Tuesday, 29 January 2013

CLAUDE in the Spotlight: Sneak Peek!

I'm delighted to be able to give you a few sneak peeks from the forthcoming fifth CLAUDE book -

CLAUDE in the Spotlight!

In this adventure, Claude and the ever faithful Sir Bobblysock find themselves caught up in a mystery of the supernatural kind at the local theatre...

It all starts when Claude finds himself at a children's dancing class. 
He's keen to get involved with the music, but...

... then the dance teacher (Miss Henrietta Highkick-Spin) bounds into the class...

... and Claude is soon caught up in the dancing!

But first he must do some warm up stretches.
Poor Claude does find that there are some slight downsides to being a small, plump dog...

Later on, and because of Some Plot, Claude finds himself at the local theatre getting ready to perform with his new dance troupe in a Variety Show where the first prize is a VERY delicious treat. 

Unfortunately, there are some peculiar goings on backstage and Claude and Sir Bobblysock must investigate who the mysterious ghostie is and why he's being so naughty and trying to spoil the show...

Whilst all this is going on, there is also the small problem of a very large chandelier that doesn't seem to be very securely attached to the ceiling...

Can CLAUDE and Sir Bobblysock, solve the mystery AND the chandelier?
You'll have to wait and see!

Claude in the Spotlight will be published in the UK by Hodder Children's Books on the 4th April 2013

It's available to pre-order now online, but please do also remember to support your local high street and independent book stores.

Check back here later this week for SNEAK PEEKS of my next picture book PRIMROSE.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

My Nephews: On the Trail of the Yeti...

For the past few days it's been snowing like billy-o here in England. The whole country is covered in the stuff. I've been for a few slip-sliddery walks in it, wearing my wellington boots, but I've mainly spent lots of time in the warm looking out on it.

This picture shows my two nephews and their (imaginary) dog on the hunt for the mysterious and very shy Yeti. I think he might be living somewhere up in those mountains...

Wherever he is, I hope he's got the kettle on...

Friday, 11 January 2013

Big Nephew - the Bookworm

This is my Big Nephew. He's seven and is, in many ways, my Mini Me.
We are interested in lots of the same things and both of us like to spend as much time as possible doodling and reading stories. Our favourite thing is to sit and draw underwater scenes, mostly featuring us and Little Nephew zipping around under the ocean in our own submarine.

For a little while, he wasn't that interested in books, but then suddenly, and it was almost overnight, he turned magically into a bookwork and now can't get enough of them. This picture shows what he looks like most of the time when he leaves school. He's one of those children who seem to go through life carting around tonnes of stuff - mainly books, but also jumpers and toys.

He is as quiet as Little Nephew is loud. What I like best is when Little Nephew does something completely loony, Big Nephew will just look at me, sigh, then roll his eyes and waggle his eyebrows. He reminds me a lot of Gromit from Wallace and Gromit when he does that... :-)

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Little Nephew, the Sculptor...

As many of you know, I am an Uncle. I have two little nephews and a glamorous niece who is very nearly all grown up.

The picture above is of my Little Nephew.
He's four and started school in September, and has become VERY keen on creating works of art out of the Junk Box in the Art Corner. This image is usually what greets me when I pick him and Big Nephew(7) up from school on a Tuesday afternoon.

Little Nephew is also COMPLETELY BONKERS and speaks only in his Outdoor Voice. I like to imagine that he might grow up to be a famous, eccentric sculptor who will only communicate through a megaphone...

Not, of course, that he needs one of them... :-)

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New Year, New Friends...

Happy New Year to my blog readers old and new!

I'm back in the studio and have a very busy year a head.
I have two picture books to complete as well as the illustrations for a new fiction series (three books!) plus other top secret things besides.

I hope the new year is full of busy-ness and excitement for you all. Keep popping back here regularly for doodles, paintings, sneaky peeks and much talk of cake.