Friday, 26 February 2010

Tortoise's Dream

Tortoise's dream about a wonderful tree is a Bantu legend from southern Africa. The book is out of print but Amazon have few second hand copies. This book was made into a short film for 'Rat-a tat-tat' on Channel 4. You can buy the DVD at:

How Rabbit Stole The Fire

How Rabbit Stole The Fire is a trickster tale told by the Native Americans of the southeastern USA. The book is still in print: Here are three of the illustrations from that book painted in water colour - my usual and favourite medium.


Thursday, 25 February 2010

What made Tiddalik Laugh

These illustrations are from What Made Tiddalik Laugh. This old myth comes from Australia and was told by the Aborigine people about a giant frog called Tiddalik,who lived in 'The Dreamtime.' The book is out of print but have some second hand copies available. This book was made into short films firstly for 'Words and Pictures' on BBCTV, and then for 'Rat-a-Tat-Tat' on Channel 4.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

School Visits

As well as writing and illustrating children's books I have always visited schools and libraries to give talks to children about my work. I have been as far north as the Highlands of Scotland on the 'Readiscovery Book Bus Tour', which brought books and authors to children who live in remote areas; and as far south as Portsmouth, where I was an Author/Illustrator in Residence in a city school for a short period. I have spoken in schools in the deprived East End of London and in wealthy Independent schools in the Home Counties. Wherever I go I find that children are fascinated by the process of creating a picture book. I take with me all the different stages of the work from first scribbles to finished illustrations. If you would like my contact details, to arrange a school visit, click on the following links: or

Friday, 19 February 2010

View and buy my illustrations

If you would like to view some of my work why not click on the link to - You can buy illustrations via this site also.

Slide Show

This is a slide show I made three years ago, to illustrate a talk I gave to Year 2 children from twelve different primary schools in Enfield. I wanted to show how my picture books go through different stages - starting with my sketch book ideas, and then progressing to a dummy book, pencil layouts and finally the finished illustrations.
The picture books in the slide show are: Who Will Be The Sun?, The Wizard Punchkin, How Rabbit Stole The Fire, The Tiger Child and What Made Tiddalik Laugh.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Book List

Spotted Horse – Blackie
The Little Mohee – Macmillan
Sir Gawain and the Loathly Damsel – Macmillan
Why Flies Buzz – Blackie
How the Birds Changed their Feathers (Commended for the Kate Greenaway Medal) – Blackie, then Puffin
What made Tiddalik Laugh – Blackie, then Puffin
How Rabbit Stole The Fire – Blackie, then Puffin
The Wizard Punchkin – Blackie, then Puffin
The Magic Mill – Blackie, then Puffin
Tortoise’s Dream – Blackie, then Puffin
Blue Jay and Robin – Blackie
Mouse-deer’s Market –Blackie
Who Will Be the Sun –Blackie, then Puffin
How Night Came – Blackie, then Puffin
The Quail’s Egg – Blackie
How Stories Came into the World – Blackie
Believe it or Not –Blackie
How the Seasons Came – Blackie
Whale’s Canoe – Blackie
Monkey and the Water Dragon –Blackie, then Puffin
The Tiger Child –Blackie, then Puffin
The Great Ball Play –Happy Cat Books
The Chinese New Year – Cambridge University Press
The Story of Running Water –Cambridge University Press
The Animal Wrestlers – Cambridge University Press
The Daughter of the Sun - Heinemann
Lines in the Sand (One poem + one illustration) – Francis Lincoln

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

About me

I was born in London and have lived and worked there ever since. When I was 17 I went to Hornsey College of Art for five years, leaving with a first class degree. I then became a freelance illustrator, and had my first book published when I was 22. I love traditional stories of all kinds and from any country throughout the world. Ideas for my picture books have come from myths, legends, folk tales, fairy stories, folk songs and oral poetry.

Over the past 40 years I have worked on my own series of picture books - FOLK TALES OF THE WORLD, which I retold and illustrated. One of these - How the Birds Changed Their Feathers, was commended for the KATE GREENAWAY MEDAL. The BBC and Channel 4 have made three of these books into short animated films for Children's TV - What Made Tiddalik Laugh, Tortoise's Dream, and The Tiger Child. I have also illustrated books for many other authors: Kevin Crossley-Holland, Geoffrey Trease, James Reeves, Adel Geras, Jamila Gavin and Robert Nye. I have illustrated for JACKANORY and JACKANORY PLAYHOUSE as well.

I have taught illustration at Harrow, Barnet, West Herts and Croydon Colleges of Art. I also visited schools and libraries all over Britain to give talks about my work, and for the last three years have worked as a part time teaching assistant, helping children who are new to English.