News and Features
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 Poo! Read all about it. And snot burps and farts too!


Garry Parsons looks at the tradition of the ‘disgusting’ and ‘gross’ in children’s books and explains why grown-ups shouldn't be 'sniffy' about picture books featuring farts and poo.

Read Garry's blog post on the Picture Book Den Blogspot HERE



We are thrilled to share a behind the scenes look at the making of The Greatest Magician in the World illustrated by Garry Parsons, written by Matt Edmondson and published by Macmillan Children's Books. In this fabulous book, we follow Elliot on his quest to find the greatest magician in the world and join him as he encounters an enchanting cast of magicians. Garry's illustrations perfectly compliment Matt's witty story telling; the book is filled with curiosities and quirks from the magical world as well as seven amazing magic tricks for the reader to learn. We spoke to Garry about his working process, his research into the world of magic and his exciting visit to the mysterious magic circle. 

Can you tell us how you created the characters? 
Working out the characters for this book was like assembling a cast for a film or a play. The hero of the story, Elliot, was fairly easy as he has a resemblance to the author as a young boy, but the various magicians he encounters were more complicated. We wanted to keep them as varied and unique as the tricks they perform. Between them they span three generations, so I looked at magicians from all sorts of eras and genres including circus performers, mystics and mesmerists as well as the illusionists of today. Once I'd gathered all this reference it was a matter of piecing the characters together and arranging their surroundings to complement their nature. 
We always look forward to receiving your sketches, and seeing how the book is developing. How did you go about designing the compositions?

At the start of the project the designer, editor and I all agreed that rather than placing the text on areas of white, we would incorporate the text within the scenes as much as possible. We initially scribbled out a vague plan of how we might do that and went from there. I drew thumbnail sketches for each spread, with a nod to where the blocks of text might sit and then developed them to full size roughs. Each magician has a strong character so that led the composition for each page they were featured on. The story allows for a lot of visual fun and we wanted to exploit that.   
With the inclusion of magic tricks this isn't your standard picture book, how did it differ from others you have worked on?
Because the book is aimed at slightly older readers it gave us scope to be a little more adventurous with the elements we could include, which was great.  As well as the tricks, the book has a sliding pull-up panel on spread one, decorated vignettes throughout and comic book style sequences, borders and digital graphics. My picture book work is almost exclusively hand painted using acrylics but some of the pull out elements, like the backs of the playing cards, I made digitally. It was great to combine all these styles and make them work together.
The pull-out tricks are a wonderful part of the book. Did you enjoy this additional element?
Definitely, yes! Each magician Elliot meets on his journey gives him a magic trick to master, which the reader can learn too. Each trick is housed in a neatly designed envelope or pocket, it was really exciting to have all these extra elements to illustrate. I worked closely with the designer to come up with ways to keep each magician's character running through the items needed for the tricks. So for example, Finn Ayre makes things disappear; his trick is contained in an envelope that pays homage to Magritte's "Empire of Light" painting, with the clouds taking on the forms of the things he'd mistakenly made disappear that day.  Another character Hans Kuff is an escapologist, so we disguised his trick  as a chained and padlocked casket.
Do you have a favourite spread in the book?

I'm particularly fond of the scene inside Cadabra's Magic Shop, which is filled with magicians doing their shopping and has shelves crammed with magical curiosities. At the start of the project I visited Ron MacMillan's International Magic Shop on Clerkenwell Road in London to get some inspiration. It's a wonderful place and the shop in the book is quite similar to the real shop.

To the non-magician the purpose of the equipment on sale is mostly unclear so I tried to keep the items on the shelves odd and mysterious too. However, I found myself being drawn to the more mystical things like phrenology heads and ouija boards. The text only describes the shop as small and busy so I had license to really ramp up the atmosphere, including the magicians and their peculiar stage costumes. 
Did you enjoy working closely with the author, Matt?

Matt and the whole team at Macmillan were great to work with, the project was very fast paced, so we all had to work closely together and really pull things out of the hat, excuse the pun! Matt's enthusiasm for magic is infectious, the first time we met he wowed us all with a magic trick and continued to do so at each meeting after that. This culminated in a trip to the Magic Circle to record the  'How to...' footage, which accompanies the book. Visiting the Magic Circle was a real treat for me, even the sign on the front door gave me a shudder of excitement. Matt and I will be at the Bath Literary Festival this weekend performing tricks together and introducing people to our cast of magicians. I love doing events and live workshops, when you work on your own from your studio it is fantastic to connect with the audience.
What are you working on at the moment?
I've just completed a picture book with authors Adam & Charlotte Guillain for Egmont, which is due for publication next year. This book is set in Fairyland with unicorns and flying cake, which was a fun and challenging departure from dinosaurs and dragons into pink and glitter. But right this minute, I'm immersed in the world of Dino Poop as I'm working on the fifth book in the series.  I'm also enjoying drawing the roughs for another Dragonsitter title by author Josh Lacey, which incredibly, and unashamedly, will be the ninth in the series. I'm thrilled to be working on these books as they get better and better. 
Thank you to Alice Wilkinson & Claire Meiklejohn.
To see Garry's full portfolio at Kids Corner, part of Meiklejohn Illustration, click here. 
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 Animal Alphabets


There's not a great deal of spare time to draw for myself between completing one illustration project and the next and also making sure I'm giving enough attention to my wonderful family and all of the rest of the stuff life brings you, but one drawing project has totally won me over and that is the weekly drawing challenge set by Animal Alphabets on twitter.  Each Monday at 7:30 pm Twitter is engulfed by artists of all abilities submitting to the same animal theme over the course of 26 weeks, enough time to fulfil each letter of the alphabet. This current series is focused on endangered animals and I've been enjoying the combination of drawing and having the chance to showcase the plight of some of the creatures near to extinction on our planet. Check out and join in @animalalphabets on a Monday evening.

 Clockwise from the top; G - Gorilla, E - Echidna, F - (island) Fox, J -Javan Rhino, D - Dugong and H - Hawksbill Turtle.

Here's a link to The WWF.


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 The Tooth Fairy's Royal Visit


The Tooth Fairy has a very special job this evening – the little prince has lost his first tooth! He’s asleep in his bedroom somewhere in the palace. But the palace is so enormous – how will the fairy ever find him? On the way she helps a little old lady to find her missing dentures, and the lady helps the fairy in return. And then it dawns on the fairy that the old lady looks vaguely familiar…

The Tooth Fairy’s Royal Visit is the second book in author Peter Bently's Tooth Fairy series, brilliantly illustrated by Garry Parsons and published by Hodder in March 2017 (hardback) and June 2017 (paperback).

Praise for The Tooth Fairy's Christmas:
'Garry Parsons does the both characters proud with his swirling, atmospheric illustrations.' - Independent
'Lots of fun for young children' - Angels and Urchins



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 World Book Day events

The 2017  World Book Day celebrations took me to 11 schools across the country for assemblies, drawing workshops and book fairs. From Windsor to Peterborough, Leicester to Ipswich, London to Southampton and Harpenden. Thank you to all the schools for inviting me to inspire school children to read, write and draw. It was a ton of fun, we did loads of drawing, dressing up and reading and managed to produced dummy book, a wall hanging and a giant dragon drawing for the hallway of Grove Infants.

I teamed up with  awesome authors Gareth P Jones & Josh Lacey in Southampton and Norwood and also Weinay Tang at Kew Bookshop

The brilliant Anne Marley at Authors Aloud organised events in London, Peterborough and Leicester and got me to the right place at the right time immaculately.

I must mention Hannah Mee at Ipswich Prep who pulled out all the stops to create the best World Book Day 'day' I've ever had where every child and teacher was either dressed as a dinosaur or cavemen, decorated the whole school including the school reception and receptionists and who even made a giant dinosaur egg for the middle of the playground. Hannah also organised an evening  with the Ipswich Children’s Book Group where I was invited to talk (and draw) about my work as an illustrator to the parents and children in one of the local school libraries . Dinosaurs galore! 

If you would like Garry to come and talk or do workshops at your school, college, library or book shop. get in touch! 

Have a look at the VISITS page and email:



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Get your land luvin' hands on a copy of this 'ere frothy and foamy pirate jaunt from Gareth P Jones & Garry Parsons. "Are You The Pirate Captain?" First mate Hugh has got the whole crew and the pirate ship ready, but they can't set sail until they find a captain! Come on this salty adventure as Hugh and his scurvy seadogs try to find the perfect pirate for the job. Rather than a peg leg or a hook, it turns out what their captain needs is the brains to lead!

"Are You The Pirate Captain?" even comes with a sing-a-long sea shanty.

"With its jaunty rhyming telling and gigglesome visuals, this swashbuckling tale, complete with sea shanty is likely to appeal to would-be young sea dogs especially those who enjoy a book where things are not quite as they seem." (Red Reading Hub

"The text bounces along in rhyme, swishing readers along to a satisfying end. It just begs to be read aloud!" (Books for Keeps)

"Revel in the rhythm and rhyme of this colourful tale." (Early Years Educator)

Long listed for the Kate Greenaway Award.

Published by Andersen Press. Paper back out this summer.



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A new four book box set of the best selling space series from Lucy & Stephen Hawking featuring Garry Parsons' interior illustrations and character covers will be available from 6 September in hard cover from Simon & Schuster this year.



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Garry Parsons worked with Iris Worldwide to create these fabulous concepts for Hellmann's online campaign. Garry's vibrant, graphic style was combined with photography to illustrate people's thoughts on the much-loved mayonnaise. To see more of Garry’s work, click here



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Trained as a fine artist, Garry's creativity also includes a body of work using paper, screen printing and ink drawing. You can see his full range of paper cuts at and other work here.

Garry was recently commissioned for the Cheam Street Mural, Nunhead, South East London by Southwark Council.

The Papercuts also formed part of the Annual Pride Art Exhibition 2011 curated by Michael Petry at the Clifford Chance building in London's Docklands. Eight large papercuts were shown alongside two giant pieces specially made for the exhibition space, “From The Fires Of Burnt Lies” and “The Lower World”.

Prints drawings and papercuts are for sale.



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Author Gareth P. Jones and illustrator Garry Parsons lead a rip-roaring dinosaur romp for fans of fun stories and big adventure. Come along for games, ventriloquism, ukulele playing and live drawing at The Telegraph Children's Literature Festival this October.









Fundraising Gala Night at the Bath Children's Literature Festival.

This is your chance to own a unique piece of original art by one of the UK’s best and most popular illustrators. Come along on the night to bid on one of several framed pieces of art – each depicting the famous Bath Children’s Literature Red Chair.

Amazing artists including including Chris Riddell (Goth Girl), Ben Cort(Aliens love Underpants), Nick Sharratt (The Story of Tracey Beaker), Korky Paul (Winnie the Witch), Alison Jay (Welcome to the Zoo),Michael Foreman (War Game) and Axel Scheffler (The Gruffalo) have all donated pieces featuring their own, entertaining interpretation of the Festivals’ iconic red storytelling chair.

Help secure the future of the Bath Festivals internationally renowned programme of popular Festivals and be in with a chance of acquiring a piece of artwork to treasure for your family, school or business.

An Online Auction of many more Artworks will be launched on the night including this piece by Garry Parsons!



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 James McAvoy reads "The Dinosaur That Pooped A Planet" on CBeebies' 500th Story Time episode.

Watch the Bedtime Story. Available for 28 days.

First shown on 9 June 2015.

James McAvoy takes us on a space adventure with Danny and Dinosaur, but when Danny realises he's forgotten Dino's lunch box, the very hungry dinosaur eats everything in sight, including their only way home - the rocket!


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Gareth P Jones and Garry Parsons present The Dinosaurs are Having a Party!

The Blue Peter Book of the Year award-winner and multi award-winning illustrator lead a rip-roaring dino romp.

Come along for party games, balloons, ventriloquism, ukulele playing and live drawing. This event lasts 50 minutes. For ages 3 – 6. Level 5 Function Room at The Royal Festival Hall Tuesday 17th February 2015. Book Tickets Now

Part of the Southbank's Imagine Children's Festival 2015


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 May we introduce you to your lovely art teacher today, say hello to Garry Parsons who is going to teach you how to draw something so lovely that it could make a great design idea for a card for your older relatives. We are sure they will also love to see what a dinoaur looks like when it poops, especially your own version. Garry Parsons has proudly illustrated all of Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter children's books (yes, that's right, that is Tom and Dougie from McFly we are talking about) including The Dinosaur that Pooped ChristmasThe Dinosaur That Pooped a Planet and most recently The Dinosaur That Pooped The Past.

The Guardian "How To Draw…" 

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 Puffin asked Garry to illustrate the popular My Best Fiend series written by Sheila Lavelle and first published in 1979. The series tells how a deceptively innocent looking friend named Angela manages to get Charlie Ellis, who narrates these stories, into constant trouble at home and at school.

Puffin. August 2014.

8-12 yrs.

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 The third pooptastic dinosaur picture book from Tom Fletcher & Dougie Poynter was larger than life at this years Bologna Book Fair and publishes this August. Already receiving poopingly stinky reviews it is set to be another best seller. 

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 Planarama once again commissioned Garry to create artwork for their in store campaign at the British Museum gift shop. This time Garry illustrated a larger than life Viking to tie in with the formidable ‘Vikings - Life and Legend’ exhibition.

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 Garry Parsons was asked by Storytellers Inc to be part of their annual illustration calendar for 2014 and feature in an illustrator Q + A for the month of April. You can read the blog here  and gain an insight into books that have been inspirational to his work and get a glimpse into the mayhem of his studio. The calendar and blog also features Quentin Blake, David Roberts, Sue Hendra, David Lucas and Jessica Ahlberg as you pass through the months of the year. Inspirational company indeed. Thank you Storytellers Inc!

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 Garry was asked by the wonderfully creative people at PLANarama to help them decorate The St Albans Museum gift shop. Garry illustrated a life size Roman Centurian and also created a pair of racing chariots and a colloseum for the Museums donation box. 

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 "Dear Uncle Morton, Ziggy won't move from the linen cupboard. He still hasn't eaten a thing. Not even a Malteser. I'm really quite worried about him."


Eddie had thought that this time dragonsitting would be easy - until Ziggy disappears, only to be found in the linen cupboard, refusing to budge. But moving Ziggy is the last thing on Eddie's mind when he learns that his uncle's dragon has been keeping a big secret .

Published by Andersen 2 May 2013

80pp, 978-1849395717, RRP £4.99, Paperback

8-10 Junior/Middle

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    "The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas" has been unleashed for the festive season. A Dinosaur, Santa and poo mash-up from Dougie Poynter and Tom Fletcher. Better known as members of the band McFly, Tom and Dougie have turned their song writing talents into a hilarious rhyming christmas romp, accompanied by terrific illustration of course! This is really fun this book. Watch the Big Book Babble interview to see the authors and illustrator answer questions from a live audience at from the 4th December 2012 in the chirstmas special.
  • Publisher: Red Fox (25 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849417792
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849417792
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                                                                                             Super naked man Ned is soon to be streaking across the nation with the release of the paperback version of Kes Gray's hilariously naughty picture book "Nuddy Ned". This book is a winner for any kid who enjoys a sprint around the house after bath time complete with cheeky peekaboo flaps.
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens (3 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408836599
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408836590
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 I just love this Chinese edition of Dr Hoof published by Foreign Language Teaching & Research Press in China. 
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 'Dear Uncle Morton. You'd better get on a plane right now and come back here. Your dragon has eaten Jemima. Emily loved that rabbit!’

 "This is a witty and perfectly formed little book that deserves to be read and reread: it packs an extraordinary amount of fun and adventure into its 64 pages and will be enjoyed by readers of all ages." - Books For Keeps

The Dragonsitter has been shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2012.


"...short, sharp and funny."  The Telegraph.

 Josh Lacey talks about the Dragonsitter here.

 Published by Andersen

96pp, 978-1849394192, RRP £4.99, Paperback

8-10 Junior/Middle

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"Movie Maker" or "Filmwerkstatt" in it's German translation, is shortlisted for the German Children’s Literature Award this year. The shortlist will be announced at the Leipzig Book Fair next Thursday. The German Children's Literature Award (Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis) is Germany's only state-sponsored prize for works of fiction. It has been awarded annually since 1956 by a jury of literature specialists and critics in four categories: picture book, children's book, young adult book and non-fiction. The prize announcement and ceremony for all these awards takes place in October at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
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Here are two images from a new series of illustrations I've been enjoying working on. These new artworks are full of texture and retro character, evoking memories of the glory days of the Vaudeville spectaculars in America. These and other recent images can been seen in the commercial gallery.
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Tim and Grk's eighth amazing adventure takes them to the home of pizza, pasta and the leaning tower of Pisa. Here they meet the Duke of Macaroni, a man with a terrible secret which he will do anything to hide.

Grk and the Phoney Macaroni publishes March 2012 from anderson Press.

This is the fourth Grk cover from Garry.

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This is the final image of a wordless picture book retelling the story of Sleeping Beauty. "There Was a Princess Long Ago" has been made for for use digitally through the web and is partnered with a sing-a-long tune for kids to join in with.

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It's been a busy few months but kicking off the 'News'  is a recent project for Nuffield Health featuring four illustrations based on the journey of Route 66.

With an Americana feel, the illustrations will don locker labels, workout logs, posters and T shirts to incentivise gym goers. Bike, run, row or step your way down route 66!To see other projects, recent work and my inspiration, take the link to my illustration blog.