Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Cache-cache caïman

et voilà! The Crocodolly has been released in France as Cache-cache caïman, translated by Laura Derajinski and published in hardback by Éditions Père Fouettard. Here's a link to their site. Also a link to Amazon.fr, where the book is now available.


Éditions Père Fouettard

Amazon.fr

Ogle Elementary

Excellent work here from Ms. Elliott’s kindergarten class, when they had fun reading about The Octopuppy at Ogle Elementary Library in McKinney, Texas.


Check out their page for lots of amazing octopus vids and other fun stuff.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Crocodile in a fish pond

A reminder to remind you, if you needed reminding, that The Crocodolly is available worldwide with free shipping from Fishpond.com


The service Fishpond offer is excellent, with speedy delivery.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Le Prix des Incorruptibles

I'm thrilled to pass on the exciting news that the French edition of The Octopuppy, published by Editions Père Fouettard as Entre Chien et Poulpe, has been short-listed for the French literary prize Les Incorruptibles.  It's a competition that runs every school year, in which children vote for their favourite picture book from a short-list of five. The Octopuppy has made the short-list for 2016-17 and the winner will be announced in June 2017.  It's one of the most famous awards in France for children’s literature, so this is lovely news.

Entre Chien et Poulpe @ Amazon.fr

Easter egg


An eggy bit from The Crocodolly.  Happy Easter!

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Octopuppy on stage

Here are some photos of a theatrical production of The Octopuppy which looks like fun, staged at the Jornada literary event in Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil. The event took place last year, but I've only just found out about it (all the latest hot news here, folks). I particularly like the design of Jarvis the Octopuppy, made from a novelty hat with tinsel tentacles.




The Octopuppy is published in Brazil by Editora Saber e Ler.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year


Last chance today to enter the Goodreads giveaway for a chance to win a copy of The Crocodolly.

Enter the giveaway right HERE

Friday, 11 December 2015

WIN! A copy of The Crocodolly!

Between now and January 1st you can enter the Goodreads giveaway to win a first edition hardback copy of The Crocodolly! Signed by me unless you really insist that I don't.

Enter the giveaway HERE


What they've been saying ...

"This quirky book is a delight - surprising, hilarious and brilliantly executed from the front cover to the very back. British author/illustrator McKenna has perfectly matched flamboyant illustrations to the understated text and absurd story to delight young and old.  It is a joy and pleasure to come across a book that is fresh and funny and has so much to offer. It kept me hooked right to the perfect end!" -- Creative Kids Tales

"From the creative genius who gave us The Octopuppy, we now have The Crocodolly! I laughed through every page of this book. The minimal text lets the images do the talking, and the illustrations are simply sublime. The scenes, the expressions, the little details - all perfect. Even the endpapers are worth close inspection. Martin McKenna is now on my list of favourite authors. I like the way his mind works!" -- Kids Book Review

"Highly recommended. The story of Adelaide making sure that Ozzy's skills are put to good use is a delight and the digital illustrations certainly set the scene adding a level of brilliance to the tale. The images of Ozzy in the doll clothes are priceless and those of Adelaide trying vainly to fit in with her friends and their dolls most amusing. Readers will love Adelaide and her attempts at fitting in and will applaud her problem-solving skills at the end. A crocodile frocking up! What fun." -- Read Plus

"The Crocodolly by Martin McKenna is a fabulous book! The children absolutely love the story, but I just adore the underlying message. I would suggest this as a must read for little girls, but don’t stop at reading it to your girls. My boys loved this book, and let’s be real here. Not only do we want to raise strong females that smash stereotypes, we need to be raising young men who have a multi-dimensional view of genders and don’t box males or females into narrowly prescribed gender based roles."-- Caitlin's Happy Heart

 "A very mirthful picture book that is sure to entertain young readers with its comical plot and its endearing characters. A most entertaining book." -- Children's Book Council of Australia

"This bright, glossy, loud story, full of off-beat humour is great fun. The illustrations of the trail of destruction left by Ozzy the crocodile give subtle clues as to how Adelaide’s problem will eventually be solved. Young readers will enjoy the exploits of Adelaide as Ozzy stomps, squishes and rolls his way through the book." -- Buzz Words Magazine

One of these could be yours.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Storytime Crocodolly

Here's a little Crocodolly tableau set up by the lovely folk at the Storytime children's store in Whangarei, New Zealand.


Visit the Storytime store: http://www.storytime.net.nz/

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Squiggle & Curly Mark

From deep within my drawers comes this ancient doodle. It was an attempt to depict the characters of Squiggle and Curly Mark, a duo that my friend Gareth and I came up with amidst the endless amounts of other nonsense we were always inventing. Having consulted the dictionary for the definition of the word 'squiggle' for some reason that I forget, we found that it was described as 'a curly mark', and so this pair were born. I present them here, because in some ways they're an early precursor to Edgar and Jarvis in The Octopuppy.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Inside The Crocodolly

The Crocodolly is released tomorrow (available to buy now in the Scholastic store), and here's a look inside the book.


Adelaide, our little girl heroine, has a troubled past when it comes to pets.


So she takes drastic action to keep Ozzy, her new baby crocodile, a secret from the powers that be.


And it looks like she might just get away with it.


But Ozzy doesn't really help matters by growing to monstrous proportions.


Which leads to no end of bother!  What will become of poor old Ozzy?

An early review of The Crocodolly from The Children's Book Council of Australia.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

The Crocodolly

The Crocodolly is almost here. Well, it is here, but it's almost there too, and some other places.

Here's a photo of some advance copies which arrived today:


To set the scene a little bit, here's the blurb from the back of the book:


And, although these photos do a poor job of capturing the correct colours, here's the spine which I'm quite pleased with. I did all the cover design, with the support of the stupendous Patricia Howes at Omnibus Books:


More images of and from the book in the next few days. The Crocodolly is published by Scholastic and is released on the 1st September in Australia and New Zealand. It can be pre-ordered here and elsewhere.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

The octopus genome and the evolution of cephalopod neural and morphological novelties

Octopuses have been called 'the most intelligent invertebrate', with a host of complex behaviours, and a nervous system comparable in size to that of mammals but organized in a very different manner. It had been hypothesized that, as in vertebrates, whole-genome duplication contributed to the evolution of this complex nervous system. Caroline Albertin et al. have sequenced the genome and multiple transcriptomes of the California two-spot octopus (Octopus bimaculoides) and find no evidence for such duplications but there are large-scale genome rearrangements closely associated with octopus-specific transposable elements. The core developmental and neuronal gene repertoire turns out to be broadly similar to that of other invertebrates, apart from expansions in two gene families formerly thought to be uniquely expanded in vertebrates — the protocadherins (cell-adhesion molecules that regulate neural development) and the C2H2 superfamily of zinc-finger transcription factors.

The octopus genome and the evolution of cephalopod neural and morphological novelties