SNEEZING robots hit the shelves this autumn thanks to a Devon author and illustrator.

The new picture book, ‘Robo-Snot’, is created by author Amy Sparkes and illustrator Paul Cherrill and published by Scholastic.

The book is very much a Devon product, with author Amy Sparkes living in Tiverton, and Paul Cherrill based in Exeter.

“At first I didn’t realise that Paul lived so close,” says Amy.

“Most of the illustrators I work with live miles away so it’s been wonderful to be able to meet up with Paul, talk about the book and sign copies together.”

‘Robo-Snot’ is a laugh-out-loud story about a little robot who sneezes for the first time in the history of robotkind.

“You can imagine the shock when a robot starts sneezing,” says Amy.

“He shoots to fame, determined not to share his snot. But just as he realises that too much snot can be a bit of a problem, all the other robots start sneezing too.”

Paul enjoyed illustrating the book.

“Robots and snot – what more could an illustrator ask for as a source of inspiration?” he says.

“With endless possibilities, it was a joy bringing Amy’s fun-filled text to life and creating such an appealing children’s book.”

Amy is a big supporter of baby charities and five per cent of author royalties from ‘Robo-Snot’ is being donated to Ickle Pickles.

“Ickle Pickles is a wonderful charity which donates life-saving equipment to neonatal units across the country,” says Amy.

“I’m delighted that ‘Robo-Snot’ will be helping raise funds for them. You can visit to find out more about the charity.”

To celebrate the launch of the book, Scholastic have organised a ‘Design-A-Robot- competition to win a copy of the book.

Children are invited to send in their own robot designs - the snottier the better. 

The winner will be picked by Paul and Amy.

Entries should be sent to: Design a Robot – Publicity, Scholastic Limited, Euston House, 24 Eversholt Street, London, NW1 1DB. Entries should include an email address.

Paul offers this advice for a winning robot design: “We are looking for imaginative uses of everyday metal machines and electrical appliances. Think cogs, buttons, wires, nuts, bolts and wheels.

"Lots of my inspiration for Robo-Snot came from a photo and sketching to the local junk yard! You could have a washing machine for a body and television for a head and bendy hoover hoses for arms and legs. Make it fun.”

The deadline for entries is November 14 and drawings cannot be returned. For more information on Amy and Paul, go to and