It is that time of the year again for us to climb to the highest point of Badger Towers and to shout out about our very new, and very exciting series. We teach children and young adults to never judge a book by its cover. BUT, for this blog only you can throw that rule away and treat your eyes to these visual delights…
Let us take a trip down to a town called Strange Town. Logan is not exactly happy about having to move to this town in the middle of nowhere. It looks funny, it smells funny and it even feels funny, if that’s possible?
Everyone, and everything, in this town just doesn’t seem right, but no one seems to care or even notice. Everyone, that is, apart from Eva. She has spent years collecting evidence of the weird goings-on in Strange Town. Eva, Logan and his dog, Otis, are the Strange Town Squad – always ready and on the lookout for all things odd. You are about to find out that some towns can be stranger than others. Welcome to Strange Town.
The Masterminds behind this wonderful series are… me, Danny Pearson (I provide the words) and Steve Beckett (he provides the pictures). I can assure you that the Strange Town series is based on actual events that have happened in the strange town that I live in.
The idea for the Strange Town series came to me whilst out walking with the pug that lives with me. We were strolling up the high street when we noticed a rather tall, hairy gentleman, who didn’t look to dissimilar from Bigfoot, exit out of a fish and chip shop. We both thought for a moment… what if he actually WAS Bigfoot picking up his afternoon dinner? From there the ideas for the Strange Town series flowed.
I was lucky enough to get Steve Beckett on board to illustrate this series for me. I told him that if he worked on this series with me then I would send him over some magic beans. Sure enough I sent him over some which he has planted in his back garden. Every morning he runs down to check on them but they still haven’t yet grown into a mighty beanstalk. In the Northern area of the island of Great Britain you will find Steve Beckett and his back garden. Steve has a robot arm that is programmed to draw funny pictures. He likes playing with toy soldiers and dreams of being an ace survival expert. He is scared of heights, creepy crawlies and doesn’t like camping! He really is an amazing artist and his visuals for this series are outstanding. Some of the results of all these elements combined can be seen to the right.
I was also lucky enough to bring in the very talented author who goes by the name of Tim Collins. Tim was able to dust off his best Yoda impression and guide me through each title and act as our series consultant. He helped take out the words that weren’t needed and insert better ones where possible. There are so many tales to be told for Strange Town. If there ever is a second series then hopefully I will be able to tell you all about the time I sat and watched an army of black squirrels fighting it out with a larger army of grey squirrels, for a patch of land in the centre of the town. Strange Town will keep you hooked from page one to thirty-two and beyond. In these books you can expect to talk to a Bigfoot creature named Bob, plan how to stop an invasion of purple bins, and find yourself running away from a giant Space Kitten. You may even be lucky enough to find the time to sneak off with Thor and catch the local football match… that’s been frozen by a group of out of work tooth fairies.
Now the science part…
This new series is the perfect gateway to reading for those who are reluctant and/or struggle. They are written for students aged between 9 and 12 with a Reading Age of 7- 8 They are 1400 – 1600 in length and are full illustrated throughout BUT! Believe me when I say that these really will be enjoyed by humans of all ages.
- Humorous and light-hearted storyline
- Dyslexia-friendly font and spaced out paragraphs
- Age-appropriate look and feel, coupled with realistic amounts of text
- A page at the beginning to introduce the characters and highlight any difficult vocabulary
- Colour illustrations to hold reader’s interest and encourage the sense of achievement created from turning the page
- Questions at the back to help the reader understand and contextualise the text A full colour map at the back to help readers visualise the world as a whole
- An informative and fun introduction to the author and illustrator
- It may also be worth a mention that we are fully on-board with the #PicturesMeanBusiness campaign which has been led by the tour de force that is Sarah McIntyre (Author and Illustrator).
I have talked before in past blogs and posts about how important it is to recognise the amount of blood, sweat and tears that come from our artists whilst working on these projects. I have tried my best to provide Badger Learning with beautifully crafted texts and we have all been lucky enough to have Steve on board the Good Ship Badger, able to illustrate it all with such love.