Event at Luton Central library

I’m doing two local library events during the Easter holidays. We’ll do some readings, some little activities, some Q+A stuff, all family friendly and suitable for all ages. Both are free and you can drop in on the day. Come along!

Event one is at Luton Central Libary on Monday 11th of April:

Event two is at Hitchin Central Library, details here.

The blog tour

Max Counts to a Million is on tour this week – a blog tour. What’s a blog tour, you may ask? It’s when a series of bloggers pass the baton from one to the next, taking it in turns to write about something. It gets you a series of perspectives on the same thing, a diversity of content from relevant enthusiasts.

In this case, it’s some of Britain’s finest teachers, librarians and children’s book champions.

I’ll round up all the links at the end of the week:

Thanks to everyone who took part, and for celebrating Max and Operation Million!

Out with The Book Fairies!

It’s coming up on two years since the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown. To mark the occasion, on Wednesday 16th March, The Book Fairies hid copies of Max Counts to a Million around the country.

You know about the Book Fairies, right? They’re real and everything. Look, here is evidence of their activity:

Books were left in cafes, playgrounds, outside schools, at a swimming pool, a children’s hospital, and one in the capable hands of a statue in London.

I joined the fairies too, with copies left at the Luton bus interchange for children heading home on the bus after school.

If you love books and want to share them, you can be a book fairy too.

Launch assembly!

A big thank you to Wenlock Junior School, Luton, for hosting a launch party assembly for Max Counts to a Million.

The book is dedicated to all the students and staff at the school, in recognition of the challenges of the pandemic over the last couple of years, and to say thank you for all that the school has done.

Wenlock students were also among the book’s first readers, with two classes reading the book out loud last year when it was still in draft form. They get a thank you in the acknowledgements.

That’s two good reasons to launch the book at Wenlock, and so thank you for having me. And congratulations to the two winners who guessed closest to the number of letters contained in the book!

Get cosy


Get Cosy is an event that is happening on my street next week. It’s been one of my projects for the autumn, working with the partners, doing the promotion, and this week walking the neighbourhood with the resident’s association delivering flyers through all the doors.

The idea is quite simple – it’s to encourage people to insulate their homes. By doing a really local event, organised by and for a specific area, I’m hoping we can get neighbours along and get a bit of a conversation started. Insulating homes saves energy, saves money, and cuts carbon emissions while making our homes warmer and more comfortable. It’s the easiest of easy wins in reducing Britain’s CO2, but the up-front investment makes many people reluctant to spend money on energy efficiency, even if they would save in the longer term. Gas prices went up by 9% this month, and have doubled in the last five years, so it’s a good time to get cosy.

I’m hoping it’ll be fun too. The council climate change team have been great and managed to score some funding for the event, so we have a whole pile of stuff to give away. We’ve also ordered in a bunch of different gadgets and energy-saving appliances, so there’s going to be a ‘gadget test area’. You’ll be able to do a thermal tour of the building, and sign up to have someone do a thermal tour of your home too, through Transition Luton. We’re also collecting cardboard boxes this weekend so we can make radiator reflectors in a workshop, and there will be local insulation companies around to give professional advice.

It’s also something of a pilot project. The Energy Saving Trust have been quite involved, and they were interested in seeing how it worked and if it could be replicated. Unfortunately their funding has been pulled, but Transition Luton might run something similar in other parts of Luton next year if it goes well.

If you’re in Luton, drop by. It’s 7:30 at St Anne’s Church Hall, on the corner of Hart Lane and Crawley Green Road, on wednesday December 1st.