books · places · Reading and Literacy


VikingShipAre you getting excited by the British Museum Vikings Exhibition? I am! The British museum is one my most favourite places in the world and the new exhibition is going to open the brand new World Conservation and Exhibition Centre.

Having a Norwegian mother, I always thought I would grow up to be a Viking. Unfortunately there are few jobs for Vikings these days, so I became a children’s author and illustrator instead.

Eventually the time came to write my Viking stories. I was inspired the day I went to my Auntie’s Hutte – or little holiday house – on an island not far from Bergen in Norway.The Hutte looks down on a small inlet from the sea.SnekkevikThere was a moment when I put the name and the geography together and realised that Snekkevik (Snake Vik) would have once been a Viking settlement.

The name Viking means “People of the Viks“. This inlet was a Vik and this is where Vikings would have lived. Now you can drive there over bridges and there is gas and electricity too. But I could imagine Viking children playing on the beach, just as my children were doing a thousand years later.

Viking Vik was born in my imagination! A lot of work later and The eight book series became a reality. If you are studying Vikings, you may like to have a bit of Viking related reading. They’re both fun and informative – boys love them 😀

Learn to draw Viking Vik!


How to Draw a Gladiator Helmet

GladiatorSmallI’m starting a new project to write and illustrate six new books about Roman Britain. Yesterday I went to the British Museum to do some research and was taken by the Gladiator Helmet in their Roman Collection.

I sketched it while I was there and here I show you how it’s put together and how you can draw it yourself. Have a go and see how yours comes out.

Drawing · People · places

Drawing Meetup at the British Museum

Come drawing with me on the 13th of December at the British Museum! I’m expecting YouTube channel subscribers and website viewers to be at the British Museum at 2.00pm. I’ll be by the big lion in the Great Court.

Rotring have given me some Rotring Tikky Graphic pens, the ones I always use in my videos, to give to the first people to arrive and the first three will get an exclusive Shoo Rayner Sketchbook. See this week’s Wednesday Show for more details.

I have no idea how many will be there, that’s what makes it so exciting. It’s the first time I’ve tried something like this. you have to start somewhere! I’m going to go and draw from the pots in the Ancient Greek department. There are fabulous drawings on the pots and so much to be learned from those great ancient artists.

I hoep to see you there!