Monday, 24 June 2013

JUMP! illustration

Thrilled to see my Curious Creatures article about Midwife Toads go live in Jump! magazine today...

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Stag Beetle on brickwork

After really quite a strange and traumatic day yesterday, I noticed this magnificent beastie resting next to a pipe on the back wall of our house. The sight of it caused an almost child-like delight in me (I love these creatures) and it certainly took my mind off bleaker thoughts.

"Draw it!" urged my friend.

So I did...

Lucanus cervus
Observing the details of this beast; its careful movements and tentative antenna prods, it's subtle textures and colours, how it clung to the wall with its delicate legs - was engrossing and wonderful. Actually, it was totally Art Therapy in action.

I remember walking home from the park with my daughter a few years ago and hearing a tremendously deep humming/whirling sound - the sort of noise you might imagine a mini-helicopter making. We saw a dark shape hovering and realised it was a stag beetle in flight, like some kind of remote-controlled toy. I experienced the same sense of "how do they do that?" that you get when you see a bumblebee fly; all the dipping and bobbing as they apparently struggle to keep in the air...

Read more about these extraordinary and beautiful creatures here: Wild London
The Midwife Toad - Alytes obstetricans

Have written a Curious Creatures piece for a new online girls magazine called JUMP! It's all about Midwife Toads and I did this little illustration to go with it.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Eldest son wants to be a tattoo artist when he grows up...

                                           ...I'm still pushing for surgeon/barrister.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Have I posted this already? No matter - it needs a replay!
Fabulous animation by the very talented Leslie Barnes, whose cake-eating animals brought The Animal Zoo to life!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Giddy with excitement at the prospect of French supernatural thriller THE RETURNED arriving on channel 4 soon: What happens when coach load of kids killed in tragic road accident return to their village with no memory of the crash?

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Came across this beautiful film: London in 1927

Reminded me of the new book!
Cynthia click to listen
A friend of mine took this guy on a while ago. He's called Brad Schmauss of band No Coward Soul and this is such a great song but I can't even download it. Belongs in an indie movie.

To write an entire movie around favourite songs; I heard an interview with Almodovar years ago where he said he'd done exactly that. Like that idea very much indeed.

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