Read any good children’s books recently? Stuck for ideas?  Well, this week is your big chance to hop around the world in search of good reads for kids.  You may even win copies, too!   Children’s Book Week is a celebration of the best books for children. 

Every day this week I’ll be posting here, talking about my books, my characters and other books that inspired me.   There will also be some extra activities and on every post there will be a link to my Giveaway.  You can enter some of the options every day you visit.

Hugo and Mariusz – the mystery guinea pigs

All the characters in my books, The Princelings of the East and the rest of the series, are guinea pigs.  They have a complex world, live in castles and other communities and have work, school and all the usual things ‘people’ do. They are based on my real guinea pigs, the first of whom were Fred and George, then along came Victor and Hugo about eighteen months later.  Then we were on the Guinea Pigs – Rodents with Attitude forum one February when DawnC arrived – and she had two guinea pigs,  a beautiful sheltie type called Saku and a big bold chap called Mariusz, who was just like Hugo!

Now here’s a puzzle for you: which is Hugo and which is Mariusz?  The picture on the cover of the Traveler in Black and White was done by Dawn using pastels and working from a photograph.  Which pig is it, hers or mine?

What books do you know where two characters look alike?  I can think of quite a lot.  Many of them swap places, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for bad.  I can think of three where one of them is a prince or king and the other a commoner or visitor.  I’ve listed those at the bottom of the page, below the Giveaway, along with the answers to the picture puzzle.

Tomorrow is Friday and I’ll talk about Victor, who appears in the first four books, and I’ve been writing another starring him ever since I finished Traveler.  It still isn’t finished, though.

Things to do

Mariusz and hatToday’s picture is one of Mariusz or Hugo with his nice hat.  Download it here and print it out.  You don’t have to use the same colours as the cover, but you can if you like.  It’s your picture!  I once did a snow scene in pink and pale green.  It looked surprisingly good!

Enter my Giveaway

KL Giveaway

Thanks to Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews I’m taking part in a worldwide promotion, the Kid Lit Giveaway Hop. My Giveaway is part of that.

The prizes are:

  • one copy of the Princelings Trilogy (paperback) to a winner in the EU (plus Norway and Switzerland)
  • a bundle of the first three ebooks (as pictured) for a winner elsewhere in the world.
  • one copy of my latest ebook The Talent Seekers (or another of the series if preferred) to a winner (worldwide)

It’s open now and it will close at midnight 19th May (New York time). Click the Kid Lit Giveaway button above to enter – and you can enter every day!

Even more – you can go to other blogs with more books and competitions! Let’s go hopping…

Click here to find more participants and view this Linky Tools list.

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Books: I’m thinking The Prince and The Pauper, The Man in the Iron Mask and The Prisoner of Zenda, but there are loads more – and plenty of more recent films, too.

Guinea pigs: Mariusz is on the left, Hugo on the right.  You can’t tell from those pictures, but Mariusz’s white lip and cheek, which you can see on the book cover (yes, it’s Mariusz on the cover) were unlike Hugo’s.  Hugo had black cheeks, and a white lip stripe that went down his throat and broadened out on his chest.  Hugo’s white in his crest (on top of his head) started slightly further back than Mariusz’s.  And although they both had a white left foot and a black right foot at the front, Mariusz’s back feet were both black whereas Hugo’s were both white!  And in truth, Hugo was really a dark chocolate colour rather than true black.  It depended on the light, really. But they were both big, bold and very beautiful buddies.  Always up to mischief. I’d better stop there…

Children’s Book Week Day 4
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