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Quirky's evil intentions to be revealed

GEORGE GARDNER
Last updated 08:03 24/10/2012
lemonade
GEORGE GARDNER
BOOK FESTIVAL: Mark Sommerset will be one of two authors to speak about self-publishing this Friday at Mudbrick. I Love Lemonade, illustrated by Rowan Sommerset, will be launched on Saturday at Morra Hall. Their son, three-and-a-half year old Linden, is holding the award-winning prequel Baa Baa Smart Sheep.

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Children's favourite character Baa Baa has come to life in a second book and kids are invited to its first public reading with cookies and freshly squeezed lemonade.

I Love Lemonade by Mark and Rowan Sommerset is being launched as part of the Waiheke Book Festival this weekend.

The book is a sequel to Baa Baa Smart Sheep, published by Dreamboat Books in 2010. It revisits a character called Quirky Turkey who seeks revenge after being outsmarted by the little sheep.

But will he pull the wool over Baa Baa's eyes?

Author Mark Sommerset says: "Baa Baa is a cheeky piece of mischief but the book also has a message about not believing everything you hear.

"That's relevant in modern life as everyone is trying to sell you their story.

"The sequel I Love Lemonade is more about the question of whether revenge is a wise idea. Quirky tries to play the same trick back to the person who tricked him."

Rowan says: "There's meaning in the book but not moral, so it's not didactic but it's meaningful."

Coming up with an idea for a children's book can take time but Mark has a secret gauge as to whether he's on to a good one.

"Rowan has to really laugh if it's going to work."

Then she gets down to work on her part of the partnership - the illustrating.

Mark has just returned from the Frankfurt Book Fair where New Zealand was guest of honour this year.

He had German mock-ups of Baa Baa and I Love Lemonade produced for the trade fair which has about 7500 exhibitors and about 300,000 people who go to it.

The Sommersets are a self-publishing success story with six children's books published under their Dreamboat brand.

Accolades and awards have flooded in.

They include the coveted children's choice award at the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards in 2011 for Baa Baa Smart Sheep and Book of the Year at the 2012 PANZ New Zealand Book Design Awards for Two Little Bugs.

"But it's still early days," Rowan says.

"It's been years of real commitment.

"For us there's nothing else but producing picture books with cool, fun content."

Go to dreamboatbooks.com to find out more about Baa Baa, the books and the blog.

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