21.01.18 Awards season!

I’ve been lucky enough to have books shortlisted for two awards recently and to attend two lovely ceremonies – the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize (shortlisted for This Little Pebble), which was won by the fabulous Home Lab; and the ASE Book of the Year Award, shortlisted for I Love This Tree, which won!  Thank you so much to both organisations for highlighting and recognising science writing for children.

28.05.17 News!

Oh dear, I’m VERY overdue an update. Books page update coming soon.

This Little Pebble, illustrated by Sally Garland, has news! It was shortlisted for the English 4-11 awards, announced in May – many congratulations to the winners.

The same book is now on the shortlist for the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize, which will be announced in November.


29.06.16 Teachers’ Choice Awards 2016

Delighted that my Whiz Kid Science series of six science experiment books, also known as the “Make It!” series, is a winner in the Teachers’ Choice Awards for children’s books in the US. These awards “honor products of exceptional quality and outstanding performance in the classroom and at home!” Thanks to the organisers and judges.

Whiz Kid Science: Make It Splash!

Whiz Kid Science: Make It Splash!

03.05.16 Awards nominations

I’m thrilled that I Love This Tree has been shortlisted for two awards: the English Association 4-11 Picture Book Awards and the SLA Information Book Award. Congratulations to star illustrator Andy Elkerton. The 4-11 Awards will be announced on May 11, and the SLA awards at a ceremony in November.

07.03.16 SLA Awards

I Love This Tree, which came out with Franklin Watts last year, has been longlisted for the SLA awards. Thanks SLA!

28.01.16 Books page super-update

Exciting changes on the Books page, where I’ve finally managed to fill in the publications I’ve been working on since 2013. (When I last did it… oops.)  Sorry about the delay – was too busy writing them!

27.01.16 SLA Awards

Had a great time at Hachette in London for the SLA Awards in November, whereThe Comedy, History and Tragedy of William Shakespeare was shortlisted. Congrats to overall winners Nicola Morgan and William Grill!

25.06.15 Awards season!

The Comedy, History and Tragedy of William Shakespeare was nominated for two awards this spring – The English 4-11 Picture Book Awards and the SLA Information Book Awards.  It received a special mention and commendation from the SLA.  Congrats to the winners and final shortlisted authors!

15.01.15 The Comedy, History and Tragedy of William Shakespeare

The Comedy, History and Tragedy of William Shakespeare is out now in hardback from Franklin Watts, and comes with its own website which you can see here.








“Perfect for Upper Key Stage 2, The Comedy, History & Tragedy of William Shakespeare is a fantastic overview of the life, times and work of Avon’s most famous playwright. With fresh and artful illustrations, a clear layout and bold colours, this marvellous book will give children and pre-teens an enjoyable introduction to Shakespeare.”

Nice review! From Education Umbrella.


10.09.14 New for autumn: Short, Sharp Shakespeare!

Coming soon… a new series, Short, Sharp Shakespeare, published by Wayland and illustrated with fab cartoons by the brilliant Tom Morgan-Jones. Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream are out first on October 9th, followed by Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing. Each book has a detailed modern retelling and 16 pages of useful notes and discussion at the end.

Watch out for more Shakespeare-related shenanigans in the run-up to celebrations for the 400th anniversary of his death, in 2016.


04.09.13 Back to work… again

Thanks to everyone who came to see me at the Edinburgh BookFestival, talking about 100 Most Deadly Things on the Planet. After a long hot summer, I’m happy to be working on a pile of new books. I just can’t tell you what they are yet! … but I’ll update the Books page soon with the  latest releases, including books on Caves, Car-Sized Crabs, and a gruesome new Human Body series.

02.05.13 It’s spring!

I’m getting more and more letters at the moment – thank you and please do continue sending your suggestions for new “100 Most…” titles. As ever, I’m hoping to write more soon. The latest in the series are 100 Most Awesome and 100 Most Deadly.

In fiction news, I’ve been collaborating on a couple of picture book ideas with the brilliant Edinburgh-based illustrator Kasia Matyjaszek. Fingers crossed for success!

28.03.12 100 Most…

Thank you very much to all the readers who’ve been writing to me recently! – mainly about the 100 Most…. Things on the Planet series. There should be more books in the pipeline soon.

As more and more readers are contacting me through my website, I’ve been motivated to update it at last! The Books page now has lots of new stuff.

28.03.11 Back to work

After a break for maternity leave, followed by a very busy time over the winter, I’m finally updating the website and available again for new commissions.  Check the books page for new titles – should be updated soon!

03.06.09 The Books page is live!

I have filled in the Books page at last, right up to my most recent 2009 publications.  I’ll try to keep it up to date, and may add more details such as pictures and links in time… View the Books.

27.05.09 I might finally have some time to write my website…

I’m logging on today to start work on the books section of the site, as I’ve finally got a few days with not much work.

Awards update – the CBC Children’s Choice Book Award in the US, for which I was nominated for 100 Most Dangerous Things on the Planet, was won (in the same category) by Thirteen by Lauren Myracle.

25.03.09 Blue Peter runner-up… and a new shortlist

Sadly 100 Most Dangerous Things on the Planet didn’t win the Blue Peter “Best book with facts” award – but big congratulations to Anita Ganeri on her win for Horrible Geography: Planet in Peril.

Meanwhile, 100 Most Dangerous Things on the Planet has now been shortlisted for another award, the Children’s Choice Book Awards, in the US, announced on May 12. 


19.11.08 Blue Peter Book Awards Shortlist

100 Most Dangerous Things on the Planet (A&C Black) has been shortlisted for the 2009 Blue Peter Book Awards – in the category “Best Book with Facts”. This is one of the few well-known children’s book awards to feature non-fiction – three cheers for them.  The winners are announced in March 2009.  Of course, I haven’t got round to listing my books properly on my site yet, but you can check out the book at – or even better at, where there’s a great review too.

16.07.08 New website!

Welcome to my new website! I have abandoned my old HTMLing ways as too time-consuming, and gone the way of WordPress. It will take some time to set up all the new pages, including listing all my books, as I hadn’t updated the old site for some time. For now, only some of the pages have content, but I hope to complete the site over the next few months. Meanwhile, please email me if you want to discuss new projects or have any questions.