(Illustrations by Ian Beck, Transworld, 2000)
Puss in Boots was my first collaboration with Ian Beck, and I hope it won’t be the last. I wrote this first as a play for the Polka Children’s Theatre in Wimbledon, and then I made it into the text for a picture book, because Ian wanted to do a version of Puss in Boots, and I always wanted to work with him. I had great fun with the story, and the pictures are gorgeous.
Aladdin is another story I’ve always loved. When the story is already so strong, you can play with it without fear of damaging it. You have to respect the shape of the original, though, and not change anything important. What you change is the language, the emphasis, the point of view; and what you put in are jokes.