Thursday, January 12, 2017


(Book 2 in the "Artefact Inspector" series, published in UK by Tamarind Books)

'"A tall woman with an eye patch came striding in. She wore a headwrap and dress in sizzling colours: hot pink, flaming orange, scorching yellow. She lit up the bakery like a firework display.
"Hello Frankie," she said.
 "Mizz Z!" gasped Frankie. "You've come back from Africa!"

Yes, Miss Zauyamakanda (otherwise known as Mizz Z), Chief Inspector and part-time football coach, is back in town!
 In China Town to be specific, in a city in England. (Here's the  gateway to Chinatown with the city football stadium in the background.) 

 Mizz Z has come to the Money Tree Bakery owned by Frankie's Auntie Tang, where Frankie is working to earn extra pocket money, selling cakes like these. Look out, in the book, for the pineapple bun!

In Book One, "Zilombo" published in UK by Tamarind Books (American Edition published by Lee and Low as "Monster in the Mudball")  Mizz Z, Chief Inspector of Ancient Artefacts, along with Jin and his big sister Frankie, battled an ancient shape-shifting monster. Now Mizz Z is back, facing an even more formidable foe, the dreadful Avenger, once the most deadly weapon of a tyrant called the Crocodile King. And, this time, it's personal!


"No one the Crocodile King cursed EVER escaped Avenger," Mizz Z told Frankie. "You could run to the ends of the Earth, hide in the deepest caves, or on the highest mountains but Avenger never, ever gave up. It ALWAYS tracked you down. And it showed no mercy. It couldn't. Because it's just a machine with no feelings."
"It's a heap of junk!" said Jin.
"You're joking us!" scoffed Frankie.
"I do not joke," said Mizz Z, "about things like that. But it is perfectly harmless," insisted Mizz Z, "because it has lost its powers completely. Only the Crocodile King can activate it. And the Crocodile King has been dead for centuries. So it cannot happen."

But, for once, Mizz Z is WRONG! She and all her family are cursed by the Crocodile King who orders Avenger to hunt them down.  Mizz Z finds herself tracked through the night-time city streets by the terrible Avenger. Somehow, Jin and Frankie must break the Crocodile King's curse, or the Chief Inspector herself will be Avenger's first victim.
 Followed by her little brother Kapito (top computer game designer) who, with terrible timing, is flying into England from his home in America next morning!

Also in this story are:

  • An ancient and very temperamental bun steaming stove called The Iron Dragon, that drives Auntie Tang crazy.
  • Jin's Dad,a tough rodent control technician (or rat killer), who is a legend in his own life time.
  • A Giant African Pouched Rat( who can sniff out land mines) and is a hero back in Africa. 

  • A truly terrifying ghost dog called Darkness.
  • And, I almost forgot, a public toilet in a baobab tree!

To find out how they all fit in, read "The Curse of the Crocodile King"!

Click here to buy "Curse of the Crocodile King" on Amazon:

Monday, July 11, 2016

ICARUS: an ancient Greek legend retold

My latest book, ICARUS, is a retelling of a legend from Ancient Greece.
Published by Oxford University Press
Illustrations by Joe Todd-Stanton

Click here to order on Amazon

Daedalus and Icarus are locked in a tower by evil King Midas. How can they get out? Daedalus is watching seagulls flying from the tower window and suddenly thinks of a brilliant but highly risky escape plan .......

Icarus trying out his new wings.

Icarus falling through the air. .

Wednesday, February 17, 2016



Published Cambridge University Press. Illustrations Laura Sua.

Hanna grows a massive pumpkin. She's very proud of it. But it turns into a monster! Can Hanna save the people in her town?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Grandma and the Leopard




When Grandma was a little girl in Africa, she got chased and nearly eaten by a leopard! Ava hears Grandma's scary story and becomes terrified of leopards. She won't even go to school, even though there are no leopards where she lives, in case one leaps from a bush and eats her! How can big sister Elise and Grandma save the day?

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Dog of Truth




Cal gets a dog from a rescue centre. Then finds out his new pet has an amazing talent. It can tell when people are lying! At first Cal is thrilled because now he knows when his friends aren't telling him the truth. But then the Dog of Truth starts using its special powers on him!

Saturday, November 22, 2014



Cover by Tony Blundell

Vampire spiders should be extinct. They're as big as small dogs and not very bright. They make modern spiders look clever. Millions of years ago they hunted in packs and chased their prey along the ground with big stabbing claws. But somehow they've survived in caves  underneath the creepy and sinister mansion "The Lair."

Illustration by Tony Blundell
Find out what happens when spider fanatic Finn and his big sister Phoebe do battle with them.  Also with the terrible Lady Withers, cruel Victorian Agony Aunt and crusher of servant girls' dreams - who's obsessed with dusting, handwriting and flannel knickerbockers. And who just can't stop giving advice even though she's been dead over a 100 years.

Illustration by Tony Blundell
Also in the story: Lord Withers, author of the famous " Pooter Hunting for Boys", Finn's favourite book.
Sadly, Lord Withers' is now just a crystallized skeleton.

Illustration by Tony Blundell
But his giant Pooter survives, which is convenient for Finn, because it's just the right weapon for catching primitive spiders alive!

Illustration by Tony Blundell

Meet also Dr. Clinton C. Clinton, Finn's hero, TV star and spider psychologist who can talk spider language and who's hiding a terrible secret.

Illustration by Tony Blundell

They're all in this funny, thrilling, creepy tale, "Invasion of the Vampire Spiders"!!

Monday, August 18, 2014


 Illustrations are by Charles Fuge

This is a picture book about Tiny Shrew. Here he is:

It's his first time outside his cosy nest. He's got a LOT to learn.

"Right," said Ma Shrew. "Let's get cracking! You need to know how to tell safe poo from scary poo."

"Pardon?" asked Tiny Shrew, puzzled.
"We shrews can't see danger," said Ma Shrew, blinking her poor, weak eyes. "But we can smell it. We just have to sniff some poo and we can tell if it's parrot poo. Or .... PANTHER POO!"
"What do we do if it's panther poo?" asked Tiny Shrew.
"RUN LIKE MAD!" said Ma Shrew.

Problem is, Tiny Shrew can't sniff the difference between safe poo and scary poo. He can't even tell if he's sniffing poo at all! 
He sniffs something.

"It's scary poo, Ma! Run for your life!" shrieked Tiny Shrew.

"Calm down," said Ma. "It's not scary poo. It's a butterfly."


 Tiny Shrew sniffs something else.

" AAAARGH! Run Ma! Run for your life!" he screamed. "It's scary panther poo!"
"You just sniffed a toad!" Mum sighed.

Ma and Pa Shrew are really worried. Their son can't smell scary poo. How will he survive in the jungle? 
But then the worst thing happens!
Tiny Shrew lands in a big pile of poo.

But is it safe poo or scary  PANTHER poo?
Tiny Shrew's life depends on knowing the difference!

Read "Run, Run It's Scary Poo!" to find out what happens.