I was a bit nervous about this day out to Canvey Island, although after reading A Possum's Tail to a room full of 400+ excited children and teachers, without a mike, following the most amazing Book Daycostumes catwalk display I have EVER seen (and that's after 14 years with 3 kids at Primary school) I don't know why I worried...if Alex and I could get through that, I could get through anything. (But it must be said that Alex's virtuoso accordion playing won the day, despite the speedy exit of one child with special needs who has an acute phobia of accordions. That's a seriously niche phobia but as Alex sagely pointed out, plenty of average people don't much care for accordions, either...) In short, the visits to Winter Gardens and St Katherine's Primary schools were among the most wonderful and rewarding trips ever. Needless to say the children were the stars, as is usual. These visits are always super-successful when the kids have been well-prepared by their teachers beforehand; if they've read the books and worked on them a bit, discussed the stories and features and have a few questions about ready, it makes our visit really meaningful. Last year, Tidemill Academy had developed a whole routine with actions around London Calls - they made the shape of all the buildings and bridges and London sights - it was magnificent! And this year, in the first year 2 class at Winter Gardens, the kids read along as I read them the tale of Samuel Drew and we discussed poetry, rhythm and rhyme (thank God I didn't have to spell them...) and we talked about how words and picture sometimes tell a slightly different story, among many other things. In one class, the children had drawn the most amazing pictures inspired by Alex's illustrations. I was quite overcome... I spent a whole afternoon in St Katherine's in just one class discussing all things London Calls - they had even prepared questions to ask me about the book and some of the characters they drew in the Magic Bus were from Super Broccoli, illustrated by Alex (of course) in the FOOD issue of Okido! (FYI, they drew the chicken drummer, ketchup and Broccoli himself) Here is a gallery of just a small selection of their work. Alex had better watch out...the next generation of illustrators are a-comin'...
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 whistlestop 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.
As well as writing children's books and for children's television, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
OKIDO MAGAZINE AND TV
I've been a regular contributor to children's art and science magazine OKIDO since 2007. HAPPY10thBIRTHDAY (WOW) beautiful Okido!
An Okido animated kids tv show, based on characters from the magazine is currently in production with Doodle/Squintopera http://www.doodle-productions.com. 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 OKIDOSeries TWO is now in production, following a super-successful 52 episode first series!
Cartoon Forum 2011 Okido booklet
Okido Cartoon Forum 2011
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