When I visit schools, children often ask me where my story ideas come from. Well, most of the time my stories are inspired by things that happen with my own children. For example, when my son was very small, he loved penguins but he didn’t love reading. So I wrote a little story about penguins to get him interested in books. That story became Pip Likes Snow.

Around the same time, I wrote a story about a little boy who got frightened at night and would climb into to his parents’ bed. To help him feel safe in his own bed, his mum got him a snuggly leopard hot-water-bottle, and it worked very well! After that the boy slept fine, and he and the leopard had lots of fun playing imaginary games.

Maybe you guessed that the little boy in the story was my son again! Here is the actual leopard we got for him to keep him safe and warm in his bed:

And here is the book that tells the story of that boy and his leopard friend. It’s called Jack’s Bed and it has three stories in one book. My son was so pleased to have a book written about him, and in fact the illustrations by Rosalind Beardshaw look a lot like him! Wouldn’t you agree?