• four letter words

    May 6, 2016

    I sent my first attempt at a children’s fantasy novel to a publisher when I was 21. It came straight back, and I didn’t feel brave enough to repeat the experiment, and I spent my twenties concentrating on drawing, where

  • ExploreSTORYBOARD 2015

    a simple story pattern

    October 9, 2015

      All stories begin with a problem, a dilemma, a conflict. Something is wrong, and out of balance – a storm is brewing… As William Faulkner said, stories are about ‘the heart in conflict with itself.” The usual picture book

  • oldwoman&pigSMALL

    The Old Woman and the Pig

    June 26, 2015

    So much is said about the importance of books and reading, but language and stories begin with talking and singing, not reading. Nursery rhymes are stories: Humpty Dumpty, the Grand Old Duke of York, Jack and Jill. When I was tiny

  • My life as a river

    June 4, 2015

    This is an article I wrote a few years ago for the Children’s Writer’s & Artist’s Yearbook. It’s being reprinted again this year. An illustrator’s life It helps me to think of my life as a river: water is a

  • not your rock (small)

    This Is My Rock

    April 27, 2015

    One of my usual ‘tricks’ to generate stories is to mix up ideas from my own life with imagery and themes from fairytales and legends. I loved the Ladybird books when I was small and The Three Billy Goats Gruff

  • bread pig2015 small

    Easter workshops at the Museum of Childhood

    April 27, 2015

    I was teaching storywriting workshops at the V&A Museum of Childhood, to children and parents over the Easter holidays – as I did the same time last year. I teach the basics of making a picture book – using tricks