Tag Archives: elf

Can you feel the Christmas presence?

It’s finally upon us, Christmas day. Food, Presents, food, drink, food, music, food, games and food. It’s the time of year to eat ‘til you want to burst, have a sleep then eat some more. I love it.

It’s strange for me to see the most wanted Christmas toy list that they seem to have every year. I like to think that, being a teacher, I am relatively up to date with kids TV, music and toys. Every now and then though I am reminded how wrong and old I am. So here is the top 10. Recognise any?

Doggie Doo, John Adams, RRP £22.99

Fijit Friends, Mattel, RRP £54.99

Fireman Sam Pontypandy Rescue Set, Character, RRP £29.99

Kidizoom Twist, VTech, RRP £49.99

LeapPad Explorer, Leapfrog Toys, RRP £79.99

Lets Rock Elmo, Hasbro, RRP £69.99

Milky the Bunny, Flair, RRP £59.99

Monster High Lagoona’s Hydration Station, Mattel, RRP £39.99

Moshling Tree House, Vivid, RRP £18.99

Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster, Hasbro, RRP £44.99

Me either!

So then, here are my top 5 Christmas gifts. Time for a festive list…

5) Kid size pool table. This was an unexpected present for both me and my sister. The problem with this gift was my curiosity, that coupled with the fact that I’d had an early night and was up way too early. Basically I’m making excuses for the fact that I peaked. The size of the thing meant that it couldn’t be wrapped so I saw it. Sorry Ma and Pa I had to do it.

4) Remote control car. I loved my car, it was awesome. It was red and fast, and that is all I remember. I do remember wanting one because my next door neighbour had one and I wanted my own. He was quite a bit older than me and infinitely more patient, so whereas mine was straight out of a box, he spent months building his. I do remember that when he finished it, he drove it straight down the drive, into the road and a car ran it over.

3) A Transformer. I never wanted Optimus prime, I was always after Megatron, something about turning into a gun I suppose. Looking back at the original transformers, and the new version I suppose, is how on Earth (or Cybertron for that matter) was it a good idea to turn into a car when you could be a plane. If I had to go to war I know which one I would prefer to be. Anyway, I was told not to let other kids play with it unless I knew them, I ignored this, it broke, I cried.

2) A pack of tampons. OK so not you traditional gift for a man or boy. To be fair, not really a gift for anyone. Could you imagine on Christmas morning ‘here you are dear, I hope you like them’. Anyway, I digress. We had a secret Santa with the lads many years ago, the remit was under £5 and pointless. I couldn’t have chosen better myself.

1) A speeder bike (the one that works in the forest of Endor). This is a star wars based present and it rocked. Not only was it able to fit neatly in my hand, not only did it come with a full size Luke Skywalker (in full camo gear) but it also exploded when you pressed a button on the back. I still enjoy watching the video of that Christmas as everyone is sitting, eating and being merry and every now and again I would run past shouting (not singing) the Star Wars theme tune.

It’s a strange thing growing up as Christmas doesn’t hold the same appeal it once did. If I really want something now then I can just buy it. If I wanted something then I would have to wait months and weeks to get it. What it does have though is the joy of being able to buy presents. I do love choosing stuff for other people in a way my younger self just wouldn’t understand. May the force be with you this festive season. Merry Christmas y’all.

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To blog or not to blog?

I am really enjoying blogging. It’s an opportunity to say whatever you like to complete strangers. It’s a kind of therapy really, clearing out all the thoughts that swirl around my brain and putting a full stop ( literally) at the end of it. But it has also created a list of problems I hadn’t even considered at the start. Here comes another list…

1) what to blog about? I now find myself laying awake at night, considering what I can speak about. This is not a writers block problem at all, it is quite the opposite. I had at least five topics today, ranging from my friends wife who has recently released a book to the school trip today.

2) is it a family thing? Yesterday I spoke about my grandparents, today I considered writing about my young son. Do I really want to put my real personal life out there? And that brings me onto point 3…

3) is anybody interested in what I have to say? The simple answer is yes, it appears so. I am averaging a good number of hits a day. The problem is this: will I continue to do so? Is what I am saying of any interest to you? I hope so. Plus, I find myself constantly looking at my stats on my WordPress app.

4) how often should I mention the books? The reason for starting to blog was at my publishers behest. He thought I would enjoy it. He was right of course, I’m loving it. But it does come back to the fact that I would like people to go to the titles tab and look at what I have had published (little shameless plug there).

All this said, the problems of blogging are far outweighed by the joy I get from it. I think that, even if the book bombs, it is something I will continue to do.
Please keep reading, I will be right here.

Andrew Thomas
Blogger

Ps. Am gonna ask my friends wife if I can blog about her this week. Tomorrow will be about the great tradition of the school trip. Maybe.

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Bestselling Author?

Strange as it may seem, and odd as it may feel, I am charting in both IBooks and Amazon Kindle and actually selling my books.

Let explain the oddness of this. Last year I had 1 book out, a publisher, an editor and an illustrator. This to me was odd. How could I, a hyperactive teacher, have all of these things? The book did really well, but that, I told myself, was because we were giving it away. Still, it did 50,000 or so and I felt a real pride of accomplishment.

Fast forward to this year. I was out with the lads yesterday (a very stereotypical gathering of men whose wives, girlfriends etc… had gone to a baby shower) and they asked me how the book was doing. A very simple question, but I froze in answering. What I should have done is go on a 10 minute sales pitch about the http://www.squidgeelf.com, or this website with all the links to the books, the kind of ‘tell all your friends and tell them all to tell their friends’ thing, but I didn’t. I told them that it was doing well, asked if they had read it, answered any questions, and left it there.

I think that because the book is selling, because it seems to be doing well, and because they are my mates from way back when, I was worried about sounding a little up my own backside!

I am very proud of what I and the proving house team have done but I do find it difficult to see myself as an author.

Andrew Thomas

Author?

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A double whammy today of poems and a pic. This is the poem from the second book, Little Elf, Big Problem.

Some issues arose with the name as it has, just as Big Trouble did, some negative connotations. I think though, Squidge being a cute fellow who gets in the kind of trouble that a child who was left with a jar of opened chocolate spread would, can pull it off.

 

 Squidge – Little Elf, Big Problem.

If you eat lots of chocolate and you’re not very tall,

If you can’t go on rides ‘cos you’re ever so small,

If you just cannot reach that jar on the shelf,

You’re either a very small child or an elf.

In our story today it’s an elf who’s the star,

Squidge, the littlest elf by far,

But before we meet Squidge and join in his fun,

Before we find out why our friend has to run,

We need to make sure that some other stuff’s done

And so our adventure starts: three… two…

 

“One more and then we can get out of here,” shouted the chief elf as he put the last of the covers on the big machines. “Right oh,” came the reply from his assistant.

 

Hope you like it. The full book is available here

Squidge IBooks

And here

Squidge amazon

Ands lots of free stuff here

Squidge Elf website

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I can’t do it by my elf

Hello all,

The books are still doing well and still 3 more on the way! I have been a bit remiss in not mentioning the illustrator for the Squidge series. Let me see if i can’t rectify that.

The illustrator of our fuzzy haired little friend is the very talented James Lightfoot. Working together, we managed to get Squidge just right, an action elf with a hint of cuteness. He also has created a wonderful new character that you will meet in the new book. A picture so good that he had to have a bigger role!

Not content with being a fantastic illustrator and graphic designer, he is also part of a successful London based band. Check out the links. The first 2 are some of his design/artwork and the last is his band website.

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.490800905152.392062.693465152&type=1

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150633537685153.692451.693465152&type=1

www.thehelmholtzresonators.com

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Tis the season

1st of December already.

The kids in class have been asking for Christmas music, the Christmas displays are already up, the Christmas staff do is booked. More important by far though… The Christmas jumper is on.

Hello mince pies, hello Nat, Bing and Frank, hello mulled wine. Most important by far though… Hello Santa, long time no see.

I can’t wait!

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Climbing the charts

My book seems to be climbing the charts! Number 12 out of nearly 44,000.

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Elf poems

As promised, here is the poem for my first book. It’s available on IBooks and amazon. Just type in squidge and look for the little elf on the front cover.

I also included the first paragraph so it all makes sense.

 

There once was a time, long, long ago,
When toys were simple, and making them slow,
The elves would carve and chop and sew,
But that was a long, long, long, time ago.
And now, every year, as we get the first snow,
Santa opens his letters, but he does not know
What the children have asked for. He says: ‘Ho, ho, ho!
‘Such new fangled things, with screens all aglow!’
And so our story starts: ready, steady …

 
‘Go and fetch me the laptop!’ shouted an elf. Santa’s workshop had changed a lot. So much so that Santa was still trying to catch up with all these new-fangled hoojamaflips and wotsits. The workshop was still run by the elves,
but instead of toy soldiers and dolls, children now wanted all manner of things. Santa had tried to get most of the stuff made abroad and delivered to his workshop (like MP3 players, Plasma TVs and handheld games consoles) but
he still had lots of things that he made right there in Lapland. Santa still remembered the days when his workshop was full of elves hammering and sewing, but now they all worked on big machines and it looked more like a factory than a tidy little workshop. Santa had moved with the times and updated, but that didn’t mean he had to like it.

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All hands on deck

As my title suggests, a very busy week this week. We are striving to release the next 3 Squidge books plus a new education pack. The education packs are based on the books and are aimed at primary school with a focus on literacy and writing.

The great thing about them is that the publisher proving house and I are in agreement that they should all be free.

It’s a mammoth task putting together all the resources, plans and flipcharts but I believe it is well worth it.

The Squidge books themselves all start with a poem (will try put some up when am back at my computer, iPhone at the mo) which leads into the story of a little elf with a nose for trouble. The next 3 books are a trilogy, with Squidge meeting a new friend.

I hope you enjoy reading them.

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New to blogging

So here I am, a teacher/writer attempting to be a writer/teacher. This blog is an early festive introduction to my character Squidge. A little elf with a nose for trouble, but being a teacher, I have to get the learning angle in. Squidge, and his Christmas adventures, come with a variety of resources (free ones) that are suitable for ks1 and ks2. For ks1 we have colouring pages and letter heads for letters to Santa and for Ks2 a more comprehensive pack filled with lesson plans, flipcharts and all the resources you need for a weeks literacy lesson. It even comes with its own success criteria. No strings, all free. Who wants to plan in the run up to Christmas anyway? All at www.SquidgeElf.com or on the TES website and type in squidge in the resources search or click here. Enjoy

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