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SHREWSBURY CHILDREN’S BOOKFEST

MAY FESTIVAL 2015

MAYHEM....with DENNIS THE MENACE!

SATURDAY 2ND MAY & SUNDAY 3RD MAY 2015

Steven Butler, author of The Diary of Dennis the Menace, leapt onto the stage and proceeded to entertain, inspire and engage the audience with his stories of his (prank filled) childhood, how he grew to become a devoted reader and why he loves Dennis the Menace.

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SUNDAY 3RD MAY:

The Diary of Dennis the Menace Bash Street Bandit Jacket shadow

What do you get if you mix Steven Butler, the author of The Wrong Pong, and one naughty, spiky-haired little boy? Yes, Dennis the Menace is back. This time in diary form.

 

Beano editor-in-chief Mike Stirling says,  “We always think we’re the bridge between picture books and chapter books,” he said. “Any child that reads will love reading [the diary], and any child that loves reading the diary will love reading.”

Steven Butler shadow

When I unwrapped the Beano annual and came face to face with the boy in his iconic stripes for the first time, I had no idea what a life-long friend the character would become. Dennis taught me that it didn't matter if I hated books. Books were for losers, and reading was boring. In no time I fell in love with his anarchic stories, became a comic kid and felt cool for the first time in my life.

 

What my little brain hadn't caught on to was the fact that through Dennis's comics, I was fast becoming a greatly improved reader. Writing inserted among zany pictures lost its threat, and Dennis became the helping hand between being a non-reader and the children's author I am today.

 

Writing Dennis for a new generation of children has been a privilege and the funniest of games. I love watching a child frantically turning the page to read more about how boring books are. It's the perfect trick.

The Guardian, May 2014

 

About the books...

"I was a miserably illiterate child. Riddled with it. Stuffed full of the inability to read or write."

 

It wasn't just that I was extremely poor at the basics of the English language, I despised it. Books were a threatening source of stress and classroom embarrassment. Steven Butler wanted NOTHING to do with books.

 

Cue the little boy in the red-and-black stripy jumper. When Dennis the Menace first came into my childhood I was about eight and my hatred of books had reached such a level that I refused to even have them in my bedroom. I had already squeezed every present under the Christmas tree and knew that my parents had snuck a book into my pile. There's no mistaking the feel of a gift-wrapped book.

“Dennis taught me that it didn't matter if I hated books. He became the helping hand between being a non-reader and the children's author I am today” Steven Butler, author of the Diary of Dennis the Menace series

 

“We really liked this book because it is so, so funny.” www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site

 

“...this was a very clever and cheeky story, and one well worth recommending.” The Bookbag

Some comments...

There was much fun, laughter and burping as Steven brought to life the world of Dennis the Menace.