Saturday, 31 March 2012

CLAUDE National Book Tokens!


I am delighted to be able to announce that from October 2012, you will be able to purchase CLAUDE and Sir Bobblysock branded National Book Tokens!

100,000 will be available from nearly every book shop (chain stores and independents) across the UK.
I am so thrilled and excited by this news and can't wait to start working out the design for the gift cards.

A big thank you to National Book Tokens and to Corinne at Hodder Children's book who have arranged all of this. If you've got a few minutes spare, I'd recommend you pootle on over to the NBT's site and have a snoop at their past designs harking back to when the tokens were first created in 1932. There are some really beautiful designs there, and I am very honoured that CLAUDE will be joining this rather exclusive club!

Tea for Three/ Waterstones Prize Evening

What a busy week I've had!
I'm bustling along with my PRIMROSE picture book as well as completing the front cover artwork for the next CLAUDE book, entitled CLAUDE in the Country. It features a rather angry bull and some perky little pigs! I can't wait until I can show you.

But the most important thing to happen this week was that I went to the Waterstones Children's Book Prize award evening. It was a smashing night. I was nominated in the 5-12 section for CLAUDE in the City. I didn't win, but my fellow Arena Illustration artist Jonny Duddle won not only his section ( the picture book category) but also the whole flipping thing! I was so pleased for him as his book The Pirates Next Door really is stunning. It's beautifully written and the illustrations are just brilliant. Jonny is also a jolly nice chap too!

I had a wonderful evening chatting to lots of exciting and interesting people, who all said some very nice things about CLAUDE.
Before the award ceremony, I had the pleasure of joining two of my agents, Tamlyn and Alison, for afternoon tea in a beautiful little french cafe near Fortnum and Masons. We drank tea and ate scones with jam and cream, and had a good catch up. Tamlyn and Alison are always such fun, Here they are showing off the towering plates of afternoon tea nibbles in the style of glamorous, game show assistants!

Isn't that wallpaper lovely? It's actually fabric stretched all over the walls. I found this out when I poked it. I can never resist poking things....

So thank you Team Arena for the lovely afternoon and evening and congratulations to Jonny. If you haven't got his award winning book, do dash out and get it. You'll love it, I promise!

Friday, 16 March 2012

The sneakiest of peeks at my work in progress book, PRIMROSE!

click to enlarge

Well, aren't you the lucky ones! My publisher Scholastic has very kindly allowed me to show you the sneakiest of peeks at my next picture book for them called PRIMROSE, which won't be in the shops until NEXT spring! Good Heavens, what a wait!

So here we are.
Above you can see our feisty little heroine Princess Primrose and her constant companion Percy (the palace pug!). They are just surprising the very serious looking butler. Poor Primrose! All she wants to do is have fun, but everyone in the palace wants her to behave like a proper princess. Eventually Grandmama is called in to deal with the problem and that's when the fun REALLY begins....

Hopefully I'll be able to show you a little bit more as work on the book progresses. 
Check back soon for a sneaky peek at Claude book 4!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Monday, 5 March 2012


click to enlarge

The lovely Alex (Head of Puffin Liaison Services) at the Puffin Post magazine asked me just before Christmas if I would like to produce a cover for the magazine. It was for the March/April edition and had to be Puffin based and suitable for Spring. The above is what I produced and the magazine is out now. (Not so Secret Fact: I'd love to live in that little house on the rocks!)

If you haven't heard of the Puffin Post, I urge you to check it out. It's a beautifully designed little mag full of games, activities, illustrations, comics, interviews with author and illustrators and wonderful snippets from new books. You can read a little question and answer with me and check my Puffin Passport here!

Alex also sent me my very own Honorary Member badge for the Puffin Club which I am delighted with and will be wearing it always with pride. Thanks Alex!