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Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Drawing and Activity Sheets

Since many people are now at home I have made all of the worksheets from my books The Station Mouse, Pigeon P.I. and Life Is Magic available to download on my website.  There are drawing activities, colouring in and puzzles too.  Stay safe and wash those hands.

You can find all of the activity sheets here click here!

If you don't have a printer many of the activities can be viewed onscreen and then drawn onto paper, like the How to draw Maurice below.

Here are some examples of what you'll find...

I've also added How to make a Thaumatrope from Life Is Magic. 
 If you have a copy of the book then check under the hardback dustcover or scan the QR code in the back of the paperback to find your own instructions.

Thursday, 30 January 2020

And the winner is...

The Bookbug Picture Book Prize 2020 winner was announced yesterday and I'm happy to report that The Station Mouse won. Woohoo!

The beautiful trophy was made by Emily Hogarth

Every year Scottish Book Trust give all of the primary one children in Scotland a Bookbug bag containing three shortlisted books.  This year Scottish Book Trust gave out an incredible 189,000 books in these bags alone.  That's 63,000 bags!  The most wonderful part of all this is that young readers get three great books of their very own to keep.

The winner is picked by the readers too, which for me is the loveliest part.  It's really nice to know that the people you write books for are actually enjoying them.  Thank you to all the schools who took part, all the libraries that helped out and to all the pupils for voting.

Here is the announcement video.

Huge thanks to Liam, Heather and Jonathan who made this video, and to Hannah who filmed the shortlist videos, you who were all so helpful and supportive.

Maurice and I are off to celebrate with our favourite things, cheese and cake.  Maybe there's a way we can combine the two...

Friday, 15 November 2019

A Christmouse Gift

I've been seeing a lot of really cool painters online recently and it made me want to have a go.  This week I took a morning off from photoshop and dug out my old paintbrushes and some gouache paint, which I've never used.  Using different types of paint is a real learning curve, I'm more used to oils (although I haven't used them in 10 years), but what I did love about gouache is that it dries very quickly.  As someone who smudges everything this is a real advantage.  I also like that you can repaint areas that have gone wrong very easily, which is a must when you're new!  I didn't quite get the thin layers of paint I wanted but this was only my first go and I'll definitely play around with them some more.  The draw of painting for me is the looseness, my book work tends to be very precise and I wanted to move away from that.  All of the finishing details are in pencil because I love the texture of coloured pencils and I can control them far better than a fine brush.

It's only little.
Here are a few of the process shots.  The final image is A6 and I used Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils because I happen to have a box and they're really lovely to draw with.

Sketch and first layer of paint

More paint

That's enough paint!


I seem to have an obsession with drawing mice at Christmas.  I like this one, she's pretty cute.  

Hopefully more adventures in paint will follow.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019


Have a happy bonfire night.  Stay safe, stay warm and don't forget to look after your pets.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Happy Halloween!

I took some time off from making my book yesterday to draw a little spooky something.  As ever, I had elaborate plans for what I was going to do but I decided to just have a play for once and I'm pretty happy with this little spook.

I even had time to draw some pumpkins.  I don't get time to make many gifs but I like to make them now and then.  This one was fuelled by halloween candy.

Here's the image before animating it.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

The Bookbug Picture Book Prize 2020

I'm very excited that The Station Mouse has been shortlisted for The Bookbug Picture Book Prize 2020 run by Scottish Book Trust.

Three books are shortlisted and put into Bookbug bags which are given to every Primary 1 child in Scotland.  The children then vote on their favourite book.  This is the reason that the prize is so amazing, every child gets three books to read and to keep.  Scottish Book Trust are amazing at getting books into the hands of young readers and I'm really proud that The Station Mouse gets to be a part of that this year.  Huge thanks to everyone at Scottish Book Trust.

You can read about the other amazing books shortlisted this year here  and there's a video of each author reading their story.  

You can watch my reading of The Station Mouse below or click here.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Going underground

I've been playing around with black and white images again.  I've never really found a way of working that I'm completely happy with but I quite like this one.