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Tuesday, 9 January 2018

#illo_advent 2017

This December I decided to take part in #illo_advent again, where you draw a different festive illustration everyday.  If you follow the hashtag on twitter you can see many different illustrators taking part.  It can become quite time-consuming so this year I decided to limit my colour palette in an effort to keep them simple and save time.  Here are this year's batch.

Here's a closer look

Week one

Week two

Week three

I gave up on day 21 as I'd just finished the artwork for a new book and as much as I wanted to complete my advent set I was eager to begin my holiday.  I did do one final image for the 25th though.  We have a Christmas day birthday in our household so I try make a card that covers both occasions.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017


Just a little reminder that Santa is coming and my shop is full of screen prints and Christmas cards for those, like me, who leave it to the last minute.  I will be panic buying very soon.  

Happy holidays!

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

CKG 2018

I was thrilled to find out this week that Pigeon P.I. has been nominated for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2018 alongside so many truly fantastic books.  There were 116 nominated this year as well as a whopping 121 for the Carnegie Medal, all chosen by children's librarians.

You can read all about the awards HERE and follow the conversation on twitter with the hashtag #CKG18 

Thank you to whoever nominated my book, it really was a lovely surprise.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Book three

My third book with Andersen Press is publishing next year, but the proofs have already arrived.  I can't show much but I'm sure no-one will mind a tiny sneak peak.

Mo at work

This is Maurice (Maw-reece). He runs the lost property department of a railway station.  His office was inspired by a ticket office I saw at Boat Of Garten railway station in the Highlands, near where I live.

   Isn't it the sweetest?  And perfect for a mouse.

Here's a little close up of the title page.  As you can see, like my first two books,  it is published by those lovely people at Andersen Press.

And finally a little glance at the back cover.  With some exciting bits and bobs I've collected to make some luggage tags of my own.

You'll have to wait a little longer to see the rest.

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Last week I was luckily enough to attend my first ever Edinburgh International Book Festival, which is a bit silly since it's only a year younger than me and I didn't live that far away, but I can now proudly say I've been.

And the sun was out.

I ran two events.  One was a short storytelling session in the Story Box, and the other was in the Baillie Gifford Imagination Lab and required Houdini and a magic suitcase.  Many a magnificent Houdini was drawn by our young audience (and a few adults too) and no-one has yet been turned into a rabbit...well, not permanently.

Only a garish pink strap can keep the magic contained.

Huge thanks to all the lovely children and adults who came to see us, and to the Edinburgh Book Festival staff who were so welcoming.

I'm probably supposed to be doing something...
Many pennies were spent in the Children's bookshop.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Edinburgh Book Festival

I'm really excited to be attending the Edinburgh International Book Festival for the first time this year.  I'll be there on August 24th reading and drawing from my picture books Life and Magic and Pigeon P.I.  If you have little kids and want to read a little mystery and magic then come along.

You can find tickets and information here.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Magical mystery school visits

It's been a very busy week.  I'm trying to finish my third book (it's nearly done!) but I've had a break away from my desk this week to attend the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, to visit Discover Children's Story Centre for the first time (it's marvellous!) and to do a few school events too.  Thank you so much to Paul and Harriet at Andersen Press and Heather at Waterstones Bromley for organising everything, including myself!

Armed with my magical suitcase 'Paddington' and my better half Jon, we've had a great time reading stories, solving mysteries, doing some magic and drawing with over 550 school kids.


Discover Children's Story Centre

Did I mention that Jon also doubles up as a magician? He's very handy .

Teaching everyone to draw Houdini.  

Thank you to the staff and children of Manorfield Primary School, and everyone at Discover for organising the event and for giving us a tour of this amazing space.  Seriously, go visit.

Southborough Primary School

Showing some character sketches to some seriously well behaved children.

Stillness Infant School

More drawing and a mic because I'm quiet as a mouse.

Thank you so much to all the school staff and children, we had such a great time.

The Waterstones Children's Book Prize

The shortlisted authors and illustrators with children's laureate Chris Riddell.

A highlight

Meeting Matt Roberston, Francesca Sanna and Fabi Santiago.  If you combine all four of us we have 20/20 vision!

Proof I was there.

Huge congratulations to Illustrated Books winner Lizzy Stewart, Older Fiction Winner Patrice Lawrence and overall winner Kiran Millwood Hargrave.  And thanks to Waterstones for such a great evening.

Now, back to book three...