Books for Younger Children


1982 Hamish Hamilton (age 7+)

A book for newly confident readers.

‘..the social need for discretion and self-control is neatly scaled to primary school size.’


Jam For Tea

1989 Collins Book Bus Series (age 4+)

A simple text for beginning readers.

The Prince and The Cave

1991 Pont Books - WJEC Welsh History Project (age 8+)

The story of the final days of Llewelyn the Last – as witnessed by a young boy living in the Welsh hills. Published under the auspices of the WJEC’s Welsh Readers Scheme as part of the Welsh History Project
Translated by Irma Chilton as ‘Y Tywysog a’r Ogof)

Who Stole a Bloater?

1991 Seren Books (age 8+)

Tir na nOg prize 1991

Dramatised by Jackanory BBC TV 1993

A family grows up in the Rhondda in the years before the First World War. Many of the stories in the book were based on stories told to me by my father about his own childhood. Click for some more background details.

‘Valuable insight is gained into the social history accompanied by a great deal of humour….there is the usual rivalry among the children but an atmosphere of love prevails against a background of constant hardship.’

(a review from with permission of the Welsh Books Council)

Click for background information

Mr Bear and the Bear (illus. Ruth Brown)

1994 Andersen Press (age 4-7)

(Pub in USA by Duttons as The Bear and Mr Bear)

A bad-tempered old man is moved by the plight of a dancing bear. A percentage of author’s royalties went to WSPA, the charity that rescues cruelly treated bears.

‘A heartfelt, uplifting story.’


‘One of the most warm, moving and sensitive books around in enduring work with artwork to gladden your heart.’


Click for Extract and Cover Picture

Supposing (Illus. Ross Collins)

1997 Bloomsbury Pub. in USA as What If -Hyperion (age 3-4)

Scottish Arts Council Award 1999

Shortlisted Blue Peter Awards 2000

Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee

Bulletin of the Center of Children’s Books Blue Ribbon book

A little monster lies awake, imagining all the things that might go wrong. But then he talks to his mother about his fears.

‘A story so reassuring that the end can only be met with a sigh of complete satisfaction.’


‘A book to sling around you like a quilt.’


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Maybe One Day (Illus. Ross Collins)

2000 Bloomsbury Pub. in USA as One Day, Daddy - Hyperion (age 3-4)

Little Monster is growing up, and realises that one day he’ll want to leave home and explore the universe. But being a bit of a worrier, he wonders how his parents will cope without him.

‘Witty, striking and reassuring… an oddity to cherish.’


‘A cracking read, which encourages children to explore their own imaginations.’


Click for Extract and Cover Picture

Polly’s Running Away Book (Illus Sally Gardner)

2000 Bloomsbury (age 6-9), re-issued 2012 Bloomsbury

Polly, aged 8, is fed up. Her teacher is mean to her, and her hamster has run away. Leaving home seems to be the only option. Will things ever improve?

‘A real original, and should make six to eight year olds laugh and reflect on their own lives.’


‘Polly is a dissident child with a devastating line in put-downs and a thoroughly convincing stream- of- consciousness style.’


Click for Extract and Cover Picture

Polly’s Absolutely Worst Birthday Ever (illus. Sally Gardner)

2000 Bloomsbury (age 6-9), re-issued 2012 Bloomsbury

Shortlisted for Experian Big Three Award 2002

Polly has chicken-pox and has to cancel her party on the only ninth birthday she will ever have! She is not happy.

‘Polly is recreated in another sparkling adventure that will win many readers.’


‘Happy birthday, Polly, and may you (and your grateful readers!) have many more. A rare treat for new readers.’


Click for Extract and Cover Picture

Little Monster’s Book of Opposites

Little Monster’s Book of Numbers (with Ross Collins)

2005 Bloomsbury Board books for babies (age 1-3)

Little Monster’s Book of Numbers was selected for the Bookstart programme 2006

‘Philosophy contained in a robust board book package. Simple and effective.’


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Megan the Detective

2008 Pont Books (age 8+)

Life in a Welsh border village isn’t dull at all, thinks Megan. With so many problems around, homeless cats, dogs with bad haircuts and mysterious dark strangers hanging about, she just has to turn detective to solve them all. Plus she has some rather good recipes to share…

‘Frances Thomas packs and enormous amount into this very entertaining story… Megan is clever, patient and brave. She is also a very good cook, and several recipes are included. She could have been too good to be true in the hands of a less experienced writer but Frances Thomas makes her believable and great company and brings all the other people in the village to vivid life. This is a great read for any fans of detective stories or animal stories and I hope Megan will have many more adventures to come.’

Janet Thomas (A review from with the permission of the Welsh Books Council)

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Megan and the Pantomime Thief

2009 Pont Books

Another detective adventure for Megan.  Will she ever find the missing script for the village panto? And who is leaving mysterious carved heads all  over the village?  Mr and Mrs Parker, the poodle fanciers, are definitely up to something. Then there’s Zoe, the new girl in the village who seems set to cause Megan all sorts of problems...

‘ Megan is a chatty, modern youngster who tells her own story with verve and panache. In this second novel about Megan and her friends in the village of Nantglas in Radnorshire, we learn lots about the village eccentrics such as Meic ap Sion, determined to change the local pantomime into a Welsh Noson Lawen, the vicar Rosemary who has taken over the panto, (much to the disgust of local writer Nancy, who has always written it before) and the very English Mrs Willoughby, who lives with her gothic grandson Kris in the big house over the road. All of these characters and many more come alive in Megan’s enthusiastic telling, and amongst all the village activity, mysteries beckon.’

‘This is an enormously appealing story for pre-teens and young teenagers and has just the right ‘voice’ for this age-group. A likeable heroine with very recognisable feelings and problems.’

Elizabeth Schlenther (A review from with the permission of the Welsh Books Council)

‘ Megan is a very likeable, credible character, a family girl, with a huge sense of loyalty and morality, a good role model… We hope there will be another instalment.’

Janette Perkins - The School Librarian

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Work included in Anthologies

Supposing - The Children's Book of Books

Harper Collins 1999

published in celebration of World Book Day

Beware - Wow! 336

Scholastic 2008

published in celebration of The National Year of Reading