Welcome to my new-look, mobile-friendly, finally-in-the-21st Century website! (Actually I loved my last one but it had been around for a while.) I've got a new book about to come out so watch out for Pippa, but right now you can check out a new feature. Go to Original Artwork and you can see that I've got art from my books for sale. There are some I can't part with and some that are on loan to libraries etc, but so many have just been sitting in the dark on my art shelves that I thought it would be better for them to be seen by someone who would like them on their wall. I actually don't have much of my own stuff up - I've seen them enough! So for a really unique gift from a book you like, or just an image you like, have a browse. It's not all up yet, but I'll be adding pics over the next few weeks. If there is an image from a book you would really like, but it's not up, it's worth getting in touch to see if it's available. Sometimes I just need a nudge to let something go.
The Perfect Leaf is out and about, and has been getting some gorgeous reviews - thank you to everyone who has been so generous with their comments. It's great to see readers getting things out of it that I didn't really see when I was doing it. But I think a lot of people are not seeing quite a few of the things hidden in the book. Who has picked up the rather large whale on the fourth spread, just under the giant beetle? (It's a weevil, actually, a nod to the main character of Glitch, one of my earlier books.) How about the chameleon and seahorse on the fifth spread, not to mention the octopus, old man, and the rather tricky horse later on? (If you can find the elephant, it's trunk becomes part of the horse.) If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then clearly you need to go out a buy a copy! Enjoy!
It's not out yet, although it is in my hot little hands. My first author/illustrator effort since The Poppy is nearly officially out and about! Keeping the totally unintentional botanical theme - funny, given my surname - The Perfect Leaf has arrived at the wonderful Ford Street Publishing. We'll announce the launch date soon, but just to tweak your interest, here are a couple of the paintings, in the children's books section of Illustrations. Hope you like them, and - amazing - not a dinosaur in sight! (Something a bit dragonish, though.) Speaking of dragons, there are also some new black-and-whites there as well, from The Dragon and Toad, by British author Camille Leon. It's been wonderful working with her in a very collaborative way in developing the art and characters, and I've loved getting back to pen and ink - my first art love. When the book is released I'll let you know.
Amazing what you can do in under a week when inspiration strikes! I recently spent a few days in the Lauriston Girls' School Junior Library whipping up a fun little mural, squeezing in around some rather awkward windows. It's basically a "Go get it, girls!" type theme, armed with the education you need, and leaving the lurking little nasties behind. I really enjoyed making up the 'nasty fish'! The rough brickwork made parts of it interesting, but I'm pretty happy with the way it worked out. There's a few pics in the murals section if you want a look.
Our favourite little OCD bug has just become a Notable Book in the Picture Book of the Year category in the Children's Book Council of Australia awards. Go Glitch and June, and Michelle, of course, who wrote it, and Paul, who published it, and everyone else who bought it! We're as twitchy as Glitch himself to see what happens with the Shortlist in a few months, but given the quality of the Notables, it's going to be really tough to get in. Regardless, we're very proud of our buggy friends!