Q: How did the idea for the story of What the Ladybird Heard come about?
I was walking in the countryside with my youngest son and we were reminiscing about when he was a little boy. At an age when children are just learning to read, his teacher had given the class an exercise matching up animal noises with animal pictures, but because most of the children couldn’t yet read, the activity went comically wrong.
The hen hissed instead of clucking and the dog miaowed and so on. I thought it would be lovely to somehow use this idea of animals making the wrong noises in a story and my son, now a young man, suggested animals playing a trick on the farmer.