index
Our Authors
Steve Backshall

Steve Backshall is well-known as a TV presenter, wildlife enthusiast and explorer. He travels the world to learn about the most inspiring animals, from boxing mantis shrimp to charging tigers. Steve also regularly writes articles for newspapers and magazines including the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELER and BBC WILDLIFE and is an inspirational public speaker.Steve's website is www.stevebackshall.com, and you can follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stevebackshallofficial and on Twitter @SteveJBackshall.
Jacqui Bailey

Jacqui Bailey has spent a lot of her adult life working with children's books. She has been an editor and publisher of everything from picture books to encyclopedias, but mostly enjoys finding out amazing bits of information and then writing about them. She particularly likes writing about science, as the information so often turns out to be far stranger than fiction.
Aaron Balick (Dr)

Aaron Balick is a psychotherapist, author, academic and media contributor. He's got a passion for taking ideas from the world of psychology and making them understandable so as many people can benefit from them as possible. Aaron has worked with both young people and adults and is really keen to share what he has learned. He does this through blogging, tweeting, writing books, and being on Radio 1's "Surgery with Aled" as their resident psychotherapist.
Carol Ballard

Dr Carol Ballard has written several children's books on human biology and health. A specialist in primary science, she currently teaches science, mathematics and geography in primary school.
Nicola Barber

Nicola Barber is an experienced author and editor of children's non-fiction books.
Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is the number one New York Times bestselling author fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse. With over one million copies sold, her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone trilogy, the Six of Crows duology and The Language of Thorns. She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood, where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.Find her website at www.leighbardugo.com and follow her on Twitter @lbardugo.
Nicola Barker

Nicola Barber is an experienced author and editor of children`s non-fiction books.
Steve Barlow

As 50% of the Two Steves, Steve Barlow has written over 160 books with Steve Skidmore since their first published work appeared in 1988. Born in Crewe, he was educated at Crewe Grammar School, Warwick University and Nottingham University before a varied career in teaching, acting, stage management and puppetry. He worked in a village school in Botswana for four years before returning to the UK and working with Steve Skidmore. The Two Steves tour extensively in the UK and overseas, and are frequent visitors to book festivals including Edinburgh and Hay. Their work for Hachette includes the highly popular I Hero and Crime Team choose-your-adventure books, and their I Horror series is raising the short hairs at the back of readers' necks with Orchard Books.
Kay Barnham

Kay Barnham was born in Barrow-in-Furness, grew up in Carlisle, went to college in Brighton, and lived in Hove for a while, before sailing for Kinsale, Co Cork, popping back to Hove and then moving to the New Forest with her husband and daughter. And never at any point has she lived more than ten miles from the sea. She began working in children's publishing in 1992. She was an editor first of all, working on illustrated non-fiction and learning fun facts like how long it would take to walk to the moon - nine years - and how to spell palaeontology. Next, she commissioned fiction titles, editing picture books, storybooks and novels. And then she got the chance to write her own books, which she thinks is quite the best job ever. Except possibly being a chocolatier. She writes non-fiction as Kay Barnham. Her specialist subjects include ice-skating, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, lightning, fairies, Roald Dahl, Sir Isaac Newton, Christmas, dolphins, Florence Nightingale and very bad cracker jokes. And chocolate.She also writes fiction as Kay Woodward, including the Skate School series for Usborne and the novels Jane Airhead and Wuthering Hearts for Andersen Press. Altogether, she's written about a hundred books. Her favourite colour is navy blue. Her favourite chocolate is 85% cocoa solids.
Alison Bartlett

Alison studied illustration at Anglia College of Art in Cambridge and began an M.A. At Kingston University. In 1993 she was shortlisted for the Macmillan Prize for Oliver's Vegetables. She lives in Bristol with her young son..
Janine Beacham

A former journalist, Janine Beacham has written all her life. She has always loved fairy tales and fantasy, and as a child would make up games for her friends to play at school. Janine once entered a competition where the prize was a real-life butler - which partly inspired the secret society of butlers in the Rose Raventhorpe Investigates series. Janine lives in Western Australia with her family.
Ava, Lilli and Nick Beese

Ava Beese is seven years old. When she was two, her dad Nick posted a YouTube video of her signing with her mum over dinner. It went viral, was watched almost 1.5 million times, and was picked up by BBC News. The videos her family still post of their BSL dinner chats continue to receive tens of thousands of hits.Ava's mum, Lilli Beese, is a BSL interpreter, television presenter and trainee psychologist. Ava's dad, Nick Beese, is a designer and former captain of Great Britain's deaf football team. Together, Nick and Lilli founded support group Deaf Parents Deaf Children. They regularly campaign on deaf issues.
Ava, Nick and Lilli Beese

Ava Beese is seven years old. When she was two, her dad Nick posted a YouTube video of her signing with her mum over dinner. It went viral, was watched almost 1.5 million times, and was picked up by BBC News. The videos her family still post of their BSL dinner chats continue to receive tens of thousands of hits.Ava's mum, Lilli Beese, is a BSL interpreter, television presenter and trainee psychologist. Ava's dad, Nick Beese, is a designer and former captain of Great Britain's deaf football team. Together, Nick and Lilli founded support group Deaf Parents Deaf Children. They regularly campaign on deaf issues.
Lilli Beese

Ava Beese is seven years old. When she was two, her dad Nick posted a YouTube video of her signing with her mum over dinner. It went viral, was watched almost 1.5 million times, and was picked up by BBC News. The videos her family still post of their BSL dinner chats continue to receive tens of thousands of hits.Ava's mum, Lilli Beese, is a BSL interpreter, television presenter and trainee psychologist. Ava's dad, Nick Beese, is a designer and former captain of Great Britain's deaf football team. Together, Nick and Lilli founded support group Deaf Parents Deaf Children. They regularly campaign on deaf issues.
Lynne Benton

Lynne Benton was born in Bournemouth, but moved to Bath at 18 to train as a teacher, and has lived there ever since. She has taught in several primary schools in the area, as well as working as pianist and receptionist in a Dancing school and bringing up four children. In 1982 she and her husband, Robin, a fellow-teacher and composer, co-wrote a musical play for primary schools based on the story of Jason and the Golden Fleece (still, happily, in print) but it was only when their children began leaving home for university that she began writing seriously. In 1996 she was a prizewinner in the Independent's Children's Story of the Year competition, and since then has had several fiction books published. As well as writing longer novels for older children she enjoys writing humorous "bite-size" stories for younger ones. She welcomes invitations to go into schools and talk to children about her books, since it keeps her in touch with her readers, who she finds a continual source of inspiration.
Alex Bertie

Alex Bertie is a 21-year-old transgender YouTuber from rural Dorset. While attending school aged 14, he started making videos on sexuality and gender identity, continuing to do so with weekly uploads. His YouTube channel, TheRealAlexBertie, now has almost 300,000 subscribers, he has 72,000 Instagram followers and 47,000 Twitter followers.Alex has worked with organisations such as Childline and Stonewall, and has been recognised by the Independent, YouTube magazine TenEighty and trans publication FTM Magazine.
Jane Bingham

Jane Bingham is an experienced children's author and editor. She specializes in history and contemporary issues.
Sophie Blackall

Sophie Blackall is the illustrator of many picture books, including Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear - winner of the prestigious Caldecott Medal. She lives with her family in New York, but keeps an eye on lighthouses for sale, just in case.
Andy Blackford

After leaving Oxford with a degree in politics, philosophy and economics, Andy disappointed nearly everyone by joining a rock band.The band disappointed the record buying public and he moved to Amsterdam where he was employed to realise the questionable ambitions of visiting American musicians.He returned to London to become a music publisher and then a professional skateboarder.His friend the editor Susan Hill encouraged him to write and there followed a number of books on implausibly disparate subjects. He won the Independent/Scholastic Children's Story of the Year competition with Spare Bear, which involved drinking champagne with Andrew Marr (the awards ceremony, not the story). Since then he has written over twenty titles, mainly for younger children and including the Little Joe trilogy.He is also the author of books on scuba diving and ultra-marathon running, as well as a (not very) grown-up novel, Accrual World.However, his most likely qualification for immortality so far is the advertising jingle, Um Bongo, Um Bongo, they drink it in the Congo.Andy invented the NatWest Piggies, has run across the Sahara Desert, ridden horses through the Atlas Mountains and these days tries to suppress an unhealthy interest in fast motorcycles.He is a mitra with the Triratna Buddhist Community, teaching meditation to prisoners in a high-security prison. He lives in the country with his wife, an English teacher, and their daughter.
Rachel Blount

Rachel Blount was born and grew up in Worcestershire. She has worked in children's publishing for over a decade as an author and editor of children's books.