Hello! Welcome to my website. Here you can find out about me and my books. If you want to learn a bit about my background and how I became a children’s author, that’s in the ABOUT section. To see any of my books, click on the BOOKS section at the top of the page, or on one of the RECENT BOOKS on the right. One day before too long you should be able to find all of my children’s books there.
On this site you can also find out about any book events or visits I will be doing in the near future, and how to get in touch if you would like me to come to your own book event or visit your school, library or bookshop.
I shall be regularly adding new things to the site, such as new books that are coming out and events I will be appearing at, and you are very welcome to contact me if you have any ideas for anything you’d like to see. No, that doesn’t include a picture of me standing on my head in a giant bowl of custard dressed as a purple chicken. I accidentally deleted that photo from my camera. To make up for it, here is a picture of me in my pram with a poodle. It was taken in 1961 by a man called Reg, who was married to Vera, who was the sister of Gladys, who was my step-grandmother. I was about six months old.
Looking at my face in the picture, I’m not sure how thrilled I was to find a whopping great pooch in my pram. It was, after all, bigger than me. But clearly it didn’t put me off dogs for life. If it had, I might never have written The Great Dog Bottom Swap, Hot Dog Hal, or my new picture book version of The Hundred and One Dalmatians.
Book Week visit to Brunei | Jerudong International School, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei | 26 February–2nd March 2018
I am honoured to have been invited as guest author by Jerudong International School in Brunei for their annual Book Week, including World Book Day 2018. JIS is the largest international school in Brunei and runs UK and international curriculums. During my visit I am looking forward to meeting children aged from 2 to 13! more info...
Storytime Visit to Plymouth | Holy Cross Primary School, Plymouth and Plymouth Central Library | 30th November 2017
Plymouth City Council's excellent and proactive Schools Library Service arranged for me to visit Holy Cross Catholic Primary School, where I read my recent books A Home Full of Friends (illustrated by Charlie Fuge) about Bramble Badger and his friends, and The Hundred and One Dalmatians (illustrated by Steven Lenton). The KS1 children were delightful and after A Home Full of Friends had great fun pretending to be badgers, hedgehogs, toads and dormice!
Afterwards I headed to Plymouth Central Library for one of its regular Storytime sessions, reading the Dalmatians, A Home Full of Friends and my new Christmas book Santa Selfie, a jolly seasonal satire on the perils of fame, illustrated by Anna Chernyshova.
￼ more info...
Dalmatians bookshops signing in London (2) | The Alligator's Mouth bookshop, 2a Church Court, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1JL | Friday 10th November, 2017, 4pm
Join me and Steven for Friday afternoon fun at our The Hundred and One Dalmatians storytime & activities at one of London's premiere children's bookshops. The price is £5, redeemable against a copy of The Hundred and One Dalmatians. To reserve your place, please phone the bookshop on 0208 948 6775 or call in. more info...
Dalmatians bookshop signings in London (1) | Tales on Moon Lane, 25 Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, London SE24 9JU | November 10th, 2017, 11am
Join me and illustrator Steven Lenton at the brilliant Tales on Moon Lane children's bookshop (Independent London Bookseller of the Year and Children's Bookseller of the Year at the 2017 British Book Awards). We will be signing copies of The Hundred and One Dalmatians – our new picture book version of Dodie Smith's classic novel. more info...
School visit to Stanmore, Hants | Stanmore Primary School, Stanmore, Hampshire | Monday 16th October 2017
I am delighted to be visiting Stanmore, near Winchester, to launch the school's annual Book Week.
101 Dalmatians in Birmingham | The Barber Institute of Fine Arts concert hall, Birmingham, B15 2TS | Saturday 21st October 2017, 10.45am and 1.45pm
If you miss our Dalmatian doings at Bath never fear! Steven Lenton and I will be bringing all the spotty fun of the 101 Dalmatians to two events at the fabulous Art Deco concert hall of the Barber Institute, on the University of Birmingham's Edgbaston campus.
The Hundred and One Dalmatians at Bath | Guildhall, Bath | Sunday 8th October 2017, 3.15–4pm
When Missis and Pongo's darling Dalmatian puppies go missing, they know who to suspect: the evil Cruella de Vil! She's enough to frighten the spots off a pup – and she wants to turn them into a spotty fur coat! Join me and illustrator Steven "Shifty McGifty" Lenton at the Bath Children's Literature Festival for a pawsome event of drawing and villains to celebrate the launch of our new collaboration: the first official picture book version of The Hundred and One Dalmatians, the much-loved canine classic by Dodie Smith. Tickets are on sale at £6.50 each via the link below. more info...
School visit to Sidbury, Devon | Sidbury Primary School, Sidbury, Devon | Friday 22nd September
I will be visiting children from primary schools in the villages of Sidbury and neighbouring Newton Poppleford and treating them to premiere readings of at least one of my books!
The Prince and the Porker, Plymouth Guildhall | The Guildhall, Plymouth | 10–11am, Friday 14th July 2017
Visit to Frankfurt international school | Europäische Schule Rhein/Main/The European School, Bad Vilbel, Frankfurt, Germany | 8 May 2017
I will be visiting pre-school to year 3 at this thriving international school just outside Frankfurt. more info...
World Book Day 2017 school visits | North Baddesley Infant School, Hants, and Haydon Abbey School, Aylesbury, Bucks. | 28 February/1 March 2017
In the week of World Book Day, I was the guest of North Baddesley Infants School in Hampshire and of Haydon Abbey School in Aylesbury, Buckingshamshire. It was delightful to meet the children in both schools, who heard The Great Dog Bottom Swap, The Shark in the Dark and The Prince and the Porker (including an appearance from the terrible Aunt Alice!). The visits were arranged by Authors Aloud UK. more info...
Imagine Childrens Festival: “Amazingly Magical Poems” at the Poetry Library | The Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London SE1 | Monday 13th February 2017, 1.30–2.30pm
"Amazingly Magical Poems". Come along to The Poetry Library and join me, Jeanne Willis and teller of tall tales Andra Simon for a half-term feast of stories in verse. I'll be reading THE GREAT DOG BOTTOM SWAP and THE PRINCE AND THE PORKER. Part of the annual Imagine Children's Festival that runs from 9th–19th February. For ages 5–7, tickets £8 adults/£4 children. #SCImagineFest more info...
Visit to Tower Hamlets schools | London Borough of Tower Hamlets | 11th November 2016
An exhausting but incredibly exhilarating day as the guest of Tower Hamlets Schools Library Service, who took me to visit three schools in the East End of London – Osmani Primary School in Whitechapel, Our Lady & St Joseph’s in Poplar, and Guardian Angels Primary in Mile End. It was truly inspiring to meet children from such a wide diversity of backgrounds, along with their dedicated teachers. The visit was organised by the excellent Authors Aloud UK. more info...
Visit to Canada Hill Primary School | Canada Hill Primary School, East Ogwell, Newton Abbot, Devon | 17th October 2016
I had a wonderful visit to this lovely school just up the road from me in East Ogwell. The enthusiastic staff and children made me feel incredibly welcome!
Turn The Page: Totnes Children’s Book Festival 2016: POTION COMMOTION | The Old School Hall, Totnes Library, Totnes, Devon | 8th October 2016, 11am
I'll be starting the Totnes Turn The Page children's book festival with a bang with my new book POTION COMMOTION.
Little witch Betty makes a big mess when she tries her hand at cooking. Into the cauldron goes everything from strawberry jam to slices of ham! Betty’s potion keeps on growing and growing and soon it’s spreading all over town. To make things worse, a fierce dragon arrives on the scene! Can Betty save the day?
Includes a witchy-themed craft activity for children.
The Totnes librarians will introduce other festival books as part of this event.
Tickets £2.50 per child, accompanying adult free. I will be signing copies pf Potion Commotion at the event and every ticket entitles you to £1 discount per book!
Book at the library or online at the festival website. more info...
Just Imagine “Read to Inspire” Conference, Roehampton | Froebel Campus, Roehampton University, London | Wednesday 28th September 2016
At Roehampton I was the guest author at the "Read To Inspire" Conference of trainee primary teachers. I did a reading followed by an on-stage interview Q & A by Nikki Gamble of the excellent Just Imagine Story Centre, and finishing with a book signing. The aim of the event was to introduce the students to the best in contemporary children's fiction and to raise their awareness of current writers, and illustrators. Just Imagine started running these events following the Arts Council report that identified a need for student teachers to increase their knowledge of children's books as so many of them drew exclusively on their own childhood reading when selecting books for the classroom. The students were very enthusiastic, and interested in the inspiration behind my books and in my journey to becoming a writer for children. more info...
Tooth Fairy’s Christmas | Dartmouth Library, The Flavel, Flavel Place, Dartmouth, Devon TQ6 9ND | Saturday 5th December 2016, 11–12am
I'll be down in beautiful Dartmouth to read THE TOOTH FAIRY'S CHRISTMAS by me and Garry Parsons. Afterwards there'll be a fun craft session and I'll be signing copies of my books for the Dartmouth Community Bookshop, who are supporting the event.
Tickets available at the library, or tel. 01803 832502
Turn the Page: Totnes Children’s Book Day 2015 | Royal Seven Stars Hotel, Fore Street, Totnes, Devon | Saturday 17th October, 10.15–11.15 and 16.30–17.15.
Morning, 10.15: "Creature Capers": Come and hear performance poet Matt Harvey and me in the opening event of TURN THE PAGE, a brand new children's book festival that we are supporting in our very own town of Totnes. Matt and I will both be telling tales about animals in disguise. Matt will be reading his tale BEASTIE AND THE BOYS, and I will be following with my new picture book THE PRINCE AND THE PORKER. There will be dressing up! For ages 4–7.
Afternoon, 16.30: "Medieval Malarkey": The last event of the day I will be reading from A DOG'S LIFE!, the latest in my KNIGHTMARE! young fiction series of medieval adventures – complete with a full suit of armour! For ages 6–11. more info...
Christmas with the Tooth Fairy at Totnes late-night shopping | Totnes Bookshop, 29 High St, Totnes TQ9 5RY | Tuesday 23rd December 2014, 7pm
Come along to the Totnes Bookshop on the last of December's late-night Tuesdays, when the whole of the town's main street turns onto one big Christmas fair. I will be there reading my new picture book THE TOOTH FAIRY'S CHRISTMAS, illustrated by Garry Parsons and published by Hodder. I'll also be signing copies – and hopefully grabbing a mince pie or two!
Blithering Battleaxes! KNIGHTMARE comes to Hay Festival | Hay Festival, Hay on Wye, Powys | Saturday 31st May 2014, 2.30pm, The Cube
This year I'm returning to the Hay Festival in Wales with my new fiction series, KNIGHTMARE! about medieval knight Sir Percy the Proud and his long-suffering squire, Cedric. The first book in the series, LIFE STINKS! came out in April. Expect some medieval malarkey and a fun craft activity thrown in!
Celebrating Exeter Central Library | Exeter Central Library, Exeter, Devon | Friday 13th June 2014, 2pm
I will be doing a storytime reading for pre-schoolers to mark the reopening of the newly refurbished Exeter Central Library. More details to follow!
Manchester Central Library: KNIGHTMARE! | Manchester Central Library | Saturday 14th June 2014, 2–3pm
I will be doing an event based on my new fiction series KNIGHTMARE! to mark the refurbishment of Manchester Central Library (which, incidentally, one of my ancestors helped to found – books run inthe family!) More details to follow. more info...
Bath Children’s Literature Festival: KNIGHTMARE! | Bath Central Library [tbc] | Saturday 4th October 2014, [time tbc]
Roll up for some medieval malarkey with me and illustrator Fred Blunt. I will read from the KNIGHTMARE! books and Fred will show some of his wacky drawing wizardry. After this the audience will have a chance to get making in a fun craft session. And we might also have a bit of a surprise in store… more info...