Now that spring is here, I’m tuning my ukelele, dusting off my space-suit, and heading out to do more author events with That Sarah McIntyre. We’ll be in exotic Walthamstow on Monday and in Leicester next week, doing big events for local schools. Then at the end of the month (18th – 22nd March) we’ve been invited to bring our Cakes in Space caketacular to the Mountains to Sea Festival in Dun Laoghaire. I love visiting Ireland, and we had a great time last time we did Mountains to Sea.  If you’re in the area, we’ll be talking about writing and illustrating children’s books with Steve Cole and Tom Donegan on Friday  and doing the full Cakes show on Saturday afternoon, and we’d love to see you there.

Photo: Sarah McIntyre

I’ve also been busy reading the shortlist for the YA Book Prize. It’s been a pleasure, because it’s a very strong list, and I’m very impressed by the quality of books being published for young people at the moment. There are at least five which I’d be quite happy to see win when the award is announced on 19th March. (I’ll blog about all my favourites afterwards.)

And finally, it’s just been announced that Cakes in Space is one of the titles selected for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, a brilliant initiative which gets thousands of kids reading through the summer holidays every year (Sarah M did the illustrations for it last year). We’re very pleased that Cakes in Space is going to be a part of it, and OUP have just revealed the slightly simplified cover design for the paperback edition, which will be released this summer.

Artwork by Sarah McIntyre