The Magic Umbrella

A beautiful little book (The Royal Tournament; Das grosse Ritterturnier) recently landed on my doormat.

MU_Book 5_cover

It’s the fifth book in The Magic Umbrella series, aimed at readers aged 7-9 and published in Germany by Loewe Verlag GmbH as Der fabelhafte Regenschirm.

These delightful books have glossy, embossed hardback covers, and are illustrated on every page-spread by Naeko Ishida. They tell the story of four children and a dog, whisked off on magical adventures by a mysterious, battered, old umbrella.

MU_Book 2_inside_page

Author Sarah Storm is supported by a production team at Working Partners Ltd, and I’ve been helping too. I’ve enjoyed doing some of the background research, especially learning a lot about the weather. The children’s grandfather is a retired meteorologist, and fittingly, his silky-coated spaniel is named Cirrus, after those feathery clouds.

The children’s adventures range from the surreal (Book 1: Topsy Turvy Town; Die verruckte Stadt) to the historic (Book 3, The World’s First Car; Eine bahnbrechende Erfindung).

I think Book 3 is my favourite. While researching this story, I found a replica of the Benz motor car at the Beaulieu National Motor Museum. Here I am, posing with it:


You can see how the car was started up, from this video on YouTube.

German readers can also look forward to The Magic Umbrella Book 6 (The Wrong Dinosaur; Das verschollene Dinosaurier-Ei), which is due to be released in January 2018. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover….

MU_Book 6_cover

The Magic Umbrella books are fun and educational, and they’re a good next-step for young readers who enjoyed The Magic Tree House (Das magische Baumhaus). Find them on Loewe Verlag’s website or on

Now I just need a German-speaking 8-year old to read them to me!



Goodnight Sleepy Babies in Arabic

I’ve just had an exciting delivery from the postman – a gorgeous copy of Goodnight Sleepy Babies, translated into the Arabic by Academia International, Lebanon.

Goodnight Sleepy Babies Academia Int

My picture books have appeared in several languages, and it’s always a treat to receive a shelf copy for the collection. But there’s something extra eye-catching about an Arabic edition. The elegantly flowing script seems to grace the page and it especially suits Sebastien Braun’s jewel-bright illustrations.

Goodnight Sleepy Babies Songbirds Spread

Academia International’s website is under construction, but outlets for Goodnight Sleepy Babies in Arabic (Tusbihuna ala Khayr ya Sighar; ISBN 9789953371450) include Jarir Books.

Some of my earlier collaborations with wonderful illustrator, Rosalind Beardshaw, are also available through Jarir Books, including The Best Present (Ajmal Hidaya; ISBN 9789953379838).

Academia International Titles

Goodnight Sleepy Babies in English is available from Amazon.