ISBN-10: 0199199744
ISBN-13: 978-0199199747

Pass the Ball (Oxford University Press)

Being asked to write a book for 5-7 year olds about football had me worried. I knew nothing about it. Help! But remembering my great uncle Charlie Scrimshaw had played for Stoke City (way back…when they wore long droopy shorts and got paid peanuts) I thought maybe I could write about a footballing granddad who embarrasses his grandson at a school football match…but ends up saving the day.

But, oh no! There was Grandad jogging towards them. He had a football under one arm.
   “All right our Tom?” he said. “Get changed and we’ll warm up.”
   “Grandad,” growled Tommy, trying to look fierce, “Everyone’s looking.”
   “Take no notice,” said Grandad. He was touching his toes, wiggling his shoulders, doing side bends. “They’re only jealous.”
   “After all,” he went on, “Not many lads have a grandad who nearly played for England.”


ISBN-10: 0199199825
ISBN-13: 978-0199199822

Dad’s Win Prizes (Oxford University Press)

No-one writing stories about single parent dads? Great…I’ll write one. OK, I thought, supposing my husband had been a single parent dad, what would he do well and what badly? Well…brilliant cook…lousy at cakes. OK…now I have an idea…a school cake baking competition with a bicycle as first prize. Only problem is…after Gran broke her dentures on one of Jackie’s dad’s raspberry buns he’s promised never ever to bake another cake. Top TV chef Denzil Doonut boasts he can teach anyone to cook…but can he teach Jackie’s dad to make an ace cake? And can Jackie persuade her dad to go on TV?

    As for Denzil, they had to carry him out of the studio. He wasn’t shouting   
    or crying or anything, but his whole body was rigid.
    Nan said that he was in shock.
    Dad started to giggle. Then he was laughing and laughing.
   “He’s hysterical,” said Nan. “We’d better get him home fast.”


ISBN-10: 0552549061
ISBN-13: 978-0552549066

Chicken in a Basket  (Random House)

I was watching a programme about the first ever, manned balloon flight (France 1783) So as not to risk human life the balloon was sent up with a sheep, a duck and a chicken as passengers. Mmn, I wondered…what did the sheep, duck and chicken (Clouk) make of that?

As the balloon drifted overhead, it cast a shadow over the hen house roof. Albert looked up. A great fire-breathing dragon was flying high in the sky. It might swoop down and carry off his hens! He threw back his head to cock-a-doodle doo and warn them of the danger.
   “Albert,” they said, “what have you seen?”
   “A great fire-breathing dragon!”
   The hens looked up. Albert was right. “And look,” they said, “It has captured Clouk!”


ISBN-10: 0199184011
ISBN-13: 978-0199184019

Star Struck  (Oxford University Press)

I used to play the violin in my school orchestra. It required lots of practice and I always hoped that somehow magically I’d be able to play brilliantly without doing any. (My violin teacher Mr. Major hoped so too) So what happens when Harrison (who wants to give up his violin lessons and go back to playing football with his mates) gets given his grandmother’s old violin? And why is the great violin teacher Madame Mara Viola D’Amore prepared to do anything to get her hands on it?

   “Now look here, sonny.” The sergeant behind the desk at the police station was waggling a finger under Harrison’s nose.
   “You say a little old lady attacked you in the library and then ran off with your violin? Sounds like a whopper porky-pie to me.”
   “But it’s the truth!”
   “It is,” said Carl. “And her name’s Madame Mara Viola D’Amore.”
   “Mmn. That name rings a bell,” said the sergeant.
   “It’s a very special violin,” said Harrison.
   “Special?” said the sergeant, beginning to sound interested.
   “Priceless,” said Carl cunningly.

   “In that case, I’ll get the lads on to it at once.”

ISBN-10: 0199184380
ISBN-13: 978-0199184385

Luke Lively and the Castle of Sleep (Oxford University Press)

Supposing you have a Victorian Sleeping Beauty (Aurora) woken up with a kiss (yuk!) by a spotty schoolboy (Luke) because they’ve run out of real princes. How on earth would a Victorian Sleeping Beauty cope with the 21st century? Speeding cars, escalators, bikes with gears, computers, pizza…soft toilet paper. Phew! And what on earth could she do with her castle and its 200 Victorian servants? (Open it as a theme park, silly!)
Oh and then there’s the fairy godmother, Gretl Greta. She works for the Ministry of Fairytale Regeneration (MFI) and carries a mobile phone. And don’t forget about handsome Price Hugo…who was supposed to wake Aurora with a kiss…but has run away with his personal fitness instructor Paula, instead.

“Two hundred Victorians. What can they do at the beginning of the twenty first century that will pay their wages and stop people asking awkward questions?”
   “No idea,” said Ron cheerfully.
   The Minister looked blank.
   “You can’t think of anything?” said Gretl. “It’s lucky I’m still on the case. Dick Whittington owes me a favour. Let’s see what he can do for us.”
   “What sort of favour?” asked the Minister suspiciously.
   “Who do you think sold him the cat?”