Lollies 2018 - Elys is a WINNER!

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The Laugh Out Loud Book Awards (The Lollies), was created by Scholastic as a prize for funny books when the Roald Dahl Funny Book Prize ended. I think the thing I’m most proud about is being in a line up of winners featuring three funny women. Emer Stamp won best book for 6-8-year-olds with The Big, Fat, Totally Bonkers Diary of Pig and Liz Pichon won best book for 9-13-year-olds with Tom Gates: Epic Adventure (Kind Of). Who said girls can’t be funny eh?!

Since my win I’m happy to report I’ve been carrying my trophy with me wherever I go and I can confirm it fared very well in the shower.


BBC's 500 Words Live Lesson

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Yesterday was somewhat different to my usual day to day business of sitting alone in a room colouring in. I was asked to illustrate a story live as it was being written for the BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words Live Lesson!

The idea was that authors Charlie Higson and Frank Cottrell-Boyce would write a 500 word story using suggests sent in from schools and the audience. Then as they wrote it I would come up with the illustrations.

Considering it usually takes me months to illustrate a book it was an exciting, if nerve wracking, experience. There’s a few photos of the day below.


You can enter the BBC Radio 2 500 Words competition with your own 500 word story here.

As a final note, I’m very excited to have achieved a personal goal, a real triumph, possibly the pinnacle of my illustration career. I drew a passable horse*. Under time pressure. With people looking.

*It’s a widely know fact in the children’s illustration world that the hardest thing to draw are horses, specifically their legs. That’s why you so often see drawings of them stood in front of large bushes or convenient fences.

*It’s a widely know fact in the children’s illustration world that the hardest thing to draw are horses, specifically their legs. That’s why you so often see drawings of them stood in front of large bushes or convenient fences.


Mr Bunny's Chocolate Factory - political children's books in the Guardian.

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POWER TO THE POULTRY!

I’m very excited that Mr Bunny’s Chocolate Factory was recommended as one of 6 political children’s books you should definitely read by Zoe Williams.

A peek at the article

A peek at the article


Zoe described it as a ‘systematic illustration of the trade union movement’. When I was making the book this interpretation didn’t occur to me until quite late in the process. I always thought the heart of the book was about what’s fair and what’s not fair and what might you do if things became incredibly unfair. On reflection, I think it’s more than a little influenced by my trade unionist mother!

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