Belated Apology (names have been changed)

He wasn’t Mr Sand


He never stood a chance with us,

He wasn’t Mr Sand.

Mr Sand was smooth and smiley,

Mr Halt was tall and wiry.

Not one of us ever accidentally called him ‘Daddy’.


No one learned to sign his name with eyes closed.

There was no loopy ‘A’ which must have stood for something special.

Mr Halt had writing that was spiky.

He looked a bit like Jesus on the telly.


He loved Art, our walls filled up with colour.

We thought it made the room feel slightly colder.

He even let us use his special camera

but we were not drawn in.

And once he found a baby toad, and showed us.

He had a beard, we muffled our excitement.


He wasn’t Mr Sand, he couldn’t thaw us.

We passed his unkind nicknames on

to help his new class carry on.




His new class really tried hard not to like him,

But there was very little not to like.

And soon the room was feeling warm and bright.

They said he often smiled and even laughed,

And someone said that someone accidentally called him ‘Daddy’.




The Unstoppable Maggie McGee


“… I love this story! It’s beautifully told and I love the way it shows the power of the imagination to take you wherever you want to go….a great story [which] has something to say to all children…”

Malorie Blackman, Children’s Laureate 2013-2015 




Praise for Don't Panic, Annika!


“a reassuring read that your child will relate to and love” Parents in Touch


“a fun read aloud… full of life” Books for Keeps


“the rhythmic text… and the imaginative illustrations make for a lovely read”           Primary Times


“a great story to encourage independence and confidence … ” Carousel                                


A non-panicking Annika
A non-panicking Annika