fasten your seat belt - here comes Dixie O'Day!

fasten your seat belt – here comes Dixie O’Day!

written by Shirley Hughes, illustrated by me!



I have been beside myself with impatience to share this news, and had to resort to small squeakings when no one could hear…
but now the secret is out!
It’s been on the cards for, oh, YEARS that me and Mum would collaborate. And now – at last – we’ve teamed up.
She has written the most exciting, funniest, sensational series of stories, which are chapter books for young independent readers, all about the adventures of Dixie O’Day and his great friend Percy.
The series is published by Random House Children’s Publishers, and the first book, Dixie O’Day in the Fast Lane, is out in September 2013.

There’s lots to tell.
There are thrilling car chases, dastardly villains, maps, haunted houses, ice-cream sundaes…




(think Tintin meets Wacky Races meet Morecombe & Wise),

and a couple of unlikely heroes I think you’ll love…



but also there’s just me and my Mum, sitting at the kitchen table, working on story lines, reading bits aloud, making each other laugh.

Toot toot!



26 thoughts on “fasten your seat belt – here comes Dixie O’Day!

  1. Looks fab, sounds fab, will definitely be fab! Can’t wait to see more. And what a lovely way for you to share time with your Mum. I am sure the fun you had creating it will just ooze out of the pages into those of us reading it! Lucy x

    • What a lovely comment, thank you so much Lucy! It is just as you say, a lovely way to share time with my Mum. There have been lots of times we could have done this before – but now feels like just the right time. Oh and YES, I really really want the fun to ooze! X

  2. OOOH. This is VERY exciting Clara! Really great news. Only downside it it’s almost a year till they are in our hands and on our bookshelves! I’m sure they will be worth the wait though!

    • Thank you so much for calling by, Zoe, and for your hugely kind and encouraging words! Yes, I wish I didn’t have to wait a year too – but will keep showing little viewings as we are motoring along… X

    • Thank you so much, Jo! Yes, a whole year, sigh… mind you the year speeds past when you’re busy – and even faster when there’s a pile-up of deadlines! X

  3. Perfect timing! My little girl is just becoming independent in her reading, and I know she’ll love these exciting new characters. With the added bonus that I’ll enjoy the snippets she reads to me as we’ll as looking at the pictures with her. I just can’t wait.

    Jude x

    • Hello, Jude! Thank you very much for calling by and for your lovely comments – that is so EXACTLY what Mum and I are after, stories that are both shared and independently read, with a generous helping of pictures to look at along the way. I shall be all agog to hear what she thinks! X

  4. Shirley Hughes wrote the book that turned into me an avid reader. My own daughter has grown up with her books as I have treasured them all (they were posted from a book club – oh the joy when they plopped through the letterbox). My daughter is 6 and therefore will be the perfect age when this gets published. Joy of joys. I wonder how many people now enjoy a love of books because of Hughes/Vulliamy. Can’t wait!

    • Hello Sarah, how lovely that you called by, and thank you so much for your wonderful message! (which I’m afraid was hiding from me here, hence the delay in replying – I’m so sorry)…
      It’s a joy to hear that you associate Mum’s books with a love of reading, for both you and your daughter, and I so hope she likes this one too! Can I show your comment to SH when I see her later on this week?

  5. Absolutely fantastic news! My sisters and I began loving your mother’s books in the late 1960′s with our Mum reading Lucy and Tom’s Day aloud. Then it was my daughters who were so very attached to many of her stories (one knowing the nursery collection by heart at two!) and both loved(and still do) their close book friends, Kim and Carrots and Tom and Small and Ellen and Penguin! How exciting they will find this announcement! My youngest, now 13, reads all the old favorites to our story loving parakeet. I can just see Bluebell pouring over these illustrations with Kate–and I get the great pleasure of peeking in at your characters and hearing the adventures out loud while cooking supper! I can’t wait! Enjoy the process! We will be thrilled to see the end result!

    • Hello Jane, how lovely to hear from you and thank you so much for your lovely comments!
      I’m so happy to hear that both my Mum’s books and mine too have been part of your children’s lives, and that you like the sound of us teaming up on this project. We’ve never had a parakeet in our audience before – I passed this bit of news on to SH and she was thrilled!

  6. Pingback: Curvaceous! | Sunny side up!

  7. Pingback: sensational sidecars | Sunny side up!

  8. Pingback: Author interview: Clara Vulliamy « Keris Stainton

  9. Clara, this looks fabulous! Dastardly adventures and dogs, mums and daughters, beautiful words and beautiful pictures – all perfect combinations xx

    • Thank you so much for visiting, Pippa – but oh no I didn’t spot your message until just now!
      What a lovely and encouraging comment, I’m so glad you like the look of this project. I know you place special value on mums and daughters working together – for obvious reasons! – and I really look forward to talking about this more over the coming months. X

  10. Pingback: Dixie crafty project: part one | Sunny side up!

  11. Can not wait for Dixie O’Day… Partly ‘coz my son is now reading independently, partly because I love Tintin, Wacky Races AND Morcombe and Wise! Love the pictures Clara.
    In the meantime would you mind awfully passing on a message to your Mum. I s’pose it is the first time I’ve written fan mail! The Alfie books are so special to my five year old son and I. My son relates so much to Alfie and we often have ‘conversations’ with the illustrations of him. These conversations have helped my son to navigate his way through being four and five years old, helping him form his own thoughts and ideas and principles, for example, he says ‘that’s not very nice is it Alfie?’ When Bernard tosses the gift of crayons in the air and adds ‘be yourself Bernard, sort yourself out!’ as Bernard misbehaves further in the story. All the books and reading them together have brought such precious memories for us both, like Alfie and his mother on their stroll in ‘Eden’. Alfie and his friends and family will always have a huge place in our hearts.

    Despite some little books I have drawn just for my son and more recently his new baby brother and an MA in art, I seriously can only wonder in awe at you and your mothers sheer talent.

    Thank you for bringing us such joy through your books.


    • Hello Sarah, thank you so much for calling by and for your wonderfully kind words. I am taking this round to my Mum’s house this very lunchtime: I know she will be overjoyed and very touched to hear from you. You describe the special friendship your son has with Alfie really beautifully.
      I would be very happy to think that Dixie might be visiting your family one day soon too! X

      • Wow! I feel so happy you can pass this message on to your Mum for me. We will certainly be welcoming Dixie in to our home. Thank you so much Clara.


        • Hello again! Sorry for the delay… my Mum was chuffed to bits just as I knew she would be, and wrote this in reply…
          Dear Sarah,
          Thank you so much for your encouraging comments, I was immensely pleased to receive them. I particularly enjoyed hearing about your son engaging directly with the characters on the page. How fortunate he and his brother are to be growing up with this wonderful love of books instilled in them from the start!
          Many thanks again and very warmest wishes,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>