The story behind Cat Dog

Illustrated by Mark Teague

Many years ago, when my American editor, Allyn Johnston came to visit she saw a certain book on my shelves… Hmmm! Early in my career I’d written a few school readers for an educational publisher, and this was one of them. It was called A Cat Called Kite. A school reader is never as good as a ‘real’ book for little kids, but AJ saw that it had potential. I re-wrote the text (it’s my shortest book so far) and then we tussled over the illustrations, which are superb. The page turns proved to be crazily difficult, which you’ll understand if you look at the finished book. The whole process took eight unbelievable years. The patience and mellowness of Mark Teague, the illustrator, was saintly. I can’t thank him enough.  Kiss, kiss, Mark!