD in the back with Simon reading the stories, and we're rather hoping that at some point the first one will be available as an ebook for your ipad.

The Alien Spotter's Guide has a whole collection of aliens in it and also a model of Bob's rocket made out of very strong card. Have a look at the publishers' website for all of these.

This picture is of Bob in the local petshop from the book Bob's Best Ever Friend. He can't see any aliens but I wonder if you can. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

And now Hurrah!!! There is a third picture book about Bob and this is a very important one because you'll learn just a bit more about aliens - and whether they really do exist. It's called Bob and the Moon Tree Mystery. You can find out where Simon will be talking about it at various festivals during the autumn by going to the "Simon's Bob talks" part of this website.

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Books for Older Children

For people who have read the picture books and want to read a longer story about Bob there were two books published last year. They're called The Disappearing Moon, and A Right Royal Disaster. Bob gets into some awful difficulties but he seems to manage to sort things out in the end. It's a good job he's got Barry to help.

And now there are two more books in this series, Clone Chaos and The Heartless Robots. Simon was very pleased because Clone Chaos has been reviewed by LoveReadiong4Kids. You can read that here.

Here are two of the pencil drawings from The Disappearing Moon. One is of the crowd of people on Earth looking up at the Moon, and the other is a surprise.

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Simon's talks about Bob

Simon also gives talks about Bob and likes listening to what children say about it all. There are some more coming up soon, so there might be one near you. He's very happy to sign your books as well.

Here's a report about a talk he gave at South Shields

And here's one about his week in London and the south-east which included World Book Day. By Friday he was in Lewes, Sussex, meeting the children at Lewes Old Grammar School. Thank you to all the schools and bookshops who welcomed him. Also to the marvellous people at Simon's publishers, Templar, who arranged the whole thing.

Simon lives in Newcastle which is very useful for the Children's Book Centre there. It's called Seven Stories, and sometimes you can find an original painting of his there for all to see. Also he gives talks there. The photo below is from Seven Stories.

The people at Seven Stories painted a whole wall with a moon background so that children could add stickers. I wonder how long it will stay there.

Here (below) is Simon in his own local library in Gateshead. The people organising this lovely new library asked him if they could put some images from the Bob books on the wall. Of course, Simon said yes.

Now that Simon has finished the new picture book about Bob he can come out of his shed sometimes so that he can talk to people. In October at half-term he came down to London to visit the Word Up Festival in Dulwich, and he also spent a morning at the Science Museum where he met a lot of children who knew about Bob. Some of them had even heard about Bob at school.

First he drew them an alien and then he had another major excitement. One of the helpers at the museum asked him if he'd like to try on a real space suit so of course he said yes. Here he is, wearing the very suit which a man called Cernan had worn on the moon. In fact he was the last man to be on the moon - except for Bob, of course.

When the editor of the magazine 'TBK' saw the photos she thought they would be perfect for their caption competition.

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Bob's play and CBeebies

The play, which has been written and produced by a company called Travelling Light - and Sixth Sense has now finished its second tour. It travelled around the UK in twice and it was very successful. As far as we know, there are no more plans for it to be shown but of course we'll let you know more as soon as we can.

Here you'll find more information about the show, and some puzzles too.

The photo at the top shows the actor who plays Bob, whose name is Frank, (on the left) when he met Simon after the play. The bottom picture shows what Bob looks like on stage. Click anywhere on this paragraph and you'll see some highlights of the show.

When Simon saw the show he said "Frank was a fizzing, living, breathing Bob and I'd be delighted tohave him guide me around the Moon. The show was a joy."

Also, if you like watching CBeebies you might have seen Adrian Lester reading the story about the day Bob met Barry, his unusual dog friend. If you keep watching CBeebies at bed time you might see it again.

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Bob Notes for Teachers

Sometimes teachers like to read books about Bob in schools so Simon's publishers (Templar Publishing) have produced some good things to help them. You can download them all here.

And in 2011 Simon's book about The Disappearing Moon was been chosen for the Summer Reading Challenge. Their theme was "Space Hop" so that ties up rather well. And, of course, there are now three more stories about Bob. The series is called the Lunar Adventures of Bob and Barry and you'll find them on Amazon.

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Dougal's Deep-Sea Diary

Bob has a cousin. He's called Dougal and the book about him begins with him getting on the train every day to go to work in an office. However, by the end of the book he's had so many adventures - he's learnt to swim among the brightly-coloured fish, found treasure, met mermaids, seen sharks and dolphins, and been interviewed for television. The idea of becoming a deep-sea diver all the time seems quite a good idea after that.

This is the cover of the book, and an illustration of Neptune from the day when Dougal had to borrow his fork. Inside the book you should find a CD so that you can hear Simon read the story himself.

Dougal's Deep-Sea Diary. Book and CD

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Activity Books

There are two activity books full of puzzles, wordsearches, mazes and plenty of stickers.

Bob's Big Activity Book

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Simon's poems

When Simon's not thinking about Bob he often writes a poem. In fact he's written a whole book of poems. Here are some of his favourites. They're from his book Watch out for Sprouts.

If you can find a copy of the paperback edition of the book you should find that there's a CD in the back. Simon was recorded reading some of the poems and it works really well as there's nothing better than hearing a poet reciting his own poems.

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Originals and Prints for Sale

You might be able to tell from Simon's pictures that they take a long time to paint or draw. There is such a lot of detail in each one - and there are often aliens who pop up - so they need to be painted too. If you'd like to see some of the paintings and drawings you can find them on his agent's website. They sell the original paintings for Simon. Sometimes there are prints for sale too.

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