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 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.
Nicola Barber is an experienced author and editor of children's non-fiction books.
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.
Sonia is an Italian illustrator specializing in illustration for children. She lives in the north of Italy in a small town near Bergamo. She always loved to draw and this led her to attend a school in Florence where she studied illustration. Sonia has worked on a vast array of illustration projects: children's books, flap books, educational books, game books, toys, stickers and covers. She loves working on all sorts of different projects, her favourite things being drawing animals and using lots of colour!
Nicola Barber is an experienced author and editor of children`s non-fiction books.
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 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.
Angela Barrett completed a Masters Degree at the Royal College of Art, London and was taught by Quentin Blake. Upon leaving, Angela turned almost immediately to illustration as a career.Her first book was The King, The Cat and The Fiddle, for A&C Black, which was runner up in the Mother Goose Award in 1984. Since then, Angela has illustrated titles and designed book covers for well over 30 titles. Recognition of her work came with the Smarties Prize in 1988 for Can It Be True?, the WH Smith Illustration Award in 1991 for The Hidden House and being shortlisted for the Kurt Maschler Award in 1984 and 1989 and the Kate Greenaway Medal in 1993 for Beware, Beware!The Orchard Book of Stories from the Ballet and The Orchard Book of Shakespeare Stories are exquisitely illustrated by Angela and are regarded as definitive collections. Angela has become a leading figure in illustration and her unique talent is recognised internationally. Her artwork regularly features in exhibitions and is highly collectable. Angela lives in London.
Alex is the artist side of the author and illustrator team that created A Possum's Tail (nominated for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal) and London Calls. He also draws for children's magazine OKIDO.
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.
Ian Beck is a popular illustrator of children's books and his work appears frequently in magazines and advertisements. He has designed the jackets of many adult novels including all the Penguin editions of David Lodge and the Alice Thomas Ellis books.Ian's first book for Orchard was Five Little Ducks, which was so successful that a 'Big Book' format was published. The Ugly Duckling and The Orchard Book of Fairy Tales followed and Ian also contributed illustration to The Orchard Book of Opera Stories. Ian has also illustrated The Orchard ABC and Little Angel written by Geraldine McCaughrean.Ian Beck lives in Richmond, Surrey with his wife and three children and keeps in close touch with children through frequent visits to schools and libraries.
David is the author of over 60 children's books for all preschool and primary ages. David's books include best-selling picture books such as 'Big Bear Little Bear' and 'The Dinosaur Games', and 'The Team' football fiction series.Babies Don't Bite is his first book for Hodder.David was born in Devon, grew up in Warrington, and settled in Norfolk, where he lives by the sea with his family. David had an early successful career as a genetic engineer making newfangled antibiotics, before retiring from science at the very early age of 27! He now spends a lot of his time swimming in the sea, doing Tai Chi, cooking for his increasingly demanding family, visiting schools, libraries and festivals - and writing.
Peter studied languages at Oxford and has two young children. He is the author of the bestselling Lark in the Ark (shortlisted for Red House Book Award) and the hilarious The Great Bottom Swap (rated 5 stars on Mumsnet). He recently won the American Library Association Notable Book of the year with King Jack and the Dragon and in 2011 he won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize with Cats Ahoy!
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.
Ana Bermejo hails from Spain. More specifically, a small town in the North. Sounds nice doesn't it? But actually it's a bit boring. Which is why she moved to Valencia, home of paella, partying and a rather good Art School. It was here that Ana really learnt to draw. She liked drawing goats, unicorns and deer. And she still does (well, goats are pretty cool). Anyway, not content with 5 years at Art School, she came to London to study some more. This time at St Martins. And that was that. She became an illustrator/designer. Nowadays Ana resides in Manchester. There aren't any goats or deer and certainly no unicorns but there are plenty of squirrels. And they're nice to draw too. So she's happy.
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 is an experienced children's author and editor. She specializes in history and contemporary issues.
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.
Michaela Blassnig is a Brisbane-based illustrator who has worked on various film, character design and book projects. The critically acclaimed HERMIONE ANEMONE AND THE ENORMOUS STORM was her first picture book with Lothian Children's Books.