Blog Tour (Review & Author Q&A): The International Yeti Collective – Paul Mason (Illustrated by Katy Riddell)

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‘The kind of book you wish your parents had read to you as a child. An emotionally intelligent, absorbing adventure that carries at its heart the most wonderful message of being at one with nature. Are you YETI for this?’

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: The International Yeti Collective
Author: Paul Mason
Illustrator: Katy Riddell (@RiddellKaty)
Publisher: Stripes (@StripesBooks)
Page count: 288
Date of publication: 17th October 2019
Series status: N/A
ISBN: 978-1788950848

Perfect for Year 5 and Year 6.

#3Words3Emojis:
1. Yeti 👹
2. Friendship 🤝
3. Nature 🏔️


We’re stronger together than apart. Particularly at times like this, when danger lands at our feet.

Ella is on a yeti-hunting expedition in the Himalayas with her uncle Jack, a celebrity explorer. She’s expecting an amazing trip, but nothing more. Everyone knows that yeti don’t exist.

Tick is a young yeti who can’t help but ask questions. What is beyond the mountain he calls home? Are humans really as bad as everyone says they are?

When Tick’s curiosity sets off a chain of events that threatens the entire yeti community, Ella is swept up in the adventure. Can the unlikely pair work together to protect the yeti before it’s too late?

They’re going to need help. Help from The International Yeti Collective.


Review:

As Ella Stern whiles away her time on an expedition with her uncle Jack in the middle of the Himalayas, she’s in a world of her own dreaming up headlines of encountering the mystical and magical Yeti. Unfortunately for her, the yeti have been proven to not exist and all previous encounters judged as fake… so it becomes a bit of a pipe dream for her in more ways than one.

Nevertheless, unperturbed by this, her Uncle Jack is intent on filming his latest nature show in the middle of the mountain range. Making sure all the camera shots are happening, the crew set up various cameras in particular hotspots and it’s only upon checking the last reel of film (and the scent of a ‘barnyard that hasn’t been cleaned in ages’) does Ella realise that they may have come across exactly what they’ve been searching for.

On the flip side of this story however is Tick, a young yeti. Unfortunately for him, he’s extra curious after learning that his mother wanted to find out more about humans and you know what they say with curiosity killing the cat yeti and as a result of this, his yeti community put him in front of their Elders for further questioning and thanks to their decision, they banish him from their collective and sett, and in turn set Tick and Ella off on the wildest chain of events…

Told through this double narrative, this is an emotionally intelligent, absorbing adventure that carries at its heart the most wonderful message of being at one with nature. Perfect for fans of H. S. Norup, Sinéad O’Hart and Abi Elphinstone… this is the kind of book you wish your parents had read to you as a child. One of my absolute favourite reads of the year. 

Are you YETI for this?

P.S. After reading this, I discovered (or made up!) my own yeti name – Page (he who must read).


Meet the Author – Paul Mason

I’m delighted to welcome Paul Mason, author of the International Yeti Collective to The Reader Teacher to answer questions about his book and some quick-fire questions!

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Photo: Emma Hughes

  1. Can you sum up The International Yeti Collective in a paragraph?

When young yeti Tick leads a group of humans to his front door, the yeti are forced to flee. In their panic, the ancient yeti slabs are abandoned—soon finding their way into human hands. If the slabs are deciphered, every Yeti, Sasquatch and Bigfoot will be in danger, not to mention their vital role in helping the Earth. Now Tick and his friends must set off on a quest to rescue the slabs before it’s too late.  Along the way they get help from an unexpected source…

  1. What were your favourite books when you were growing up?

Anything Roald Dahl, but Danny the Champion of the World is my pick. The closeness between Danny and his dad is heart-warming.

  1. What are the three main things a reader will find in your books?

Paper, ink and words—words like kerfuffle.

  1. Did you always want to be a writer? Have you had different jobs before you were an author? Do you think a variety of work experiences has helped you to write?

I started writing for enjoyment and thinking I could be a writer when I was in high school and college, but I lost sight of it over the years.  Then when I became a Dad and a teacher, I rediscovered my joy in telling stories.  In between, I’ve carried antique furniture, covered lots of ground in restaurants and been a primary school teacher. All part of who I am–but my years as a teacher really influenced my writing.

  1. Where do you get your ideas from, and how do you store them?

As Roald Dahl says: “watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets lie in the most unlikely places.” I carry around a little black book and a fountain pen to catch them before they disappear.

  1. The environment and conservation are main themes in The International Yeti Collective. Do you think storytelling is an effective medium for getting people engaged in real-world issues?

I hope so.  My aim in The International Yeti Collective and some of my short stories is to get readers to consider and appreciate the things we have in nature, and what’s at stake if we lose it.

  1. How much of Paul Mason is reflected in your characters?

Tall, big feet, a good set of teeth. I could be a yeti.

  1. You are in a library with a 12-year-old who claims that they don’t like reading… Which 3 books would you reach for to try to change their mind?

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, J.R.R Tolkien’s The Hobbit, and Holes by Louis Sachar.

  1. What’s the best and worst things about being an author?

The best thing is that I get to play with words and tell stories. Working with amazing illustrators like Katy Riddell is also a real privilege. Seeing my characters come alive through pictures—wow! The worst thing? The times of self-doubt when I can hardly seem to string a sentence together.

  1. Do you have any advice for budding writers?

Read often. Write often. Watch the world. Tell your stories. You have a voice like no other, it’s important you share it.


QUICKFIRE

  1. 3 words that describe you:

Tall, friendly, humorous (or so my daughter says.)

  1. Favourite time of the day?

Climbing into bed at the end of the day is pretty hard to beat.

  1. 3 random facts about you:

I live on a small island. Spike Milligan once wrote me a letter. A 150 year old leather boot sits on my desk.

  1. Go-to snack?

Prawn cocktail crisps.

  1. The best advice you ever got:

To thine own self be true: Shakespeare via my Dad.

  1. “If I could go anywhere in the world right now, I’d head for…”

In the stands on the halfway line at the Arsenal, just in time for kick-off.

  1. If I could time-travel, I’d set the counter for the year …

Somewhere around AD 170,

Because… To pick the brains of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. I might have to learn some Latin first.

  1. An easy way to be a bit more green:

Cut down on food waste. Help your family plan meals. Buy only what you need.

  1. Your dream place to curl up with a book?

The sofa in front of a crackling fire, with Kipling my cat on my lap.

  1. The 3 books you’d like to get for your next birthday:

The Adventures of Alexander Von Humboldt by Andrea Wulf and Lillian Melcher; Adventures of a Young Naturalist by Sir David Attenborough; Art Matters by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell.


Big thanks to Paul, Katy, Leilah and all the team at Stripes Books for inviting me to kick off The International Yeti Collective blog tour and for involving me in this book’s release all the way along from proof to finished copy, including having my quote wonderfully published within it. This means the world!

Extra thanks to Paul for answering these questions!

Mr E


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Be sure to check out the rest of The International Yeti Collective blog tour for more exclusive guest posts from Sibéal & content & reviews from these brilliant book bloggers!

Cover Reveal & Book Giveaway: The International Yeti Collective – Paul Mason (Illustrated by Katy Riddell) – Out 17th October 2019!

Today, I’m absolutely ecstatic to exclusively reveal the cover of Paul Mason’s first book in a brand new series that combines adventure, empathy, and global thinking, The International Yeti Collective (illustrated by Katy Riddell and designed by Sophie Bransby) which will be published on 17th October 2019 by Stripes.


The International Yeti Collective

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“Without wilderness there is no yeti…there is much more behind our thirst for monsters than curiosity or escapism. There is the fear that the earth is losing the last regions where myths can flourish.”

Reinhold Messner, Mountaineer


Ella is trekking through the Himalayas with her broadcasting-explorer uncle searching for yeti, but what seems like the adventure of a lifetime is cut short when she realizes that these secretive creatures might not want to be found. Tick knows it’s against yeti law to approach humans, so when some arrive on the mountain, why does he find himself peering through the trees to get a closer look? Unbeknownst to them, their actions will set off a series of events that will threaten the existence of yeti all over the world. How can they make things right?


The International Yeti Collective draws on the worldwide myths of yeti, Bigfoot and Sasquatch, to create a fully realized society of hidden creatures on the edge of the human world. Packed with humour and excitement, this is a thrilling adventure with friendship at its heart, and with strong ecological themes – yetis help nature and keep the world in balance. Mason deftly highlights environmental conservation issues throughout this story, a subject that resonates very deeply with him and also with his readership of future change-makers, who have climate change, habitat destruction, and sustaining our planet at the forefront of their concerns.


Beautifully illustrated throughout by Ka­­ty Riddell, daughter of former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, The International Yeti Collective is the first in a brand new series that combines adventure, empathy, and global thinking.


Praise for The International Yeti Collective

“As a biologist, I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of yetis. To do so would endanger them the world over. This book taps into the secret lives of our mythical and very hairy cousins and takes us on an adventure like no other. Tick and his hairy friends show us what it means to work together and why we need to save the world.”

 – Professor Ben Garrod, author of ‘The Chimpanzee and Me’

 “By turns funny, moving, and action-packed, THE INTERNATIONAL YETI COLLECTIVE is a fast-moving adventure with a meditative, philosophical heart. Perfect for fans of H.S. Norup’s THE MISSING BARBEGAZI.”

– Sinéad O’Hart, author of ‘The Eye of the North’ and ‘The Star-Spun Web’

 “Super excited and looking forward to this SO much. October can’t come soon enough to see this on the shelves; one of my most eagerly anticipated releases of the year!”

– Scott Evans, @MrEPrimary

“A delightful tale of yetis, bravery and protecting nature.  This is a fast-paced, heart-warming adventure.”

– Erin Hamilton, @erinlynhamilton


RRP £6.99
ISBN 9781788950848
Format Paperback
Publisher Stripes
Age 9 – 12


Paul Mason

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Photo: Emma Hughes

Paul Mason was born in London, has travelled the world, and now lives in a cottage on an island in New Zealand, with his wife and children. He has written a dozen children’s books, and some of his stories are now being used by the University of Auckland to encourage new teachers to include sustainability in their classrooms. Find Paul online: Instagram: @writerpaulmason, and Web: www.paulmasonwriter.com.


Katy Riddell

Katy Riddell grew up Brighton and was obsessed with drawing from a young age. Plenty of encouragement from her parents, both artists and illustrators, led her to spend hours writing  and illustrating her own stories, which her father (former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell) collected throughout the years.  Since graduating with a BA Hons in Illustration and Animation from Manchester Metropolitan University, Katy has worked on a variety of commissions including Pongwiffy by Kaye Umansky and Midnight Feasting by A.F. Harrold. She loves working with children, and currently runs an art club at her local school. She lives and works in Manchester.

Find Katy online: Facebook: @kriddellillustration, and Instagram: @katyriddell_illustration.


The International Yeti Collective is available to pre-order online now from Amazon, Hive, Waterstones or from any good independent bookshop.


Huge thanks to Leilah, Paul, Katy and all at Stripes for inviting me to host this stupendously good cover reveal, I am more than YETI to get my hands on a copy!


Mr E

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Giveaway!

The very lovely people at Stripes have kindly given me five copies of The International Yeti Collective to give away!

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If you’d like to be in with a chance of being one of the first people to read this beautiful story, simply retweet (RT) this tweet!

Copies will be sent to winners when available from Stripes, as soon as possible.

Review: Brilliant Bundle of Books from Bloomsbury Education!

After requesting a review copy of Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World by Kate Pankhurst from @KidsBloomsbury, Lizz Skelly kindly asked if I wanted to be put on the Bloomsbury Education mailing list, so I said a resounding YES please and look what arrived through my letterbox! I am so fortunate to receive ten (yes, TEN!) of their upcoming 2018 titles. You have done me so well and for that, a huge thank you to @LauraEmBev and @BloomsburyEd!

Here’s what I think…

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Apes to Zebras: An A-Z of Shape Poems by Liz Brownlee, Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens (Out 22nd March 2018)                             ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Shape poetry is always a popular choice in primary schools among teachers and children alike, particularly when introducing features of poetry to children in younger year groups, so this much-needed collection will no doubt provide the perfect range and repertoire of examples to read, share and use in the classroom. Featuring a full alphabetical array from the extraordinary and the exotic to the extinct and the non-existent from well-liked and recognised poets Liz Brownlee, Sue Hardy-Dawson & Roger Stevens, this will amaze, amuse and appeal to classes throughout the primary school and have them eagerly wanting to write their own shape poems. My personal favourites include Emperor Penguin (LB), Turtle (SH-D) and Snail (RS). I know that this will become a staple resource among many teachers on their bookshelves as I’ll certainly be using it every year!

Apes to Zebras: An A-Z of Shape Poems is available to order online or from any good bookshop.


What’s Worrying You? by Molly Potter and illustrated by Sarah Jennings (Out 8th February 2018)                        ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
With schools now focussing upon mental health, wellbeing and mindfulness more in the curriculum, there is a pressing need for books like this which explain school and social situations (e.g. when you find something difficult or when you fall out with a friend etc.), and appropriate ways of dealing with them. Bright, visually appealing and emotionally accurate, this book will help promote resilience in children; improve self-awareness and communication skills through the development of vocabulary associated with a range of moods and feelings (in the ‘how you might feel’ boxes – e.g. angry, misunderstood, sad, disappointed, distrustful, lonely, confused, ignored) and would be perfect for use throughout the primary school in PSHE lessons and nurture-based intervention groups.

What’s Worrying You? is available to order online or from any good bookshop.


Stone Age Tales: The Great Cave; The Great Flood; The Great Monster & The Great Storm by Terry Deary (Out 8th March 2018)        ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
From the master of historical non-fiction and fiction Terry Deary himself, well-known for writing the Horrible Histories series, comes the latest offering in his Tales series – Stone Age Tales. Mixing historical fact with fiction, these books provide both an insightful and informative read about these time periods whilst being strongly based on real historical and archaeological evidence. Travelling across the length and breadth of this time period and even branching in to the Bronze and Iron Ages, we visit Lascaux, France (17,300 years ago); Mespotamia (2,500 years ago) & Skara Brae (5,000 years ago). My personal favourite of these tales is The Great Cave as the story of the cave paintings of the setting of Lascaux that this story is based on still captivates me to this day, years after hearing it. Thoroughly enjoyable whilst providing a glimpse in to our past, they are the first choice of books I think about to complement any history topic in school.

Stone Age Tales: The Great Cave; The Great Flood; The Great Monster & The Great Storm are available to order online or from any good bookshop.


Skate Monkey: Demon Attack (High/Low) / Kidnap (High/Low) by Paul Mason (Out 11th January 2018)      ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

The Football Trials: Kick Off (High/Low) / Dangerous Play (High/Low) by John Hickman (Out 5th April 2018)   ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

Printed on tinted paper, these two series of short stories are part of Bloomsbury’s High/Low range and intended to help readers who are developing their confidence, fluency and accuracy. This is achieved through a mix of whole-page illustrations; linear plots, simple sentences and paragraphs on each page and increased font sizes.

Loosely inspired by a 16th Century Chinese folk tale, Skate Monkey and his friends, Zu and Sandy, used to live in the Emperor’s Cloud Palace. But after playing all sorts of tricks on people up there with their magical powers, the Jade Emperor had had enough and so sent them down to Earth. In Demon Attack and Kidnap, the gang are called to investigate the strange goings-on happening at school and in their neighbourhood. Can the group of friends use their magical powers for good and overcome what’s causing everyone chaos…? A light and enjoyable read that’s packed full of adventure, action and the appearance of some downright creepy demons, I can see this series being very much enjoyed in schools whilst also adding a spot of variety to traditional guided reading and intervention sessions for developing readers.

The Football Trials tells of the transformation of a boy used to playing football on Sunday league pitches and growing up in a high-rise tower block as he adjusts to joining the elite of a Premier League football academy. In Kick Off, when a scout from United notices Jackson’s talent in the park, it looks like he’s off to make it by earning mega bucks playing in the Premier League. But all may be not as it appears as he seems to encounter some kind of trouble in the form of losing his friends, a new crush (in Dangerous Games), worrying about not fitting in and his temper all getting in the way of his ultimate dream. Can he manage all of these to become the superstar that his talent deserves…? This series will interest older readers towards the end of primary school or beginning of secondary school and any football fan.

A little more about what Bloomsbury say about their High Low books:
‘Bloomsbury High Low books encourage and support reading practice by providing gripping, age-appropriate stories for struggling and reluctant readers, those with dyslexia, or those with English as an additional language. Printed on tinted paper and with a dyslexia friendly font, Skate Monkey is aimed at readers aged 8+ and has a manageable length (72 pages) and reading age (7+). This collection of stories can be read in any order.

Produced in association with reading experts at CatchUp, a charity which aims to address underachievement caused by literacy and numeracy difficulties.’

Skate Monkey: Demon Attack  / Kidnap (High/Low) and The Football Trials: Kick Off  / Dangerous Play are available to order online or from any good bookshop.


Mr E
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A big thank you again to all at @BloomsburyEd and @KidsBloomsbury!
I look forward to using more of your books in the classroom!