Thursday, April 10, 2014

Beautiful Words

Hello, all!

I'm in the midst of a very busy and fun week with the London Book Fair in town, so I'm super pleased to be hosting the wonderful Nik Perring today.

 Nik's new book is called Beautiful Words, and if you love words, you'll adore this book. It's chock full of quirky little illustrations and definitions, a celebration of the English language that's not only fun to read but also fun to look at. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Over to you, Nik.

Jump In a Puddle

I don't think we do enough puddle jumping as grown-ups. That and climbing trees or getting muddy, or enjoying being rain-soaked, or playing on swings. Of doing things, without thinking too much about why, other than the fact that they look like fun. At some point, and to varying degrees, we grow up and leave the simplicities, and simple pleasures, of childhood behind. I think sometimes it just happens - we've got more important things to concentrate on - you know, children, jobs, paying bills, but other times I think it's our choice, that little voice in our head saying - I couldn't possibly do that - I'm far too old. Or, what would people think!

And why am I babbling about this? Well, in part, because it has a little to with my new book. It's called Beautiful Words and it was released on Monday. And it's a few things all at once. It's the story Alexander, Lucy, and Lily, told through an A-Z of beautiful words. Some of them are beautiful because of how they look or sound, some are beautiful because of what they mean or represent, others are in there because of how it feels to say them, of the shapes they push our mouths into.

But, perhaps equally as importantly, it's a picture book for adults. That's right - a picture book for adults. And picture books are things we should only read if we have small children, right? I'm not so sure. I re-read The Giving Tree the other day and I think there's probably as much wisdom in there, and emotion, as a lot of novels (which I love too, of course). But back Beautiful Words, my adult picture book. Sure, there's a story in there, and there are definitions of words you might not have known (I certainly didn't before I started writing it!), but, mostly, it's about having fun with words. That's why I wrote it really - as a sort of innocent celebration of the words that make me happy, or that I think (and hope others will too!) are interesting.

So, here's to fun. Here's to being silly and forgetting about bills and mortgages and jobs, if only for a little while. And here's to celebrating the simple, beautiful things, like words. And next time you see a puddle, you know what to do.

Nik Perring is a short story writer and author from the UK. His stories have been published in many fine places both in the UK and abroad, in print and online. They’ve been used on High School distance learning courses in the US, printed on fliers, and recorded for radio. Nik is the author of the children’s book, I Met a Roman Last Night, What Did You Do? (EPS, 2006); the short story collection, Not So Perfect (Roastbooks 2010); and he’s the co-author of Freaks! (The Friday Project/HarperCollins, 2012). His online home is and he’s on Twitter as @nikperring

Thanks, Nik! See everyone next week. 


  1. Congratulations on the release, Nik!

    A picture book for adults? Who'd have thought?

  2. That sounds like a lovely way to tell a story. Darn, another book added to the wishlist :-)

  3. Hi Nik! I love picture books of any kind. As you state, many "kids" books contain profound sentiments which resonate through adulthood as well. It sounds like yours will make a nice little gift book. :-)

    (And hello to you too, Talli.)

  4. A great celebration of life--jumping in puddles! I haven't heard of that in a while. Fun!

  5. Congratulations on your book. What a wonderful idea for a book. The A-Z of Beautiful Words. A great book not only for children but also children at heart.

  6. This sounds like my kind of book! I think many children's books, when re-read as an adult, contain lots of hidden gems for us grown ups too : )


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