Oak Class from Teddington send me some pictures for my igloo!

Yesterday I was delighted to receive in the post some lovely drawings from Oak Class, the reception class at St Marys and St Peters School in Teddington! Their teacher Mrs Rainey told me that Alfie brought in my book for them to read, and afterwards the class drew pictures to send me.

I love receiving drawings, especially now I’ve gone back to live in my igloo (the city was just a bit too noisy for me). Here are all the pictures now hung on my igloo wall. But please send more, I’ll always find room on my wall for more pictures of me!

I sent Oak Class a pair of my pants to say thank you. Maybe they’ll pin them on their class wall…

Here are all their pictures so you can see them properly:

Charlie builds another igloo for me

I was delighted to receive this picture from Charlie and his parents – after reading my book Charlie built his own igloo and a rather fetching likeness of me.

If my igloo ever starts to fall down (which is quite likely since I like to nibble its coconut walls from time to time) I shall be asking Charlie if I can move in…

Thank you Charlie!

What to make of this Dessicated Coconut offer?

Last week Mr Coconut received an email from Indonesia. At first he thought perhaps this was from his most far flung fan. But it wasn’t quite what he expected. Here it is:

Offer Dessicated Coconut
Dear sir,

My name is Rudy from Manado, North Sulawesi – Indonesia.

We would like offer DC as follows :

1. DC Medium and fine high fat 65% so2 max 50ppm  for shipment August to December with the price at usd1700/mt FOB Jakarta

2. DC Medium and fine high fat 65% so2 free for shipment August to December with the price at usd 1700/mt Fob Jakarta

3. DC Medium and fine reduce fat 58% +/- 2% so2 free for shipment July to December 2015 with the price usd1750/mt Fob Singapore, qtty per month 10fcl to 20fcl  x 40ft.

4. DC Extra fine reduce fat 53% – 58% with the price at usd 1600/mt Fob Singapore

5. DC Low fat medium and fine fat content 50% +/- 5% with the price at usd1600/mt fob singapore
We are offer coconut water qtty per month 5000mt, coconut cream qtty per month 2000mt and coconut milk qtty per month 2000mt

Payment terms : L/C at sight

waiting for your reply

Best regards,
We’re not quite sure how to break it to Mr C that people actually sell the produce from which his world is made…
But even if we don’t order any dessicated coconut we are going to send back a copy of the book to Rudy, along with a letter from Mr C…

Kemp Town Carnival Children’s Festival cancelled

So unfortunately for Mr Coconut’s Fantastic Fabric Fantasy Kingdom, the lovely-looking Kemp Town Carnival Children’s Festival that was meant to be on this Sat 6 June has been cancelled… Not enough ticket sales and some regulation-hoop jumping problems…

But we’re still all prepared for bringing the Fantasy Kingdom to another festival when the chance arises…

Mr Coconut’s Fantastic Fabric Fantasy Kingdom at the Kemp Town Carnival’s Children Festival – 6 June 2015

We’re very excited that ourselves and Mr Coconut are going to be part of the Kemp Town Carnival’s first Children’s Festival, on Sat 6 June. The Kemp Town Carnival is a great Brighton street festival that we’ve been attending for many years, but which in 2015 is having a year off from the main street activities to focus on a festival just for children, in St George’s Church in Brighton’s Kemp Town.

So along with other activities and shows such as hapless chef Senor Baffo’s Restaurant and the Puss in Boots puppet show from troupe Bard & Troubadour, Catherine and I will be taking Mr Coconut along to set up a fantastical fabric kingdom. We’ll be making an enormous duvet map of Mr C’s coconut home across the floor of St George’s Church, reading the book to the children who take part, and invite them to make new puppet characters and imagine the parts of Mr C’s story that happen in between the adventures of the book. Who lives in the mountains?  How does Mr Coconut manage to walk through all that snow with such short legs? Exactly how many yetis live in the woods? These and many other questions to be answered and characters to be created and written about…

The Senor Baffo and Puss in Boots shows are ticketed, but entrance to the Mr Coconut workshop and many other activities are by donation only. More information on the Kemp Town Carnival website here, and for updates on the festival see the Facebook page.

Middle Street workshop, World Book Day 2015

Our very first Mr Coconut workshop was on World Book at our local Middle Street Primary School in Brighton. Catherine and I took along Mr Coconut himself (or rather his puppet), who was a little embarrassed as he sat in front of the whole school to have his story read out in assembly.

For the rest of the day we had a group of twelve children from years 3 to 6, whom we showed the process of making a picture book: storymining, where we extract the stories already inside the children’s heads by plying them with questions; storyboarding, where we plot out the stories as images so that they fit into the book; and illustration, where we make puppets from the story characters, and a backdrop, and end up with a (more or less) finished illustration from the book. (See further down the page for the final illustrations…)

Thanks to all the children who took part – we had a great day! If you are interested in our workshops, do get in contact!

Here are some of the stories (if you were one of the children who took part, and you want to print out your illustration, just drag your images to the desktop – this should give you a high resolution printable image):


Ammabelle read her story out to everyone at the end of the day – and was unfazed when she realised she hadn’t written it all down, and read it out from blank pages anyway…

The story – ‘In the Dark’: The owls in the forest hated the dark and, with the help of a hedgehog, dug for treasure to brighten up the world – but without reckoning on the pirates who protected the treasure…






The story: When Licquorice the cat’s mum dies, he is sent to the College for Animals. But because it was boring he ran away to the woods, where he discovered that he was changing into a human being…





The story: Everyone thinks David is a shrunken form of the footballer David Sturridge. And they suspect that the real David Sturridge is actually a vampire…



The story: Patch the hedgehog could not hibernate, as she could not dig any holes due to her lack of claws. She asks for help from her friends – but suspects that Raven might want to eat her instead…



The story: Brian the chicken helps the farm animals escape from the evil farmer, firstly by feeding them glow-in-the-dark pills, and then by making them wings…



The story: Tiger the leopard’s father was captured, and his mother shot by hunters. And when Tiger tried to live with his friend Roy the lion, Roy’s father cast him out because of a long ago fight with Tiger’s father…


Year 6 (Eliot, Lily, Ruby & Ruby)

Year 6 decided their were going to collaborate on a story, which turned into something more text than images (they even made time to make sure it had a proper ending). And instead of illustrating a page Lily spend the whole day carefully making a puppet Boo, and they made the library that features in the story, along with a number of the books inside (my favourite book title: The Tallest of Two Cities).

The story: A boy called Boo lives in a grey world filled with boring grey people, whereas Boo and his family were all colourful. Through reading natural history books in the library he discovers that the rest of the world is colourful as well, and sets out to discover it…

Can we use your lovely comments to help Mr Coconut catch a publisher’s attention?

So thanks to our Kickstarter backers who first helped us put Mr Coconut’s book out into the world, we now have Mr Coconut for sale in about six bookshops in Brighton and London… and just last week Catherine persuaded our local Waterstones to stock it as well. Next week we’re doing a World Book Day workshop based on Mr Coconut for a local school. We’ve even just about broken even on the whole project…

Our next task is to try and persuade a publisher to take the book on and publish it properly. I’m not really sure why I feel the need to say ‘properly’ published, since after all it is already a book. But the one thing a publisher can do for us is to actually distribute the book all over the country (and potentially the world). Which whilst we can do ourselves, and have done to some extent, we’d rather spend the time it takes making more books.

But what we need to demonstrate to publishers is that people have actually read and liked our book. And whilst we’ve had some very nice comments about the book via email, text, on the phone, in person, etc, we don’t really have any evidence of this. What would be great is to have these comments all collected somewhere where we can show publishers, and the most obvious place is as reviews on the internet.

So we’d just like to ask that you have previously contacted us in some form to tell us that you liked the book, would you mind just repeating what you have said as a review? Either here on Amazon, or here on GoodReads (or both if you’re extra keen).

Please don’t feel the need to do this if you don’t want to, or don’t know what to say – but if you did like the book we’d love to have it noted! In type. On a website. (Of course if you didn’t like it, you are more than welcome to leave that as a review as well. I’m not going to be so insistent in this case, obviously.)

thanks for your continued help

Chris & Catherine

Book of the week at Victoria Park Books

So we’re very pleased that Victoria Park Books in Hackney, London have made Mr Coconut their book of the week this week. (We especially like Victoria Park Books as they’ve sold more copies of Mr Coconut than any other bookshop.)

Mr Coconut meets his first school audience…

So just before Christmas Catherine and I took Mr Coconut along to a school to meet a proper audience for a reading of his book. The puppet Mr C sat on Catherine’s lap as she read, and afterwards we introduced the children to the real Mr C, inside his coconut.

You can see his coconut in the picture, propped up on the blue box to Catherine’s right. And with the aid of some very small microphones hooked up to wires that we fed into the coconut, the children were able to ask Mr C questions. And he woke up long enough to answer them, say hello and a bit more about what it was like to live in a coconut. And then the lovely class even sang us an impromptu song about coconuts that their music teacher had taught them.

Six-year-olds seem to have no problem with the idea that Mr C is small enough to live inside the coconut. Adults are a different matter, however. The whole afternoon was one of the most enjoyable aspects we have had so far in making the book – actually getting to see children enjoying it…

If you know a school or group who would like a reading of the book, and a Q&A with Mr C inside his coconut, do contact us at mraugustinecoconut@gmail.com. We’ve also developed a schools workshop where children can use some of the methods we used for Mr Coconut in making their own book – more details about that later.

Next update: how we’re trying to sell the other 900 copies of the book…