• Very Little chalkings

    I’m lucky enough to live near Florence Park.  It’s a beautiful park and dear to my heart.  I’ve spent many happy hours in its playgrounds with our children when they were little, or going to baby groups in the children’s centre (now the fabulous Flo’s) and pushing them round in buggies when they were very little.   It has a long avenue of horse chestnut trees that’s one of my favourite places in the world.  I never lose an opportunity to go down it.  It always makes me feel calmer, and opens out my head. But recently Florence Park has become even more special to me.  My hugely talented friend Jane Gallagher has been chalking amazing pictures…

  • The Wonder Tree: the first acorn

    A couple of years ago, I got really interested in trees.  One tree in particular.   I’d half-fallen asleep on the sofa when a wonderful BBC4 documentary came on TV.  It was about a year in the life of an oak tree. George McGavin spent a night up in the branches of this tree, along with a host of animals, and talked about how the extraordinary changes which an oak tree has to go through in order to survive the seasons.  He told us how oak has been used throughout history, making everything from ships to churches to whiskey barrels. The programme’s not currently available on iPlayer, but you can still see a trailer…

  • The real Stripy Ted

    Loved to Bits is a very personal story for me.  It’s about a very special bear.   Yes, that ‘bear’ up there is the real Stripy Ted – and, like the bear in Loved to Bits, Stripy once was a super, somersaulting ted, all golden stripes from foot to head. We all have a favourite old, shabby toy. Something – someone – who is tattered, battered, and not quite the same colour they originally were. Who has been played with, dragged along the floor, cried over, hugged tight, lost and found. Mine was called ‘Panda’ (imaginative, I know!), who was given to me by my Grandpa. He’s satisfyingly solid to hold,…

  • Writing ‘The Marvellous Moon Map’

    The Marvellous Moon Map is a very exciting book for me – and not just because the fantabulous David Litchfield has done the stunning illustrations for it! It’s because it’s a story which came wholly out of my head, without the structure of a fairy tale to steady my hand.   My own Moon Map to show me the way was made of lots of different things: songs, stories, a play, some advice, and something my daughter once said… It began with just one thought, on hearing the beautiful song ‘Fuel Up’ by Oxford band Stornoway, about travelling on through your life -sometimes losing your way, but keeping on going…

  • The Spectacular City

    Mouse and Bear leave their deep, dark Woods to visit the Spectacular City – a place full of sparkle and singing bright lights. There they meet Cat, who offers to show them around. But behind the glitter of the City lurk shadows, and Cat isn’t what she seems. Will Mouse and Bear manage to escape and find their way home? Illustrated by David Litchfield. You can buy The Spectacular City here

  • Loved to Bits

    My ted’s special. Stripy Ted. We make adventures round my bed. But he’s no longer at his best, so will I love him more – or less? Find out in my new picture book about the adventures of one boy and his beloved bear.  It’s illustrated by the wonderful Katie Cleminson, and published by David Fickling Books.    To buy Loved to Bits, click here. SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave

  • The Wonder Tree

    “Mummy!” said Little Owl. “Look!  The leaves are all falling!” Mummy Owl tells Little Owl all about the wonders of the tree where they live: how it drinks sun, and sucks water from the earth.  And how it will be there forever for them, and their family. Illustrated by the brilliant Izzy Burton and published by Egmont. You can buy The Wonder Tree here, read my blog about how I wrote the book, and watch the introductory video.

  • The Marvellous Moon Map

    Mouse and Bear live in a little dark house in the big black Woods. Today, Mouse sets off on an adventure: he’s off to find the Moon with his Marvellous Moon Map! “I can go on my own,” he announces – and leaves Bear at home.   But as the Woods get darker, and the weather gets worse, Mouse realises that he needs more than just his Map to find his way…. Includes instructions to make your very own paper boat! Illustrated by David Litchfield. You can buy The Marvellous Moon Map here. Watch our film about how to make a paper boat! Praise for The Marvellous Moon Map:  ‘A truly sublime slice…

  • Twisting Fairy Tales

    I’ve been doing lots of school visits recently and it’s been so amazing seeing so many children making up their own characters, developing new plots and lit up by the power of stories. I had a wonderful World Book Day week, visiting schools in Rainham, Romford, Bedford and Norwich, and before that in Ambrosden and many others.   I’ve even had someone dressing up as Very Little Red Riding Hood for World Book Day – doesn’t she look brilliant?! I start by making sure we all know the story of Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty or Rapunzel. What are the key events in those stories? Who are the main characters? For…

  • Ten Cars and a Million Stars

    Alice is counting to Baby in this counting storybook, illustrated by the wonderful Sue Heap.  I’m so pleased to be working with Sue again! See if you can count all the shy ducks, fast cars, smart penguins, cuddlye cats, floppy bunnies, shaky rattles, tiny mice, big dinosaurs, friendly monkeys and silly animals – all the way up to a hundred… and beyond! Published by Walker Books. To buy Ten Cars and a Million Stars, click here.