If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably dragged your mum or dad out of your home as soon as you hear those tell-tale merry-go-round tunes that can mean only one thing. ICE CREAM. And it’s CLOSE! Well, imagine running round the corner to your favourite bookshop and seeing not just any ol’ ice cream van parked outside but a totally blinged up Wimpy Kid van, handing out FREE lollies. Not so much pimp your car, more wimp your van!
I’ve got the coolest job in the world! I’ve long suspected this but it was spending a weekend in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid ice cream van that provided unequivocal evidence. I really do have the coolest job in the world and no, I’m not just writing this because my boss could be reading (but if she is, “hello lovely boss”). Ice cream van equals lollies. Wimpy Kid equals laugh-until-you-hurt. Put the two together and you get a hilarious, sugar-coated adventure. Add a sprinkling of sunshine and you get the most fun-packed weekend ever.
Note to self however, next time I’ll pack ear muffs – an ice cream van at full speed (which is still albeit granny slow), sounds like a huge grizzly bear in the middle of a hailstorm.
On Saturday, the fun started with the Cheltenham Literature Festival, where everyone chomped on lollies. There was even a bubble gum flavour. How cool is that? Bright blue mind… Then after a hairy drive through country lanes, we arrived at Jaffe & Neale Bookshop in Chipping Norton – Jeremy Clarkson lives there but he can’t have heard us coming as he didn’t appear, which Onur (the genie of the ice cream van) was probably relieved about, fearing a Top Gear style challenge. And then on to the last stop for the day, Chapter One Bookshop near Reading. At which point, I handed over the reins to the equally excited Hannah.
But one final word before I hand over. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days rocks! It’s the best fun you’ll have in a book. Trust me.
And having tried ‘em all, my favourite flavour lolly has to be orange. A classic.
Puffin Marketing Officer
It seems all we talk about on this blog are our incredible adventures in the world of children's books. I need to state for the record that sometimes I get up, step in a puddle, leave the book I'm reading on the tube, forget to print things off, spill coffee on what I did remember to print off, lose my office security pass, miss my bus and fall asleep as soon as I get home.
It's just that, sometimes, I get up and go to all of my favourite bookshops across London in an ICE CREAM VAN, giving out free gifts to children, booksellers, mums, dads and the occasional confused-looking passerby!
Who am I kidding? MOST days are like that at Puffin!
It was so much fun to ride around with Onur in his spare van (he has more than one ice cream van. This is amazing to me. It's like having more than one puppy, or two chocolate factories). We went to Tales on Moon Lane, Waterstone's Clapham, The Golden Treasury, Barnes Bookshop, Kew Bookshop and The Lion and Unicorn. Everywhere we went we got to play the ice cream van song and then give out our free ice lollies (yum) and stickers and other goodies.
Everyone had made such fantastic displays! Especially The Golden Treasury, who had drawn their own Greg on a chalkboard and stood him outside, and Tales on Moon Lane, who let Greg take over a whole table for the day.
By the time we reached The Lion and Unicorn, we had a crowd of people waiting for us, all waving their copies of Dog Days in the air. Brilliant!
My favourite part was getting a lift home in the van and playing the song right outside my front door, much to the confusion of everyone on my street.
I think I've eaten enough ice lollies to last me until next summer, but I'm going to be reading about Greg's summer holiday every spare moment I get – provided I don't leave it on the train!
Puffin PR and Marketing Assistant