Monday 20 October 2014

New York Times Book Review

Hi Chaps,

Well, "Small Blue and the Deep Dark Night" has been reviewed again, and this time in a real life actual paper that you can hold in your hand, which is cool.
Yesterday, 19th October, it was reviewed in the Book Review Section of the Sunday edition of the New York Times.
They say "It's a winning approach to fear of the dark: lots of physical closeness, a few flights of imagination, and a gentle dash of cold, hard logic."
See a scan of the review below, it also featured a section of the goblins spread, further down the page.

Just a small spot, but I do feel chuffed :)

Sunday 14 September 2014

Small Blue review

Hi Chaps,

There have been a bunch of really nice reviews of Small Blue and the Deep Dark Night on various blogs.
I've put a couple of them up on my website, but I thought I'd gather a bunch of them here.

A lovely review, and there was a give-away too, at the Good Reads With Ronna Blog here

A very nice review indeed at Jen Robinson's Book Page Blog here.

Another very nice review at the Books For Kids Blog here
You'll have to scroll down for this one, it was posted on the 6th Sept.

And a nice short review at the Feed A Reader Blog here.
This blog seems to be run by Kirkwood Public Library.
I checked the catalogue, and Small Blue is checked out at the moment :)

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Small Blue Published

Hi Chaps,

Well, 'Small Blue and the Deep Dark Night' has been published in the UK, so now it's all out there and available both in the US and the UK.
Get 'em while they're hot, I love a nice warm book, fresh out of the press :)

Apparently it's in actual book stores in the US, and is available on-line at Amazon and Barbes & Noble, and in the UK it's available on-line at Waterstones, Amazon, Books etc and Foyles.
And, I know my local libraries are getting a few copies in, so I'm looking forward to spotting a copy there.

And another way to get yourself a copy -
 I do know there's one up for grabs in a competition which is currently running at the 'Good Reads With Ronna' blog here.
There are three books to win, including 'Small Blue' and there's a lovely review of it as well, at the bottom of the post.

And, if you're after a few more reviews, there's one on Jen Robinson's Book page' blog, here, and another two, from Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly on my website here.

I've got a 'Small Blue' quiz in the works, so keep your eyes open for that in the near future here, too.

Thursday 28 August 2014

Website update

Hi chaps,

I've updated my website with new recent work.
The new stuff includes, in the colour section, a squirrel from a recordable story book I illustrated, below.
Which is an interesting concept. This one is intended for a grandparent to record themselves reading the story, to then post to a grandchild who lives far away, so they can listen to it!!
I'm looking forward to getting my complimentary copy of this one.

And the black and white section includes a couple of pics of a dashing, well-dressed fox character for a chapter/older reader book age group, which I used tone with, along with the line.
Here's one that isn't on my website.

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Look What's Arrived...

Hi Chaps,

Look what just arrived in the post. Whole stack of Small Blue from the lovely people at Harcourt.

It's just over a month till it's out now, 26th Aug in the US and 1st Sept in the UK.
So mark the appropriate day on your calendar, depending on your continental location, or, indeed, your preference of international shipping or local post.
But in the meantime, here's Small Blue from the cover.
More to come soon :)

Sunday 22 June 2014

Cookie Illustration

Hi Chaps,

One of my pictures has been used on a cookie!
2 Mamas Baking in Iowa ( ), licensed a sketch I did of a baby/toddler, to use as a design for a cookie decoration.
Well, the prototype has been made, and they've put a picture up on their Facebook page here -
It was put up on 20th June, so it's a few posts down now.
I think they've captured the illustration really nicely, and have used a lovely colour, I think it works really nicely.

But, here we are, here's my original, and then the picture they put up, so you can see it here too.

But have a look at some of their other posts too, there's some lovely looking stuff.

Friday 20 June 2014

Another review for Small Blue

Hi Chaps,

There's been another review for my new book 'Small Blue and the Deep Dark Night' out soon with the lovely chaps at Harcourt in New York.
This one is on Publisher's Weekly here
And I've got the text below, and a screenshot too, just to make there's no way you can miss it :)
But it's a nice review, I like the way they describe the book, I feel like they've got the hang of it and they explain it well.

In his first outing as both author and illustrator, Davis (Stuck with the Blooz) uses gnomish pen-and-ink drawings to conjure up the “Gremlins and goblins, with empty, rumbling bellies, licking their lips, waiting for me in the dark” that Small Blue, a rabbit, feels sure are lurking in her bedroom. Davis resists the urge to draw creatures as scary as Small Blue’s thoughts: the imaginary goblins are small, blobby creatures with mild expressions, clearly anxious to please. Big Brown—who’s precisely the kind of towering, furry bear one longs to take one’s nighttime fears to—doesn’t deny Small Blue’s worries (“There could be...”), but suggests another way to look at things: “How do you know it wasn’t a delightful doggies’ Saturday-night unicycle convention?” A visit to the kitchen for warm milk develops the idea: “I can imagine the kitchen playing host to a retired- pirates’ annual sock-knitting jamboree.” Soon, Small Blue gets the hang of this kind of thinking, too. A winsome, even poetic introduction to the idea of reasoning one’s way through fearfulness. Ages 4–8

But here are some sketches from the book, as a bit of a teaser, of the things mentioned in the review, Small Blue, Big Brown and a couple of Goblins.

Friday 6 June 2014

Small Blue review

Hi Chaps,

Well, I've got a picture book coming out in August which I have written as well as illustrated.
Which is a tad exciting.
The book is called Small Blue and The Deep Dark Night, and is published by the lovely chaps at Harcourt in the US.
But, the reviews have started, and there's a nice on Kirkus here
I'll put the text below, and a screenshot too.

I'll post some sketches from it soon, and any other reviews too.


Small Blue (a little bunny) gets a bad case of the middle-of-the-night willies, imagining what spooky creatures might lurk in the dark corners of her home.

“Big Brown, Big Brown!” she wails, in a shrill pitch familiar to all parents. Small Blue’s caregiver, a lumpy, burly bear, offers reassuringly ridiculous counterarguments to assuage the bunny’s fears. Big Brown wonders whether those “[g]remlins and goblins, with empty, rumbling bellies,” weren’t there at all, and instead there was ”a delightful doggies’ Saturday-night unicycle convention” underway. It is dark, after all. Who can tell? Children will get the hang of Big Brown’s loopy logic quickly. The dark could harbor “giant hairy spiders and flappy bats” or, just as likely, host “a smiley spacemen’s zero-gravity birthday party.” Jittery readers come to see it’s probably neither; the dark is just that, dark, and nothing more. Big Brown’s enveloping brawn and fantastically implausible nighttime scenarios turn quivering fears into giggles. Mildly cartoonish artwork, in purply-blues (lights off) and cozy yellows (lights on), offers thick linework and lots of rounded edges, eyes, noses and mouths, softening Blue’s scary fantasies and rendering Brown’s imaginings all the more comical. 

Add this original, illuminating book to any stack of in-the-dark, nighty-night anxiety tales right next to the bed, alongside that last glass of water—but leave the door open a crack!

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Today I have been mostly drawing

Hi Chaps,

Here's an idea I've had for Twitter, which I feel worth introducing here.
But I thought I might do a daily feature of things I've drawn each day.
Sort of a single page with a few sketches/drawings that I've been working on that day, with notes or the odd thought included.
I'm sure I won't manage to keep it up being daily, but here's the first one .

Keep an eye on my twitter to see more of them.

Friday 14 March 2014

Little Crooked Cottage

Hi Chaps,

The book 'The Coziest Place', written by Jamie Michalak, which I illustrated has been mentioned on the blog 'Litle Crooked Cottage', here .
It's a lovely children’s book blog dedicated to celebrating authors, illustrators, and their creations.

But they've just got snow at the home of the blog, so are featuring a few books celebrating snow.
The Coziest Place is about a family of bears who come in from a snowy sledging trip and have cocoa and snuggle in for the night.
Here are a few drawings from it, just in black and white.

And you can buy a copy here if you fancy, at Booksetc

But There's some good stuff on the blog, this post featuring some fab illustrators including Christopher Denise, Ross Collins and Peter H Reynolds who are particular favourites of mine.
Do have a look.

Thursday 23 January 2014


Hi Chaps,

Bit of news here, I've now got a shop selling prints and cards up on Etsy.
There's a link over on the right there.

There are digital downloads of prints and cards at the moment, rather than actual physical things.
But I'll get some actual cards and pictures to post out up there soon as well.

Anyway, here's a sketch as well.

Monday 6 January 2014


Hi Chaps,

I've updated my website recently, and now have a 'Books' page with my published books on it, and images from each, and some details too.
There are ten up there at moment.
I have done some educational ones as well, but these ten are the ones you can get in the shops :)

And there's more on the way.
I worked out that I've now illustrated over twenty books now.
Quite a few haven't come out yet, and some aren't generally available as they're educational books, but I'm pretty happy with the number :)

But in the meanwhiletime, here are a couple of sketches.

These are characters I developed as black and white samples.

The long thin running chap may well resurface in a book idea I'm working on.