Welcome to my latest blog piece which is part of a blog tour for the Laugh Out Loud 2020 Book Awards, also known as Lollies.
This annual award is a celebration of the best children’s books that really make readers chuckle. The books are voted in by children themselves in three categories:
Best Laugh Out Loud Picture Book
Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 6-8 year olds
Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 9-13 year olds.
This years nominations are pictured below and I’m delighted to be sharing a picture book nomination in this blog post.
Ten Fat Sausages by Michelle Robinson and illustrated by Tor Freeman.
Ten Fat Sausages, published by Andersen Press, is a familiar book in our home as my family and I attended a workshop. It took place in Newcastle at Seven Stories and was led by the author Michelle Robinson. It was a brilliant session of book fun and we also got to meet Michelle Robinson who was energetic in her delivery of the book and super friendly. I’m delighted that we’ve got to interview her as part of this blog piece but first let me tell you more about the book.
The book will remind readers of the rhyme Ten Fat Sausages Sizzling In A Pan but after reading this book you’ll see that the ten sausages in this book are for more gutsy to just be sizzled happily.
The book, as well as being a counting book, is a rather entertaining read where readers will witness sausages doing what they can to escape being eaten. The sausages come alive, full of emotions and personalities trying to escape in various ways, which in more cases then not results in a few kitchen mishaps.
The book is a brilliant resource to be used in a learning setting, for its counting down, read aloud fun complete with rhythmic text and the absolute funny side of food that can talk.
Michelle Robinson’s rhythmic text flows brilliantly and Tor Freeman’s art work, well it certainly brings the story to life. The illustrations are colourful and bold and the sausages are drawn expressively within a familiar kitchen setting. My girls and I also think the varied page layouts seeing the sausages in action is rather entertaining also.
As well as being a very fun read for preschoolers the humour will certainly be appreciated by older readers too. My 5 year old certainly gives it a big thumbs up.
Interview with Michelle Robinson.
I am so happy to be welcoming Michelle Robinson to my blog.
Many congratulations for Ten Fat Sausages being nominated for the LOLLIES award.
Thank you very much! Tor and I are super chuffed to have our book on such a cool shortlist.
Can you tell us a little more about how this fun rhyming read came to be?
I stuck a fork in a sausage to see if it was cooked through, then found myself apologising to it for being so violent. I have a habit of projecting feelings onto inanimate objects. It may not be the most useful life skill, but it’s a pretty handy trait in a children’s author.
My eldest daughter would like to know do you enjoy eating sausages? She is a big fan of vegetarian sausages.
I’m with your eldest daughter on this one: veggie sausages are where it’s at. Beyond that, I don’t much like sausages much at all. There’s no such animal as a sausage. As such, I have a deep mistrust of the things.
Do you have fond memories of picture books that you enjoyed as a child?
Not really. I don’t think we had many apart from a handful of very dark ones, like Ping the Duck which involves cruelty to both ducks and children. I still have a copy. I got into reading properly when I was around seven. I loved my local library, plus there was a second hand book store where I was allowed to buy Famous Five books for 10p. I also thought Puffin Book Club was the most amazing thing ever. I loved poring over the catalogue. I think I was even allowed to order a book once or twice.
Are there any stand out picture books that your children have particularly enjoyed? Any funny ones amongst them?
We Robinsons love funny books more than any other kind. That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton is sheer perfection. I’m a big fan of Mo Willems, too. My favourite is Leonardo the Terrible Monster. And I’ll never tire of Dr Seuss. He used words like toys. There’s a line in If I Ran The Circus that makes me grin every time: “And now comes an act of Enormous Enormance! No former performer’s performed this performance!” His words are a joy to read aloud. It’s like having a mouthful of sweets.
I am aware that you have written many great picture books now but if you weren’t an author what would you be?
I constantly daydream about being outstanding in my field in all sorts of things — rock star, Hollywood legend, prime minister, Olympian, explorer, astronaut — none of which I have any aptitude for. In truth, I’d probably just be out, standing in a field. A mighty nice thing to be.
Are you working on a picture book at the moment? Could we get some exclusive information about it?
I’m always working on several. Hmm, which one shall I tell you about…? I’ve written something a little bit Seussian that David Roberts will be illustrating for Bloomsbury. It’s about a rather wondrous and near-extinct creature, and I can’t wait to see what David does with it. He’s a very busy bee, so I’ll just have to remain patient — hence why us picture book writers are always working on several books at one time!
And finally very quickly which would you rather, my daughters (2 and 5) helped me with these questions.
Mayonnaise or ketchup?
Mayonnaise, please. Although my son likes to mix the two together and make Mayochup.
Autumn or winter?
Autumn is my absolute favourite time of year.
Sweet or savoury?
Skydive or bungee jump?
Neither, ever. Not even if you paid me. Heights and ledges make me feel really, truly awful.
Painting or play dough?
Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog and taking time to answer our questions.
I do hope you’ve enjoyed my piece for the Laugh Out Loud book awards. The winning book in each category will be decided by the number of votes received. Parents, carers and school get voting by heading to the Lollies website, www.scholastic.co.uk/lollies Also, follow along to see more blog posts and competitions as part of the tour by more super duper book bloggers.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book for review purposes for participation on the blog tour. All words and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.