I HAVE seen a hat!

Okay, So what I’m about to tell you may provoke some cringing.

Before Christmas I went to the theater…all alone.

Yes, that is a very sad state of affairs, but it’s true. I went on my little tod, all the way to the bright lights of London, and there I sat, surrounded by families and groups of friends, clutching my ticket in my single seat, listening to the joyful giggles and playful interactions of those around me and sighed…alone.

But there’s more. Not only was I the only solo member of the audience that day, I was also the oldest. By some way. Or at least, the oldest that wasn’t there primarily as some kind of guardian.

Yep. I went on my own to the theater to see a play for children. Little children at that.

And before you sink your head into your hands at, what is very likely, the most socially pathetic tale you’ve read today, let me just clarify this scenario and explain why it is that I refuse to be ashamed by this.

I went to see the stage adaptation of John Klassen’s I want my Hat back.

Oh Yes.


For those of you who aren’t familiar, the reason this make the sorrowful tale any better, is that I want my Hat Back is probably the greatest children’s book ever written ever and I was absolutely fascinated by the prospect of how those fantastic, simplistic, enigmatic illustrations could POSSIBLY translate into real life people on stage.

Turns out they do. Really bloomin’ well actually.



With some stonkingly suitable music from Arthur Darvill and Joel Horwood and a number of outstandingly weird performances from the energetic, multitasking cast (I didn’t think it was possible for a human to become generic ambient forest quite so convincingly!) the show was a genuine delight from the start.

On entering to the stage, following behind an absurdly yarn bombed, argyle-socks and waist high shorts donning antlered band, I was immediately in love with the dated, 70’s appeal of the set. The perfectly haphazzard, retro costume choices and array of mismatched, flea market blankets strewn elegantly around, seemed to have the very heart and quirk of that book directly on tap; tipping it out in front of me time and time again throughout the show in a pile of retro quirk and charm.



From the three eared rabbit and Led Zeppelin tshirt sporting bear to an impossibly perfect use of lounge-lift music, it was by far the most magical and downright absurd hour and a half of my festive period. And to be honest, based on my experience of the book, I wouldn’t have expected or wanted anything less.

If any of you are in the vicinity and have the chance, I wouldn’t hesitate to check out this little gem, with or without little ones. It’s wonderful and enchanting and yet another example of how beautifully and bizarrely children’s entertainment is progressing into something really special.

I felt like the National Theatre had been transformed into a festive toy town for the ocassion


I left inspired and energised (and just in time to catch some great winter-sunset light!). Because if there are grow up imaginations making books and stage plays like this now, I cannot wait to see what the kids of the future; brought up on a diet of media as magic as this, will be capable of.

Peace OUT and a happy new year


Sunset in the Big City



Silly Stuff…

Having just had my THIRD  phone interview with the (really very lovely) people at the Dorking Advertiser re the book signing last Saturday, I can safely say it’s becoming a mild annoyance having to answer the question “what was your inspiration for the story?” to people who haven’t read it. And that’s not to say that I think they SHOULD have had a read,  I respect that, as the journalists, they can asses how much or little they need to know before beginning an interview; it’s just that when I’m asked I have this horrible habbit of answering and that seems to confuse them a bit.

Like most of my work, Tick came from my  brain as a result of my surroundings at that time. So in all honesty the starting point for it was my position emotionally at time of writing/drawing. My menial job, working for a woman on the fast track for hell, had the power at times to quite literally break you and it was these down trodden days that sparked the initial plans for a robot with no purpose that grew into the short story.

Yeah, I suppose for a “kid’s book” it’s relatively heavy stuff, but then, I struggle defining Tick as easily as for little ones or big ones. The creation of it began purely as a cartharsis for me, and if other people find enjoyment in it (and if the success of the book signing was anything to go by, I think they do) then that is a massive massive bonus that brings me an unimaginable amount of joy.

Nevermind Dorking Ad, we got there in the end. I know it wasn’t the short and sweet “I like kids so I wrote them a story” that maybe you were hoping for, but I’m sure you’ll make it work.

Anyway, enough of Tick for now! There’s more work to be done. The next story is unterwegs (well…it exists in note, bullet point and scribble form only) and there’s commissions and summer projects to be done!

So naturally, I decided to spend a day drawing things that have nothing to do with anything and then fiddling with them for 10 minutes in photoshop.

I’ll  leave you to be the judge of if it was time well spent or not…

B x