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 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 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.” –Anouska Jones, Kids’ Book Review

The Last Viking Returns is out now!

Find it at your local bookshop or order it online.

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

 

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

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.

 

pg6-scans

Continue reading “Designing Viking World – the entrance gate”

Designing Viking World – the visitor map

TLV2---3-weeks-to-go

There’s only 3 (!) weeks until the release of The Last Viking Returns on September 1, and I’ve got a couple more behind-the-scenes things to show.

I’ve been focusing on one of the main settings in the book – a theme park called Viking World. I had to figure out the rough layout of the park early on so that I could map the journey made by Pop, Josh and the family. I also wanted to make the backgrounds of each illustration consistent with the map so that the reader could really believe in the fictional setting.

Continue reading “Designing Viking World – the visitor map”

You’re invited to the Last Viking Returns book launch!

TLV2---4-weeks-to-go

Our new book The Last Viking Returns will be in bookshops from September 1, and we’re throwing a huge launch party to celebrate.

You’ll be able to see original artwork from the book, meet the author Norman Jorgensen and illustrator James Foley, and you might even meet some real Viking warriors.

Everyone is welcome to attend. Here’s the details:

The Last Viking Returns
To be launched by Mrs Tonya McCusker

Wednesday 10th September
6pm for a 6:30pm start
The Place, State Library of WA
25 Francis St, Perth

DRESS CODE: Leather, sheepskin and horned helmets.
(You may be asked to leave your weaponry at the door).

RSVP by 5th September to (08) 9430 6331 or admin@fremantlepress.com.au

lastviking-invite_v11

 

The Last Viking Returns – official launch details

My new book The Last Viking Returns will be in bookshops from September 1, and we’re throwing a huge launch party to celebrate.

You’ll be able to see original artwork from The Last Viking Returns, meet the author Norman Jorgensen and I, and you might even meet some real Viking warriors.

Everyone is welcome to attend. Here’s the details:

The Last Viking Returns
To be launched by Mrs Tonya McCusker

Wednesday 10th September
6pm for a 6:30pm start
The Place, State Library of WA
25 Francis St, Perth

DRESS CODE: Leather, sheepskin and horned helmets.
(You may be asked to leave your weaponry at the door).

RSVP by 5th September to (08) 9430 6331 or admin@fremantlepress.com.au

lastviking-invite_v11

 

THE LAST VIKING RETURNS is a thrilling showdown

Here’s a fantastic review for The Last Viking Returns from today’s Weekend Australian (Review section, pg.22).

 

The Last Viking Returns is a sequel to one of our favourite books of 2012, the inspirational The Last Viking.

Author Norman Jorgensen and illustrator James Foley reacquaint us with young Josh (who, a braver boy now, calls himself Knut) and his little dog Wolverine (still wearing a colander helmet).

When Josh’s grandfather decides to take them to a Viking theme park for the day, the god Thor, watching from Asgard, decides to pop down to earth and join in the fun. “What could possibly go wrong?” he asks … The answer is Fafnir, “the most evil dragon imaginable”, who has been waiting for Thor to let his hair down.

The resulting showdown between boy, dog, god and fire-breathing beast is thrilling.

Thanks to Stephen Romei and his co-reviewer Syd for the review.

 

Designing Viking World – the shops and restaurants

pg5---5-weeks-to-goThere’s only 5 weeks until the release of The Last Viking Returns (Sept 1st), and each week until then I’ll show some more behind-the-scenes images.

I’m focusing on one of the main settings in the book – a theme park called Viking World. The theme park has many places where patrons can buy food and souvenirs, just like a real theme park.

 

Most of Viking World is in fact based on a real theme park – Universal Studios in Singapore. Norman and I attended conferences in Singapore in 2012 and 2013, and on both occasions we set aside a day to visit Universal (you can read more about our adventures here).

I remember vividly the entrance to Universal Studios and the sense of awe I felt. I knew it was all fake and ridiculous and designed to unburden me of my wallet, but I got caught up in the spectacle and the excitement of it all. Here’s the main street as you enter the park (that’s Norm in the middle):

Universal Studios Singapore entrance

All the shops and eateries tie back into the theme of the park, which is movies.You can buy t-shirts and soft toys and all that usual stuff, but you can also buy fresh popcorn, and Oscar statuettes, and movie costumes.

So for our park – Viking World – all the shops, restaurants and stalls would need to relate back to Vikings. Surely it wouldn’t be hard to come up with some ideas?

Continue reading “Designing Viking World – the shops and restaurants”

Designing Viking World – the Statue of Thor

There’s only 6 weeks until the release of The Last Viking Returns (Sept 1st), and each week until then I’ll show some more behind-the-scenes images.

I’m going to focus on one of the main settings in the book – a theme park called Viking World. The theme park has a massive statue of Thor.

Patrons are able to climb the stairs inside the statue; there are viewing platforms inside his mouth and the hammer. Naturally, the statue is closed during thunderstorms.

statue of Thor
The most obvious influence for the statue is New York’s Statue of Liberty, which I ferried past a few years ago. Turned out it wasn’t very big – smaller than my head, in fact.

statue of liberty 2

Ba-doom tish.

Continue reading “Designing Viking World – the Statue of Thor”