Non Fiction

A Special Child in the Family

(first published by Sheldon Press)
This was my very first book. I wrote it for parents of children with special needs and it's about the emotional side of caring for a sick or disabled child. Although it sold well and had good reviews, the original paper version is now out of print.
     As parents were still asking me for copies, I've updated the information and put the entire book online at www.specialchild.co.uk so everyone can read it. I've also produced an ebook version that I'm giving away free because I just want to help people with this book - not make money.
You can download it in Kindle or epub format.

Cracking Codes Cracking Codes
(Scholastic)
As the title suggests, this book isn't just about the history of writing secret messages - it's also about how codes and ciphers can be cracked. To help explain this and add some humour, I invented a secret agent called Luke Short who works hard to stop the dastardly crimes of Captain Cryptic and his inept assistant, Tibbs.
    I learned masses of fascinating facts about skulduggery while I was writing this book and even had a play with an Enigma machine.
More Info 
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The Knowledge - Special Effects Spectacular Special Effects
(Scholastic)
Special effects have fascinated me for years so the research for this title was huge fun. I even went backstage at Phantom of the Opera. The book explores the effects used on stage as well as those you see on screen, and it includes ideas you can use in home videos and school plays.
More info  
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Edison's Fabtastic Phonograph Edison's Fantastic Phonograph

(Frances Lincoln)
Designed to capture the excitement of invention, this picture book tells the story of how Edison recorded sound for the very first time. This book is faction - fiction based on fact.
More info    
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Sounds Sounds

(Ginn - Lighthouse series)
This guided reader for the Literacy Hour also links to Key Stage 1 science. It's a challenge writing about science in so few words and is definitely not as easy as it looks.

Pony Puzzles Pony Puzzles

(Macmillan)
When I wrote this book, I was aiming at pony-mad children everywhere but especially those who have no chance of ever owning a pony or even of having riding lessons. It was a mix of information, puzzles and activities with the emphasis on fun.
   This book is out of print, but much of the information is now available again in my pony anthology, Perfectly Pony.
Buy Perfectly Pony from Amazon

Pets Pets

(Rigby - Springboard series)
I loved writing for the Springboard series. It's aimed at older, weak readers and my instructions were to come up with books that would attract children's attention and which, if possible, were funny. This one, as the name suggests, is about keeping pets. It has a very simple text and much of the information is carried in the pictures. I didn't draw them but I did describe exactly what I wanted in what's called the artist's brief.
(out of print)

Puppets Puppets on Film

(Rigby - Springboard series)
This was my first book to come from my fascination with special effects. It's quite different from traditional puppet books about marionettes and Indonesian shadow puppets as it concentrates on puppets children will have seen in films like Star Wars, Labyrinth and ET. The eye catching colour photographs really grab children's attention.
(out of print)

Don't Panic Don't Panic

(Rigby - Springboard series)
This started from a request to write a book about dealing with emergencies but it turned into a book on problem solving. The problems range from 'my bike has a puncture' to 'the gerbil ate my T-shirt' and each has a number of solutions, both silly and sensible, which get rated as either good or bad ideas. To my delight, it was described as unputdownable for upper juniors in the TES review of the series.
(out of print)

Rainbows Rainbows

(Oxford University Press)
Rainbows fascinate children so they were a natural choice when I was asked to contribute a book on weather to the Oxford Literacy Web. It deals with the science behind them and how to spot them as well as mentioning some of the myths about them.

Horse Stories that Really happened Horse Stories that Really Happened

(Scholastic)
It was hard finding exciting stories about horses. They're not brave like dogs so they don't rescue babies from burning buildings. In fact, the horses given medals in the Second World War were awarded them for standing still when most horses would have run away. But in the end I found 6 stories that blended well together and came from a variety of historical periods.
   This book is out of print, but three of the stories are now available again in my pony anthology, Perfectly Pony.
Buy Perfectly Pony from Amazon

The Hospital Highway Code

(Macmillan)
Because both my sons were born with cystic fibrosis, I've spent more than my fair share of time in children's wards and it was there that the idea for this book was born. It's aimed at 8-12 year olds and combines serious information with jokes, puzzles and cartoons. The wide range of topics it covers allows it to fit in well with most admissions and I deliberately avoided phrases like "when you get better" to make it suitable for children with ongoing conditions.
(out of print - rights available)
Buy used from Amazon

A Parent's Guide to Helping with MathsA Parent's Guide to Helping with Maths

(Penguin)
Just to prove I don't only write for children, here's one for parents. It's designed for helping children who find maths difficult and have fallen behind at school. You don't need to be a maths genius to use it as it tells you exactly how to help your child learn a step at a time.

The English edition is now currently out of print but it may still be available in French (Fort en Vite) and in Chinese!
ISBN 0140239030

 

 



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