Related to: 'Sunburst'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Jane Simmons

Jane Simmons is a uniquely talented award-winning illustrator and author, and the creator of some of our best-loved children’s books. Here she talks to Graham Marks about boats, motorbikes and making a mess, as well as her words, her art and her latest picture book, Lily Gets Lost.

Hodder Children's Books


Nicholas Fisk
Nicholas Fisk

When the Starstormers accidentally blast off into space they head for the relative safety of the strange and unwelcoming planet of Volcano. Here they are delighted to be joined by their old allies - the veils of Moloch - who prove surprisingly useful. But they soon discover that the Octopus Emperor - determined to enslave or destroy them - is still pursuing them relentlessly. And under his influence the planet and its inhabitants are becoming increasingly hostile. Finally, Ispex comes up with a plan to destroy the Emperor once and for all. Something so far-fetched that it might just work. But is there time before the Tyrannopolis battleship strikes its final, fatal blows? And can the Starstormers make the huge sacrifice the plan demands?

Hodder Children's Books

Evil Eye

Nicholas Fisk
Nicholas Fisk
Hodder Children's Books


Nicholas Fisk
Nicholas Fisk

Built to take the four children to join their parents on Epsilon Cool, Starstormer is showing dangerous signs of wear and tear - and the vehicle of their escape is now their prison. The Starstormers have been forced to leave Epsilon Cool to evade the Octopus Emperor's intention of employing them in his workforce, and the failings of their homemade spaceship contribute to the strained atmosphere on board. As tensions rise, distraction suddenly appears in the shape of a stowaway: a tousled, spiky, wet, filthy kitten. Cleaned up (and given a name), Fang, he entertains the children with his antics. But not for long! Starstormer is once again under attack - and Fang plays an amazing part in the great battle in space ...

Hodder Children's Books


Nicholas Fisk
Nicholas Fisk

Four children, Vawn, Ispex, Tsu and Makenzi live in a boarding school on Earth, while their parents are busy building a colony on the planet Epsilon Cool. It has been years since they last saw their parents - perhaps they never will. Bored and frustrated, they decide to build their own spaceship out of parts salvaged from a spacecraft junkyard. They name their ship Starstormer and blast off. Weeks later, soaring through space on route to Epsilon Cool, they come across an ancient colony ship from earth called the Conqueror. The inhabitants have developed a strange religion, worshipping the "Glorious Ones," whoever they are. Ispex is first to figure out that there is great peril here for the Starstormers. The first book in Nicholas Fisk's exciting series, first published in the 1980s and warmly remembered by fans to this day.

Adam Blade

Adam Blade is the name for a small collective of authors who have been writing the bestselling series Beast Quest and Sea Quest for ten years! Beast Quest has now sold over 10 million copies. The newest series from the Adam Blade team is called Team Hero - it launched in Summer 2017. You can find out more about all these amazing adventures at the series websites: and

Alex T. Smith

Author-illustrator Alex T. Smith is the award-winning creator of the bestselling Claude series, which is published in 16 languages worldwide, and begins airing as a TV show on Disney Junior in 2018. Alex's newest series, Mr Penguin, launched in 2017, to widespread praise. Alex's quirky, witty writing and illustrations are instantly recognisable, critically-acclaimed and as popular with adults as children. Alex is also widely-praised for his work illustrating children's classics: he won Children's Book of the World Illustration Award 2016 for his illustrations in a new edition of Dodie Smith's The Hundred and One Dalmatians; he has created new art for books by Enid Blyton, Eva Ibbotson and Richmal Crompton. Alex has collaborated with Watership Down author Richard Adams on his last book, Egg Box Dragon, as well as David Almond, and Juno Dawson. Alex has won the UKLA Picture Book Award and the Sainsbury's Children's Book Award, and been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Award. He was the official World Book Day illustrator in 2014.

Andy Stanton

Andy Stanton has written eight books about Mr Gum, along with further successful fiction and picture book titles. He was overall winner of the Red House Children's Book Award for You're a Bad Man, Mr Gum! and won the inaugural Roald Dahl Funny Prize for Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear. He has twice won the Blue Peter Book Award for Best Book With Pictures, and been shortlisted for a host of other awards.

Becky Cameron

Becky Cameron is a British author and illustrator from sunny Sheffield. She graduated in 2012 from Sheffield Hallam University with a first class degree in Graphic Design and Illustration and has just completed an MA in Children's Book Illustration at the prestigious Cambridge School of Art. She was highly commended in the Macmillan Prize during her MA.Wishing for a Dragon is Becky's first picture book. As well as drawing and picture books she also loves cats, Kate Bush, moleskine sketchbooks, walking up hills and spends much too much time on twitter and instagram. She dislikes pigeons, slugs in the bathroom and being late for things. She lives in Oxfordshire.

Caroline Lawrence

Caroline Lawrence is American. She lives with her husband by the river in London and is active as a speaker in schools and at book festivals. She took part in the British Museum's POMPEII LIVE event, giving talks that were streamed to schools all over the UK, and she is the winner of the 2009 CLASSICS ASSOCIATION PRIZE for 'a significant contribution to the public understanding of Classics'. In addition to the 17 novels in the ROMAN MYSTERIES sequence, Caroline Lawrence has written five spin-off titles, all of which have contributed to total UK sales in excess of 1 million copies. Visit Caroline's website at and follow her on Twitter @CarolineLawrenc.

Cressida Cowell

Cressida Cowell is the author and the illustrator of the bestselling How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once book series, and the author of the Emily Brown picture books, illustrated by Neal Layton. How to Train Your Dragon has sold over 8 million books worldwide in 38 languages. It is also an award-winning DreamWorks film series, and a TV series shown on Netflix and CBBC. The first book in Cressida's new series, The Wizards of Once (also signed by DreamWorks), is a number one bestseller.Cressida is an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and the Reading Agency, a Trustee of World Book Day and a founder patron of the Children's Media Foundation. She has won numerous prizes, including the Gold Award in the Nestle Children's Book Prize,the 2017 Ruth Rendell Award for Championing Literacy, the Hay Festival Medal for Fiction, and Philosophy Now' magazine's 2015 Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity. She grew up in London and on a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland and she now lives in Hammersmith with her husband, three children and a dog called Pigeon.

Daisy Meadows

Daisy Meadows is the author of the bestselling series Rainbow Magic and Magic Animal Friends. Her books have sold over 30 million copies worldwide.You can find out all about her magical stories and much more at the series websites: and

David Melling

David Melling has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Smarties Book Award and the Independent Booksellers Award. His Hugless Douglas books have sold over 1.4 million copies worldwide, and the loveable brown bear has starred in a World Book Day book as well as his own theatre show. Before becoming an internationally acclaimed author-illustrator, David worked as an animation artist for films including the much-loved Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs. One of his most popular picture books The Tale of Jack Frost was animated and shown on BBC1 on Christmas Day.

Ellie Sandall

Ellie loved drawing from an early age and has a passion for picture books (she keeps her collection in a huge wardrobe in her studio!) After competing a degree in Graphic Design at Bath Spa University, she became interested in drawing and writing specifically for children, and went on to achieve a Master's degree in Children's Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art. As a child, her favourite picture book was The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and she still loves the work of Eric Carle. In her spare time Ellie loves to get stuck into some DIY or go out in her kayak, and she dreams of one day owning her very own sausage dog.

Enid Blyton

Enid Blyton's books have sold over 500 million copies and have been translated into other languages more often than any other children's author.She wrote over 600 books and hundreds of short stories, including favourites such as The Famous Five,The Secret Seven, The Magic Faraway Tree, Malory Towers and Noddy. Born in London in 1897, Enid lived much of her life in Buckinghamshire and adored dogs, gardening and the countryside. She died in 1968 but remains one of the world's best-loved storytellers.

Enid Richemont

Although I've lived for most of my life in north London, I was born and grew up in South Wales. My mum read to me a great deal,and I think it was from her that I developed my love of language. I also enjoyed drawing and painting, and eventually won a scholarship to study at Dublin College of Art.When I came back from Eire, I first worked as a teacher in a Rudolf Steiner school. Then I came to London and took a number of strange jobs, including reading aloud to a blind writer and typing out his manuscript. The typewriter I'd hired to do this had some paid-for time left, so I used it to write a short story which I sold to a women's magazine. It became the first of many, and the beginning of a successful career. While my children were growing up, I stopped writing, and started a small design business, making screen-printed puppet theatres, flying saucers and playhouses that looked like medieval battle tents.Work took us to Paris, where we lived for two years, and where, incidentally, I first encountered the Romanian gipsy girl who features in my novel, FOR MARITSA WITH LOVE (Simon&Schuster).My first children's book, THE TIME TREE (Walker Books) grew out of a story I told my daughter and her best friend to pass the time on a very long walk (the original idea came from a TV programme I'd watched about teaching children with hearing problems). The girls begged me to write it down so that they could read it for themselves - so I did. This book is currently being marketed as a film series by Wild Thyme Productions.TO SUMMON A SPIRIT (Walker Books), was one of the Pick of the Year titles listed in the Children's Book Award. I'm now published in the USA and Australia as well as the UK, and my work has been translated into Danish, German and Japanese.My first book for Franklin Watts was PLOP CITY, a book about bird poo which continues to be loved, especially by small boys. I have two copies of the Arabic version

Izzi Howell

Izzi Howell is the author and editor of over fifty children's books. She lives in East Sussex and enjoys learning languages, cooking and travelling around Europe.

Jan Burchett

Jan and Sara were already friends when one day they decided they wanted to write children's stories and it would be more fun to write them together. That was 18 years ago. Since then they've written over 160 stories - including some about ghosts, football, ghosts playing football and naughty gargoylz. Jan lives in Essex with her family and Sara lives in London with hers. They both have black cats who completely rule their lives. For more information, please visit Jan and Sara's website and follow them on Twitter at Keep up-to-date with the Sam Silver: Undercover Pirate blog at

John C. Miles

John. C Miles began his fascinating journey of discovery in Toronto, Canada where he trained as a classical musician. Moving to the UK, he spent many years as a parasite on the broad back of London whilst working as a children's non-fiction editor. Like Anthony à Wood, he is a snapper up of unconsidered historical trifles and has spent many years studying the past and wondering how and why. He now lives near Bath, growing parsnips, taking photographs with his collection of vintage film cameras and dressing as an 18th-century pirate.

Kendare Blake

Kendare Blake is an import from South Korea who was raised in the United States. She received a Bachelor's degree in Business from Ithaca College and a Master's degree in Writing from Middlesex University in London. She brakes for animals, the largest of which was a deer, which sadly didn't make it, and the smallest of which was a mouse, which did, but it took forever. Amongst her likes are Greek Mythology, rare red meat and veganism. She also enjoys girls who can think with the boys like Ayn Rand, and boys who scare the morality into people, like Bret Easton Ellis.

Mick Gowar

Mick has written or edited more than 100 books for children and young people. He visits schools, libraries, colleges and festivals throughout the UK and abroad to give readings, performances and lead workshops.