Monday, 4 May 2015

DOLLY'S BOOKSHELF REVIEW on Diapers - and - Daydreams blog!

Oooh this is a cracker of a review from the adorable Dolly across the pond! I love reading her reviews - although I suspect that quite possibly, she does get a little help from her mom … 
Do check out the brilliant blog for lots more children's book reviews and generally excellent stuff: Diapers and Daydreams

London Calls!
Dolly and pal getting into all things London
Dolly checks out the merch!
The photos are always hugely entertaining and as for the "Dolly Heads" rating system - superb! Now you would think I'm only saying this as she gave our book such a great review, but she doesn't always…

Too cute!
On that note, London Calls! got an absolutely horrible review on Amazon recently written by a Brit living in NYC. Alex's illustrations were deemed perfectly fine but my writing described as: "more like a pamphlet for the London tourist board than a kids book. Aimed at adults not kids." 

But it could have been worse. Curious, I looked up the reviewer's other reviews and another children's book was reviewed simply with one word: "Boring"

Which made me feel much better…

1. I know little folk enjoy the book as we've experienced the love in workshops, schools and events - and heard it from so many parents and teachers (and the other lovely reviews on Amazon.)

2. It was a book aimed at tourists, too! Tate Publishing wanted something that would appeal to visitors AND their kids.

3. Not-enough-to-do-if-you've-got-time-to-write-nasty-reviews-of-kids-books-on-Amazon…

I rest my case.

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 AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE or 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 has now finished production, and will be coming to your screens S O O N ...! (Autumn 2018, to be exact)



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