The Adventures of Martin Rattler

Merchiston Publishing is excited to announce our latest project, a newly re-vamped edition of The Adventures of Martin Rattler written by classic Scottish author R.M. Ballantyne.

Martin Rattler tells the story of a young mischievous boy who stows away on a ship and goes on a huge adventure.

Deep in the Amazon, Martin must fight for his survival from not only the elements, but the exotic animals too….

Art Competition Closed! Winners to be revealed!

Our art competition is over and the judging process has begun. Our illustrator Rhiannon Tate is Head Judge for the competition, and picking the winning entries is proving a very tricky decision.

Harshini, P4c, S.MorningCROP
Plop the Tortoise

The competition has had a huge reach over the city, we’ve had over 350 entries stemming from 50 schools and 9 supporting libraries!

Abigail, p3, QueensferryCROP
Regina the Toucan

Here’s a quick reminder of the fantastic prizes we have on offer:

  • Frankie and Benny’s vouchers worth £20
  • Gambado Play Centre £25 Gift Voucher
  • Smyths Toyshop £30 Gift Voucher
  • Vue Cinema Tickets
  • Edinburgh Zoo Saturday Club Membership.

We will be announcing the winners soon, keep checking our blog to see if your entry has won a prize!

Harris, p5, KinghornCROP
Jeff the Elephant

Keep up to date with all of Martin’s adventures. Follow us on Twitter @Martin_Rattler and like us on Facebook at MartinRattlerbook.

Competition! Win prizes!

Gillian, P5b Bruntsfield003

We’ve had so many fantastic entries into our art competition! The team here at Merchiston Publishing are going to find it really tough to choose the winners.

If you haven’t sent in your drawing yet, you can do it right here Competition_240315_PDF
martin copyTo be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is draw us your favourite exotic animal from the jungle and send back your completed form to:

Rose, P5b Bruntsfield006

Martin Rattler Team
Merchiston Publishing
Edinburgh Napier University
10 Colinton Road
Edinburgh
EH10 5DT

 

Or you can hand back your form to any of our drop off points at:

  • Fountainbridge Library
  • Central Children’s LibraryZara, P5 Cramond cropped
  • Kirkliston Library
  • Muirhouse Library
  • Morningside Library
  • South Queensferry Library
  • South Neighbourhood Library
  • Stockbridge Library
  • Blackwell’s South Bridge
  • The Edinburgh Bookshop
  • Gorgie City Farm

Make sure to send in your artwork before Monday 20th April and remember to check back here to see if your artwork has been featured on the website!

Keep up to date with all of Martin’s adventures! Follow us on Twitter @Martin_Rattler and like us on Facebook at MartinRattlerbook.

Toucan… You Can!

I have one of the best jobs on the Martin Rattler team – I get to draw the pictures! During Martin’s adventures in the Amazon Rainforest, he encounters lots of new species which are described throughout the book.

You will need: Paper, drawing pencil, eraser, black pen, colouring pencils/pens or paints.

Step 1: Read the book! If you don’t know what’s going on in the book, you don’t know what to draw. Toucans are a very special type of bird that Martin finds and they only live in the rainforest. They have a very distinctive appearance, so they are a good choice for creating an illustration.

Step 2: Research! This is very important. Encyclopaedias, the library, teachers and the internet will all help us find out more about toucans. It helps to know where they live and what they eat, but their appearance is what we are really looking for.

Step 3: Design decisions. Toucan’s bills (another word for beak) come in all sorts of different colours. It’s best to pick one type of toucan and stick with it if you want to be accurate, but if you’re feeling imaginative, you could make up your own!

Step 4: Outline (in pencil). Look at the outline of a toucan and break it down into simple shapes. This will help you get the proportions right. In this case, you can use a narrow rectangle, two large circles and a big banana shape.

Break your toucan into shapes!

Sketch these in lightly, then fill in the details with a pencil. Don’t press too hard with your pencil or you won’t be able to rub out mistakes.

Sketch in the details with a pencil.

Step 5: Once you are happy with your toucan drawing, go over the good lines with a black pen. A fine waterproof marker is best if you’re going to paint it, but felt-tips are just as good if you want to colour in using pens or pencils. Once all your good lines are in black and the ink is dry, rub out the pencil lines.

Trace over the good outlines in black pen.

Step 6: Colour in your toucan!

Try and stay inside the lines when you colour… oops!

Congratulations! Now why not try drawing a whole family of toucans in different colours? Or try these techniques with your favourite animals?

We’d love to see your creations. Send them in to the team before Monday and you could win one of our fantastic prizes. Enter our art competition here –  Martin Rattler Competition.

Keep up to date with all of Martin’s adventures! Follow us on Twitter @Martin_Rattler and like us on Facebook at MartinRattlerbook.

Wild Prizes: First Place Prize Reveal

Over the last few weeks we have been revealing the great prizes we have lined up for our winners, awarded to the top three entries in two age categories – Primary 1–4, and Primary 5–7.

Without further ado, here are our top prizes!

Primary 1–4: Vue Cinema tickets for the winner and five friends

logo-vue

Primary 5–7: 10 months membership to Edinburgh Zoo Saturday Club (starting in September)

Edinburgh_Zoo_logo

Thank you to Vue Cinema and Edinburgh Zoo for donating these amazing prizes!

Follow them on Twitter here: Vue Cinema and Edinburgh Zoo

To be in with a chance of winning these fantastic prizes, download our competition form here Competition_240315_PDF and send it back to the team at Merchiston, or hand in your completed entry to any of our dropboxes around Edinburgh. But you better be quick as the competition closes next week, on Monday 20th April.

The team would like to say a huge thanks to all who donated prizes for their involvement in the competition and their support of The Adventures of Martin Rattler. Special thanks to Edinburgh Zoo, Vue Cinema, Frankie and Benny’s, Gambado Soft Play Centre and Smyths Toys.

Keep up to date with all of Martin’s adventures! Follow us on Twitter @Martin_Rattler and like us on Facebook at MartinRattlerbook.
Enter our Competition to win fantastic prizesMartin Rattler Competition.

Wild Prizes: Second Place Prize Reveal

Here at Merchiston Publishing we have had a huge response to our art competition. Last week we revealed the prizes for our third place entries, and this week we are taking it up a notch to reveal our runner up prizes.

Prizes are awarded to the top three entries in two age categories – Primary 1–4, and Primary 5–7. Without further ado, our second place prizes are:

Primary 1–4: Gambado Play Centre: £25 Voucher for the winner and four friends.

13 Gambado

Primary 5–7: Smyths £30 Toy Shop Voucher

smythsThank you to Gambado  and Smyth’s Toys for donating these brilliant prizes. Follow them on Twitter here: Smyth’s and Gambado.

To be in with a chance of winning, download our competition form here: Competition_240315_PDF and send it back to the team at Merchiston, or hand in your completed entry to any of our dropboxes around Edinburgh.

Check back next week to find out what our top place prizes are!

Keep up to date with all of Martin’s adventures! Follow us on Twitter @Martin_Rattler and like us on Facebook at MartinRattlerbook.
Enter our Competition to win fantastic prizesMartin Rattler Competition.

Wild Prizes: Third Place Prize Reveal

The team at Merchiston Publishing have been having lots of fun looking at everyone’s brilliant entries to our art competition. Last week we revealed some of our favourite entries so far and this week we would love to share with you the wild prizes we have in store for our winners!

Over the next few weeks we will be revealing these great prizes. We are pleased to announce that these will be awarded to the top three entries in two age categories – Primary 1–4, and Primary 5–7.

Without further ado, our third place prizes are two sets of vouchers for dinner for two from the Specials Menus at Frankie and Benny’s. Thank you to Frankie and Benny’s for donating these fantastic vouchers worth £20. Follow them on Twitter here.

frankie_&_benny's_red_logo2

To be in with a chance of winning one of our fantastic prizes, download our competition form and send it back to the team at Merchiston, or hand in your completed entry to any of our dropboxes around Edinburgh. See the full list above.

Check back next week to see us reveal even more prizes!

Keep up to date with all of Martin’s adventures! Follow us on Twitter @Martin_Rattler and like us on Facebook at MartinRattlerbook.
Enter our Competition to win fantastic prizesMartin Rattler Competition.

Would you rather?

We asked Jules from Editorial to brainstorm a few fun scenarios from The Adventures of Martin Rattler to get you thinking…

I’ve been reading The Adventures of Martin Rattler, and it’s made me think about all the exciting and scary things in the jungle! Imagine all the wild situations you might get into! Would you rather…

Climb a tree to escape wild pigs or fight a jaguar with a bow and arrow?

Bake an iguana pie or make a manatee casserole?

Sleep in a hammock in the jungle or in a bunk on a sailing ship?

Cuddle a manatee or give a baby tapir his breakfast?

Manatee

Keep up to date with all of Martin’s adventures! Follow us on Twitter @Martin_Rattler and like us on Facebook at MartinRattlerbook.

Enter our Competition to win fantastic prizesMartin Rattler Competition.

Martin Rattler Celebrates International Children’s Book Day!

Today is International Children’s Book Day (ICBD). The day is celebrated to inspire reading and promote children’s books, and is held every year on the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen. We asked the Martin Rattler Team at Merchiston Publishing some questions about their favourite children’s books and illustrators. Read on to find out what they said.

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Favourite Children’s Character

Megan Reid, Editorial – Percy the Park Keeper from the series by Nick Butterworth. I still have the copies I read when I was little, my favourite was One Snowy Night.

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Donna Kean, Editorial – Eeyore. I’m a little obsessed with donkeys, I’ve got a big Eeyore toy from Disneyland Paris.

Imogen McBean, Editorial – Little Grey Rabbit from the series by Alison Uttley. My mum had kept her copies from when she was a child, and my sister and I loved them.

Kirsty Woods, Rights and Communications – Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web. I love pigs.

Favourite Children’s Book

Rachel Cree, Marketing – The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

tvhc

Jules King, Editorial – Anything by Brian Jacques.

Lu Hogan, Project ManagerMeteor Spoon by Philip Ridley.

Shelly Neal, MarketingThe Stinky Cheese Man by Jon Scieszka.

Franzi Heydrich, MarketingEmil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner and The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. I couldn’t possibly decide between the two.

Rhiannon Tate, Illustrator/ ProductionPossum Magic by Mem Fox It’s an awesome picture book, beautifully illustrated.

Favourite Illustrator

Mairi McKay, Project Manager – Oliver Jeffers. The illustrations perfectly match the text and really bring the story to life.

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Barbara Arrighi, Production – Chris Haughton. I love how colourful his illustrations are, super cute and yet really modern, and it’s pretty amazing how he does everything himself – from the story to the illustrations and even the font.

Claire Cunningham, Editorial – Chris Riddell. He’s the bomb diggity.

Group Photo

Our new favourite children’s book is of course The Adventures of Martin Rattler, with brand new illustrations by our very own Rhiannon Tate. Keep up to date with all of Martin’s adventures! Follow us on Twitter @Martin_Rattler and like us on Facebook at MartinRattlerbook.
Enter our Competition to win fantastic prizesMartin Rattler Competition. Happy reading explorers.

Message in a Bottle

If anyone finds this message in a bottle, be warned. What you’re about to read might be hard to believe. What an adventure my friend Barney and I have been having in Brazil! We escaped a band of pirates, survived a huge storm and have ended up in paradise. What a stroke of luck! We’ve seen some amazing animals which you would never see in Ashford. We’ve also made friends with a hermit who is showing us the ways of jungle life. He’s given us new clothes, and our very own hammocks to sleep in. They’re surprisingly comfy. The hermit has told us amazing stories about Brazil, did you know there are huge diamond mines in the mountains? Barney seems really excited to see them, so I think we’ll be off on our next adventure soon.

Martin.

Where will Martin and Barney end up next? There are definitely more adventures to come and they’re all in a new book called The Adventures of Martin Rattler

Keep up to date with all of Martin’s adventures! Follow us on Twitter @Martin_Rattler and like us on Facebook at MartinRattlerbook.
Enter our Competition to win fantastic prizesMartin Rattler Competition. Happy reading explorers.

Earth Hour

Hi everyone! Earth Hour is today (Saturday, March 28th) from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Earth Hour is when millions of people turn off their lights for one hour to raise awareness about the care of our planet and it happens once a year.

This year there are 162 countries participating including the UK. Instead of playing games on your tablets, or watching T.V. all night let’s think of a few other things we can do instead. Planet-earth-12035-12418-hd-wallpapers

  • Read a book
  • Play football outside with friends
  • Look up at the stars
  • Play Hide and Seek
  • Ride bikes

There is plenty of fun to have with your friends and without computers. Celebrate Earth Hour this year and help spread the word to your friends. Saving the earth is something that should be close to everyone’s hearts.

Martin will be switched off for Earth Hour, join him!

Keep up to date with all of Martin’s adventures! Follow us on Twitter @Martin_Rattler and like us on Facebook at MartinRattlerbook.
Enter our Competition to win fantastic prizesMartin Rattler Competition

The Pirates

Ship’s Log

Turns out being at sea isn’t as fun as you’d think. I feel so homesick, I miss Aunt Grumbit and my cat. The only thing keeping me going is my friend, Barney. He’s been teaching me about foreign lands and the terrible dangers he’s faced over the years. I’ve been hearing whispers about pirate ships nearby, and the captain seems to be on edge. The days are very long on the ship, so I’ve been learning how to use the telescope. I’m a proper explorer now like Columbus. The water is very choppy today, I think a storm is coming.

I can hear the crew shouting, something about black flags and strange sails on the horizon. It doesn’t sound too good, but I’m not scared.

I’d better go and see if I can help…

Martin, age 14.

Sounds like Martin and Barney are in trouble, come back next week to find out what happens!

Keep up to date with all of Martin’s adventures! Follow us on Twitter @Martin_Rattler and like us on Facebook at MartinRattlerbook.
Enter our Competition to win fantastic prizes! Martin Rattler Competition

Desert Island Books

Imogen McBean works on The Adventures of Martin Rattler in the Editorial Department. Here are her top picks for desert island reading.

Picture this: you end up marooned on a desert island with little chance of being rescued anytime soon. What would pass the time? Reading of course! Here are some of my top picks for ‘Desert Island Books’.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

One of my favourite books from my childhood, this is a story full of magic and excitement. I loved all the characters, especially Mr Tumnus the faun. I wanted to be like Susan when I grew up. There’s also six more books in the series to keep me busy on the island.

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

This classic novel by Hardy is one of my favourites. I read it first as a teenager and it’s one of those books that you can read again and again. The heroine Bathsheba Everdene is strong-willed and independent. A film adaptation is being released on 1st May 2015 starring Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba.

And finally…

Boat Building: A Complete Handbook of Wooden Boat Construction by Howard Chapelle

If I’ve read all my other books over and over again and there is still no sign of anyone coming to rescue me, this book will come in handy! I’ll need a boat to get to the nearest bookshop of course.

1280px-Desertisland

Keep up to date with all of Martin’s adventures! Follow us on Twitter @Martin_Rattler and like us on Facebook at MartinRattlerbook.
Enter our Competition to win fantastic prizesMartin Rattler Competition. Happy reading explorers.

Martin Rattler was a very bad boy

Dear diary,
Today I got into trouble at school. I got punished for playing a prank on John. Everyone laughed and thought it was very funny when I put soot on his face, everyone except Bob Croaker. He’s the school bully, and everyone knows that he’s horrible and cruel. I had to stay in during playtime while everyone else was outside, and Croaker threatened to throw my kitten in the stream. When I escaped the classroom I ran as fast as I could across the playground to save it and ended up in a great fight with Croaker. I didn’t want to fight him, I never get into fights if I can help it, but he gave me no choice! You should have seen my aunt’s face when I came home from school, soaking wet and covered in mud! But at least I won and Bob Croaker won’t be bothering me again. Today wasn’t all bad though, I made a new friend, Barney O’ Flannagan. He’s a sailor who’s told me all sorts of exciting stories about life at sea. Maybe one day I’ll get to join his crew!

Martin, age 10.

If you want to find out what happens to Martin, keep an eye out for his next update…

Keep up to date with all of Martin’s adventures! Follow us on Twitter @Martin_Rattler and like us on Facebook at MartinRattlerbook.
Enter our Competition to win fantastic prizesMartin Rattler Competition. Happy reading explorers.

What I saw in the forest…

Today as I was wandering through the forest I came across a peculiar looking creature. He was pale, like a ghost, and not at all like the two-legged creatures I’ve seen here before. It seems that both of us were equally startled by the appearance of the other. I think I gave him a fright and he flew an arrow at me! I would never have attacked him! Giving him a snort I ran back into the forest away from the pale, two-legged beast.

We tapirs aren’t vicious creatures, in fact, we are endangered. If you don’t know what I look like, close your eyes and imagine a pig with a trunk! I am related to horses and rhinoceroses. Scientists believe my species are quite ancient and that we’ve changed very little over tens of thousands of years. To eat I use my short prehensile trunk. I use it to eat leaves and fruits (not two-legged beasts!) I can also dive to eat aquatic plants, they’re my favourite. I like to go into the water to cool off!

If you would like to see a real life tapir you should visit my relatives at Edinburgh Zoo. The tapirs there look a little different to me though, I am a Lowland tapir and the ones at the zoo are Malayan tapirs. On the 31st December last year, a baby boy named Mekong was born to his mum Sayang and dad Mogli. Go and see him soon, he still has his spots!

That’s all I have time to tell you for now! I must get back to roaming the forest. You can find me again within the pages of The Adventures of Martin Rattler.

Keep up to date with all of Martin’s adventures! Follow us on Twitter @Martin_Rattler and like us on Facebook at MartinRattlerbook.
Enter our Competition to win fantastic prizesMartin Rattler Competition.

Martin Rattler Celebrates World Book Day 2015!

MR_WBDTake a look at some our favourite celebrations from World Book Day 2015 here.

What did you do to celebrate?

Keep an eye on the blog next week as we’ll be revealing the details of an exciting competition with some WILD prizes!

Fun Facts from Martin

Live from Merchiston Publishing! We’ve got an exciting update for you on The Adventures of Martin Rattler!

The team have been hard at work thinking up all kinds of fun activities and games for you to play as you read Martin’s adventures in our new version of the book.

Are you ready to impress your friends with fun facts about Brazil?

Did you know that Jaguars can see better at night than during the day? And that Giant Anteaters can grow to be over 2 metres?! Brazil has an amazing 4 million different species of plants and animals! You can find out more facts about Brazil if you keep an eye on our updates over the next few weeks!

Until next time friends!

 Meet the Team!

Ahoy mateys! Meet our Rattler team: there’s the author (pictured) whose words are being edited by Jules and her editorial team. Barbara and the Production team are developing layouts. Meanwhile Rachel in marketing is looking for your comments so let us know what you think!

Keep up to date with all of Martin’s adventures! Follow us on Twitter @Martin_Rattler and like us on Facebook at MartinRattlerbook. And don’t forget to enter our Competition to win fantastic prizes!

15 thoughts on “The Adventures of Martin Rattler”

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