children's books · illustration

Maisie Hitchins

This is a new project I have been working on, it is a series about a little girl called Maisie Hitchins who lives in Victorian London. Maisie wants to be a detective when she grows up, but she is actually already pretty good at detecting! The stories are written by the marvellous Holly Webb and are lots of fun to illustrate – the Victorian settings give me excellent excuses to draw patterns all over the place…

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children's books · illustration

Best Friends by Julia Donaldson

BEST FRIENDS

I have been keeping this one under my hat for what feels like ages but finally its out and I can brag about it! This is my new book Best Friends written by none other than Julia Donaldson!

It’s a bit of a thrill to have illustrated a book for our children’s laureate and creator of the Gruffalo. This is a lovely story featuring a range of characters from a wonderfully smug little bird through to a grumpy cloud and a very old and wise mountain.  Best Friends is one of the plays from a series called Bug Club which is the brainchild of Julia Donaldson and aims to encourage very young children to interact with stories by playing the different roles within them.

children's books · illustration

Sheffield Children’s Book Award

Today is the day of reckoning for the Sheffield Children’s Book Award and I am keeping my fingers crossed for Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones – a wonderful story which I was lucky enough to be asked to illustrate. The main character Earwig is a feisty individual who always seems to get her own way in the end despite coming up against the Witch, who is most definitely a wicked one and her strange partner the Mandrake who is only just human at the best of times…

This is a very special award because the books are voted for entirely by young readers themselves. Earwig and the Witch was nominated in the Shorter Novels section, you can see the other novels nominated in this section as well as those in all the other categories by having a look at the Sheffield Children’s Book Award blog.
This is the Mandrake gracing the cover of last winter’s Innis magazine. Innis is the Irish children’s books magazine who published a lovely article about Diana and an obituary by her good friend the writer Neil Gaiman.

children's books · illustration

It’s always difficult going first…

…and I’m not quite sure where to start, perhaps in the middle of everything.

This month is an exciting one for me because not only has the paperback edition of Ready, Steady, Ghost! finally hit the shops but Vile Visitors is going to be coming out on the 27th too!

Ready, Steady, Ghost! is written by Elizabeth Baguley and is about a small ghost called Bertie who nervously goes on his first haunting. Bertie has in fact been haunting bookshops in hardback for a year now so its lovely to see him make his return in paperback.

Vile Visitors is the second Diana Wynne Jones book I have illustrated, the first being Earwig and the Witch. I love Diana’s stories and Vile Visitors is no exception. It was such fun to illustrate especially since it has a couple of real rotters in it! That combined with some slightly out of control magic and an awful lot of feisty furniture made it a bit of a dream job really…