Monday 4 August 2014

The River Singers blog tour

Last week, on Monday 28th July to be precise, it was World Nature Conservation Day so it was the perfect time for kicking off a week long blog tour promoting children's author Tom Moorhouse. As well as being an ecologist at Oxford University's zoology department (and a water vole expert!), Tom is the author of The River Singers, a gripping adventure featuring a family of water voles who embark on an epic journey to find a new home. Hailed a modern classic, The River Singers was one of The Times Children's Books of the Year when published in hardback last year. Now released in paperback, it's perfect for readers aged 8 to 12. 

Tom Moorhouse kindly agreed to call in at The Madhouse today to answer a couple of questions for us :

Will Sylvan and his family be having any more adventures?

Oh, absolutely. In fact the second book, The Rising, is coming to a bookshop near you in October. I won’t give too much away, but a few familiar faces - um, muzzles - are back, and there are some new additions and a new threat from a very, very dangerous place. One of the new characters is already a favourite of mine. (As an aside, I find having a favourite character a bit weird, because ultimately they all came out of my head. But hey, I enjoyed writing her.) She’s a young water vole called Strife (short for “Loosestrife”) and…well, let’s just say she is well meaning but has a mouth on her and earns her name on a regular basis. She has grown up in the marsh away from the Great River, but finds herself with a journey to make and a strange and different world awaiting her.

And have you got a tip for getting children interested in the outdoors ?

Go on a guided walk. The fun, oddly, can be in the details. A good naturalist can turn a simple walk into one of the most fascinating and rewarding experiences imaginable. It’s amazing how differently you can view a patch of woodland, or a pond, or a meadow, when someone is there to show you all the creatures and signs that you’ve been spending years blithely walking past. And learning these things is addictive: once you know some details, the urge to learn more can’t be shaken. Many nature reserves or local wildlife trusts will have guided days out that families can take part in, and these are a grand place to start.

You can see Tom talking about his book in this video.

If you want to find out more, the tour has also been calling in at the following blogs:

Tuesday 29th July - Smiling Like Sunshine (
Wednesday 30th July - Serenity You (
Thursday 31st July - Confession of a SAHM (
Friday 1st August - Library Mice (
Saturday 2nd August - My mummies Pennies (
Monday 4th August - Madhouse Family Reviews (
Tuesday 5th August - Red Peffer (

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