Wild Words

Wild Words is out today! It’s a beautifully interested, easy-to-read little book, perfect for a Christmas present.

Today in Hastings, the sun’s bright, but it’s chilly outside. In the Balkans, this deceptive, watery light would be known as *zubato sunce*, (sun with big teeth). Find more words, from *oplett* – the Norwegian word for the breaks between showers – to *beija-flor*, which is the Portuguese word for hummingbird and means literally ‘kiss flower’. Or my favourite, *Hexenringe*, the German word for the marks left by rings of mushrooms, burned into the earth by witches’ dancing feet when they dance with the devil.

Here’s what Pavilion say about the book. “It’s a celebration of beautiful words from around the world that describe nature, animals and the feelings evoked by the wild. A dip into this book and a deep drink of Yang Sio Maan‘s inspirational illustrations will give you a glimpse into different landscapes and cultures and serve as a little window onto the constantly changing, phenomenal beauty of the wild world.”

Find out more and buy online here

Rock, Paper, Scissors: Simple, Thrifty, Fun Activities to Keep Your Family Entertained All Year Round

My book Rock, Paper, Scissors is out now, published by Quadrille. It’s fun and colourful and packed with all the idiocy usually packed safely away in my head. Learn how to make your own henge, try music hall paper tearing, sculpt paper masks inspired by Billy Childish woodcuts or make Keith Richards-a-like clay heads. Rock, Paper, Scissors is a collection of creative, fun activities families can do with very simple materials and includes art, science experiments, a pinch of geology and a sprinkling of magic. You’ll find it in all the usual shops, online and off….

On A Starry Night: Fun Things to Make and Do From Dusk Until Dawn

On A Starry Night

My new book, On A Starry Night, is out now. It feels a little strange promoting books at a time when so many of us have money or health worries and the country is in the grip of an existential crisis, but this should bring some cheer.

It’s kind of perfect for families in lockdown – the publication timing is spookily spot-on. I’ve brought together crafts, games, recipes and a healthy sprinkling of horror-and-folklore related activities (I just can’t help myself), all perfect for doing after the sun goes down, or in a room with the curtains pulled tight.

I worked in collaboration with the marvellous Jeff Pitcher, who took the colourful, fun-filled photographs that run through the book. They feature my kids Dusty and Arthur, their friends and the gang at Jeff’s adventure playground. I’ll post a gallery of pictures from the book later this week.

I feel a bit weird pointing out that it’s available online, as I really don’t want to add to the burden on our stressed postal services, but there are click-and-collect ways you can get around that. And, if you squint hard enough, it is an essential.

If you’ve got kids of any age, they’ll find something cool to do in there, and, though I say so myself, it makes a really lovely present.

Warriors, Witches, Women

I’m so excited about my upcoming book, Warriors, Witches, Women. I’ve spent this year (and, let’s face it, most of my life) immersed in mythos, fables, ancient religion and feminism, and this is the colourful result. The stories of 50 goddesses, ghosts, and half-monsters, revisited from a modern, feminist perspective, all illustrated sensitively and colourfully by Harriet Lee Merrion. Perhaps most excitingly (for me) is that the amazing Maxine Peake has written an foreword. It’s out in early February, do shout if you’d like a review copy or a chat.

Here’s what ‘they’ say about it.
“Rebel deities, mysterious enchantresses, forces of nature and deciders of fate: these are the demonised and misunderstood heroines of mythology whose tales have been overshadowed, overlooked, twisted and
misremembered, until now…

In ‘Warriors, Witches, Women‘ Kate Hodges brings a fresh perspective to classical mythology and folklore – one that celebrates these colourful female characters as strong, daring individuals and contemporary idols. From feminist fairies to fierce sea-creature, from protective half-human harpies to seductive voodoo goddesses, each character’s story offers an entertaining and provocative fable worthy of our time – placing women firmly in the centre of the narrative.

Available to pre-order in the US, Australia and New Zealand here