Wednesday, 28 March 2012

One of my favorite children's books; each time I read it I can hardly speak by the time I get to the end. This animation is narrated by the author, the late and very great Shel Silverstein.

Another beautiful day that begins chill and grows into glorious blue. Our little magnolia is gorgeous but some of the trees I see along the streets are really magnificent and positively fat with fist-sized blossoms!

Friday, 23 March 2012

 ..and what if there's a slug on the other side..?

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Reading a book called LOB to youngest. Magical; simple, poetic and beautiful book that also tackles a difficult issue with tender and gentle understanding.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Have done a little more stitching - it calms me and is deeply satisfying - I would recommend it to anyone who can count and wants to "stop" while still doing something. Like a good book I'm sort of in a hurry to finish it - but I also already feel the saddness of completion..
But there is still a long way to go - all that white you see and more to fill...
This is indeed soul food

Now a little snip of music to herald the Spring ...this is kids two and three dancing to Elephant Gun about four years ago.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Have been listening to this for a while - something really quite mesmerisingly dramatic about it.

The weekend was full of gardening; digging and planting in a new garden for the kids' school - and on Sunday morning, radically pruning our own, very small and shambolic garden. Satisfying work. A cup of tea after a few hours of gardening is about as good as it gets.

What a cool mist there was this morning and now such beautiful sunshine...Spring surely on its way?

Recently, encouraged by a friend, I've been mulling with the idea of serialising a story I'm writing here on the blog. I have many reservations about doing this. The main one being that once I start I shall have to continue and if it's dreadful I'll become more and more exposed...But perhaps you just have to be brave and go for it.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Loathsomely dreary day. A tv and hot tea day. A day to take to one's bed and read. Currently 3/4 way through The Corrections, by Jonathen Franzen. Such an astonishing ability to communicate the inner lives of his characters. And so funny and often ghastly are these lives (as of course are ours) and so almost alarmingly fearless his writing.
That's why I'm also such a great fan of Edward Gorey (see photo).
I believe he was as extraordinary as his books...

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

This is an old Morcheeba song but I've just seen this sweet animation that goes with it...

Went to Tate Britain on Friday night to see the Picasso. Insightful comments heard such as: "You've gotta admit, he's got a cool signature" and "Well, you could say he's worth an exhibition but I don't like that one..."
He was just so massive, so non-stop, such a force; and again, this compulsion to create. He just did what he had to do, and out it all came and kept coming...and to have that self-belief. Felt very mortal in too-tight shoes. We were accosted later, walking along the pavement (feet in agony at this stage) by a rather tragic young man going off to a club who told us his life story. He was 24 and had had botox 6 times (and "I still look like sh**" he said, sadly) It was fittingly, surreally, Picasso's evening.
Girl in a chemise by Picasso

Friday, 2 March 2012

Red shoe 2 by Gabby
But for some really tiny people, this is great: The Little People Project

BACKGROUND information...

My first picture book - called A Possum's Tail - is a collaboration with brilliant illustrator Alex Barrow and came out 6th February 2014. A second book called London Calls! is a whistle-stop tour of London, led by a Pearly grandma and her granddaughter. London Calls! came out on 4th September 2014 and is my second book with Alex Barrow. A Possum's Tail was nominated for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal.
Both books are by Tate Publishing.

Please see my CURRICULUM VITAE for more details & updates.

As well as writing children's books, for children's television and two award-winning children's magazines, I do both private and commercial art commissions, a selection of which you can see here.

The children's shoes are part of an ongoing series of "first shoes", including several cards commissioned by the Almanac Gallery.

Hand-drawn, bespoke invitations, announcements, portraits and menus, such as the examples here are also available upon request..

Any enquiries please email:


I've been a regular contributor to children's art and science magazine OKIDO since 2007. HAPPY 10th BIRTHDAY (WOW) beautiful Okido!

An Okido animated kids tv show, based on characters from the magazine is currently in production with Doodle/Squintopera The original adaptation of the show (co-created/adapted by myself, producer Ceri Barnes and Doodle Productions) was acquired by CBeebies. 52 x 11 minute episodes will be coming to a screen near you soon in 2015.......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .............................
N E W S F L A S H! MESSY GOES TO OKIDO Series TWO is now in production, following a super-successful 52 episode first series!



Cartoon Forum 2011 Okido booklet

Cartoon Forum 2011 Okido booklet
Okido Cartoon Forum 2011

Happy Birthday OKIDO!

Happy Birthday OKIDO!
Okido was 5 years old this issue...the wonderful art and science magazine for kids I've been lucky enough to have worked on for the past - 8 - years now