Meet the Author
The Boy with the Saucepan Hat is Martyn Harvey's first children's book to be published by Penzance Press - but there's much, much more in the pipeline!
Having studied Music, History of Art and Computing at Leicester University in the late 1980's, Martyn then went on to gain a Masters Degree in Contemporary Composition from Huddersfield University. Despite early success as a composer, Martyn then went on to work as a web developer and programmer for software companies in the UK for years. Luckily, one day he decided that writing silly stories for his two daughters - was MUCH more fun.. and now he just loves writing funny books for kids!
Let's ask Martyn to tell us more:
Q: Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
"Well - a good story can come along anytime: From when you're sitting on the bus, staring out of the window and watching the raindrops trickle down the cold glass... to when you're desperately tired after work and need to get your very wakeful 7-year-old off to sleep."
Elsie Green and the Trampoline
"Most of my stories come from off-the-cuff things my daughters and their friends say or do - like Elsie Green and the Trampoline. It's about a very rude little girl who gets everything she wants - including an ENORMOUS trampoline. She loves bouncing but one day, bounces just a bit too high - and gets stuck on the moon!
That idea came from a moment when my youngest daughter and her friend were bouncing on the trampoline in the garden. I was sketching and writing notes on something else when her friend suddenly stopped and said 'Martyn - what would it be like if you wrote a poem about a trampoline?'"
"Well," I said, thinking quickly, "...what rhymes with Trampoline?"...
"There once was a girl called Elsie Green,
who had an enormous trampoline....
It was twenty-two feet tall and wide
with a big green net to keep Elsie inside!"
"And with that, I was off... and I finished the full story about an hour or so later!" I'm still working on the illustrations!
Want to know when it's available?...
Uncle Jack and the Bumblebee
"Then, there's Uncle Jack and the Bumblebee - the crazy, entertaining story of a boy who opens his window to let out a fly.. and ends up with a house full of jungle animals when his Uncle Jack comes to stay!
The idea for this one came from my memory of the old children's song "There was an old lady, who swallowed a fly". If you remember, she "swallowed a cat to catch the bird, she swallowed the bird to catch the spider, she swallowed the spider to catch the fly..." and so on.
The words of the old song came to me one summer as I opened my kitchen window to let out a fly... and this started me thinking about what a modern-day version of this tale would look like - with illustrations. I threw in a caricature of my (real-life) Uncle Jack (who was quite eccentric) plus about a hundred other animals and, Hey Presto... there it was!
'...but, then, he returned - with a bit of a smell,
and a couple of chimps and a baby gazelle;
a lizard, a python, a penguin or two...
.. in fact, pretty much everything, found in a zoo!'"
Love funny books for kids and want to know when this one's available?
Q: Why do you do all the drawings and art yourself?
"Good question! I guess that, as I've loved drawing and painting all my life, when it came to illustrating my stories, there is no-one more able to draw the whacky characters I see in my head - than me!"
Q: How did you learn to draw and paint?
"I had a very dear great uncle - "Uncle Will", who was a very competant watercolour artist and cartoonist. After he gave me a violin lesson each week, he would spend half an hour showing me how to draw and paint a bit. I guess I owe him a lot!
If you're interested in seeing some of my illustrations and demos on my drawing and painting techniques, please take a look at my Facebook and Instagram pages."
The Boy... with the Saucepan Hat
Q: What made you write the Saucepan Hat story?
"When I was a kid reading comics back in the 1960's, whenever one of the characters got into trouble and ended up in the A&E Department, there always seemed to be another kid in the waiting room - with a saucepan stuck on his head!
I was thinking about this one day and decided that it would be a great idea to write the "back story" - of how this boy ended up in A&E. But...how did that saucepan get stuck on his head? Well...
...I'm not quite sure how it got there...
...and neither, in fact, was he!"
This is the first of Martyn Harvey's books to make it as far as the printer's press and it has already been very well received by parents, teachers and, of course, quite a few kids...including "William F", who famously said, "I laughed 'til I stopped!"
Want to see inside the book?
Of course, the best thing to do is to buy the book (or ask for it at your local library or school library) but if you want a SNEAK PEEK right here, today, we've put together a few pics showing some of the inside pages.
The Boy with the Saucepan Hat is available to buy now on Amazon and on this web site: We hope you like it!
Q: What's coming next?
From poems about garden bugs and weevils, through a collection of poems about the trials and tribulations of a 11-year-old starting secondary school, through to epic-length narrative tales of talking barnacles who fall in love with mermaids, Martyn's got a story for everyone.
Mr Wibberley Wobberley's Amazing Flying Bicycle
His latest book is about a man obsessed: Obsessed with cycling, obsessed with Saving The Planet and obsessed with recycling and inventing. Mr Wibberley Wobberley makes rickety bicycles for his family made out of other old bicyle bits - all held together with string!
And people point and people laugh - but it is Mr Wibberley Wobberley who has the last laugh as his wonderful Flying Bicyle lifts off!
With backdrops of iconic landmarks around the Thanet coastline (where Martyn Harvey spends a lot of time) this is a book that will entertain and stimulate kids everywhere - especially if you're into cycling the "Wibberley Wobberley Way!"
Mr Wibberley Wobberley's Amazing Flying Bicycle is due for release in Spring 2021 - "The Year of the Flying Bicycle"!