Official World Book Day Illustrator 2019 and 2020

I have some exciting news that I am FINALLY allowed to share with you: I am going to be the official World Book Day Illustrator for 2019 and 2020! Pretty cool, huh? For those that don't know, World Book Day is designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in more than 100 countries all over the world. Our main aim is to encourage children to develop a love of reading for pleasure. I am super-proud and super-honoured to be working with the fab UK team for the next two years. You can read little interview with me here.

Also, I am thrilled to introduce you to my Bookmark characters that will be popping up all over the place very soon.

Here's to a fun couple of years...

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#PackedLunchPostIt: Kitty’s Top 120 Kid's Characters Ever

You may or may not know that for the last five years I have drawn a little picture on a post-it note for my youngest daughter Poppy to look at while she eats her lunch at school. It started because she was nervous about staying at school for lunch, and it's snowballed from there. I have now drawn about a thousand of them! As you can imagine, it's quite hard to think of new things to draw each day, so at Christmas I asked my middle daughter Kitty to come with with her top 120 children's characters of all time. Then I drew one each school day until we got to the summer holidays (we worked out that there were exactly 120 school days between Christmas and the summer). And now, we've finally reached number one! Here's a little film of the entire countdown. 

You can browse all of the post-its I've drawn so far here... 

Anti-bullying Week

This week is #AntiBullyingWeek and my sausage-dog friends and I are very pleased to be supporting the Anti Bullying Alliance. As it says in my book Odd Dog Out, it's very important to be who *you* are, no matter who tries to say otherwise. All children should be confident enough to stand tall, be proud and blaze their own trail. 


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Two CILIP Greenaway nominations

I am proud to say that both Sunk! and Kevin have been nominated for the 2018 CILIP Greenaway Medal. Thanks so much to the fab librarians who put them forward. I"m very honoured.


New prints available

I have been asked lots of times whether I will be making any Odd Dog Out/Kevin prints, so I thought that maybe I should. So I have. They're beautifully produced and there are only eight of each design so they won't be around for long.

The official bit: "Printed on archival quality 100% cotton Hahnemühle German Etching fine art paper, each artwork is signed, numbered and embossed with an official seal. Every order will be accompanied by a signed letter of authenticity." 

They're only available through this site and once they're gone they're gone. So if you fancy one, get in quick... 

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four season in one dog NEW.jpg
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imagine NEW.jpg

Update: Flat Stanley, Kevin, Spectre Collectors

I've been a bit lazy and not updated my news blog for a while. Soz. So here's a lightning quick update...



I have reillustrated six of Jeff Brown's classic Flat Stanley books for Egmont. The first three were published in July. Here they are. Click a cover for more info.



My fifth author/illustrated picture book with HarperCollins, Kevin, was published on August 10. I wrote this story about nine years ago (based on my daughter Kitty's 'real' imaginary friend) and am very proud of it. I'm so excited that it's finally in the world. The book has had some lovely reviews and there are some other VERY exciting developments that I'll hopefully be able to tell you about soon. Watch this space. In the meantime you can read more about the book here.



I was delighted to illustrate the cover for the first book in Barry Hutchison's new series for Nosy Crow, Spectre Collectors. It's a really fun story - my girls loved it - and you can read more about it here



I'm proud to say that Odd Dog Out is in the running for two more awards taking it's total of nominations to nine. It's been shortlisted for BASH (the Book Awards of St Helens) and longlisted for the UK Literacy Association award. What an honour. Go Odd Dog!

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Well, this has been hard to keep a lid on. 

We heard around Christmas that the amazing Tom Hardy might be reading Odd Dog Out as one of CBeebies' Bedtime Stories. "There is a 90% chance he'll do it" they said. Then last week we found it that there was a 100% chance of him doing it. In fact, he'd done it! Last night the BBC posted the trailer...

...and then today it went live on the iPlayer. It's available to watch here (UK only) until July 2. It airs on CBeebies on 2 June at 6.50pm. I think Tom (we're mates now so I can call him Tom) does an amazing job. I really hope you enjoy it. Here's a little teaser.

Janod card games

Last year I was very proud to be asked by Janod, a French toy maker who have been making wooden toys and games for over 40 years, to illustrate three card games for them. 

The first, called Mémo des Mots, is a memory game for children aged 5 to 10. Player try to be the first to pair the illustrations of the animals with their names. Here's a video trailer...

The second is called Castagne. This one is a battle game for children aged 3 to 7. A colour and a number is associated with each animal and you must win all of the cards in the forest. Here's another little video trailer...

The last one is called Happy Tree and is a memory game for children aged 4 to 8. The objective is to reconstruct a tree formed of 6 cards, based on the model provided, by each taking turns drawing cards. The winner is the first to build the Happy Tree in order. Here it is...


More info here, including details of where you can buy them.


I'm so pleased to (finally) be able to tell you that I'm re-illustrating the Flat Stanley series of books for Egmont. It's a huge honour to be working on these bona fide classics by the late, great Jeff Brown. I only hope I can do the characters justice. The first three books (covers pictured) will be published on 27 July and each contain around 30 illos. Hope you like 'em :)

Here's the press release...

Odd Dog Out shortlisted

I'm thrilled to tell you that Odd Dog Out has received it's fourth and fifth awards nominations. What a lovely surprise! 

Firstly it was shortlisted for Oscar's Book Prize. The award is in memory of Oscar Ashton, who was three-and-a-half when he died from an undetected heart condition in December 2012. It was set up by his parents with the support of the London Evening Standard, Amazon and the National Literacy Trust. I am very proud and touched that they think that Oscar would have liked my book. What an honour. And what great company I'm in. Full story here...


It has also been shortlisted for the #IBW2017 Award. It's my third consecutive shortlisting for this prize (the first for Blown Away, the second for GRRRRR!) and it's a record I'm very proud of. Again, the shortlist is unbelievably strong so I don't hold out much hope for winning. Still, it's such an honour to be in the mix.

So, as you can see, this book is really starting to blaze it's own trail... 

Book five ✨TITLE REVEAL✨

My fifth picture book with Harper Kids UK will be published at the end of July and it will be called ...(drum roll)... "KEVIN".

This story means a lot to me as it was one of the first that I wrote. Also, the idea came from the imagination of my daughter Kitty. I definitely think it's my favourite book so far and I really hope you like it when you get to see it.

The Sunk! Spring Tour

Well, that was a LOT of fun. I've just got back from nine days on the road visiting book festivals, schools, libraries and bookshops up and down the country, reading stories, drawing pictures and generally having a nice time. Massive thanks to everyone who came along to see me, to all of my very generous hosts, to the amazing booksellers I met along the way and to HarperCollins and Annie Everall at Authors Aloud UK who organised the tour.

Here are some of the highlights... (click an image for a closer look and a caption)

A closer look at my adventure in Waterstones Nottingham's window...

Revealing the line art.

Colouring in Penguin Blue.

My knees hurt quite a lot by this point.

No wonder it took such a long time.