Tag Archives: Reading

Learn to draw Cat and Dog – Big Cat Series

I am so thrilled to finally have copies of How to Draw Cat and Dog.

I’ve been using the Cat and Dog books in reception and nurseries for some time and I’m always amazed – sometimes almost moved to tears – by the quality of the drawing the very young children draw along with me.

I’ve wanted to make this book for a while and finally convinced Big Cat to let me do it. It’s also a phonics book, which made it hard choosing the right words to describe key words for explaining drawing, that I couldn’t use because of the language levels. For circles – I used rings.

I am so proud of how it came out. Many thanks to my editor, Catherine Coe, for helping to squeeze it all into the phonics box.

Cat and Dog teach you how to draw cat and dog in a story – yes, there is a story too! Learn also how to draw a tree so Cat has somewhere to hide when Dog starts chasing. With all that drawing, you have everything you need to write and illustrate a simple story – even key words.

What more could anyone want in a Reception/Kindergarten/Early years Foundation class?




Hooray for the Summer Reading Challenge!

I gather this year has been a good one for the Summer Reading Challenge, a scheme to keep children’s reading habits going over the long summer holiday. I don’t think that was ever a problem for me as a child – always happy to go to the library for another Enid Blyton – but I must admit, I’d pretty much forgotten everything  else I’d learned at school from the previous year, come the first day of the autumn term!

Prize giving day for the Summer Reading Challenge at Bream Library – Forest of Dean



I posted once before about how I was involved in the first ever Summer Reading Challenge, an idea dreamed up by Andrea Reece at Hodder Children’s Books. So I’m always very happy to be asked to play a small part over the summer.

Last week, I went to Bream Library, just down the road, where I told some stories and handed out the medals and certificates to all the children who had completed their Challenge this summer – Well done all!

It seems the challenge has been a bit oversubscribed this year – probably due to the fallen value of the pound and everyone staycationing – I guess Brexit has a had a small positive influence on something after all!

How to paint like Beatrix Potter – Mr Jeremy Fisher

I think this must be my longest video ever! It’s a video of me trying to paint a page from The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher by Beatrix Potter. I’ve not cut out a huge amount, maybe five minutes, so this is pretty much in real time.

My first attempt went very wrong, because I was using the wrong paper and the wrong brush. The second attempt was much better but I think the pencil is all wrong and I still haven’t got the right brush.

Last Friday, I went to the British Museum to get up close with some of her artwork to really understand her style. It was an amazing experience. One of the best art lessons I’ve ever had. It was like being with Miss Potter for the afternoon. I’ll tell you about it in my next videos.

If you don’t know the story, Click below and you can watch a video of me reading from the book