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Following a great World Book Week, we found ourselves in deepest Kent, staying in a hotel only minutes away from our close friend and brilliant cover artist, Paul Davies (and Julie, his lovely wife!). We love Kent – the location for one of our favourite old TV programmes – The Darling Buds of May.

First visit was to our old friends at Roseacre School. This was our third visit,  the last one being four years ago, so none of the present 400+ pupils had met us before; though many of our new audience knew of us through older brothers and sisters and were already excited in anticipation of our visit. The huge audience was a delight to perform to. We told our Mokee Joe story from beginning to end to a captivated KS2 crowd and they responded brilliantly. Lots of correct answers to our interactive questioning resulted in many special Peter J Murray bookmarks being awarded; it was also great to meet some pupils who had dressed as Mokee Joe on World Book Day, and we decided to award bookmarks to those pupils as well. The following day we visited again for a book-signing. The pupils queued patiently and were delighted to see our cover artist in attendance. In addition to myself, Paul signed each and every book. All in all the visit was a very pleasant experience and a great success. A BIG Mokee Joe thank you to all the pupils and staff for looking after us so well and a special thanks to Mr Kingsland for being a great ‘host with the most’. We’ve since heard that many pupils are keen and inspired to write stories of their own and this makes us feel very proud.

Our second Kent school was the amazing Aylesford Primary School. An avid fan of ours, Ms Sarah Bone, almost jumped on us

Lovely Aylesford Village - we had lunch there!

with enthusiasm as we arrived at this relatively small primary. ‘Small in size, but HUGE in enthusiasm’ is the best way to describe this school. I began to suffer a bad cold (Ms Bone accused me of having ‘Man Flu’), but I took her remarks on board and soldiered on (as we men do!!) and the second Mokee Joe presentation of the week went down a storm. I even managed to chase Freddie around the school hall for quite a distance, and again when I lured him out to accept a bookmark – dressed as the evil Mokee Joe of course! We had a lovely time at Aylesford and can’t wait to get back. In the meantime we have lots of Kent fans devouring our books. I look forward to returning as the mighty Bonebreaker and thrilling our new fans further! And a final thank you to all those pupils who sent us lovely e-mails.

Meanwhile, our cover artist and his wife, Paul and Julie, took us out to a lovely Kent pub – the something on the Green…can’t quite remember the name. But the pub had the most amazing décor  – the ceiling was covered in hops – and the food was magnificent and more than plentiful. I half expected to see Pa Larkin in there with some of his cronies.

A great trip! Farewell for now to our Kent fans. We will be back.


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