The Crystal Palace Children’s Book Festival on Saturday was awesome.

Here’s a pic of Alexander Gordon Smith at our Chainsaw Gang Best of Horror Panel, introducing a personal friend of his – the disembodied head of one of the Wheezers from his fantastic Furnace books (click here for my review of those on TBM).

Rather than have me tell you how much fun I had, here’s a link to a terrific write-up about the event from an audience point of view – in this case, that of the lovely Liz de Jager of brilliant blog My Favourite Books.

I was lucky enough to get the chance to do my thing with Tim, Defender of the Earth at the Crystal Palace Festival last year (hit this link for video!) For its second outing, I was thrilled to see that the Festival has grown and developed in all sorts of cool ways. Check out this Monster Book:

Put together and published (by Pook Press) especially for the Festival, it features more than a hundred different astonishing monsters created by young people from schools in the area, as well as the work of some top illustrators including my mate Barnaby Richards.

When I picked up my copy from the excellent independent bookshop supporting the event The Bookseller Crow on the Hill, Jon (Bookseller Crow’s proprietor) asked me – a little unkindly, I felt! – if I was in the The Monster Book.

I wasn’t, but fellow Chainsaw Gangster and founder of the festival Alex Milway soon put that right…

I particularly love the fish’s expression. And the fact that I’ve still got a tentacle wrapped around my drink. ;D

More Live Chainsaw Gang Shenanigans to follow later in the week. Watch this space.