Jason was joined by young readers for the official launch of his third picture book, A Zoo In My Shoe, at the welcoming Pickled Pepper children’s bookshop in Crouch End.

During his introduction, he remarked that he’d been speaking to a friend who’d recently held his own book launch, to get some ideas.

“Andy’s book was called Rigged and was about the wrongful prosecutions of whistle-blowers in the Libor interest rate rigging scandal,” Jason explained to his slightly bemused guests, before continuing. “He invited anyone in his audience who’d been wrongfully prosecuted to come forward to talk about their experience. In the same light, I’d like to ask if there’s anyone here who’s ever had a zoo in their shoe?”

With no-one offering to come forward to speak about such an experience, Jason pressed on with reading A Zoo In My Shoe, to laughter from children and adults alike.

It wasn’t only laughter that interrupted the reading; Jason’s daughter added her own illustrations to the whiteboard behind him, while his father’s incoming texts also caused some disruption. “That reminds me,” said Jason. “I meant to point out that this book is dedicated to my Dad.” Turning to the dedication page, he read, “Who showed me how funny it could be to get muxed ip,” before continuing, “And disrupting my book launch with his texts.”

After more than three years of reading his previous book, I Like to Put Food In My Welly, Jason has become used to taking props with him to events; he typically pops bananas, bags of crisps or packs of biscuits inside his children’s wellies. For A Zoo In My Shoe, he’s come up with a new set of props; his daughter kindly let him use one of her trainers and two wooden animals that form part of puzzle she was given at birth.

As well as listening to the reading, the children also had the opportunity to draw a zoo in a shoe, on Jason’s activity sheet, while they were munching on chocolate animal-shaped biscuits. There was some really impressive animals – but nothing could quite match up to Max Low’s zany originals.

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