2 Aug 2015

Gerry the Bear Man

My partner, Gerry Turley, is an illustrator too. He loves to draw bears.

He's just finished artwork for a book called 'A Bear's Year' due to be published in the U.S. by Schwartz & Wade.

We are hoping a british publisher will snap up the rights, and publish it here too.

He also made this bear screenprint, which you can buy as a postcard on our etsy shop.

30 Jul 2015


Look what arrived in the post today! It's from fellow illustrator, Mique Moriuchi

Pie and I entered a competition to guess the names of Minty Bob and his pals, and we won! We could choose any of Minty Bob's pals, and we liked the look of Shnorbo best of all.

He's going to live on Pie's bed with Nana.

The Grove Special School

I had the pleasure of visiting The Grove School, a special needs school near my home. It has to be one of the loveliest schools I've ever visited, so much understanding that we are all different.

I visited 3 classes, and the last class I visited were the sixth formers. They are called 'Design and Enterprise' because they run a small business raising money to buy themselves treats for the school, such as an amazing drum kit!

I increasingly find myself talking about my dog Peggy during school visits. I have found that drawing Peggy when I first arrive in a class relaxes everyone and causes lots of laughter and interaction. All the children want to tell me about their own pets, and the ice is broken.

After my visit to The Grove they made me some wonderful thank you cards that I will treasure. Look, it's Peggy!

29 Jul 2015

Back to School

My old school asked me along to open their new 'Book Nook', a sort of summerhouse/library in the playground, with cafe tables and an outside heater in case the weather is cold. I was curious, we didn't have 'book nooks' or heat or fun when I was at school! I wanted to see how the old place had changed.

This is me (top left) when I was about 9, stood in front of the school dinner hatch (not sure why I have my Brownie uniform on though!). My main memories of school are around assembly. I remember the head teacher, who was quite eccentric, telling us to wave our hankies to the Queen everyday. And we had to take our snotty fabric hankies and wave them in the air, spreading all those snotty germs around, ensuring survival of the fittest I guess!

Anyway, it's all different now. The children assured me there's no more hanky waving, and more importantly the classrooms have fire exits (didn't need them in my day!).
The Book Nook is a lovely space, open all day for the children to use before school and at break time. The children have books in the classroom of course, but this is books in a social space. While I was there I saw some older children reading picture books to the younger ones.
I was happy to see that not everything had changed though, that school dinner hatch is still there. I wish I'd taken a pic of me stood in that spot. Hopefully I'll visit again and recreate that Brownie photo.

28 Jul 2015

Perfume Sellers

Pie and her friend like to sell perfume on our doorstep. Les Dawson eat your heart out!

They are a pair of northern warriors scaring the neighbours into making a purchase!

Instagram 2000 followers

It's not long since I discovered the pleasures of instagram, and now I am addicted! I reached 2000 followers today! Hoorah!!

This is today's post. Can you spot the dog on the shag pile rug? Winner gets a big wet lick.

9 Jul 2015

Print Workshop

Yesterday Gerry and I visited Felton First School to do a printmaking workshop. It's a tiny school, just 60 children all together. So we managed to do a 2 layer print with every child in the school, and a few teachers too. We was a great day. Hectic, noisy, funny, messy, and so inspiring.

We had a school dinner of roast beef (or as my 7yr old calls it roaf beast!) and it was delicious. I am becoming a connoisseur of school dinners and this was a good one. We all had plates and not one of those bright blue plastic trays where the your gravy is beside your apple crumble.

Minions were popular, and lent them selves well to printmaking. The yellow dog here was done by a 5 year old! Such freedom!

Another dog printed by a 5 year old, oh to be 5!

Teenage mutant hero turtle.

 A good attemt at backwards writing on the bike print.

 I love this yellow cat with purple background.

Looking at these pics, you'd think there were no children there, but I promise there were! I just can't publish those pics online.

Thanks Felton First School for a great day!

5 Jul 2015

Peggy's Boyfriend

This is Peggy with her true love Monty.

Monty belongs to me_and_orla and he recently went missing on a trip to London. But thankfully he was found by some builders at Canary Wharf the next day.

We ask him what he was up to for those 24 hours, but he just wags his tail and drops a ball at our feet hoping it's time to play. We like to think that maybe he's told Peggy.

10 Jun 2015


I found I had taken a few photos of lovely colours, and I thought they'd make a good set here. Do I need more reason than that to make a blog post?

28 May 2015

Hartlepool Festival of Illustration

My How to Hide a Lion artwork is ready to go to The Hartlepool Festival of Illustration.

It promises to be a great mix of events: guest talks, workshops, stalls, symposium, storytelling, booksigning and the exhibition!

20 May 2015

How to Hide a Lion Gift Set

Here is a sneaky peek at some of the samples made of my new Lion soft toy. It will be part of a How to Hide a Lion gift set. I've always wanted to see a soft toy of one of my characters, I can hardly contain my excitement!

22 Apr 2015

Fleabag gets a new cover

Fleabag got a shiny new cover. I love the old one, but the new one is more like the cover of How to Hide a Lion, and helps people find my books together in the shop. That makes sense, and the new one is good too.

Old cover on the left, shiny new one on the right.

8 Apr 2015

Lost Hat

I lost my hat.

But Brita did me this drawing and I feel much better about it.