Helen Stephens ‘Hiding Lions’ Snowdog

Snowdog Hiding Lions

Helen Stephens writes and illustrates picture books, draws live for huge crowds of children at book festivals, and to relax walks her dog Peggy on the beach. Who better to design a giant Snowdog sculpture?

The children’s book illustrator and author designed a giant Snowdog sculpture for the Great North Snowdogs Art Trail. Helen Stephens Hiding Lions Snowdog sculpture is decorated with characters from her latest picture book – How to Hide a Lion.

Helen Stephens Hiding Lions Snowdog

Helen shares images of her Snowdog Hiding Lions and discusses her earliest memory of Raymond Briggs The Snowman™ and The Snowman and The Snowdog movie.

Helen Stephens Hiding Lions Snowdog right side profile view

‘Hiding Lions’ Snowdog right side profile view

'Hiding Lions' Snowdog left side profile view

‘Hiding Lions’ Snowdog left profile view


Helen Stephens ‘Hiding Lions’ Snowdog portrait

How did you first get into visual arts?

When I was about four years old, I announced to my parents that I was going to go to art school. I never wavered from that certainty, it’s all I wanted to do. When I was nineteen I got a place at Glasgow School of Art, where I decided to study illustration.

Describe your earliest memory of The Snowman™ and The Snowdog.

The Snowman™ has been a big part of my life, I was 10 when I first saw it. I remember seeing those soft coloured pencil drawings and that beautiful muted palette, mixed with an incredibly moving story and it was completely enchanting. I have never forgotten that magic.

It was so inspiring for a young artist, and I still hope that one day ‘How to Hide a Lion’ will become an animation. Then, when The Snowman and the Snowdog was released I was worried that some of that charm might be lost with the modern animation process, but happily, not. I am eager to watch the animation of Raymond Briggs Ethel and Ernest.

What project are you working on now?

I am illustrating a Christmas book, which is such a treat. When I’ve finished that I am going to be illustrating a book of Fairy Tales, a lifelong ambition of mine. Then, after that another in the ‘How to Hide a Lion’ series. All good stuff!


Be sure to catch ‘Hiding Lions’ and over 60 other giant Snowdog sculptures at the Great North Snowdogs Art Trail Farewell Weekend this December. Love the ‘Hiding Lions’ Snowdog? Check out Helen Stephens website for more!

Snowdog Art Trails

Snowdog Art Trails