Today is a Sort-of Book Birthday. Why sort-of? Well, because the content of these books is not entirely new, but the COVERS are! Which means I get to feel all excited about my babies having a make-over and being unleashed on the world all over again.


I wrote The Puppy Plan nearly ten years ago. It was originally called Puppy Love. It took a while to get it right, as it was my first novel for children. Up until then I had written short chapter books, picture books and short stories. It was quite something to realise that I could write a longer book. It was inspired by my children who were 6 and 4 at the time, and our new puppy, Kenna.

Kenna, our lovely Lab.

Kenna, our lovely Lab.

I had never had a dog before, although I would have loved one as a child, and it was a bit of a shock to realise how much work it was, training and looking after a tiny puppy. I spent the first month of dog-ownership under house arrest with Kenna as she was not allowed to go for long walks and needed to pee ALL the time! So I sat in our kitchen, writing notes on an idea for a book about a girl and a dog – in between taking Kenna out into the garden and teaching her how to pee OUTside and how to sit, stay, lie down, etc.

During those days and days of training, I started to notice Kenna’s facial expressions and body language when I spoke to her. She sometimes put her head on one side as if she knew exactly what I was saying. Much of the time it looked to me as though she was thinking hard about everything I said. At other times she looked completely baffled as if to say, ‘You are crazy, you humans!’

As my new story developed, I realised I needed to give the dog character, Honey, her own voice in the narrative, and so I came up with the idea of Honey commenting on the action. I didn’t want her to be able to communicate with her owner as I needed her to be a real dog – I didn’t want to inject any fantasy elements into the story. Having her commenting on the action in the sidelines seemed the best way to do it.

IMG_3002 copy

Ten years on, I am proud to see these books are still being enjoyed by readers everywhere. I get lovely letters every month from people who have only just come across them for the first time. So it is great to see them get a makeover with these fab new covers. Many thanks to Matt Hunt for his beautiful illustrations and to my publishers, Macmillan Children’s Books, for designing them so wonderfully well.

Happy Sort-of Book Birthday, Honey and Summer Holly Love!