Here nor there

Events 2016

I’ll be out on the road a lot this year, asking riddles, telling stories, reading poems and maybe doing a silly dance or two!  Please come and join in at one of these events:

Tuesday 29th March, Discover Children’s Story Centre, Stratford, London. Interactive story fun and book signing for children aged 3+. At 2.30pm. Details here:

Saturday April 16th, Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival. Two lively picture book and storytelling sessions for children aged 3-7. 11am and 1pm. Details here:

Sunday 24th April, The Story Museum, Oxford. Special presentation, as part of the museum’s ‘Animal’ exhibition, to celebrate the launch of A BRAVE BEAR. Performance and book signing for children aged 3+. 2 – 3pm. Details here:

Tuesday 26th April at Tales On Moon Lane Bookshop, Herne Hill, London SE24 9JU. Launch party for new picture book A BRAVE BEAR, with Sean Taylor and Emily Hughes. 6.30 – 8.30pm .

Saturday 14th May, Barnes Children’s Literature Festival. HOOT OWL fun and a creative writing challenge for the audience. St Osmund’s Catholic Primary School, opposite Barnes Pond, London SW13 9HQ. 1.30 – 2.30pm.

Tuesday 17th May, Tales On Moon Lane Festival.  HOOT OWL fun and a creative writing challenge for the audience.. 11.30am. Dulwich Picture Gallery Southwark, London SE21 7AD.

Sunday 19th June,  Southbank Club, Southville, Bristol BS3 1DB 2-7pm. Fathers’ Day Fest featuring live music from Space Invaders, Jose Solo, Gladdy and Butcher. And I will be there helping children write poems for their dads. All young poets invited to read out their poems on stage. Signed copies of A BRAVE BEAR on sale.

Saturday 23rd July,  Pickled Pepper Bookshop, 10 Middle Lane, Crouch End, London N8 8PL. 3-4pm. With illustrator, Emily Hughes. Fun with writing and drawing for children aged 3 upwards. And a reading of our new book A BRAVE BEAR.

Sunday 24th July,  Foyles bookshop, Cabot Circus, Bristol. 2-3pm. Riddles, rhymes, HOOT OWL, DON’T CALL ME CHOOCHIE POOH. Plus a poem writing challenge for the audience.

Wednesday 27th July, Cirencester Children’s Book Week, Bingham Gallery, Cirencester. 11.00am. Stories, riddles, poems and a book signing for children aged 3+.

Tuesday 23rd August, Edinburgh International Book Festival. Three events: 10.00-10.30am Are You Sitting Comfortably? at the Baillie Gifford Story Box (free), 1.15-2.15pm Silly Stories at the Baillie Gifford Imagination Lab (details here ), 5.30-6.15pm Amnesty International Diaries of Child Refugees at the Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre (details here.)

Sunday 9th October, Cheltenham Literature Festival. Riddles, rhymes, picture book fun…and a creative writing challenge for the audience. Parabola Arts Centre 10:00 – 10:45am, £5.

Posted February 9th, 2016

Trailer for HOOT OWL master of disguise

Jean and Nico Jullien have come up with this trailer for our HOOT OWL picture book…


Posted March 18th, 2015


I’ll be moving, with my family, from Brazil back to the UK from August 2014. We’ll be based in Bristol.

So if you would like to arrange an author event, school visit or creative writing workshop please make touch via this site…

Posted May 28th, 2014

Trailer for WE HAVE LIFT OFF!

We’ve had some fun making this trailer for the new picture book, WE HAVE LIFT-OFF!

The Gloucestershire chicken voices are by Emma Williams and (the illustrator herself) Hannah Shaw.  The animation is by Adriana Meirelles. The barnyard/space adventure music is by Andre Vac. Have a watch and please pass the link on to anyone you think might be interested in the book…

Posted March 21st, 2013

Events Early Summer 2011

A friend of mine tells me I should change the the title of this post from Events Early Summer 2011 to Events Late Winter 2011!

Anyway, I will be visiting the UK in May and early June this year, and appearing at the Brighton and Hay festivals.

The event in Brighton will be on Saturday 22nd May – an hour-long session of stories, poems and creative writing for 3-6 year olds. More details here Brighton Festival 2011.


At the Hay Festival, illustrator Hannah Shaw and I will be doing a couple of creative writing/creative drawing sessions to promote our new picture book THE GRIZZLY BEAR WITH THE FRIZZLY HAIR. Both the sessions will be on Saturday 28th May, one at 11.30am, the other at 4.00pm.

Come along if you happen to be nearby. And make touch if you would like to arrange a bookshop reading or school visit in the second half of May or the first half of June.

Posted March 10th, 2011

Happy news from Brazil

…our second son Rafael Patrick was born two months ago today, on the Monday of carnaval, with the whole country dancing around us.


I would have written something here sooner if his arrival had been an easy one. But it wasn’t.


Rafa was born with a rare condition called a diaphragmatic hernia. It meant that organs which should have been down in his abdomen were actually up in his chest. This made it difficult for him to breathe. And less then two hours after his birth, he was in intensive care. The doctors reckoned his chances of surviving were about 50:50. At only 4-days-old he had to have an operation to put things back in the right place.


Happily the operation was a success. Even more happily, Rafa made an amazing recovery. One doctor used the word “sensational” to describe it (a nice word to hear from a doctor.)  


He spent nearly three weeks in hospital but is now at home with us, and seems a strong, happy baby.


So, here’s to the special boy, who got through such a hard journey so early on.


I read this poem to him when he was born:





The chairs have been listening out for you.

Trees in the park look to see if you’ve arrived.

At the bottom of the toy-box, animals wonder

if your fingers will bring them to life.


The grit under the steps expects you.

Roof tiles look forward to keeping you dry.

A sandpit sits quietly, waiting for your feet.

The moon waits for you to look in the sky.


A warm weave of family and friends waits.

The hard ground waits to catch you when you fall.

And spoons lie waiting to reflect your face

in the darkness of the kitchen drawer.


Colours, stories and seashores wait for you.

And the sounds from the street before dawn.

And now the windowpanes whisper to each other,

                        “He’s born! He’s born now! He’s born now! He’s born!”



Although Rafael is doing well, and life is steadying now, I’ve decided not to travel to the UK as planned in May of this year. I’ve cancelled a number of events I was going to take part in. But I will be making the journey later in the year…in August and September.


So I’ll be available for school visits, bookshop signings other events then. Make touch if you’d like to arrange anything.


Posted April 15th, 2010

The Faithful Gazelle

Last month I travelled to woods in West Sussex with storyteller Inno Sorsy and Year Six children and their teachers from Harbinger Primary School in East London. It was my twelfth Writers’ Journey with the school.

This year we worked on a story from the Middle East called ‘The Faithful Gazelle’.  All sorts of special writing was done in response to the story and the countryside around us.  This poem, by Manesha, left everybody still when she read it out:


First take soft, smooth fur as gentle as the light of mid dawn.

Add bones stiff as stone.

Then attach 4 metal hooves to make a ‘click, clock, clack’.

Sprinkle a spoonful of quietness and a pinch of wild.

Finally place 2 sharp, shiny, grey horns.

by Manesha Yasmin

Thanks to Manesha for her beautiful writing, and to everyone else who took part.  You helped make it another journey to remember!

Posted April 24th, 2009

Oxford Literary Festival 2009

I will be in the UK for four weeks in the run-up to Easter.  If you are near Oxford on Sunday 5th April you can see me at the Oxford Literary Festival. I will be doing a session for 3-8 year olds featuring riddles, stories and my new picture book CROCODILES ARE THE BEST ANIMALS OF ALL. 12pm in Christ Church Cathedral School.  Tickets £3.50, available at Oxford Tickets .

Posted February 17th, 2009

Poetry Pie

Two of my poems have been animated for the big new series Poetry Pie, on the Cbeebies Channel.  You can see ‘Six Pots of Paint’ on 16th March 2009 and ‘When My Mum Got Her Electric Wheelchair’ on 24th March 2009.  Both at 4:55pm.  The series features a whole lot of wonderful writers including Valerie Bloom, Roger McGough and Michael Rosen. And some of the poems will be available to view on the Cbeebies webpage, .

Posted February 17th, 2009

Leap-Year Stories

As a way of celebrating the UK’s 2008 National (leap) Year of Reading, Scholastic Books have brought out a book called WOW! 366. It’s aimed at 5-11 year olds and contains 240 stories, all of which were donated by contributors and are exactly 366 words long:

I gave them a story. So did Michael Morpurgo, Anne Fine, Raymond Briggs, Roddy Doyle, Terry Jones, Geraldine McCaughrean, Gervase Phinn, Wendy Cope, Tom Fletcher from the band McFly…and Gordon Brown. It costs £6.99, and profits from sales go to ChildLine.

There’s also a competition to write your own story in 366 words, open to all ages with a prize of 366 books. Go to:

You can enter online. The closing date is 31st December 2008.

Posted September 5th, 2008