Clarice Bean meets Finding Dory in this laugh-out-loud diary set under the sea!
Join Darcy Dolphin and friends for some underwater adventures! In the first book of the series, Darcy gets a pet, auditions for the role of Finderella in the school play, and solves a mystery on the reef.
The first in a brilliantly funny new illustrated series for boys and girls aged 6+. Perfect for fans of The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig, Pamela Butchart's Baby Aliens Got My Teacher and the Barry Loser series.
Sam Watkins is the author of the Creature Teacher series with OUP, as well as Nick Knight: Super Sub! and Puss in Football Boots, both published by Franklin Watts. Creature Teacher was shortlisted for the Heart of Hawick Children’s Book Award in 2016.
Vicky Barker is a freelance illustrator and designer based in Liverpool. She has illustrated the Fish Fingers series and The Catsup High Detective Agency for Catnip Books, and a series of activity books for bSmall.
Where did you get the idea for Darcy’s story?
I’ve always been fascinated by the underwater world and I loved dolphins as a child – I even started a secret club called the ‘Flipper Club’ when I was at school! I live by the sea, and often go rock pooling with my son. And I’ve snorkelled on the Great Barrier Reef which was amazing and I swam with sharks and turtles amongst loads of other things! So I thought it would be really fun to write a book about the underwater world and the creatures that live there.
Did you keep a diary when you were Darcy’s age? And do you keep one now?
Yes, when I was a child I kept a diary every single day. I still have the diaries, actually. Some of the entries are just ‘Forgot What Did,’ though – so they’re not what I would call a riveting read! I sort of keep a diary now but I don’t write it every day, it’s more like once a month!
What’s your favourite fascinating fish fact?
Can I have more than one? There are so many…
• Cool fact: The vampire squid can turn itself inside out.
• Icky fact: Sea cucumbers can shoot out their intestines when they are threatened – a lot of sea creatures have really weird ways of defending themselves!
• Scary fact: Some jellyfish aren’t actually single creatures but a whole raft of different animals all living together like one big, happy, extremely poisonous family!
If you could swim under the sea with Darcy for a day, what would you do?
I would ask her to introduce me to all her fishy friends! I’d love to explore Ozzie’s shipwreck and meet Miss Angler – although she’s a bit scary so I’d be on my best behaviour! I’d like to meet Aunt Ditzy too, although I’m not sure I’d want to try her Super Seaweed Smoothies :-/
What would be your perfect pet? (Would you enter them in Pets Factor?)
This is going to sound a little strange but I’ve always wanted a giant millipede! They’re very easy to look after, vegetarian, and they tickle when they walk on your hand. They don’t do tricks or anything, but I think they’re really the perfect pet! I think I’d call him Jeremy.
What is your favourite thing about being an author?
There are loads of great things about being an author, but I think the best thing is just being able to go to my shed, dive into my own fantasy world and spend all day with my characters getting involved in all their adventures, and helping them solve their problems!
What are your top tips for young writers?
• Try and write something every day, however little. And don’t worry about how ‘good’ it is – the more you write, the better you’ll get.
• Keep a diary – like Darcy!
• Read books. Try and write a story based on a character in one of your favourite books.
• Write about things you know about, but try adding a funny or unusual twist. For example, if you’ve got a pet, maybe they have a special superpower whenever they eat a certain type of pet food!
If you could be any sea creature, which one would you be?
A dolphin because they really know how to have fun!