(with illustrations by Peter Bailey, Doubleday, 1999; with illustrations by Kevin Hawkes, USA, Knopf, 2000)
The first idea I had for this story turned out to be the first scene in the book: a little boy turning up from nowhere and insisting that he had been a rat. By a natural association of ideas, rats suggested princesses – two in particular, a real one and one from a story. The nicest thing about this book is when grown-ups tell me they’ve been reading it with a child and suddenly, at the same time, they both realise what other story it’s connected to. Naturally, I’m not going to tell you here.