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Bumble and Snug and the Angry Pirates: Book 1
Bumble and Snug and the Angry Pirates: Book 1

BOOK OF THE WEEK - We love this full-colour, graphic novel, pirate adventure. It's perfect for young readers and fans of Dog Man.

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Guest Blog from Emer Stamp

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The PESTS adventure stories by Emer Stamp are perfect for readers 7+, with awesome illustrations and plenty of poo jokes.

PESTS is the Peewit Educatorium for Seriously Terrible Scoundrels - a school for pests that know how to stay hidden. The hilarious (and disgusting) adventures of Stix the mouse and his other PESTy friends are brought to life by Emer Stamp's brilliant black-and-white illustrations.

Our reviewers loved book one:

"This is one of those books that you sit and read right until the end without putting it down. I loved that it is full of funny drawings, too." LilyP, aged 8

"This is a funny story with great pictures and lots of poo. I loved it!" MinecraftManiac, aged 9

"I really like this book. It was really funny and the pictures were good." PurpleZoe, aged 7

"This is probably one of the most disgusting books I have ever read with my son, and he absolutely LOVED it!" readerfrombrighton

"I've given this book 5 stars because it made me laugh. I loved the funny ending especially." Missladybird, aged 8

Book two Return of the Pests is out now, and to celebrate author/ illustrator Emer Stamp has written a fabulous guest blog all about how she illustrates the books. Read on and watch her video to find out more.

For all the budding illustrators out there, you can also check out how to draw Stix yourself here.

Toppsta
2021-07-16
Guest Blog from Emer Stamp

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guest blog by emer stamp

As an author and illustrator, I am often asked about the process involved in the creation of my books. Children are always asking me which comes first, the drawing or the writing. For me it is not a process that is that simple to pick apart. Take, for example, my new series PESTS. 

The idea for the overall concept came to me one morning. As I lay cursing a noisy pigeon for waking me at 4am, my mind began to whirr. What if, I thought, this annoying bird had been sent specifically to wake me, and if that were the case (go with me, this is the way my mind works) who had taught it to make such an infernal racket?

The idea for P.E.S.T.S. – The Peewit Educatorium for Seriously Terrible Scoundrels – was born. A school where pesty creatures are taught how to be the worst they can be.

I had an idea, now I needed to work out the finer detail, such as, where was this school? (in the basement of a mansion block) and who were the staff and pupils? (a mouse, bat, pigeon, spider, mole, fly, carpet beetle and rat). Reaching these solutions involved a fair bit of head-scratching and, most of all, a lot of drawing.


Toppsta
2021-07-16
Guest Blog from Emer Stamp

I find that sketching things out helps me to better understand them. This is particularly true for characters. Working out what they look like – their body shape and physiology – helps me start to understand their personalities. For example, as soon as I drew Dug, the mole, with his enormous paws, I realised he would be that keen kid who always puts his hand up first. 


Toppsta
2021-07-16
Guest Blog from Emer Stamp

Once I have all my characters sketched out, I firm up my thinking by writing a paragraph about them or, in some cases, conducting an interview – this might sound strange, as it is after all me talking to myself, but it is surprisingly helpful and often throws up interesting ideas.

I then put away my drawing pencils and start plotting and writing. From this point until completion of the final text I don’t do any more drawing. It takes me roughly 9 months to write the story, and then a further two to three months to draw the pictures. 

My publisher gives me free reign over what illustrations I might want to include. So, I read through the book and note moments that I think would be relevant, or funny, for the reader to see. For The Return of The Pests, this list ran to 132 images.

I draw the images in chronological order – this helps with continuity. As I draw I sometimes alight on a funnier way to play out a moment, and at this point I will go back in and tweak the text accordingly – there is a real symbiosis between the two processes. 

Toppsta
2021-07-16
Guest Blog from Emer Stamp

The images I create are all hand-drawn, I don’t use computers at all. If I make a mistake, I either rub it out, or start again. Because my books are so heavily illustrated, I like to keep the process as simple as I can. For me this means working in black and white and using a single medium. I drew the pictures for my Diary of Pig series with pen and ink, for PESTS I used a Faber-Castell black pencil crayon – I’ve gone through nearly 30 of them in the creation of the two books.

Toppsta
2021-07-16
Guest Blog from Emer Stamp

I pour everything into the pictures I create as I know how important they are to my readers’ enjoyment of the books. I believe the more evocative and expressive the images are, the more the children will enjoy the text. The first thing my children (5 and 8) ask me when we choose a book to read is, are there any pictures? As I read, they always stop me to look at them. It shocks me the details they take in and makes me realise that I can never put enough into my own work. 

Toppsta
2021-07-16
Guest Blog from Emer Stamp
Book pages Placeholder Book

PESTS: Book 1

When the lights go off, the PESTS come out! The laugh-out-loud new series f rom the author/illustrator of the bestselling DIARY OF PIG series and DADDY FARTYPANTS. With amazing GLOW IN THE DARK cover, and a hidden message for young pests to find.

Meet Stix, the tiny but heroic mouse who might be living behind your washing machine. But is he naughty enough to join the PESTS?

Stix is the size of an egg cup, can jump the width of a dog's bottom, and LOVES cheese. That's because Stix is a mouse. He probably lives behind your washing machine, but you wouldn't know it, because his grandma taught him to always stay out of trouble and NEVER let the humans know he's there. But now Stix has stumbled across P.E.S.T.S. - the Peewit Educatorium for Seriously Terrible Scoundrels - in the basement of his building, and along with a whole host of new pesty friends (and enemies), he's about to rip up Grandma's rule book and make a REAL pest of himself...

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Book pages Placeholder Book

PESTS: Return of the Pests: Book 2

Watch out - the PESTS are BACK and they're hairier and scarier than ever! The second book in the new laugh-out-loud series from Emer Stamp, award-winning creator of the bestselling DIARY OF PIG series. With amazing GLOW IN THE DARK cover.

Stix is the tiny but heroic mouse that could be living behind YOUR washing machine. You wouldn't know it though, because Stix knows how to stay hidden. That's because Stix goes to P.E.S.T.S. - the Peewit Educatorium for Terrible Scoundrels - a school for pests in the basement of Peewit Mansions where Stix lives. At P.E.S.T.S. they teach you how to run around causing mischief without those pesky humans ever knowing you're there. But now Peewit Mansions has a new landlord, the evil Colin Royale and his pet pooch The Duchess, and he wants everyone out - pests included. Stix and his friends are going to have to scare them away if they want to save their home and school. Sounds like a job for the PESTS ...

'Riotously funny, with enough expressive drawings and poo jokes to delight Pig fans as well as new readers' - Guardian

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14th July 2021

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Featured Book
Bumble and Snug and the Angry Pirates: Book 1
Bumble and Snug and the Angry Pirates: Book 1

BOOK OF THE WEEK - We love this full-colour, graphic novel, pirate adventure. It's perfect for young readers and fans of Dog Man.

View book