Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Review, Interview & $25 Amazon GC Giveaway: Flidderbugs by Jonathan Gould

Original Title: Flidderbugs
Author: Jonathan Gould
Published Date: August 30th 2011
Genre: Children's, Fantasy


As Kriffle the Flidderbug investigates why his fellow 'bugs find it impossible to agree on the pressing issue of how many points there are on the leaves of the tree on which they live, he finds that the truth is more complicated, and ultimately more terrifying, than he ever could have imagined.

Flidderbugs is a political satire, a modern fable, or maybe just a funny little story about a bunch of insects with some very peculiar obsessions.


This book came up as a huge surprise to me.  I love children's books, so the surprise is not in the genre.  The surprise is that even though its a children's book, I 'know' that adults also will love it.

Flidderbugs is a community of bugs in a Krephiloff tree.  The Flidderbugs themselves fall under two categories - Triplifers and Quadrigons - each taking up half of he tree.  There was a election coming up and these two parties try to convince others of their beliefs and get the vote.  Triplifers believe that the leaves in their tree have three points and Quadrigons believe that the leaves have four points.  The problem is they both believe that strongly and they both have proof of their own.  So, when Friggle, son of the leader of the Triplifers, tries to convince the Quadrigons that the leaves have three points, he was being laughed at, by Fargeeta, the girl bug who is next in line for the Quadrigon leadership, and other Quadrigons.  What is the real problem?  Will Friggle win the election proving that the tree has three pointed leaves?  Or Fargeeta get the better of him?

Amazing and light way of story-telling will definitely make the readers enjoy this short book.  The current political drama and however big and strong we are evolved, we still fret over the simple issues, without understanding the truth of the opposition's voices.  If all we ever do is oppose, then we are never going to see the truth.  This is what the story depicts in a fun and easy way.

The words used by Gould for the world formation is hilarious and enjoyable.  This is my first book by Jonathan Gould and I have to say Dr. Seuss has left his mark in many of his readers, because here is one example of how a perfect children's book must be.

Must read for all ages!


Jonathan Gould is a Melbourne-based writer and doodler.  He calls his stories "dag-lit" because they're the sort of stories that don't easily fit into the standard genres. Some might think of them as comic fantasies, or modern fairytales for the young and the young-at-heart.

Over the years, his writing has been compared to Douglas Adams, Monty Python, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, the Goons, Dr Seuss and even Enid Blyton (in a good way).

Author Online: Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Now, for a fun interview - here it is!

Is there an inspiration behind why you chose writing?

I didn’t choose writing – writing chose me. There I was, walking down the street, feeling happy. The sun was shining and the birds were singing. I never realised that dastardly villain, writing, was hiding behind the trees. Then all of a sudden, out he jumps and chooses me, before I had a chance to argue or complain or even try to run away. Since then, there’s been nothing I can do except write. Curse that swine.

Well, it might not be quite like that but you get the picture. Like most other writers, I write because it’s just something I have to do.

Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.

I wake up. I doze. I tell myself it’s time to get up. I doze a bit more. Eventually I roll out of bed. I have breakfast while thinking about writing. I jump on the tram and think about writing. I spend a day at work while thinking about writing. I jump on the tram again while thinking about writing. I eat dinner while thinking about writing. I jump on the computer and try to sneak in a bit of writing. I say goodnight to the kids, feeling guilty for not spending more time with them. I sneak back to the computer and try to write some more. I spend some time with the wife while feeling guilty for not spending enough time with the wife. I go to bed and dream about writing.

What are your current literary works?  Any sneak peaks?

I’m assuming you’re referring to what I’m writing. I’m currently putting the finishing touches on my first novel – it’s my version of an epic fantasy. I like to describe it as Tolkien meets Dr Seuss. The title is Magnus Opum.

I’m also working on a sequel to my first ebook, Doodling. This one is tentatively titled Scribbling and will continue the strange adventures of Neville Lansdowne.

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?

Darth Vader
Douglas Adams
Queen Elizabeth I
Horton the Elephant
The boss from Dilbert

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?

Most people I know think that I’m crazy – by Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs

What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you'd be embarrassed to admit?

TV show – Desperate Housewives – don’t tell anyone, please.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

Having Doodling nominated as a Goodreads Choice Awards semi-finalist. And then having the amazing Donna Brown create a Vote Doodling video on YouTube -

What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Run, run as hard as you can if you see that villain, writing, crouching in the trees. Ok, too late? Then all I can really say is write. Write a lot and then write some more. Like any craft or skill, practice might not make perfect but it definitely does make better.

Also, find a mentor, or a group of peers. Get feedback. Always listen to advice, but make sure you stay true to yourself.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?

Anything by Dr Seuss. I love his imagination and I love his worlds. Except for that Cat in the Hat. I think he’s trouble so I’d steer clear of him.

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?

I’m Sorry, Did Somebody Say Something?

If you had 24 hours alone how would you spend it? 

Writing, writing, writing, writing. And I might try to squeeze in some writing as well.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you "grew up"? 

I wanted to dig for dinosaurs. I had a bit of an obsession about it. One thing that hasn’t changed about me is I still get kind of obsessed. For a writer, I think that’s a good quality. Without it, you’d probably never get to finish anything.

Note – I still think dinosaurs are pretty cool and am definitely planning to write about them.

In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?

None. I’m far too much of a control freak to want to write with somebody else. And I’d hate to think I’d be pissing off somebody I loved and respected.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

The power to give everybody in the world exceptionally good taste – because then, of course, they’d all go and buy my books.


Favorite place?
Wherever there’s laughter and fun

Best christmas present?
Just having family together

Favorite book?
Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy

Favorite author?
Douglas Adams

Favorite smell?
Melting cheese

Favorite series?
Are we talking books? Then I’d probably have to say Lord of the Rings. Awfully unimaginative but it is a defining work

Jonno, Gouldy, you dag

Favorite writing spot?
Inside my head – that’s where the stories come from.

Favorite movie?
Monty Python’s Life of Brian

Favorite dish?
Any dish that has a pizza on it

Favorite color?

Favorite quote?
These pretzels are making me thirsty

Favorite flavor of ice cream?

Your best trait?
I’m very obedient. If I get asked a lot of questions, I’ll try to answer them all.

Your worst trait?
Sometimes I’m far too obedient.


Jonathan will be giving away a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter from the tour and the host with the most comments (excluding Jonathan's and the host's) will receive a $20 Amazon GC.


This post is a part of the tour for "Goddess Fish Promotions"


  1. I will definitely be adding this book to my list. It looks like a fun read to share with my 8 year old son.

    1. Hi Katrina,

      Maybe it will be your 8 year old sharing the book with you.

      Hope you both enjoy.

  2. You continue to crack me up! That would be quite a dinner party...assuming that Vadar didn't kill anyone. I have a cutout of the pointy-haired boss taped on the window in my office. He's my role model as a boss...LOL! AND, my hubby and I use that Seinfeld quote every time one of us is thirsty. I'll definitely be reading the book.

    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    1. Hi Catherine,

      Pull yourself together - there's still over a week to go.

      I think I wanted the pointy-haired boss there so I could pour a bowl of food on his head - he just symbolises all the bad bosses out there in the world (some of whom I've had).

      Or maybe Horton could sit on him.

  3. That's a cool cover! Seems like I could read recommend it to some of the kids as well as adults..and read it myself. Actually, I am pretty bad with numbers too, lol.

    1. Hi Vignesh,

      Thanks for the comment re the cover - I have a great designer who'd done all my covers so far.

      Please feel free to recommend away.

  4. Hi Vidya,

    Thanks for having me here and for the kind words about the book. You caught me a bit on the hop as I'm used to posts going up in US time zones - but looks like we're a bit closer together, time-wise.

    If anyone else wants to post a comment, I promise to reply - as I said, I'm very obedient.

    1. It's always my pleasure to have the authors in my blog. And you have one of the funniest writing skills I know of. Great interview, by the way. I can't wait to read your other book - Doodling. And yeah, I post in Indian time.. :)

  5. I love the favorite quote ;) The interview was informative and fun, thank you! edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

    1. Hi Krystal,

      Thanks for your comment. Luckily, I have a drink beside me at this moment.

      Wouldn't say no to an ice-cream though

  6. I love the dinner guest list LOL

    1. Thanks Susan,

      Not sure I'd get much eating done, mind you.

  7. Hi Jonathan! If you don't remember who this is, shame on you! LOL But to refresh your memory, Ritesh here from winwithebooks! As always an amazingly funny interview. And, after reading this, I now want to read your book! Right now!

    1. Hey Ritesh,

      Great to see you here. Of course I knew it was you (maybe)

  8. Great interview. I liked your favorite dish. The bird on this page keeps flying around and distracting me, but I can't wait to read your book. lisarayns at

    1. Hi Lisa,

      I added the birds to my plate so they should be out of the way now.

      (just kidding - I'd never eat such cute widdle birdies)

  9. That was a day about writing..not you, I suppose, LOL. But, I think you live in writing and that feels like a heaven to you. I would invite Horton to the dinner too (although just now I got the idea from you :) )...sooo sooo like him.

    Great review, should buy it soon to give it to the kids at home..

    1. Hi SunilAnand,

      Horton is the best - he never gives up. When I get discouraged, he's one of my inspirations.

    2. I love Horton too, one of my favorite characters!

  10. I love the cover....gonna suggest to all d kids whom i know...:)i ll read fa sure....all love to read these kinof books eva...

  11. The Quick Questions made me laugh. Douglas Adams - of course!!


    1. Hi Marybelle,

      Yes Douglas Adams is a hero of mine.

      My autographed Hitch-Hikers Guide is one of my prized posessions.

  12. Sounds like a great book. I have my sister's kid, who I think will definitely love it..thanks for sharing. Great review.. Jonathan Gould - I loved the interview and such a fun interview.

    And "Desperate Housewives"??? Seriously? :)

    1. Hi Ranjini,

      Thanks for your comment. Now I better go - Desperate Housewives is about to start (really - it is)

  13. I have to admit I am not a reader. All I do is try to read. The only book I have completed is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, only recently. So, you can see that I was surprised when I read the review and thought I will enjoy this. Maybe I should try this one and I may actually enjoy it. All I want is a light-hearted, fast-paced read!

    1. Hi Selvi,

      Thanks for your comment - maybe I can convert you into a reader. Hope you enjoy

  14. The review is nice, I can visualize what author is trying to say from the review.. Author's way of explaining the political view through bugs is a new approach and I like it...

    1. Hi Kamaraj,

      Thanks for your comment. It's amazing what you can do with a couple of bugs.

  15. This sounds like one cool book...i'd read it and then pass it on to a very special girl who loves bugs and trees and nature as a whole. From the interview i would say that his books remind me a bit of Max Lucado's children's books. Thank you...for the post and the opportunity to win!

    1. Hi Marianne,

      Thanks for the comment. I'm not familiar with Max Lucado - will have to check out.

  16. This book sounds like such fun! I'm all for fun and for PIZZA!!
    Thanks for the chance to win a gift card to Amazon. Considering how interesting the book sounds and how complete the interview was, I might just use some of that money to purchase Flidderbugs! Thanks for the book, the card and the interview!

    1. Hi PuttPutt (is that a name or a golf technique?)

      Pizza is my middle name - actually it's David but close enough.

      All the best.

  17. I'm here for the money, Man!! :P Which it seems to me fits right in to your zeit geist!! LOL Awesome creative mind and lifestyle around writing you have. I love all your comments and ways of seeing the world around you which are evident here in your inteview. There must be really warped people inhabiting your spaces. I'm sure a dinner party with you would be frightening for me, but if I could spy on it from another room, I'd be so psyched! I can only imagine the instant love crackling between Elizabeth and Darth Vader. It's been a while since I've had a cone headed boss...I think mine was a flat head, though, as I remember...a flat-headed flurft. Best of luck with your book! Sounds like you and Seth McFarland need to hook up. He was a friend of my daughter's in prep school. Neither one of them listened to a thing they were being taught... :[ I think you may fall into that category. No one could be as weirdly creative and joyful if they'd been stiffled by the educational system in this country!! Good for you! :] Deborah/TheBookishDame PS: Bring on the bookish goodies, I'm dying for them!!

    1. Hi Deb,

      Funnily enough I work in the education system - I try really hard to "unstifle" the students I work with.

      PS - I'm here for the money too.

  18. Your books have to be hilarious if they are even half as funny as your comments on your tour. I can hardly wait to read one of them.

    1. Hi Momjane,

      Gee - I'm trying my best to be serious on this tour. Mind you, that's usually when I get the biggest laughs.

  19. Looks like a great book.
    Thanks for the giveaway
    family74014 at gmail dot com

  20. Wow - great to see so many comments here. Great job Vidya.

    I'm about to disappear into a work meeting. Before I do, can I quickly plug my novel - Magnus Opum. Tolkien meets Dr Seuss. And due out April 1. See for details.

  21. The only person I would invite for dinner,Elvis. My mother ,sister, husband and others just loved him. I don't have any idea for my self.

    1. Hi Renald,

      I guess Elvis wouldn't eat too much - not now.

  22. Really I love the book which tells the usual things in different style or through different perspective. When I spokes to Vidya(this blog owner) regarding this book, really I felt very happy in the way author plot it. This story will encourage the Kids to view the things in different perspective.

    I would like to thank Jonathan Gould for the plot and nice books, Thanks man. And you are really a cool guy,you respond to almost all the comments :)

    1. Hi Prasannaprabhu,

      Thanks - I work hard on my writing, and my niceness.

      Only just caught your comment so glad I can keep my record up.

  23. Just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day!

  24. Hi Jonathan, I love Dr. Seuss' creations. And what the review says is true, I should read this book for sure. I think you were teasing the host that she is asking too many questions, when you answered that you are obedient right? :) No offense, Vidya!

  25. I hadn't heard of Flidderbugs; sounds like a good one, and I was happy to find this to add to my weekly round up of middle grade fantasy.

  26. this sounds like a wesome book, never hered of it before, Think I am gonna have to read it!


  28. Is it available in print? I LOVE my kindle but I don't allow my kids to use it. I like them to curl up with a good paper book.


  29. Hello, I absolutely LOVED reading this awesome author interview! You cracked me up!!! I will def put this book on my to-read list!! Thank you for the giveaway and the Awesome interview!!

  30. I'm always looking for great books to share with my kids. We read together every day and this looks like it would be a great book to add to the collection!!

    megnate at telus dot net

  31. jphistner@cinci.rr.com25 March 2012 at 13:12

    Look like a book I definitely want to read!!!! Thanks for letting us know about it!!!!!

  32. Totally wanna read this book! The author seems like a really creative person with a lot of wonderful talent!!

  33. Thank you for sharing with us today. I think this is one my son will definitely have to read to me :) I love it when a book can be enjoyed by all ages with different points of interest peaking through based on one's maturity level. I wish you the best appreciate you taking the time and effort on this post.

  34. Hello
    Thank you Vidya for great recommendation and thank you Jonathan for great children's book my son will enjoy in this book I will bay it for him.
    Have a nice time!

  35. Looks like a book my boys will enjoy,they like bugs

  36. I can hardly wait to read the book. You sound like a very intriguing person! Dr.Seuss is one of my favorite authors too! And Horton is my fave character. I think the first book I ever really fell in love with was Horton Hatches An Egg~!

  37. Great giveaway—here's my email:

  38. Definitely sounds likes a book I need to look out for!

  39. Great interview and giveaway.
    Thanks for the opportunity.
    Loved the quick questions.


  40. A kiddy book sounds like too much fun! Oooh fingers crossed.

  41. I loved this book and I am getting Doodling this week! Thanks for the great interview!

  42. Oh wow, this sounds like such a cute book! :D

  43. Thanks for having this!

  44. Would love to read it :)

  45. This book looks amazing. And I think that I along with my little nieces would enjoy it. The cover is awesome btw --- so zestful and colorful! :)

    deeg131 at gmail dot com

  46. I want to read this have heard amazing reviewd

    Lmbrunken at gmail dot com


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