Sunday, 22 December 2013

"So we sing in our own vibration and dare angels 
to eavesdrop and stop mid-flight 
to pluck feathers from their wings 
and write demands 
that God's hands 
take the time to catch you. 
So, even if God doesn't, 
it wasn't because we didn't try."

Shane Koyczan, The Crickets Have Arthritis

Thursday, 19 December 2013

For some dear friends and their beautiful boy.
Because life just sucks sometimes and you don't know what to say to make it better.

One of the reasons we moved to Brixton...

The spirit of Christmas is right HERE!
(Also have to admit to hugely looking forward to Anchorman 2...)

Friday, 13 December 2013

And here's the poet himself. Shane Koyczan doing a TED talk and performing: To This Day...

Breathtaking, heartbreaking, brilliant.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Poetry workshop went really well the other day, though had to abandon most of the plan as not enough time. Thing that worked best was the box of SEEDS (of ideas). Kids picked out a title and wrote the poem it inspired in groups of three. One of my faves was: If I was someone else
"If I was someone else, I'd be Nelson Mandela, 
'Cos he was one cool fella.
If I was someone else, I'd be Taylor Swift
And sing in the lift.
If I was someone else, I'd be Charles Dickens
So I could write about chickens..."

I'd thought initially I might talk about the power of words, since the title of the workshop was; "What's the point of poetry?" I'd imagined discussing that old chestnut idiom: Sticks and stones...and how actually, even though words can't physically hurt you, they can cause plenty of other damage. I never liked that annoying little saying because even as a child I felt it to be hollow; a feeble, rather desperate retort to painful verbal taunts.

There has been a bit of funny business with some of the girls in the class recently; the usual friendship stuff I suppose, but unpleasant and tricky to negotiate. So even more reason to talk about how powerful and upsetting words can be, perhaps. But I didn't go there because it didn't feel quite right in what was supposed to be a fun poetry session.

My finale was going to be; choose your words carefully, because words can change the way you think and if they can change the way you think, they can change the world. Look at what happened to Nelson Mandela and Invictus; now that's the point of poetry!(Bit much for a class of 9-year-olds, maybe...)

But here's that very notion in practice; an audacious, heartbreakingly beautiful and shocking poem by Shane Koyczn articulated in a hypnotically ecclectic animation. While the ripples caused by verbal sticks and stones continue, here's to fighting them with the power of new words
Back in the year 5 poetry workshop, If I was someone else finished along the lines of:
"But I'm ME,just me.
And that's exactly who I want to be."

To This Day by Shane Koyczn

Thanks for the link, B x

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Oh huge excitement!

Our book is on Amazon already...

A Possum's Tail

"They pass the pub and cross the street,
the dog on wheels, the boy on feet.

Past people walking up and down
the busy streets of London Town."

...out February 6th 2014!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Felt that Monday needed a cheery sort of poem.

This was inspired by the middle child, who when he was very young and got caught doing something naughty used to say that the "shadow R***n" had done it! We've all got one of those...


There's another me that's naughty
And it’s very plain to see
That the other naughty person
Absolutely isn’t me.

When I tidy up my bedroom
I make sure it’s spic and span,
But the other me that’s naughty
Doesn’t buy into my plan!

So with everything I put away
The naughty me will shout
That she hasn’t finished playing,
And leave all the best toys out…

When my clothes are in a jumble
Don’t you see, it’s just the same?
It’s not me that left them messy,
It’s the naughty me to blame!

And that special bar of chocolate
That went missing from the drawer?
It’s the naughty me who took it,
(Like the many times before…)

If someone left the lights on
Well there’s no use in asking: “Who?”
It’s the naughty me that just forgot
The thing she had to do.

So remember when you think it’s me
I’m really not the one...
It’s the naughty me that’s far too fond
Of having all the fun!

GD December 2013

Saturday, 7 December 2013

OOOH! Latest cover for London Calls! from clever Alex…

I'm preparing a poetry workshop for a year 5 class at local Primary school.

The workshop is called: What's the point of Poetry?

Legend of the Library 

In the stillness and hush of the carpeted room 
In the space between Magic and Rhyme, 
By the window that lends a warm light to the gloom 
Sits a child who’s forgotten the time… 

With her head in a book and her heart in a land 
That is made up of legends and spells, 
She is holding a world in the palm of her hand 
And absorbs every tale that it tells… 

Many wonders reside on the pages of books 
Resting quietly, tucked up in bed 
As they sit on the shelves and collect in the nooks 
Waiting each to be picked out and read.  

Because here in the silence of library life, 
In the rustle of books and their kind, 
You will find that the pen is a mightier knife 
And that power lies all in the mind. 

GD 2013

Because Poetry can change the way you think, and if it can change the way you think, it can change the world. 

If you are in any doubt, read Nelson Mandela's favourite poem, Invictus

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Doing a bit of research into Curious Creatures and there are some absolutely astonishing animals out there...check out my current top 10 and their Super-Powers.

In a poem, of course. Read it HERE

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Heterocephalus glaber

The 3rd in the series is out! 
Read all about these gloriously fascinating and amazingly CURIOUS CREATURES on the brilliant JUMP! mag now...

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