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Benji's Blog!

Welcome to our blog! This is where we like to keep everyone up to date with the latest news, tips on how to have lots of fun with the kids, and share little tricks for creating more time to spend together. Come in and enjoy, we'd love to hear any of your comments as well so don't be shy!!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Even Eircom think we're great!

(This is actually a post from my old blog that I've transferred across.  It was originally written & posted on 27th April 2012)

We’ve been really busy lately with lots of exciting things happening around Adam’s Cloud! We just recently finished the final touches on our brand new jigsaw, which is currently being produced. So we are very much looking forward to seeing the finished product, which will be in our shop at the end of May.

Back in March, Adam’s Cloud was shortlisted for the Eircom Business Startup of the Month. We were absolutely delighted to be shortlisted. I’ve really enjoyed starting my own business and it was great that the company has been recognised in this way. I got the opportunity to talk about starting the business, and what it’s like to run a startup company and I also spoke about some of our future plans for Adam’s Cloud. If you’re interested in starting your own business or would just like to hear some of what I had to say, check out the video below!

Now that the jigsaw has been finalised, next on the list is for me to finish off the latest book “Adam’s Greatest Inventions”. Really looking forward to getting the illustrations done over the next few weeks and then the book itself will be in the shops for September. So we have a busy few months ahead at Adam’s Cloud!

Be sure to follow us on twitter and facebook for all our news and updates. And if you haven’t done so already, why not sign up for our newsletter!

I leave you with my video on the Eircom Startup. Enjoy!

All the best,


My Favourite Book

(This is actually a post from my old blog that I've transferred across.  It was originally written & posted on 30th November 2011)

I was asked by the Irish Times to write an article about my favourite children's book, here's the text of the article that appeared in last Monday's paper, enjoy!:

It’s probably fair to say that there have been more children’s books published over the years than there are children and countless more talented authors that never made it to print as they just never had that lucky break. So when considering my favourite children’s books I can only choose based on my emotional attachment to a book irrespective of its critical acclaim or disproval.

You may very well find it strange that as a children’s author, books were never a huge part of my childhood as all my fondest memories as a child were derived from a football, a best friend and an infinite imagination seasoned with 5 siblings and garnished with two wonderful parents.

When choosing an all-time favourite book the weird & wonderful wackiness of Dr Seuss’, “Cat in the Hat”, has to get first mention. It is a book of extreme mayhem, fun and total chaos and has a special place in my heart. Quite simply it oozes innocent childhood mischief and is a blueprint of what the perfect day for a child should be, at least once anyway.

I’m glad to say I have actually experienced a real life cat in the hat moment where Molly and Robbie my 3 and 5 year old rascals unleashed total mayhem upstairs in our house, however unlike Sally and Conrad my pair don’t have “Thing One” and “Thing Two” to clean up the mess and erase all signs of the preceding pandemonium. I discovered this lack of valuable assistance when I found them trying to re-attach the curtain pole and curtains back onto their bedroom wall only to be interrupted by extreme fits of the giggles.

As I love children’s books that have an element of fun, mischief and innocence I must also refer to the wonderful Mr Men books by Roger Hargreaves. I adore these books and really believe that every child should get a tickle from Mr Tickle and a smile from Mr Happy. Discovering what Mr Nosey finds by nosing around or how all the Mr Men make Mr Grumpy not so grumpy makes a wonderful favourite to add to your collection and exude oodles of feel good factor.

I know I have picked some well-known books published by the big publishers with merchandise out the door but as I said they are the ones to which I have become emotionally engaged with. If you are looking for something unique you just might consider some hidden Gems written by self-published authors like myself. Dolores Keavney a 60 year old Grandparent from Mullingar wrote, illustrated and self-published her charming books including “If I were a Bee” and is worth checking out.

Of course there will never be a book to which I am more attached than my 1st book for little Adam and hope that after reading this you take an extra 10 minutes to read to your children give them a kiss and a cuddle and tell them you love them before they sleep.

Ah well, not this time.....

(This is actually a post from my old blog that I've transferred across.  It was originally written & posted on 24th November 2011)

Hi Everyone,

Well The Irish Book Awards were held last Thursday in the beautiful surroundings of the Concert Hall in the RDS, a truly inspired setting for such a wonderful event.

Everyone was extremely nervous with one author, who will remain nameless so as not to embarrass her, admitting to getting sick with nerves before she arrived! In fairness I felt a few swells myself during the day.

The atmosphere was electric with authors, agents, editors, publisher’s, booksellers and promoters all engaging in nervous chit chat anticipating the results.

After a wonderful address by President Higgins and a lifetime achievement award presented to Seamus Heaney I did wonder what I was doing there with such a literary genius and wondered if there was a different room for the kids section.

So, finally after asking everyone to vote, asking them again and then reminding them that I asked them to vote, the children’s category was up. With my heart pumping I could not speak and just wanted it to be over one way or the other and then it was read out “and the winner of the Board Gais Energy Children’s Book of the Year - Junior is……… The lonely Beast By Chris Judge” .

Funny thing, my immediate reaction was one of relief as it was all over, followed by a pinch of disappointment topped with a nice warm feeling for Chris as I had the pleasure of meeting him some weeks earlier and found him to be an extraordinarily nice chap. Well done again Chris.

With the stress and worry out of the way I finally got to enjoy a glass of wine and catch up with some “celebs” which was pretty cool. Probably not the night to get the compulsory Facebook photo op but I could not resist the opportunity to get a photo with soccer legend Ronnie Whelan who was nominated for his book. I have to say “what a guy” and made the night very special for my mum and dad who also had their photo taken with him.

The whole award ceremony was recorded by RTE as well and is being shown tonight, (Thurday 24th November), on RTE 1 at 10:45pm if you’d like a look.

Before I go I just want to thank everyone again for voting. We really got a huge response from you guys, but congratulations must go to Chris, well done. Being nominated 3 years in a row is great and don’t worry I’ll have something great to enter next year’s competition!

Bye for now.

Lots of love, Benji.
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