Manor Farm March 5th

Hello Manor Farm!

This darlek turned up in an office near my housedarlek just before Christmas, so I chatted to it and it was happy for me to take one photograph. So here is the one photograph In took. It vanished the next day and never appeared again. On World Book Day I am going to make up a story with you using my six bags. As usual, I do not know where the story will go but I know you’ll think of some brilliant ideas to develop the story line.

121 heatherton houseThis picture is of the inside of my shed. I shall go in there next Wednesday evening and choose some interesting things to go in the bags; and you will be dressed in your book character outfits. I’m excited because I’m not always in school when you all dress up – but this year I am.

TMD coverI shall also tell you about my new book, The Milkshake Detectives. It is due to be published on April 2nd and I will be selling copies in school then. It’s set in a village where Charlie and Julia set up a detective agency. They just need a mystery to solve; and then they hear that a bear has wandered round  the village leaving clues. The race is on to solve the mystery; but other children are trying to work out who the bear is too, including Charlie’s step-brothers who are probably the most annoying boys in the planet.

The black and white photograph at the top of this posttunnel digger in Berlin is something to do with The Milkshake Detectives. The question is… what? If you look round my website you’ll be able to work out what.

Back in your classrooms, you’re going to play some literacy board games and explore some World Book Day websites. GOAT AT ODDS RARMSo it’s going to be a great day – and here is a photograph of a goat that I saw on a farm at Christmas. You can guess who I was with when I saw it…


St Andrew’s, Uxbridge, Monday 9th March

Hello At Andrew’s,

I’m really looking forward to working with you prof P 003all on the 9th. In the hall we’re going to make up a story about Professor Prague. He’s the character in the picture and his little craft can fly anywhere. You’ll then go back to your classrooms and either rework the school story or use your own ideas. So have a think about where you might want Professor Prague to fly and what might happen to him. He can land on water and as he has wheels his craft can also go along roads. Behind the toilet is a black box with a chimney. Think about what might be useful for him to put in the box. In the story I make up with you he will travel on his own. Maybe in your story you’d like Professor Prague to have someone (or an animal) with him.

TMD coverDuring my day with you I will also visit classes. If you are in Key Stage 2, I will tell you about my new book, The Milkshake Detectives. You’ll create a setting and make up one or two things that are in the book. With Key Stage 1 wooden camel 002children I’ll share how another story was written and read the story. It’s called The Wooden Camel and I wrote it for our sons when they were aged 4 and 6. I drew illustrations as well which I will show you. The story was published but without my illustrations.

After school I’ll be selling my books. If you want to buy The Milkshake Detectives it is discounted to £5. It’s not being published until April 2nd and is for age range 7-11. I have some cards with a caterpillar on. If you buy The Milkshake Detectives, I’ll sign a card for you and we’ll keep the card in school. When I know how many books have been bought I’ll ask the book distributer to send the books straight to school as soon as it’s published. You can then stick the autographed card in and read it.

Us Minus Mum -websiteI will have Us Minus Mum with me as well, for 8-11 year olds. It is very funny but also very sad and has been long-listed for the Carnegie, the UK Literacy Association and Warwickshire Junior Book Awards – which I am very excited about. It costs £5.

I’ll also have books with me that are now out of print. Several of these are suitable for Key Stage 1 children and are priced at £1, £3 and £5.

Enjoy whatever you are doing today. Have a look round my website – you’ll find out more about me and what I do and what I write.

I’ll finish with a picture of a brilliant flower sarasota bat plantthat is trying to make you think it is scary and watching you!





February 2015

So, we went for a walk (views shown in top picture) and there was this bear walking through the20150111_112539 wood. I love it when someone’s done something creative and left it for others to enjoy. I also loved it because I’m about to receive the first copies of The TMD coverMilkshake Detectives and that is a who-dunnit featuring a bear in a village. Publication day is April 2nd.

Us Minus Mum -websiteApart from that, this month has been a really exciting one because Us Minus Mum moved from being nominated for the Carnegie Award to being on the long list (20 books are long listed). When I sent the original manuscript to my agent, Penny Holroyde, I never dreamed this would happen. I have a permanent grin on my face at the moment. So thank you Carnegie judges and thank you Kate Agar, my editor at Little, Brown and other lovely people who watched over this book as its characters found their voices.


Galley Hill Primary, Monday 2nd March

Hello Galley Hill!

This picture is the inside of my shed. 121 heatherton houseI call it Heatherton House and it’s just outside our backdoor.

I am, as always, looking forward to working with you all. We’ll make up a story using my 6 bags and the huge yellow die.

TMD coverYou’ll then play board games with counters and  dice in your classroom. When you work with me you can ask me any questions you like about me being a writer and I’ll tell you about my new book and how I wrote it. The Milkshake Detectives is a who-dunnit and started off with a tunnel that I took out because I decided the story was better without it. The Milkshake Detectives is not published until 2nd April so I won’t have any for sale.

Enjoy whatever you are doing today and I’ll see you on the 2nd March.

Monks Risborough March 3rd


The picture at the top of this blog is of an albino alligator I came across in Florida. I love looking out for unusual things. The lady who owns it told me there are only 43 albino alligators in the world. How she knows that I don’t know! And here  is march 26THa picture of me driving a steam train in Poland a few years ago.  Jenson – this is Septmeber 2010 039what the train looked like from the outside…

I’m coming to see you on Tuesday 3rd March and we’ll be making up characters and then a story about what happens in a place called Wiston Hill. I like visiting schools and I’ve been told you are very creative. So I’m really looking forward to working with you.

I’ll visit each class and talk to you about what it’s like being a writer and about my new book called The Milkshake Detectives. TMD coverThen I’ll answer any questions you have. If you look at different pages on my website you can find out things about me to help you think of good ones.

Us Minus Mum -websiteI’ll bring some of my books to sell. Us Minus Mum, which was  published last year, is £5. I wrote it for children in years 4, 5 and 6. It’s a very funny book but is also sad. I’ll bring some of my other books that are out of print as well. Lots of these are for younger children and cost £1, £3 and £5.


I loved working with you all today. You were great at creating ideas together, listened really well to each others’ ideas then made up some wonderful stories.  I hope you enjoyed the day as much as I did.


MARCH 26th

Thank you for the lovely letters you wrote to me. They are so brilliant I have put Grace and Ben’s on this page! Have a great Easter holiday.