Dotty Detective The Birthday Surprise

Dotty Detective The Birthday Surprise



Put on your party hats – Dot and the gang are back with a brand new story!

Dot is hugely excited about her birthday (although not half as excited as their teacher Mr Dickens is about HIS!)
There are present lists to write, invitations to make…





But there’s a new boy in class, and this spells trouble. When Mr D’s special secret birthday present goes missing, will our ace young super-sleuths save the day in time?



a year of Mary Plain

a year of Mary Plain



In 2017 Mary Plain returned in style!
You can read more about her journey – and mine – here.
Four books were published, meringues were eaten, rosettes were worn.


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Mary made new friends (who did a tremendous job at drawing her – check out this fine example!),




and was reunited with old friends too. I was beside myself with happiness to be given my very own Mary carved out of wood, made for me by unusual first class Rose Brown. She lives on my desk and we have a little chat every morning (Mary, not Rose – I WISH).




Just look at her little face! Perfection.




What a year it has been, the most joyful culmination of a much cherished childhood wish.
This calls for a parade; Mary would expect nothing less.




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to my Grenfell art therapy heroes…

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Instead of banging on about what I did this year, I’m looking back to what we did. This was without doubt the absolute highlight, and has filled me with a toasty-warm feeling of pride and optimism ever since.

In the weeks that followed the Grenfell Tower fire in June, I heard about the work that the community art therapists were doing with traumatised, bereaved and distressed children and families. Behind this modest door, amazing things were happening.


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I was shocked to discover that these hugely skilled and committed professionals had only scarce and inadequate art materials at their disposal. I knew I wanted to donate; would anyone like chip in? The response was overwhelming.




I only wish I could have taken better pics, or have x-ray specs on my camera.
All across – and underneath – my kitchen table filled up many times over. I only stopped when we hadn’t got anywhere to sit and had to eat our meals standing up. Dear pals, and strangers, stepped up with incredible generosity and love. Thousands of pounds were spent on art materials of professional quality, careful and thoughtful choices, a riot of colour. What do you give people who don’t have very much? You give them the BEST.




I delivered ten – TEN! – of these huge boxes. We were able to furnish another group working with adolescents and adults, too.


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So, the biggest and most heartfelt thank you to:

Amos, Pegasus Art Shop, Sarah, Lucy, Julie, Anna, Ottie and the Bea Bookshop, Steven, Damyanti, Catherine, Walker Books, Kirstie, Anne, Yasmin, Paperchase, Lorna, Sez, Frankie, Becky, Cathy, Viv, Chris, Maryanne, Win, Jane, Georgia, Becca, Sarah and Rachel.

You are forever my heroes!



Mary Plain #7

Mary Plain #7

Happy Publication Day, Mary!



So this day has arrived at last. Mostly Mary and All Mary have put on their best rosettes and stepped out into the world.

Egmont UK have done us proud. These books are all I could have wished for.

Meringue, anybody?




Take a bow, Miss Mary Plain -


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an unusual first class bear!


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