The Last Viking Returns


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Tonya ‘Valkyrie’ McCusker launches The Last Viking Returns

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James and Norman with Malcolm, Tonya and Mary McCusker at the official launch

 

We had two launches for The Last Viking Returns this past week: a mini-launch at the fantastic Beaufort Street Books in Mount Lawley, then a big mammoth launch at the State Library. Tonya McCusker generously dressed up to launch our book with her daughter Mary ably assisting. Hit the jump for more photos.

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The Last Viking Returns exhibition

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The State Library of Western Australia is exhibiting the artwork of The Last Viking Returns from today until September 30.

Head up to The Place on the mezzanine floor to see original sketches, storyboards and character designs as well as prints of the final artwork. You can also see research materials and Norm’s original manuscripts.

Read on for photos of the printing and hanging process …

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Reviews for The Last Viking Returns

We’ve had a few more reviews filter through – one for The Last Viking Returns and a belated but very welcome one for The Last Viking.

The Last Viking coverTHE LAST VIKING

This is an intricately crafted picture book of the highest quality. A CBCA Notable Book in 2012, it manages to both entertain and inspire, while touching on issues ranging from childhood fears and bullying to the power of myth and storytelling. Josh’s creativity as he builds a Viking longship is a joy to behold. His bravery in the face of terror as he marches out to confront a pack of bullying children is formidable. And the way in which his problems are resolved is delightful.

There’s a lovely wry humour running throughout this book that will give parents a great deal of enjoyment too. And I absolutely loved the way the illustrations are allowed to tell entire chunks of the story. In fact, I pretty much loved everything about this book, which is why I can’t wait for the sequel due to be released this September.” –Anouska Jones, Kids’ Book Review

 

The Last Viking Returns - front coverTHE LAST VIKING RETURNS

A very humorous account of two worlds colliding: the mortal and the Viking Asgard.  Young Josh, alias Knut, must look after his younger twin siblings at the Viking theme park but Odin and the other Viking gods get caught up in the problem that occurs when the twins go berserk …

Not only is the simple story full of action but the full colour animated spreads further make this book an exciting adventure for the reader.  The front end paper brings the theme park alive with its keyed map while the back end paper offers a runic alphabet and code for the more advanced reader.  This landscape production will be a sure winner with young readers up to middle primary and perhaps beyond.” – John Cohen, the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Reading Time blog

The Last Viking Returns is out now!

Find it at your local bookshop or order it online.


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The Last Viking Returns today!

The Last Viking Returns is officially in bookshops from today!

To celebrate, we’re having two launches in Perth over the next week.

We’re also having an exhibition of the book’s artwork.

The Last Viking Returns - front coverThe big launch has reached capacity, but there’s still some space left at the second launch.

Here’s the details:

The Last Viking Returns second launch!
Saturday 6 September
11am to 12pm
Beaufort Street Books
567 Beaufort St, Mt Lawley, WA

  • Meet Wolverine the dog and his new friend on the day!
  • There will be a special reading of The Last Viking Returns and activities.
  • Kids tickets cost $5 but can be redeemed off book purchases.
  • FREE entry for adults.

Reservations and ticket purchases: (08) 6142 7996 or hello@beaufortstreetbooks.com.au

 

If you can’t make it to either of the launches, you might like to see an exhibition of the artwork from the book.

The Last Viking Returns exhibition
Sept 5 – 30
The Place, State Library of WA
25 Francis St, Perth

 

On behalf of Norm, thanks again for your support of our books!

James

 


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Our second book gets a second book launch

By the time this blog post goes live, we’re likely to have reached capacity for the launch of The Last Viking Returns.

If you couldn’t RSVP in time, don’t despair.

We’ve got a second launch organised!

Keep Saturday 6 September free from 11am to 12pm for a Viking event at Beaufort Street Books, 567 Beaufort St, Mt Lawley, WA.

  • Meet Wolverine the dog and his new friend on the day!
  • There will be a special reading of The Last Viking Returns and activities.
  • Kids tickets cost $5 but can be redeemed off book purchases.
  • FREE entry for adults.

Reservations and ticket purchases: (08) 6142 7996 or hello@beaufortstreetbooks.com.au


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The Striker

I (Norman) am off to Kalgoorlie, out in the goldfields, for Country Bookweek in a few minutes to do a bit of plundering and pillaging and promoting The Last Viking Returns, so I thought I’d post a couple more pictures of progress on the Test-Your-Strengh Striker I’m building for the book launch. To my surprise the firing mechanism actually works, if you are as strong as Arnold Schwarzenegger. Maybe I’d better tone it down a bit so that not every user scores Horrible Little Troll when they hit it. An occasional Viking Princess or even a hit at the top Thor level might be good.

My good friend Sally Murphy, author of Pearl Verses the World and  Roses are Blue, and heaps of other gorgeous books, called in on Friday as she was doing talks nearby at Maylands Library, and tested it out – on my head mostly.

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Here’s how it looks in the book …

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Designing Viking World – the entrance gate

TLV2---2-weeks-to-go

There’s only a fortnight until the release of The Last Viking Returns  on Sept 1st! This is my last behind-the-scenes post before then.

I’ve been focusing on one of the main settings in the book – a theme park called Viking World. There’s a moment early in the book where the family arrives at the park for the first time, and I wanted Josh to have a sense of awe. The text only says “Wow”, so I was free to fill in the rest.

My first sketch looked like this. Not terribly impressive, not awe-inspiring at all, but it helped me to figure out what goes where.

 

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