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The Lion Above the Door
The Lion Above the Door

BOOK OF THE MONTH - From Onjali Q. Rauf, the award-winning author of The Boy at the Back of the Class, comes an incredible story about missing histories and the concept of a universal family, told with humour and heart.

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Reader Q&A with Beach

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The Dragon With the Blazing Bottom is the start of a hilarious new picture book series about a dragon who has lost his flame.

Written and illustrated by new picture book talent Beach, it is a fabulously silly story with an explosive ending that has delighted our early reviewers!

Mum Becky and her two children aged 7 and 2 really enjoyed this book. They gave it five stars:

"My children found this funny rhyming story absolutely hilarious and laughed all the way through it... The illustrations in this story are fabulous and add to the brilliant humour in the story. This is a great picture book that my children have wanted to reread and we're excited to read the next book in this new series."

They had the chance to ask author/ illustrator Beach some questions about writing and illustrating this picture book. 

Check out their Q&A with him below and you can find Becky and her two young readers on Instagram (@family_book_club_)

Toppsta
2021-10-06
Reader Q&A with Beach

reader Q&A with beach

1. Where were you when you had the idea for your story?

I was probably riding a bicycle. I get most of my story ideas while I’m out cycling. 

2. When did you decide to be an author/illustrator?

I started writing picture books about 12 years ago. I was already working full-time as an illustrator which sounds like it would be an advantage but it didn’t actually leave much time for writing. So I would often start on a story only to put it aside when work got busy. Then by the time I was free to write again I would usually have had a new story idea so I would start writing that one instead. This pattern went on for years and years before I realised what was happening – my desk drawers are overflowing with abandoned picture books! The Dragon with the Blazing Bottom was the first story I actually managed to finish. And even then, it still spent ages buried in a drawer while I worked out what to do with it.

Toppsta
2021-10-06
Reader Q&A with Beach

3. What will your next book be about? 

The next book is a totally new blazing bottom story starring Dragon and Sir Wayne – this time with an even more surprising ending! If all goes well it should be out next summer. 

4. How did you learn to draw?

I’m still learning. Every day I feel like I learn something new about drawing and it’s been that way since I was 11. 

5. What is your favourite children's book?

This is an impossible question – I have so many! I even have some favourites that are written in foreign languages that I bought simply because I love the illustrations so much. But as a parent, I think the book I enjoyed reading most to my children was 'Dear Zoo'. It sits in that special moment in time when children are beginning to understand what a book can be – when they move from engaging with books as objects with shapes and colours and things to touch, to understanding them as stories with characters and ideas that can surprise and delight and fire their imaginations.

6. How long did it take to write the book?

A lot longer than it takes to read! I think I probably spent about a month writing the original text, and then a couple of months re-writing it with my editor. I am a slow writer – sometimes it takes me a whole morning just to write one or two lines. 

7. Do you believe in dragons?

Of course! How else would I light my pizza oven?!

8. What are your best tips for writing/illustrating a children's book?

Listen to your editor! I can’t speak for all editors, but mine is a genius.

9. There were lots of strange ingredients in the recipe for the dragon. What is the strangestfood/drink you have ever had?

Bananas with cheese. I was on a train in Indonesia and I saw it on the menu. I figured perhaps something had got lost in translation – maybe they meant ‘cream’ instead of ‘cheese’ – but no, it was just slices of bananas topped with grated cheese. It was totally edible (I like bananas, I like cheese) but it did baffle my taste buds a bit. It tastes just as it sounds – if you have a banana and a block of cheddar at home you can try it yourself. 

10. Can you tell us a joke?

Q. Why was the sand wet?
A. Because the sea weed.


Toppsta
2021-10-06
Reader Q&A with Beach

The Dragon With the Blazing Bottom is out now. 

Find out more about the book in this video trailer. You can also download free colouring sheets here and watch Beach teach you how to draw Sir Wayne here.

Toppsta
2021-10-06
Reader Q&A with Beach

youtube video play button

Book pages Placeholder Book

The Dragon with the Blazing Bottom

The first in a fabulously funny and hugely commercial series about a dragon who has lost his flame - but may just find fire elsewhere . . . Perfect for fans of The DInosaur That Pooped series.

Sir Wayne's dragon has lost his flame. Are his teeth TOO clean? Is his tongue TOO pink? Perhaps his diet is to blame. Not to worry - Sir Wayne has a meal plan of EPIC proportions, including a big lump of lava, one burning bush, some sparklers and fireworks - the ones that go 'WHOOOOSH'. Oh, and one VERY mouldy old piece of cheese - almost as green as the snot from a sneeze . . . What could possibly go wrong?!

A hilarious and dynamic character-driven picture book, with a truly explosive ending! From the hugely exciting new picture book talent, Beach.

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6th October 2021

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Featured Book
The Lion Above the Door
The Lion Above the Door

BOOK OF THE MONTH - From Onjali Q. Rauf, the award-winning author of The Boy at the Back of the Class, comes an incredible story about missing histories and the concept of a universal family, told with humour and heart.

View book
Featured Books