Thursday, 20 March 2014


This will be my final post on this blog. Thank you to everyone who has visited, left comments and followed me over the past few years and I hope you will all join me at my new (recently refurbished) online home 

My new site has a built-in blog (nearly said oven!) so please pop by and say HELLO, I'd love to hear from you. 

The new website will also house an online print shop selling limited edition art prints of my illustrations. If you'd like to keep up-to-date on all things Hoppable then please use the link to add your details to the mailing list.

Thank you once again to friends from all over the world for your support and enthusiasm for my work, it's very much appreciated.

Here's to new friendships and new beginnings.


Friday, 22 November 2013


So what have you learnt this week that you didn't know before? Well, as it happens quite a lot! Last week was Week ONE of the Northern Childrens Book Festival. This year the festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary, which is quite an achievement considering the political backdrop of major spending cuts throughout the North East.
The festival aims to bring authors and illustrators to as many schools and libraries throughout the region as possible. During the course of the week I spoke to well over 700 children and visited Northumberland, Newcastle, Sunderland, Gateshead, Durham and North Tyneside. I was out and about reading my new book BIG (Picture Corgi) and because it's a book all about growing bigger, I incorporated some measuring into my events.
Did you know that most 6 year olds are between 18 and 22 cream crackers tall? And that your average 5 year old is 88 popcorns tall? And the majority of teachers I met last week were 5.5 pizzas tall. Do you know how tall you are in the alphabet? Most of the children I met were between P and V, although one lad did make it way past Z!
So what did the children I met learn about me? Amongst other things,they learnt that as an author/illustrator I have two desks,(each 40 paperclips long) one for writing and one for drawing. They learnt that the only certificate I ever won at school was for 100% attendance (or a failure to catch chickenpox!) and that my career as a picture book creator started by my writing a note to myself which read 'STOP WATCHING EASTENDERS'. Seven years on, 12 books published and I've not watched an episode since.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013


Half-term will be here faster than you know it, so I thought I'd share this crafty little activity with you. I noticed that our recycling bin was always overflowing with plastic cartons, so I asked Mrs. Hop to put her thinking cap on and come up with an idea that would make good use of all that plastic. After much debate we settled on pint sized penguins using different sized milk cartons.
All you need is acrylic paint, coloured card and several dot stickers (and a little patience while you wait for the paint to dry!). We started by painting the back, sides, top and top half of the front of the cartons black. When they were dry, we painted the lower front part of the cartons white. When that was dry we painted the lower half of the handles orange.
The wings (an elongated oval shape) are cut out of black card and attached using black sticky tape. Make the wings quite long and then fold the tips of the wings so they sit flat on the ground. 
The feet are cut out of orange card and attached underneath. Then finally the eyes are made from 3 different sizes of dot stickers, in white, yellow and black.

P.. P.. P.. Perfect!

Monday, 29 July 2013


1.Click the link here.
3.Send your sizzling suns to 
4. All artwork will be shown on the Guardian website