Currently working on:
A Hole in the Sky / For Love of a Wild Thing to be published in 2015 by Graffeg
When I was a child I loved books like Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell, Born Free by Joy Adamson. A Hole in the Sky is a little like these tales, but different. This is the story of a friend of mine, Ffion, and a peregrine she rescued from a watery grave. But it’s about more than that. It’s about love and friendship and patience and wild things. To know more follow the link.
Also working on
A retelling of the Anderson story, this book is about silence and words, love, loss, family, swans, knitting and birds. To be published 2015 by Janetta Otter-Barry books.
Feathered (working title) for Graffeg, to be published 2015. ( more info soon.)
Something About a Bear: a book about bears. be published by Frances Lincoln in autumn 2014.
This is a return to the very first book I wrote and illustrated, a reworking. With pictures of the world’s bears, wildness and a surprise.
This is a departure from normal for me, and something that is very difficult to categorise. It is a book of photographs with writing, something like a travel book about going nowhere, if that makes sense. Nothing enhances beautiful landscape like a cat. The only way to find out what it is all about is to buy it or borrow from the library.
There is also be a calendar to accompany the book and notecards.
It began with a coming together of a few ideas while out walking. The day was crisp clear bright and from the top of the hill it was possible to see the distant land of Ireland. It began with a boy who loved music and hares. It began with a desire to paint hares, a whole book of them.
As the story came together the boy had a sister who joined him, so that now he was no longer alone. He loved music and often played upon a harp, but he never sang. Somehow he couldn’t find his voice, or maybe the courage, to sing. And when the hares begin to move across the land the boy and his sister follow.
With luck and a fair wind the artwork was completed by January and the book published in the UK in October 2013 by Frances Lincoln. For foreign rights contact Frances Lincoln.
I am cat. At night I prowl, but in the day I sleep, curled in warm places, ammonite tight. And when I sleep I dream…….
And what else would a cat dream about other than being a tiger in the deep green jungle or a snow leopard, high on the roof of the world.
Much help was given during the making of this book by the six cats who at that time lived with me. Watching them walking and sleeping and just being cats was the inspiration for this book. Watching them and trying to imagine, as paws and whiskers and tail twitched in dreaming, what it might be that a small cat might dream about.
At the back of the book there are facts about the small cat’s big relatives. Had there been more space there would have been more facts. For about cats there is just so very much to know.
Published in September 2012 in UK. Spring 2013 in USA and also published in Dutch, French, Korean and Danish.
UK £11.99/ USA 17.99
From the moment she saw him she knew that the bear had come for her. How many times had she dreamt of the bear….. Now, here he was, as if spelled from her dreams.
As the bear’s secret unravels a journey unfolds, a long and desperate journey that takes the girl to the homes of the four winds and beyond, to the castle that lies east of the sun, west of the moon.
The story is an old one, told here again, beginning on the edge of a city, in the house of a family displaced by fear and war. Illustrated throughout with small images that punctuate the text and full page spreads that paint a tapestry for the words to flow around this is the first book for older children, and adults who still love a good story, with pictures.
To be published in UK and USA by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books in spring 2013. ( also available in Australia)
UK £9.99/USA $15.99
“Little Evie stepped over the stile and into the wild wood. She followed the pathway her mama had shown her when she was young….”
And in the heart of the wild wood Evie finds something dark and wild and beautiful with great big ears, all the better to hear her with.
This isn’t Little Red Riding Hood. As a child I hated that story because the wolf gets killed and the wild is the evil. This is rather a book about a child going out into the world for the first time. Evie has a task. She has a basket to deliver for her grandmother. Perhaps it is an apology for all the fear and that has been fed to children by the original tale of Little Red. Whatever is at the heart of this book it is stunningly illustrated by Catherine Hyde ( illustrator of The Princess’s Blankets by Carol Ann Duffy and The Firebird by Saviour Pirotta, both published by Templar).
Catherine took the words I had written and painted them into a beautiful dark world of woodland magic.
To be published in UK and USA by Frances Lincoln, autumn 2013.
Ted Hughes wrote these tales for his own children many years ago and I discovered them after talking with James Mayhew about favourite books. I read them over and over to my children when I was working on the illustrations for this book and each time found something new in them.
Starlight Sailor follows a child’s dreams across to a land of unicorns and dragons. At the back of the book are instructions for how to make a paper boat. This new edition is a large format board book. It’s like a small box of dreams.
The Cat and the Fiddle compiled and illustrated by Jackie Morris. Published by Frances Lincoln in UK and USA.
A treasury of nursery rhymes, some well known, others less so, all illustrated with full bleed illustrations with characters running from page to page. This book was probably the most fun to work on of all the books I have made. Much of the research was done years ago when I read to my own children from the many many nursery rhyme books that we had in our collection. I love the nonsense of them and the hidden secrets that lurk within seemingly innocent rhymes. And I love the fact that many are centuries old and have been passed from mouth to ear across time.
For details of books in print go to my very old and creaky website books page.