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Our Authors
Wes Magee

A former teacher and headteacher, Wes has been a full-time author since 1989. He has written more than 80 books for young readers including poetry, stories, plays, and picture books. He regularly visits schools nationwide performing his 'Poetry Show' and running writing workshops for children, and for adults.
Mick Manning

Mick Manning (born in Yorkshire, England, 1959) and Brita Granström (born in Eskilstuna, Sweden, 1969) work together as a team sharing the illustration and text. They have been producing award-winning non-fiction picture books for almost twenty years. They show that the best non-fiction for children can be scholarly, albeit with a light touch, and can have some of the imagination-stretching qualities of fiction. They are well known for their exciting performances involving readings and live drawing using overhead camera projection (often involving participation from members of the audience) all mixed with an audio-visual presentation. They appear on a regular basis at major UK book festival venues such as Bath, Cheltenham and Edinburgh International Book Festival. They have appeared at The Royal Society Science Festival and have celebrated The Big Draw at various venues including The Imperial War Museum. They have worked closely to support libraries and schools, performing voluntarily to school classes in the UK and Sweden and have also attended the American Library Conference and visited US schools.Many of Manning & Granström's books are translated into a number of languages, including Chinese, German, Greek, Danish, Japanese, Norwegian, Swedish and Slovakian. For the last 12 years Mick & Brita have created, written and illustrated a monthly 5-page gentle pre-school series called 'Max and Kate' for the critically acclaimed US children's magazine Ladybug.http://www.mickandbrita.com Selection of Franklin Watts books:The World Is Full of Babies! (Smarties Silver Award Winner); What's under the Bed? (TES Award Winner); Wash, Scrub, and Brush (English Association Award KS1 Winner); Stone Age, Bone Age and many other Wonderwise titles; How Did I Begin? (Rhone Poulenc Science prize winner); How Should I Behave?; Seaside Scientist; My Body Book; My Uncle's Dunkirk; Charlie's War Illustrated (English Association Award KS2 Winner); The Story of Britain; The Brontës - Children of the Moors.
Layn Marlow

Layn Marlow gained a first class degree in Illustration from Southampton Solent University, and has been writing and illustrating picture books ever since. Layn's titles have sold over a million copies worldwide and been translated into more than 20 different languages. A Very Strange Creature was shortlisted for the Red House Book Award and Hurry Up and Slow Down won the Never Too Young Coventry Inspirations Book Award in 2010. Layn lives in Hampshire with her family.
Sarah Massini

Sarah Massini is the creator of Zac and Zeb and Books Always Everywhere. Drawing has been a life-long habit that has seen her through careers in corporate design, children's book design and now as an illustrator.
Sheila May Bird

I'm sitting at my desk, in my little blue shed in my garden, thinking, 'how lucky I am to be sitting in my little blue shed in my garden'. It's my favourite place, where I do my favourite thing - writing. I was 50 years old when I had my first book published. My mother always said I'd be a late developer. The first book I wrote was about a big, bad cat called Sam. It was for adults who had lost the ability to read and were learning to read all over again. I didn't envy them. I had enough trouble doing it the first time. Since then Sam, the big bad cat has been rewritten as a children's reading book. Now I have written several learning to read books, picture books and story books and am lucky enough to take my books to schools, read them and talk about them (another one of my favourite things to do). Some of my books have gone to faraway places like, China, Australia, Slovakia and America.A famous writer once said that writing is the most fun you can have on your own. I think he is right. I also think that reading is fun when I'm on my own. I'd rather read a good book than watch the television, though I do watch films, Dr. Who and any science fiction. Oh yes, and absolutely anything to do with the Arthurian legends. I would love to meet Merlin. I think I own almost every book there is about Arthur and the knights of the round table. Perhaps one day I will be fortunate enough to be asked to write something about King Arthur and Merlin - who knows?When I'm not writing I enjoy reading other people's books. I loved all the Harry Potter books and all the films that went with them. I like scary books, funny books and happy books.I have always loved magic. Perhaps that is because my Grandfather was a magician.When I have time I write pantomime scripts, plays and novels for adults. And sometimes I cook, clean, do the washing and spend time weeding the garden!
James Mayhew

James Mayhew studied at Maidstone College of Art and his first children's book, Katie's Picture Show was published in 1989. It's been firmly in print ever since, recognised universally as the original and best introduction to art for children. Many more titles have followed, and the series sells in museums and galleries all over the world, from the Met in New York, to the Uffizi in Florence, the Louvre in Paris and beyond. He is also the creator of the much-loved Ella Bella Ballerina series, and many other titles. Alongside his work in publishing, James has devised and performed in a hugely successful series of concerts for children, combining live classical music, storytelling and live art. From Peter and the Wolf, to Scheherazade, James has worked internationally with many different orchestras and musicians, creating illustrations in time to music. James grew up in Suffolk but now lives in Hertfordshire.
Margaret Mayo

Margaret Mayo is an acclaimed storyteller and author who has been creating stories for children for over 35 years. She has written more than 50 books, including the bestselling Dig Dig Digging, Choo Choo Clickety-Clack! and Stomp, Dinosaur, Stomp! A former teacher, Margaret uses her wide-ranging experience with children in her writing. She lives in Brighton.
Mary Mcquillan

Mary McQuillan has been shortlisted for the Sheffield Children's Book Award twice - the first time for her very first picture book 'Who's Poorly, Too' written by FCBG winner Kes Gray and the second for Cluck O'Clock, again with Kes. This year she was shortlised for the Portsmouth Book Awards for Bare Bear with Miriam Moss. Mary is a highly successful illustrator with a knack for character and humour and her drawing are much beloved by children.She has also illustrates children's wallpaper and textile designs which have been reproduced and sold around the world.
Richard Merritt

Born and bred in North London, award winning artist Richard Merritt has been an illustrator for over 12 years after graduating from Central Saint Martin's college of Art and Kingston University.Richard has worked with many publishing houses, magazines, design groups, advertising agencies and more, on a wide variety of projects, from children's books to packaging, editorial art to costume illustration for film. He recently worked on the Steven Spielberg adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic story, The BFG and has been at the forefront of the adult colouring book trend that has gained popularity across the world.
Tony Mitton

Highly-respected poet Tony Mitton has written many titles for children, including the picture books illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees: Bumpus Jumpus Dinosaurumpus!, Down by the Cool of the Pool, Spookyrumpus (winner of the Sheffield Book Prize, the Dundee Book Award and the Portsmouth Book Award) and Jolly Olly Octopus among many others. In 2014 Tony won the prestigious CLPE Poetry Award for his retelling of Wayland. Tony spends his time writing, giving poetry performances and visiting primary schools. He lives in Cambridge.
Joanna Mockler

Joanna Mockler was born in Stoke on Trent and was brought up in the seaside town of Formby. Joanna's love for drawing was evident from an early age and she went on successfully complete an Art Foundation then an Illustration degree course. Joanna has had many jobs during her time in education however, her main ambition has always been to be an illustrator.Joanna's first book for Orchard is Wibble Wobble a book which charts the adventures of William and his wobbly tooth! (Written by Miriam Moss).Joanna presently lives in Southport with her husband, hamster and cat.
Ciara Molloy Tan

Originally from Ireland, Ciara Molloy Tan now lives on Sydney's Northern Beaches. She was inspired to write HERMIONE AND THE ENORMOUS STORM while going for walks around the rock pools at Long Reef in Collaroy and wondering what was happening below the surface.
Clement C. Moore

Clement C. Moore, an American writer and poet, is best known for this poem, which he wrote for his children and published anonymously in New York's 'Sentinel' on December 23rd 1823
Kwanchai Moriya

Kwanchai Moriya is an illustrator, painter and board game designer. He lives and works in and around Los Angeles
Brian Moses

Brian Moses lives in the village of Etchingham with his wife Anne, a loopy labrador called Honey and a collection of bad-tempered chickens.He first worked as a teacher but has now been a professional children's poet since 1988. To date he has over 200 books published including volumes of his own poetry such as Holding the Hands of Angels (Salt) and Behind the Staffroom Door (Macmillan), anthologies such as The Secret Lives of Teachers and Aliens Stole My Underpants (both Macmillan), picture books such as Beetle in the Bathroom and Trouble at the Dinosaur Cafe (both Puffin) and non-fiction titles such as Titanic: Lost & Saved (Wayland). Over 1 million copies of Brian's poetry books have now been sold by Macmillan and in 2005 he was nominated for both the CLPE Award and the Spoken Word Award. Brian also visits schools to run writing workshops and perform his own poetry and percussion shows. To date he has visited well over 2500 schools and libraries throughout the UK. He has made several appearances at the Edinburgh Festival, been writer in residence at Castle Cornet on Guernsey, on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Light Railway and at RAF schools in Cyprus. Recently he has visited several International schools in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Spain, France and Ireland.He has performed his poetry at Borders on Second Avenue, New York and in September 2006 he was invited to Iceland to take part in 'Kids in the Marsh' - a festival of children's poetry and song. At the request of Prince Charles he spoke at the Prince's Summer School for Teachers in 2007 at Cambridge University. He is one of ten children's poets invited by then Poet Laureate Andrew Motion to feature on the National Poetry Archive.Favourite book: 'Turtle Diary' by Russell Hoban.Favourite Movie: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Favourite Music: Bob Dylan
Miriam Moss

Miriam is an award winning author of over 30 picture books - shortlisted for the Sheffield Children's Book Award with Wibble Wobble and winner of the Experian children's book award. She's also written Scritch Scratch, about nits, and Spotty Dotty, about chickenpox, for Orchard.Miriam grew up in the Africa, China, The Yemen and Bahrain. She taught in the UK and in Kenya before becoming a writer. She has three children and lives in Sussex.
Simon Mugford

After studying the history of everything at Goldsmiths College, Simon worked at the Science Museum making paper aeroplanes and setting fire to hydrogen balloons. Despite being a fully-grown man, his favourite subjects include dinosaurs, robots, rockets, loud music and Star Wars.
Fiona Munro

Fiona has been working in the world of children's books for more than 20 years and in that time has written for all ages. From rhymes to stories, from non-fiction to sticker books, her main aim is to keep children turning the pages and engrossed in what they see.Fiona lives in London with her family and their cat, Boris. They all love to read books apart from Boris who generally prefers to sit on them.
Alison Murray

Alison Murray grew up in Lanarkshire near Glasgow and studied Textile Design at Glasgow School of Art. After graduating she moved to London and did a variety of jobs, including working as a bookseller and rug designer, before completing a MA in Design for Interactive Media at Middlesex University. Having co-founded a successful interactive media company, Alison moved back to Scotland where she now works as a full-time illustrator. She has a string of successful picture books to her name, including Hare and Tortoise and Apple Pie ABC, both shortlisted for the Scottish Children's Book Awards, and Dino Duckling. Alison lives in Glasgow with her husband and their dog.
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