I first started drawing dragons during my time at Edinburgh Zoo, and used them as a vehicle to develop illustration techniques. Dragon
Tangle started out as a Dragon’s Year Calendar based on the medieval ‘Book of Hours’ convention, where illustrations depict typical
countryside activities associated with each month of the year.
After a suggestion by author Tania Connelly, where she described the chaos inflicted by a nor-west gale on a fair in Timaru, the book evolved into a day in the life of two dragons that go to a carnival.
Originally designed without any words at all, Scholastic were reluctant to publish the book without text and I made the great mistake of
using a rhyme, forcing the reader to fly past the very drawings I
wanted them to linger on. We tried to redress this in the paperback by placing a little quiz at the end of the book, encouraging readers to revisit the separate character stories told in the illustrations.
Dragon Tangle won the Choysa Book Award in 1990