Captain Jack shortlisted

Captain Jack shortlisted!

Captain Jack and the Pirates, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury and published by Puffin Books, was one of eight titles on the 2016 shortlist for the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal for outstanding illustration, presented annually by CILIP (the UK’s Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals).

Potion Commotion

Potion Commotion coming soon!

When little Witch Betty is left on her own, she decides to cook up a stew using one of her mum’s cooking spells. What could possibly go wrong? Especially when there’s a DRAGON about… Inspired by an old fairy tale, Potion Commotion is illustrated by Sernur Isik and published by Scholastic in October 2016… just in time for Hallowe’en!


Welcome to my website!

With my daughter Tara

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.

Peter Bently in his pram with a poodle

Peter and poodle

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.


Upcoming Events...

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...

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!
more info...

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!
more info...

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...