News & Events

There’s Only One You

I’m delighted to share with you part of a new illustration by Célia Chauffrey for my new picture book, There’s Only One You, which will be published by my Franco-Belgian publisher, Pastel, at the end of 2019/beginning of 2020. The story is about Alfie bear and how unique he is...

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The Book at Bedtime

I have another picture book in the pipeline – a new collaboration with Peter Utton, following on from our very successful Shhh!, Keep Out!, Help! and It’s the Troll!, though in no way related. This takes our work in a totally different direction and is a book within a book,...

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There’s Only One You

I’m absolutely thrilled to share with you a first ‘draft’ illustration for a new picture book of mine to be published next year. Called THERE’S ONLY ONE YOU and about a young bear called Alfie, the illustrations will be by French artist, Célia Chauffrey. I’ve only seen the one so...

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National Children’s Day UK

I’ve spent a good part of the last few weeks and months working on a voluntary basis as Project Director for National Children’s Day UK (NCDUK2018). NCDUK is now in its 5th year and is growing annually. The day is a worldwide UNICEF initiative with the stated aim of celebrating...

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Stag Lane Infant and Nursery School

I’m on the road for World Book Day and the week around it. On Thursday I spent a lovely few hours at Stag Lane Infant and Nursery School in Edgware. As well as storytelling with 120 children in Year 1, 120 in Reception and 90 in Year 2, I also...

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Pointless!

Apparently I was a ‘Pointless’ answer! If you’ve ever watched the programme ‘Pointless’, you’ll know that contestants try to score as few points as possible by thinking of answers to general knowledge questions that a panel of 100 previously surveyed individuals may not have come up with. Answers given by...

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Happy Christmas and New Year!

Hello everyone, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support over the years and for reading, buying and liking my books. Sales and library borrowings are important to authors, not just financially but because they’re a sign that people are engaging with what we’re writing about....

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Radio hour

I had a lot of fun chatting on BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s lunchtime programme today about books, writing, a writer’s life and my career. I’m always full of admiration for radio presenters and the ease with which they handle incoming messages, move seamlessly between different news items, load pieces of music,...

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It’s out today!

It’s the Troll! is published today! It feels as though it has been in the pipeline for years, but now at last it’s in the shops and libraries and available to buy or borrow. I think it fair to say that illustrator Peter Utton and I are very proud of...

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Torn Pages in school

It was lovely to receive a Twitter message this morning from a newly qualified teacher who is reading Torn Pages and thoroughly enjoying it. The English Department at his school in Bristol have chosen Torn Pages as the first text they will teach to Year 7s in September, and he...

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So scary!

I was somewhat taken aback today when a women I know only by sight addressed me at the bar of my tennis club, asking: “You are Sally Grindley, the children’s author, aren’t you?” “Yes,” I replied cautiously. She then said that her daughter wanted me to know that her 3...

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It’s the Troll! finished copies

Advance finished copies of the hardback and paperback editions of It’s the Troll! dropped through my door today and they look great. I love the size of this book – it’s the same as Help!, so big and square. It feels like really good value – and is! Peter Utton...

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Old friends

I don’t normally post about author events, but it was lovely to catch up with fellow author, Tony Bradman, at a recent conference. We go back donkeys years! Not only that, but the photo was taken by another fellow author, Shoo Rayner, and it was great to catch up with...

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Troll masks

In the build-up to publication of ‘It’s the Troll!’, illustrator Peter Utton was asked by our Franco-Belgian publisher, Pastel, to produce a mask to amuse/frighten! French and Belgian booksellers when the book is launched. So I thought you would like to see it – on its own and being worn...

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Why is the Sky Blue? back in print

Hooray! Why is the Sky Blue? is now back in print after a bit of a hiatus. I’m so delighted, because this is one of my favourite books and has a lot to say both to children and adults alike – Rabbit and Donkey have a lot to teach each...

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Keep Out! reprint

If you haven’t managed to get hold of a copy of Keep Out! in the past few months, I hope you’ll be delighted to know that it’s about to come back into print. If you haven’t come across the book, it’s all about scary bears and is a twist on...

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Chinese Shhh!, Keep Out! and Help!

We were told a while back that there would be Chinese editions of Shhh!, Keep Out! and Help! Now copies of these editions have arrived through my door – how exciting is that! It’s amazing to think of children the other side of the world with very different cultural backgrounds...

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BBC Radio Glos

I’ve just spent a couple of hours as a guest on BBC Radio Glos, talking about everything from football – local team Forest Green Rovers, canals, children’s stories with animated vehicles, female engineers, and the Save Childhood Movement, of which I’m a Director (www.savechildhood.net). It certainly makes you think on...

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World Book Day visit

I was delighted to be invited to St Clement’s C of E Academy in Birmingham to help them celebrate World Book Day. While waiting in the staff room before morning assembly, I was confronted by a White Rabbit followed by Spider Man. Now that pairing would make a good story!...

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World Read Aloud Day

Well I just did, on BBC Radio Gloucestershire! I was asked to go in and talk about reading aloud to children, a pet subject of mine, and I read the opening passage of Why Is the Sky Blue? You just can’t beat reading aloud to children. They love the attention,...

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Visit to The Hague

I’ve just returned from a wonderful 3-day trip to The Hague – accompanied by illustrator Peter Utton – where we spent one day at the French Lycée Van Gogh, a second at the British School, and finally a morning signing books at the European Patent Office. We worked with children...

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It’s the Troll! September 7th publication

Peter Utton has just completed the full colour artwork for It’s the Troll!, I have a few tweaks to make to the text, including a couple of bits of mouse verse, and then it’s already to go off to be proofed. Hooray! It seems so long since we had the...

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A very happy festive season to you all!

  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my readers for their support over the past year, and to wish you all a magical festive season and a wonderful 2017 full of health, happiness and kindness.

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Signing books for Christmas

I apologise profusely for mentioning Christmas already (I’m all for waiting until the beginning of December), but I spent a happy 3 days at the end of last week signing lots of picture books as Christmas presents at an event in Cheltenham. It’s great to get out and chat with...

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Troll first cover

I thought you might like a sneak preview of the first cover version of my new book with Peter Utton – It’s the Troll! I love what Peter has done with it! Our publisher may require some tweaks, but I believe the final version won’t be too dissimilar. I can’t...

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Chinese Knock Knock Who’s There?

A Chinese edition of Knock Knock Who’s There? came through my door today. I thought I’d already received a Chinese edition – last October – but it transpires that it was Taiwanese! So now Knock Knock Who’s There? has been published in Asia in China, Taiwan and South Korea. Where...

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Newport Community Primary, Barnstaple

I’m back from spending two wonderful days at Newport Primary, during which time I worked with every year group from Nursery through to Year 6.  What a great school!  The staff are so motivated and have created an environment that truly encourages books and reading.  As an author, it couldn’t...

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The big meet!

Now that it’s all systems go with It’s the Troll!, illustrator Peter Utton and I met with our publisher, Hodder Children’s Books, in London yesterday to go through Peter’s rough illustrations and to discuss any amendments both to those and to the text. The result? More flaps to be added,...

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It’s the Troll! early rough

We’re now going full steam ahead with It’s the Troll!, follow-up to Help! – due for publication in September 2017. I thought you might like a taster of it, so here is another of illustrator Peter Utton’s early roughs. It will change a little – as may the words! –...

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Paperback Help!

Paperback copies of Help! arrived at my door yesterday, and I have to say it looks great! It’s available to order now, with publication set for 8th September. In case you haven’t caught up with it yet, it’s my take on the story of The Three Little Pigs (and of...

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Chhht ! review

I’ve just received a really nice review for Chhht ! (Shhh!) in France: Chhht ! Il ne faut pas réveiller le géant !! Oui tous les enfants qui ont eu la chance de lire cette histoire gardent ça en tête : il ne faut pas faire de bruit ! Chhhht...

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Book signing in The Hague

Today’s exciting news is that I’ve been invited to sign books at a French bookshop in The Hague, as well as give talks to the local Lycée français and the British school. I’ll be going with Peter Utton, illustrator of Shhh!, Keep Out! and Help!, and also promoting Quel Oeuf!...

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The Process of Writing

I’ve created a video about how I go about writing my children’s books, whether they be picture books for the very young or novels for older children. The writing process can be very different for different authors, but this is how it works for me. I hope you’ll find it...

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I Am You Are Me

Today I finished a story I began four years ago, currently entitled I Am You Are Me. It hasn’t taken four years to write, but I started it and then put it away for some three years. At the beginning of this year, I decided it was time to get...

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Paw Prints in the Snow

I love it when foreign editions of my books come through my door. Today it was a Turkish edition of Paw Prints in the Snow, an adventure story for middle grades about the Amur tiger in Russia and a young boy’s narrow escape from danger.

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Wat een ei!

One of my books, Quel Oeuf!, has only ever been published in French and has a French illustrator, Pascal Lemaitre. Now it has also been published in Dutch and the Dutch edition came through my door yesterday. It’s great to know that children in another country will now be able...

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It’s the Troll! – latest

Great news! It’s the Troll! is going ahead in the UK and Belgium/France.  A companion volume to Help! and, more loosely, Shhh! and Keep Out!, the text is done, apart from inevitable last-minute tweaks, and Peter Utton is about to start work on the final illustrations. We’re both thrilled to...

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Chhht ! – lecture en français

Here’s a great video of Chhht ! in French to give you an idea of how the book works and how to read it. Chhht ! has sold over 220,000 copies in France and Belgium and become something of a cult. When illustrator, Peter Utton, and I visited Brussels and...

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Merci!

We’re delighted to hear that our European friends in France and Belgium have ordered another 12,000 copies of Shhh!, or Chhht ! as it is known over The Channel. That’s by far our biggest market, where the book has become something of a cult, selling incredibly strongly even 25 years...

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Spilled Water video

I wanted to give an insight into how Spilled Water came about – the inspiration, research and other bits and pieces of information – so I’ve made a video on the subject and here it is. If you appreciate the video and, more importantly, love the book, I would be...

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New novel

Yes, it’s been a long time coming, but I’m on the home straight with a novel I started over 3 years ago and determined to finish within the next 4 weeks. Then it’s over to my agent and off to find a publisher. I think this novel covers a lot...

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Ouste! – favourite book

It’s good to know that Ouste ! (Keep Out! in the UK)  is being appreciated over The Channel in France. It’s been voted their favourite book by children aged 3-6 in the little village of Craintilleux. Illustrator Peter Utton and I were asked to send them a few words as...

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It’s all about the troll!

It’s all about the troll at the moment. He’s being assessed by publishers both sides of The Channel and we’re just waiting for news about his future. Peter Utton and I have been working hard on the follow-up to Help!, Keep Out! and Shhh! and can’t wait to see it...

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News on Help!

It’s good to see that Help! is finding its way into local libraries. Here’s a copy in Larkfield Library, near Maidstone in Kent. I hope it won’t sit there for long! Thanks to one of my fans for sending the photo.

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Westfield Infant School, Hinckley

I had such a wonderful day today with the Year 2s at Westfield Infant School in Hinckley. It’s so rewarding to work with children who are excited, interested and who have been well prepared by their teachers to make the most of their experience of meeting an author. After performing...

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Miers Court & High Halstow Primaries

I’m still visiting schools on the back of World Book Day, and today it was the turn of Miers Court Primary in Rainham, Kent and High Halstow Primary in Kent. The Year 5s of Miers Court had done some great work on Saving Finnegan, including some brilliant newspaper reports and...

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Northwold Primary & Hoxton Garden Primary

Today’s school visits were all with Year 6s and revolved around Bitter Chocolate and Broken Glass. It was good to have the opportunity to fill in some of the background to the books, especially child slave labour in cocoa plantations (Bitter Chocolate). I really appreciated the efforts the children had...

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World Book Day – the day after

World Book Day was 3rd March, but the celebrations take place on either side for several days. Today I was at Linden Primary in Gloucester, where I told stories and talked about writing to the entire school – some 400+ pupils! – and really did enjoy myself (though I don’t...

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World Book Day!

It’s World Book Day today and I had a wonderful time at Arnhem Wharf Primary School in London, storytelling and talking about books with close on 400 children in nursery, reception, year one and year two. What a lovely school and what lucky children to go there! I also really...

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Shhh! A new fan!

It was lovely to receive this photo of Lucian proudly holding a copy of Shhh!, which has, according to his father, become a new bedtime favourite. And what a fabulous bedroom, painted by Lucian, Mum, Dad and Grandma! I remember painting Homer Simpson and Kenny from South Park on my...

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La Chasse au Loup – critique

Pour nos admirateurs français, une petite critique de La Chasse au Loup dans le journal Histoires & Gourmanlises (Litterature jeunesse de la petite enfance a l’adolescence) “Le grand méchant loup rôde, il faut aider les petits cochons à le retrouver ! Mais attention, il peut se cacher n’importe où dans...

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Turkish edition of Shadows Under the Sea

This was a surprise, a Turkish edition of Shadows Under the Sea, which is an adventure story set in the Philippines and all about seahorses. Seahorses are such amazing creatures, as I found out when researching this book. It’s one of a series I wrote about endangered species, with support...

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Why is the Sky Blue?

News has just come through that Why is the Sky Blue?, one of my favourite books, is coming back into print. It’s been unavailable for a while and I was fearful its publisher had decided not to reprint it, so I’m a very happy bunny. Talking of bunnies, Why is...

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Happy New Year!

Thank you so much for your support over the past year, and here’s to an amazing 2016. The photo opposite was sent to me by a fan, who was reading ‘Broken Glass’ on a beach in Kenya at the turn of the year. O to be in Kenya now, away...

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Christmas Greetings!

Please watch: http://www.smilebox.com/playBlog/4e444d304e6a41344e7a633d0d0a&blogview=true  

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Chhht ! (Shhh!) tops 202,000 sales!

Chhht ! is the Franco/Belgian edition of my popular picture book Shhh!, illustrated by Peter Utton. News from our publisher today is that it has topped 202,000 sales in France and Belgian since its first publication in 1991 – and it’s still going strong! A big, big thank you to...

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Mucky Duck is coming back!

I heard from my agent today that Mucky Duck, my picture book about a boy and his duck who are incapable of keeping clean, is to be reissued in 2017 and with a new cover. 2017 seems such a long way away, but it’s good to know that this early...

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For sale in Paris bookshop

Look what a friend found for sale in a Paris bookshop – my new book La Chasse au Loup (Help!). How exciting is that! Good to be next to Maurice Sendak and Peter Pan 🙂

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Practising for school events!

When you put a group of children’s book authors and illustrators together, there’s no telling what might happen! At the weekend’s Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) conference, a few of us turned into little people and took part in a ‘fish face off’ – a practice for...

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Water Orton Primary School visit

I spent the day at this lovely primary school in Birmingham, and during that time I told stories and had fun with all age groups. I read Shhh!, Keep Out! and Polar Star and performed Knock Knock Who’s There? to years 1 and 2. During a short session with Reception,...

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Help! review

It was great to find this review of Help! on Twitter today. Thank you so much, Zoe Toft of playingbythebook.net.

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Thank you, Chris Riddell

I’m working with the Save Childhood Movement, which is concerned with protecting and promoting the rights and freedoms of early childhood. I wanted to share with you this wonderful illustration sent to me by Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell, in response to a request for an image to support the movement...

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Knock Knock Who’s There? in Korea

I was delighted to hear today that Knock Knock Who’s There? is being reissued in Korea, and with a brand new cover. Rather than continuing with the dragon on the front, the Koreans have chosen to enlarge the format and to feature the ghost, which gives it a very different...

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Sutton Bonington Primary School visit

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Sutton Bonington Primary School today, despite the fact that early morning traffic did its best to make me late! During three separate sessions, I spoke to all year groups and signed books as well – with thanks to The Roving Bookshop who supplied them....

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Why is the Sky Blue? – in Japan!

First published in the UK in 1996 and in Japan in 1997, the Japanese edition seems to be having something of a revival, with lots of new sales coming through. Sadly, the UK edition is currently out of print, but it’s one of my favourite books and I so hope...

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Taiwanese Knock Knock Who’s There?

I was delighted to find a Taiwanese edition of Knock Knock Who’s There? on my doormat this morning. I was aware that there would be a Taiwanese edition, but it’s great to have a copy of the physical book. I just wish I could read it!

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The Giant Postman

From Primary 2C, St. Patrick’s RC Primary School, Denny, Falkirk – ‘We love sharing our favourite stories with each other! We all listened to ‘The Giant Postman’ today!’ Thank you for the tweet, Miss O’Donnell.

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Celebrating 30 years of Knock Knock Who’s There?

There was cake, and what a cake! I celebrated 30 years in publication of Knock Knock Who’s There? and asked Heather Brindley of Cherry on Top to produce a cake for the occasion. What an amazing job she did in producing an edible 3D version of Anthony Browne’s brilliant dragon...

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La Chasse au Loup

Ecoutez tous nos admirateurs français et belges, la chasse au loup a démarré chez Pastel. Les éditeurs disent ‘Nous avons résisté au réveil du géant de Chhht, échappé à la colère de Papa Ours dans Ouste mais tiendrons nous le siège jusqu’au 14 octobre ?’

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Hooray for the physical book!

I attended the annual Bookseller Children’s Conference yesterday, which covered many aspects of the state of children’s book publishing today and the market for children’s books. One of the most cheering statistics that came out is that the passion for the physical book hasn’t diminished. In fact, 75% of children...

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30 years a published author

I had a wonderful time with friends, children and a few fans last week, launching Help! and celebrating 30 years as a published author. Even Cheltenham’s local MP, Alex Chalk, came along with his young family. I couldn’t resist reading Shhh! because it always gets such a great response, and...

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Querido Max – Spanish edition

Look what came through my door this morning – a second Spanish edition of one of my favourite books, Dear Max. Sadly, the Max series is no longer available in print in the UK – Boo! – only in a digital format, so I’m happy to see that the print...

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OZ/NZ Oxford Reading Series

Do Tigers Have Nine Lives? has been published simultaneously in the UK and Australia/New Zealand as part of Oxford University Press’s Reading Tree series, designed to help children develop their reading skills.  The Australia/New Zealand edition landed on my doormat a few days ago, and this is it. Just wondering...

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The Suffolk Anthology – Cheltenham

I enjoyed signing books today at a new independent bookshop in Cheltenham – The Suffolk Anthology in Suffolk Parade, owned by former GP Helene Hewett. It’s a delightfully informal environment, and you can relax with a coffee and cake in the conservatory if you’re not in a hurry. It’s good...

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Knock Knock Who’s There? 30 next month!

Knock Knock Who’s There? was originally published by Hamish Hamilton on 7th October 1985, making it 30 years old next month! The first Puffin paperback edition came out in 1995. This is still one of my most popular books, superbly illustrated by Anthony Browne, and is often used in schools...

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Help! to be published in France, Belgium, China!

Help! is being published in France and Belgium on 14th October and with the title ‘La Chasse au Loup’. (Hmm, I don’t think The Wolf Chase would have worked as the English title.) Alors, bonjour à tous nos admirateurs français et belges. On espère bien que vous allez adorer ce...

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