Shaping up for INTERNATIONAL HUG DAY next Tuesday 21st January. (Yes, it really does exist). Here’s one of the images Hodder are producing…all part of the social media onslaught coming your way, real soon! If you sit tight, hold your breath, you can juuuust about here the rumbling…brace yourselves…


And if that isn’t enough Hugless Douglas for you, he will be one of the World Book Day titles this year. Here I am, doodling for the camera this week, as part of a compilation film of all the WBD authors. We each discuss the thoughts and working methods behind our books.


The final edit will go up on the WBD website in the coming weeks. Watch out for news of competitions, and events as WBD, 6th March comes marching onto view. More WBD news soon.

Actually, talking of prizes, you can enter a draw to win a large Hugless Douglas plush when you do this Accelerated Reading Quiz from Renaissance Learning.

Lots more news coming very soon…

Jack Frost sparkles!

JF LtdEd

My publisher, Hodder Children’s have kindly produced a beautiful sparkly hardback edition of The Tale of Jack Frost to celebrate the book’s 10th year anniversary. There are only 1,000 editions available, all signed and numbered. Published today!

JF LtdEd signed


Colour with SPLOSH!
















A quick peak at the new upcoming title COLOUR WITH SPLOSH! – a hide and seek board book about OPPOSITES. Published 7th November.

This is the second title in the series following SPLOSH the duck. The first one, published earlier this year, is a counting book simply titled SPLOSH!

Oxfordshire Read-a-thon!

On Saturday 14th September 11-4pm there is a Children’s Read-a-thon at Milton Manor, Abingdon, Oxfordshire.  Entry is Free.
A fun day to inspire and fire the literary imagination of even the youngest child is taking place in the beautiful grounds of an Oxfordshire Manor house . The first ever Oxfordshire Children’s Read-a-Thon will be staged at Milton Manor in Milton near Abingdon on Saturday 14th September.
Every part of the delightful grounds will play host to a children’s story or character, with Peter Pan hiding out under the shade of a fir tree, Beatrix Potter characters by the lily
pond, and the Manor’s beautiful resident shire Rocket taking the role of the equine hero of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse in the Victorian stables.In addition, well-known children’s authors David Melling (Hugless Douglas), Alan Gibbons (Shadow of the Minotaur) and up-an-coming illustrator/author Charlie Sutcliffe
will be giving readings from their books and offering book signings. They will also be joined by children’s poet John Foster who will be passing on his enthusiasm for poetry
with readings and talks.

The event is the brainchild of Oxfordshire teacher and Milton resident Anne Wattam. “I really wanted to do something to encourage children to read and develop a life-long passion for reading.”

Raffle tickets are £1 each with over 100 prizes to win on the day!

1st Prize – Acer Iconia B1 7 inch tablet (courtesy of RM Education).
2nd Prize – (exclusive and not available in shops) large Hugless Douglas soft toy (courtesy of Hodder/David Melling).
3rd prize – set of 4 author signed Hugless Douglas books
4th prize – Family Ticket Didcot Railway Centre
Other prizes:
Book vouchers (£10 x 10 courtesy of OUP).
Signed Angelina Ballerina books – courtesy of Katherine Holabird/Puffin (x20)
Signed Winnie the Witch books – courtesy of Korky Paul (x3 hard-backed)
Signed Hugless Douglas books – courtesy of David Melling/Hodder (x12)
Signed Kiss that Missed book courtesy of David Melling/Hodder
Lots of other books courtesy of Hodder, Puffin, OUP, Book point, Hatchette Children’s books etc.


Author/illustrator Chris Mould. All you need to know (without a doctor’s note)…

I’ve just spent the last few days with a good friend of mine, the very talented children’s author/illustrator Chris Mould. He was kind enough to invite me along with our great friend Emma O’Donovan, better known to some for her online presence as the book reviewing blog The Book Sniffer. The deal was he would put up with our company for the w/e. We would be fed, driven around and generally pampered in exchange for being dragged along to his exhibition SPINELESS – Dissecting the Art of the Children’s Book which is currently being shown at the Museum of Hartlepool.

Mould Ex2

Y’know actually, it wasn’t as bad as I thought.

I’m joking of course. Chris really is one of the best illustrators around, he has been for a while in my opinion. And I’m delighted to say he has just been shortlisted for the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal for best illustrated children’s book of the year for his wonderful book Pistols ‘n’ Pirates.

Regular visitors will know that I usually let the pictures do the talking. No change here really, other than to say that looking at Chris’ work reminds me how important it is for an illustrator to have the ability to draw. I worry that this basic requirement appears not to be of primary importance these days (enough said). Chris is a wonderful draughtsman. Lively and full of character, he’s a master of the black and white line. Oh, and have I mentioned he can write? Check out his glorious series Something Wickedly Weird and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. (Do check out the fabulous website).

Mould Ex3

 Emma showing off Chris’ tote bag design.

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Sadly, the poor quality of these photos don’t do justice to these remarkable originals.

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Chris’ artwork was beautifully displayed.

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With a chance to see pages from his sketchbooks…

Mould Ex6

 …and a rare opportunity at some recent work: painting random pebbles found on a beech while on holiday.

Mould Ex8

As I say, his black and white work is something else (again, apologies for the poor quality).

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Here’s Chris not looking self conscious while I fumble with my iPhone.

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 Chris demonstrating the importance of not touching the artwork with sticky fingers.

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Chris and Emma relaxing in the reading area.


Finally, me and Chris. We’re not doing ourselves any favours with this one.


Check out Chris’s blog for current projects and sketchbook shenanigans.

Wise Books


The Lesser-Spotted Book Owl

This owl sketch is winging its way to Wise Books, a recently opened charity bookshop. The sketch will be part of a future auction to raise funds for FSW. The Family Support Work Charity plans to raise awareness for the work they do with families dealing with various social challenges, from poverty, un-employment, mental health issues and bereavement, across the South East.

WiseBks photo2

You can follow Wise Books on Twitter here.


Hugless Douglas Website!

Yep, the big ol’ bear is on the move. He has his own website now. (Cheer up Douglas it’s a good thing). You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter! @HuglessDouglas1

I’ll still chat about him here from time to time but for wall-to-wall Douglas – including latest news, competitions, videos and downloads – you know where to go!