And the results are in!

Thank you to all of you who entered my pre-publication competition to win a free copy of The Niggle – I was thrilled by the response.

I am delighted to announce the 10 lucky winners are:

Margaret Gallagher

June Rae

Nikki Harris

Linda Guest

Bethan Sayers

Karen Smith

Camilla Whittington

Julie Wallis

Maria Massetti

Carrie Smith

Congratulations to all of you. Your signed copy will be winging its way to you early next week. More information about The Niggle is available HERE.

The Niggle is here and available to buy!

Woohoo! My new rhyming picture book, The Niggle, is officially launched today and is available   TO BUY now from Amazon.

If you do buy a copy, and enjoy it (I hope you do!) do please consider putting a review on Amazon – reviews really do help sales. Many thanks!

The early Amazon reviews have been lovely. Sir Readalot said:

“This is an imaginative and well-written story which will enthral your little ones while also teaching them an important message. Highly recommended!”

Brydie W said:

“… A surprising and enjoyable read, with an original take on a universal theme.”

The Niggle tells the story of Joe Jackson, a little boy who has never felt fear. Until the day a miniature monster swims in his ear! The monster is the Niggle, a tiny terror, who whispers worries in Joe’s head and makes him afraid.

Will Joe Jackson let the Niggle win? Or will he learn to overcome his fears? Read this rhyming picture book to find out. And remember: you can’t be brave if you don’t feel fear!

Great five star reviews for The Niggle!

Thank you to Bembridge and Shanklin classes at Barton Primary School on the Isle of Wight for your wonderful (universally five star!) reviews of The Niggle. I particularly love your fantastic drawings. I really enjoyed coming in to read to you and really appreciated your very positive feedback.

The Niggle will be published on 15 November. More information available here.

Isle of Wight Literary Festival a great success!

Wow. That was a busy week. It felt like, every minute, I worked, ate, slept and breathed the Isle of  Wight Literary Festival. But it was great fun too.

The Inspire Yurt, all ready for my session

I particularly enjoyed the four school visits I did on Thursday and Friday (l always enjoy school visits.) I calculated that, over the four visits, I did 13 presentation, so by the end, it was all a bit of a blur!

Creating rhymes with the children at Northwood

But I do distinctly recall that I visited Northwood Primary School (top quality Joke telling from the year 3 class) and Summerfields Primary School (gruelling Q&As!) on Thursday and Broadlea Primary School and Gatten and Lake Primary Schools on Friday.

Great fun sharing my stories with the children, creating some rhymes and letter pictures and fielding some tricky question. My favourite question? Gotta be from the year 2 class at Gatten and Lake: ‘you’re really tall: how did you get through the door?’ Flummoxed.

Big thumbs-up from Broadlea!

And then, after the authors’ reception at the Royal Yacht Squadron (doncha know?) on Friday evening, it was on to the main event on Saturday and Sunday.

Had great fun sharing my books, Isabella, Rotten Speller and Isabella’s Adventures in Numberland and helping the children make letter portraits and letter puppets.

Also really enjoyed selling books and meeting lots of book lovers in the Isle of Wight children’s authors’ pop-up book shop. Great to spend some quality time with some lovely local authors. Can’t wait til next year!


The letter portraits were a hit!

Though first, I have the small matter of a book launch to get on with!

Creating a letter person at Broadlea

Lots of interaction from the years 2, 3 and 4 at Summerfields

Your chance to win a copy of my new book!

Click on the The Niggle Launch Competition for your chance to win one of ten signed copies of my new book, The Niggle.

The Niggle tells the story of Joe Jackson, a little boy who has never felt fear. Until the day a miniature monster swims in his ear! The monster is the Niggle, a tiny terror, who whispers worries in Joe’s head and makes him afraid. Will Joe Jackson let the Niggle win? Or will he learn to overcome his fears?

The Niggle, through humour and rhyme, tells children aged between five and eight that it’s OK to feel fear. In fact, you can’t be brave if you don’t! I hope it is a reassuring (though not too didactic) message for young children – as well as being a fun and exciting story!


National Poetry Day: my rhyming weekend

As it’s National Poetry Day, I thought I’d tell you about some rhymes I wrote at the weekend. I spent the morning being inspired at the lovely Coastal Gardener’s Nursery, near to where I live on the Isle of Wight, writing rhyming couplets – Nursery Rhymes (geddit?!) – and planting them amongst the pots and borders.

It was part of an Artists in the Garden day and for me it was a silly, yet surprisingly challenging, extension of the rhymes I look for on a daily basis (and often post on Peta Rainford’s Books on Facebook.) I must say, it has given me a bit of a taste for ‘guerrilla rhyming’ and I will be looking for other opportunities to try it out. I will definitely be working it into future school visits.

Funnily enough, as I was driving to the Coastal Gardener’s nursery on Saturday, Sally Crabtree came on the radio, former gymnast and current poet. Sally takes guerilla poetry to another level and is an inspiration.

So watch this space – or possibly a school, supermarket, park, beach, library or other public space! I’d love to use school visits to get children involved in the poetry of the everyday (or silly rhymes, if you prefer.)

See me at the Isle of Wight Literary Festival!

Tickets are now available for my session at the Isle of Wight Literary Festival on Saturday 14 October at 11am. Tickets are free, but you need to register for one to come long. It says ages 3-8, but that’s just for guidance; please come and join me for some lettery fun – whatever your age! And check out all the other fun and exciting sessions taking place in the Youth Zone.

Isabella, Rotten Speller

Look out for my new book this Autumn!

I am just in the process of finishing off the illustrations for my new rhyming picture book, due out this autumn. It’s probably my most ‘traditional’ book so far, both in terms of narrative and illustrative style – but don’t let that put you off (!) I think it still has a bit of an edge.

It returns to themes similar to those explored in Hairy Fairy (which is all about girls daring to be different; daring to be themselves), but this time I look at that time when children first feel the niggle of anxiety and lose their natural, gung-ho confidence. My story says it’s ok to be afraid. You can’t be brave if you feel no fear!

Keep your eyes open for more information, including the launch date, over the coming weeks and months.

See me at the Isle of Wight Literary Festival!

Really looking forward to being part of the Youth Zone at the Isle of Wight Literary Festival (IWLF). The Youth Zone programme isn’t out yet (I will share it when it is), but I can tell you that I will be there on Saturday 14 October, at 11 am, reading Isabella, Rotten Speller and helping children create letter portraits and puppets. Can’t wait!

New resource pages to support school visits

So pleased to have been able to start 2017 with a number of really fun school visits. So far this year I have been able to share my books and do related art and literacy activities with children from nursery and reception classes, as well as years 1, 2 and 5.


To support my visits, I have developed a number of resources, which I can deliver in schools myself, or which teachers are welcome to use in their own classes. You can find these resources here, alongwith more details of some of my recent school visits.


If you are a teacher and would like me to visit your school, please email me at