Salty Dogs Have landed!

Today my third picturebook, Salty Dogs, is released in the UK! 

It is set in a vibrant, chaotic world full of pirate animal crews.

Led by the tenacious Captain Fifi, the Salty Dogs are a group of canine swashbucklers who set out to reclaim some long-buried treasure. 

But there are many monsters on the seas. And not all of them have tentacles. 

The Salty Dogs will have to overcome hostile waters and rampant plundering if they want to reclaim their prize.

But with Fifi at the helm, no deck will be left un-swabbed in their pursuit of glory.


The next SUPER HAPPY MAGIC FOREST book, SLUG OF DOOM is officially out today!

And to celebrate, I'm writing a blog post.

Here's five fresh things to look out for in the book. Be warned though, there are spoilers below for both SHMF books (though no major plot spoilers from SLUG OF DOOM!)

Now that that unpleasantness is behind us, lets get to it! 

1. Ice Cream Tree

Ice Cream Tree serves up soft-scoop goodness in five delicious flavours - a noticeable upgrade on a standard Happy Forest tree. The ice cream is free but the toppings will cost you. 

2. The Council of Happiness

After Old Oak departed the forest*, the residents elected a council to take charge of important affairs. The successful candidates: angry pixie, concerned sunflower, butterfly horse and admin rabbit. 

* was brutally uprooted with shovels and transported against his will to a nightmarish dystopia

3. Gem Golem

Deep beneath the SUPER HAPPY MAGIC FOREST greedy troglodytes are mining the earth for precious gems. But what happens when...THE GEMS HAVE HAD ENOUGH? 

They glare at you disapprovingly, that's what. 

4. Horrace

Cover-star Horrace is an ogre chef who has big things in mind for a certain Happy Forest hero. I originally tried to fit an ogre chef scene into the first book, but it fits much better here. 

5. Zorgoth

Obviously you should look out for this guy otherwise nothing will make sense. Evil enthusiast Zorgoth, SLUG OF DOOM is always one step... umm....slither away from the Heroes as they race to get to the Potion of Power first.

And never a well-groomed hair out of place. 


My first picturebook SUPER HAPPY MAGIC FOREST was published on 3rd September 2015 by Oxford University Press. I think the best way to start off the blog part of my new website would be to document some of the cool SUPER HAPPY stuff that's happened since then!


The book had a launch party at Heffers Children's Bookshop in Cambridge with my pal Elys Dolan who was also releasing her new title, The Mystery of The Haunted Farm.

We dressed it up as a bit of a showdown between the two books and made a joint flyer to advertise it...

We also had cupcakes made especially for the occasion. I grabbed the Hoofius one before anyone else could steal it for themselves. He was pretty delicious.  


SUPER HAPPY MAGIC FOREST was released in the USA by Scholastic and got a starred review in Booklist.

The Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2016 shortlist was announced and Super Happy Magic Forest was among 5 other books to compete in the Best Picturebook category. 



The award night for Waterstones Children's Book Prize was held at their flagship Piccadilly store in London. All books from each category got a spot in the window!

At the start of the night (and before we could really get any alcohol in us) the shortlisted folk gathered on the stage for press photos and mild awkwardness. Chris Riddell then appeared and made everything better. I'm in the back row on the right looking pale. 

Although SHMF didn't take home any prizes, it was such a great thing to be a part of. The folks from Oxford University Press came out in numbers to support the book too, all wearing SHMF t-shirts!



The book found a couple of new overseas publishers in Spain and Hungary (courtesy of a lot of hard work from the OUP rights team!) and was announced on the longlist for the inaugural Klaus Flugge prize. 

The book was also shortlisted for the Cambridgeshire Libraries' "Read It Again" Award earlier in the year - an award in which children vote on the winner. I was really lucky to get the opportunity to visit a local school to see how they had responded to reading SUPER HAPPY MAGIC FOREST and was amazed to see they had made computer games and written poems and stories based on the characters!

I didn't really know what to expect from my first school visit but I really enjoyed meeting kids that love the book and answering questions and drawing characters for them. The awards are scheduled for June so fingers crossed I'll be frolicking once the winner is announced.