There is no one way of getting ideas. Sometimes they come from something I see which strikes me as being interesting or amusing, and sometimes it can be a play on words, like Dial-a-Croc being crocodile reversed or Passing On meaning both dying and passing things on from one person to another.
The idea for Mr Knuckles was triggered by a story written by one of my students in which a teacher played a trick on his class by wearing an ape suit and teaching a lesson. The thing that struck me was the fact that the teacher seemed to be more effective as an ape than he was normally. I decided to make the central character a gorilla and soon came up with the name Mr Knuckles which gave him a real identity.
The idea for Cat came from reversing the words cat and dog then seeing the potential for a mixture of dramatic tension and comedy which could be developed in the visual text. I remember “holding my breath” and wondering if a series of similar reversals could be sustained for the length of a picture book.