Blog

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE (or aren’t!)

I grew up fairly free. I knew each mountain path behind my house and every rocky outcrop on my beach. My backyard seemed to demand engagement and a certain fearlessness. I suppose it was before ‘stranger danger’. So I was struck by a recent article that said 38% of UK children spend less than an hour outdoors daily. One boy said he liked to play indoors because that’s where all the electrical connections were! Richard Louv in his book Last Child in the Woods uses a term ‘nature deficit disorder.’ There’s a disconnection. Children can probably tell you about deforestation...

HARRIS LEAPS TO FAME

Harris has not only found his feet, but has leapt as high into the air and the limelight as Roger Federer on Centre Court, after his defeat of the valiant Andy Roddick. Harris’s leap has secured him top ranking and a place forever in the Hall of Kate Greenaway Fame where his portrait will hang alongside other such legends and Title Holders as:Charlie and LolaDish and SpoonLong Neck and Thunder FootGorilla (and Hannah)Tim (All Alone… not Henman)Mister MagnoliaBorkaLittle BearBaby BuntingGulliverDoggerAliceand Mr Grumpy to name a few over the years. His portrait (frame supplied by blogger and not artist) is a...

Revisioning

Anthony Browne says ‘Every time we create something we play the shape game – every time we write a story or draw a picture or compose a piece of music we are playing it. We are taking something that we have seen or experienced and transforming it into a story… it’s the essence of creativity.’ I’m delighted it’s the essence because (taking his shape game rather loosely) it’s how I spend my day… seeing a sentence, experiencing its downfalls and trying to transform and shape it differently. I’m no longer a ‘writer’ but a ‘revisioner’, spending more time ‘revisioning’ than...

TAKING MY SNAIL FOR A WALK

Do any of you remember how you learnt to read your name? I learnt mine by seeing it written again and again… in print, in cursive and in capitals… on books, on scraps of paper, in the steam on our kitchen window at breakfast in winter. And I recognised my name without resorting to any form of phonics. In fact if I’d tried to sound it, I’d never have managed. Nor would I have managed to read Pinocchio because unless you’re Italian how would you know to say ‘kee’ instead of ‘chee’ as in church. The point I’m trying to...

Entering the Lion’s Den

I’m shamed into having to admit that I’ve done no school visits this year. Call it laziness, telling myself I’m too busy writing, lacking in competitive spirit, being too disorganised… whatever it is, I haven’t. Let’s face it, it requires an enormous amount of effort to tear one’s self away from what one likes doing best… playing with words, changing a sentence and then changing it back two seconds later to exactly what you had before. So to be organised enough to set out to visit a school, to find suitable/any clothes, to sort out travel etc requires enormous discipline....