When I shared the list of my books that were most borrowed from UK libraries last year on this blog in January, top of the list was picture book Cleopatra Bones and the Golden Chimpanzee illustrated by Ed Eaves. A couple of months later the book’s publisher told me that, due to low sales, they were taking the book out of print. Although I was sorry to learn this, it did not come entirely as a surprise. I’ve long known that my most borrowed books are not necessarily my most bought books. I believe this discrepancy has some unfortunate consequences for children’s literacy as outlined in this Twitter thread.

The book is a sequel to The Silver Serpent Cup, which was also very popular in libraries for several years, but was also out of print. Ed and I had developed this first book together before offering it to publishers and we were proud of both books, which is one of the reasons why we have now re-published both of them in new print-on-demand editions. We have also published a new “Tandem” omnibus edition containing both stories, which were published as the Fast and Furry Racers series in the US.

A limitation of the print-on-demand format is a maximum page width of 8.5 inches (216 mm). This restriction means the new editions are about 80% of the size of the original editions, which is why we are listing them as “small paperback editions”. On the plus side, we have increased the number of pages in both books to include extra material. The two pages showing Ed’s design sketches for each vehicle proved very popular with young readers in the original editions. So, in the new edition of The Silver Serpent Cup we have expanded these into a six-page “Spotter’s Guide to the Racers” with a little information about each vehicle. Similarly the new edition of Cleopatra Bones and the Golden Chimpanzee contains a four-page “Spotter’s Guide to the Treasure Hunters”.  The Spotters Guides for both books are included in the new Tandem Edition.

The two pages of vehicle sketches in the original edtions (shown on the left) have been expanded into “Spotter’s Guides” sections (shown on the right) at the back of each book.

Here’s a little information and a peek inside each of the new editions.

The Silver Serpent Cup is a high-speed, all action, rhyming romp of a picture book that follows a colourful group of animal racers as they compete in an extraordinary no-holds-barred race across land, sea and air.

Here’s what reviewers have said about the book:

“Utterly brilliant! … A must have!”

“A fast-paced joy from start to exciting finish”

“Superbly detailed and colourful illustrations … clever, addictive rhymes … a book to read aloud and return to time and time again!”

Read more of these and other reviews

In Cleopatra Bones and the Golden Chimpanzee intrepid explorer Cleopatra Bones discovers the whereabouts of the Golden Chimpanzee – a priceless ancient statue that has been lost for centuries. But Awful Al McNasty and a host of other adventurous animals are racing to find it too!

Here’s what reviewers have said about the book:

“A wonderfully entertaining and original picture book for children ages 3-7.”

“An adventure sure to keep your child on the edge of their seat, full of dangerous quests and an action-packed journey.”

Read more of these and other reviews

Both stories are included in this Tandem Edition.

You can order the new small paperback editions from Amazon in the UK and US using the links below.

The Silver Serpent Cup

CLICK HERE to find out more about the book and download colouring sheets, a card game and a poster.

Cleopatra Bones and the Golden Chimpanzee

CLICK HERE to find out more about the book and download colouring sheets, Cleopatra’s code-cracker and a poster.

Fast and Furry Racers Two Book Tandem Edition

CLICK HERE to find out more about this book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blog Archive

Popular Posts