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Creating our stories has been a long and careful process that involves a great deal of checking and editing and checking again. Our first book ‘Hide & Seek Hippo’ was produced entirely using hand drawn, water-colour paintings which were scanned and laid out digitally once each one was finalised. For Sam’s Shadow’s story we have had to adjust the way we work significantly – mostly because Lauren now lives in the Netherlands, and Melissa has been living in several countries in Africa!

The distance has meant that texting, video calls and digital artworking have been essential components of our process for book two. But we knew this before we began and we also knew that with two such different stories, we wanted two completely different visual styles. It has been great fun developing the two worlds which are opposite in so many ways. Hippo’s is so bright and wild and outdoors, a real African adventure, while Sam’s is much more controlled and indoors; his colours coming from popping shades set against the shadowy palette of greys and blacks. One tale is prose and one in rhyme. But both have friendship at their heart and both encourage children to address their fears and overcome them.

Here are some pictures of how it all happened.

A sneak peak just for you

Thanks to Neilson and Book2Look we have a wonderful preview possibility for you! Check this out – click here: Sneak peak look book  🙂

Books in Britain

It’s been a little slow, but we are so happy to announce that there are books in Britain now! It’s always so special to hear news of my book babies arriving safely with their new families 🙂 Look at these gorgeous little faces! Just shows […]

Introducing ‘The Lovely Stuff’

During these times of heightened anxiety, our children might doing their best not to notice all that is happening, but they are pretty smart. It’s likely they have heard and are using the words ‘Corona Virus’, that they understand that they can’t go to school […]

Sam & Shadow’s Book Birthday Events

Sam & Shadow’s Book Birthday Events During the first week of March we introduced ‘Sam’s Shadow Braves the Night’ to people here in Tanzania. We’ve had so much fun! We had a glitzy launch by the ocean, visited one school (so far) and put on […]

Introducing Sam & Shadow!

sorry we’ve been rather quiet – we’ve been extremely busy! We are so excited to introduce the world to Sam and Shadow the characters in our new rhyming picture book adventure. Here’s a sneak peek at our beautiful front cover, so you can meet them! […]

I’ve been in the recording studio!

6 great reasons to read stories with your kids every night and guidance how to improve the experience for everyone involved (especially if you’re a nervous reader). Author of ‘Hide & Seek Hippo’ & former English teacher, Melissa Kay, talks about why it’s so important […]

Listen to some animal sounds!

Try out a few of these animal sound files and see if you recognise any of the sounds the animals in our story make when they are laughing.

Competition!… and a video that’s guaranteed to make you grin!

WIN a package for the school of your choice, including: – A library copy of ‘Hide & Seek Hippo’ – A copy of the ‘Hide & Seek Hippo’ script and recording of the show so they can put the play on themselves – A parcel […]

Hippo on stage!

In a musical extension of our little tale Hide & Seek Hippo is premiering at the local theatre here in Dar es Salaam at the end of the month. With original songs (and a rap!); lots more action and laughs; new characters and an endearing […]

Hippo is off to China!

Shen Wai International School has very kindly invited me to be the guest author for their literature event and I’m flying over to share everything I love about stories, mentor some older students as they prepare a book for the publishing process and share Hide […]