Related to: 'Andrew Sachs'

Orion Children's Books

Summer Holiday Mystery

Kelly Willoughby, Holly Willoughby
Authors:
Kelly Willoughby, Holly Willoughby
Orion Children's Books

She Is Not Invisible

Marcus Sedgwick
Authors:
Marcus Sedgwick

Prize-winning author Marcus Sedgwick explores obsession, trust and coincidence in this page-turning thriller about 16-year-old Laureth Peak's mission to find her missing father. A mission made all the more difficult by one fact: Laureth Peak is blind.Laureth's father is a writer. For years he's been trying, and failing, to write a novel about coincidence. His wife thinks he's obsessed. Laureth thinks he's on the verge of a breakdown. He's supposed to be doing research in Austria, so when his notebook shows up in New York, Laureth knows something is wrong.On impulse, she steals her mother's credit card and heads for the States, taking her strange little brother Benjamin with her. Reunited with the notebook, they begin to follow clues inside, trying to find their wayward father. But the challenges and threats that lie ahead are even tougher for Laureth than they would be for any other teenager - because Laureth has no vision to guide her.Also available as an audio book, read from braille by Anna Cannings.

Orion Children's Books

The Invisible Boy

Sally Gardner
Authors:
Sally Gardner

Orion Children's Books

Operation Bunny

Sally Gardner, David Roberts
Contributors:
Sally Gardner, David Roberts

Emily Vole makes headline news in the first weeks of her life, when she is found in an abandoned hatbox in Stanstead Airport. Then, only a few years later, her neighbour Mrs String dies leaving Emily a mysterious inheritance: an old shop, a small bunch of golden keys and a cat called Fidget. In the shop Emily discovers drawers full of fairy wings and the beginning of an adventure of a lifetime as the old Fairy Detective Agency comes back to life. It is up to Emily to reopen the shop, and recall the fairies to duty. Together they must embark on their first mystery to find Emily Vole's real parents and do battle with their great fairy-snatching enemy, Harpula.Read by Simon Russell Beale. Simon Russell Beale has starred on stage, screen and TV and has been described as one of the greatest stage actors of his generation. He has been in numerous roles for The Royal Shakespeare Company and has won the Lawrence Olivier Theatre Award 3 times. In 2003 he was appointed a CBE. In 2008 Simon made his début as a television presenter, fronting the BBC Four series Sacred Music with Harry Christophers .He has read numerous audiobooks including Orion's Don't Cook Cinderella by Francesca Simon.(P)2004 Orion Publishing Group.Ltd

Hodder Children's Books

The Shadow of Evil

Tim Pigott-Smith, Chris Mould
Contributors:
Tim Pigott-Smith, Chris Mould

Sabotage at sea. Sherlock Holmes dead. Queen Victoria's grand-daughter kidnapped.The national chaos that ensues can only add up to one man: the evil Professor Moriarty.Can the Irregulars foil the evil Professor's diabolic schemes in time?

Hodder Children's Books

The Rose of Africa

Tim Pigott-Smith, Chris Mould
Contributors:
Tim Pigott-Smith, Chris Mould
Hodder Children's Books

The Dragon Tattoo

Tim Pigott-Smith, Chris Mould
Contributors:
Tim Pigott-Smith, Chris Mould

Sherlock Holmes has disappeared. Billy Chizzell dreams of hitting the headlines: YOUNG HERO LOCATES MASTER DETECTIVE! Billy's search takes him to Limehouse and an encounter with evil. Rescued by Sam Wiggins, Billy agrees to help Sam stop the plans of the infamous Dragon Clan of Shanghai to spread their criminal activities to London.

Orion Children's Books

The Boy with the Lightning Feet

Sally Gardner
Authors:
Sally Gardner

Timmy Twinkle is chubby. That means he gets bullied at school and hasn't any friends. He longs to play football, but he's hopeless at games. He's miserable. And it doesn't help when Gramps tells him about Great-Uncle Vernon, a chubby boy who grew up to be a famous footballer.Then his gran's friend May comes to stay. May is a fitness fanatic who knocks Timmy and Gramps into shape in no time, and Timmy discovers there's magic in his toes - he can kick a ball just like Great-Uncle Vernon. And when Timmy performs on the football field, everyone wants to be friends with him.A lovely story of a child whose unhappiness is dispelled by the discovery of a magical gift.Read by Andrew Sachs

Orion Children's Books

The Boy Who Could Fly

Sally Gardner
Authors:
Sally Gardner

One day the Fat Fairy turns up at Thomas Top's house to grant him a birthday wish. Thomas can't think what to ask for, so he wishes he could fly. That's how Thomas goes from being just an ordinary boy whom no one notices to being the most popular boy in the school. But it makes him sad that grown-ups can't see the wonderful things he can do. His flying gets him suspended from school, and that makes life at home much worse, because his dad gets so cross and it makes his mum miserable. But then the Fat Fairy turns up again, and with help from her and Thomas's new friend Mr Vinnie, a retired painter and decorator who has been flying since he was Thomas's age, everything changes.This is an enchanting story in which an unconfident child discovers a special gift that brings him joy and heartache. The magic of the words, the humour and poignancy of the story and the wonderful characters, are all enhanced by the author's own delightful drawings.Read by Andrew Sachs(P)2004 Orion Publishing Group Ltd

Wikipedia

Saviour Pirotta

Saviour Pirotta (born 1958, Naxxar, Malta) is a children's book author based in England.[1] The second of five brothers, he grew up speaking both English and Maltese. He attended Naxxar Primary School and later won a scholarship to St Aloysius' College (Malta), one of the most prestigious schools on the island. He developed a love of literature early on in life when he discovered the works of Maltese folklorist Manuel Magri, the legends of Father Peter Delia, the works of C.S. Lewis and a children's adventure story by local author Guze Galea called Ragel Bil-Ghaqal (A Serious Man). His first short novel, The Pirates of Pudding Beach, paid tribute to it. The author's parents, both extremely devout Catholics, discouraged his interest in the arts and censored most television programmes. The family did watch Italian television series, however, and the RAI adaptations of Emilio Salgari's novels about the Asian pirate Sandokan made a big impression on the young Pirotta, as did frequent reruns of neorealist classics, in particular Vittorio De Sica's Shoeshine and Miracle in Milan. Pirotta also cites as visual influences the works of legendary film animator Ray Harryhausen and Alexander Korda, who produced the 1940 fantasy film The Thief of Baghdad, starring the South Asian actor Sabu. Rare visits to the cinema to watch Biblical epics like Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments were also to prove of lasting influence, which later led to an interest in the sword and sandal genre of movies and historical novels, especially the works of Rosemary Sutcliff. Having finished his secondary education at St. Aloysius, Pirotta enrolled in a hotel management course, but left during the second year, mainly due to bullying from fellow students, although during an interview with a local newspaper two years later he claimed that 'in a world where people are still dying of hunger and fighting for basic human rights, I don't want to waste my life deciding which wine goes with which fish.' He had a variety of jobs while attending a two year evening course at the Manoel Theatre Academy of Dramatic Arts, Malta's national drama school. While in his second year, he wrote a children's radio play which he sold to a local station for £5. After graduating, he directed various plays at the Manoel Theatre and helped set up Malta's first youth theatre company, for which he adapted and produced several works. By now he had decided that his future lay in writing and in October 1981, he moved to the UK. His first job was directing three short plays for Moonshine Community Arts Workshop in London, an off-shoot of Brian Way's pioneering Theatre Centre. He also wrote a children's play based on a Maltese folk tale which toured various venues around London, including the Oval House and Jacksons Lane Community Centre.[2] This brought him to the attention of the Commonwealth Institute, where he worked as a workshop leader and storyteller till 1989 alongside other artists from the Commonwealth including the Guyanese poet John Agard. The children's play was subsequently published by Samuel French and Pirotta has since concentrated on writing. His first efforts were picture books but he soon moved into non-fiction, specialising in pirates and religious festivals. His Pirates and Treasure, published in the UK, the US, Russia and Sweden in 1995 is widely considered to be the first children's book about sea-robbers with a multi-cultural viewpoint. For a while he also wrote science books for the very young using the pen name Sam Godwin. A Seed In Need - a first look at life cycle of a flower - won him the 1998 English Association Award for best non-fiction picture book. After the success of his next two books, Turtle Bay and The Orchard Book of First Greek Myths, Pirotta decided to write solely under his own name. Turtle Bay, published by Frances Lincoln in the UK and Farrar, Strauss, Giroux in the United States was selected by members of a book review panel appointed by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and assembled in cooperation with The Children's Book Council (CBC) as a Notable Science Trade Book of 1998. He has since concentrated on retelling folktales, producing The Sleeping Princess with illustrator Emma Chichester Clarke in 2002; The Orchard Book Of First Greek Myths with Jan Lewis in 2003 (both books for Orchard Books, an imprint of Hachette Livre); Aesop's Fables [2006];Around the World in 80 Tales [2007], both illustrated by Richard Johnson and published by Kingfisher in the UK and the US. In 2008 he performed at the Edinburgh International Book Festival for the first time where his show was sold out. He writes in English and his books are produced mainly for the English-speaking market but they have been successfully published by major companies in various countries, including the United States, Italy, France, Spain, Holland, Portugal, Rumania, Belgium, Sweden, Brazil, Thailand, Greece, Estonia, Poland, Russia and Korea. The author is now a British citizen and lives in Saltaire, Yorkshire. He is very much committed to empowering children to write and still performs workshops and story-making sessions in schools around the UK. He is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the SCBWI and the Scattered Authors' Society. In November 2010, Firebird was awarded an Aesop Accolade by the American Folklore Society. It shared the honour with Eric A. Kimmel's Joha Makes a Wish: A Middle Eastern Tale and Cloud Tea Monkeys by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham. ANTHOLOGIES Storyworld [illustrated by Fiona Small], Blackie & Sons, 1988 [re-issued as Tales From Around the World in 1994] Joy To The World - Christmas Stories from Around the Globe[illustrated by Sheila Moxley], Frances Lincoln/Harpercollins, 1998 The Sleeping Princess and other Fairy Tales from Grimm [illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark], Orchard Books 2002 [titled The MacElderry Book of Grimm's Fairy Tales in the US] The Orchard Book Of First Greek Myths [illustrated by Jan Lewis], Orchard Books, 2003 Once Upon A World[illustrated by Alan Marks], Watts/Sea to Sea Publications, 2004 Aesop's Fables [illustrated by Richard Johnson], Kingfisher 2005 Around The World in 80 Tales [illustrated by Richard Johnson], Kingfisher 2007 Children's Stories from the Bible (illustrated by Ian Andrew and Anne Yvonne Gilbert), Templar 2008 The Giant Book of Giants, Egmont Books, October 2011 PICTURE BOOKS Solomon's Secret [illustrated by Helen Cooper], Methuen/Dial 1989 Little Bird [illustrated by Steve Butler], Frances Lincoln/Tambourine 1992 Turtle Bay [illustrated by Nilesh Mistry], Frances Lincoln/Farrar Straus Giroux, 1998 [reissed as Turtle Watch, 2008] Patrick Paints A Picture [Illustrated by Linz West], Frances Lincoln 2008 Firebird [illustrated by Catherine Hyde], Templar Sept 2010 FORTHCOMING BOOKS The Orchard Book of Ballet Stories for the Very Young, Orchard Books, 2013 Grimm's Fairy Tales, a six-books series from Orchard Books, January 2012 October to March 2012

Wikipedia

Enid Blyton

Enid Mary Blyton (11 August 1897 – 28 November 1968) was a Britishchildren's writer also known as Mary Pollock. She is noted for numerous series of books based on recurring characters and designed for different age groups. Her books have enjoyed huge success in many parts of the world, and have sold over 600 million copies.[1] One of Blyton's most widely known characters is Noddy, intended for early years readers. However, her main work is the genre of young readers' novels in which children have their own adventures with minimal adult help. Series of this type include the Famous Five (21 novels, 1942–1963, based on four children and their dog), the Five Find-Outers and Dog, (15 novels, 1943–1961, where five children regularly outwit the local police) as well as The Secret Seven (15 novels, 1949–1963, a society of seven children who solve various mysteries). Her work involves children's adventure stories, and fantasy, sometimes involving magic. Her books were and still are enormously popular throughout the Commonwealth and across most of the globe. Her work has been translated into nearly 90 languages. Blyton's literary output was of an estimated 800 books over roughly 40 years. Chorion Limited of London now owns and handles the intellectual properties and character brands of Blyton's Noddy and the well known series the Famous Five. Blyton was born on 11 August 1897 at 354 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, London, England, the eldest child of Thomas Carey Blyton (1870–1920), a salesman of cutlery, and his wife, Theresa Mary Harrison Blyton (1874–1950). There were two younger brothers, Hanly (1899–1983) and Carey (1902–1976), who were born after the family had moved to the nearby suburb of Beckenham—in Oakwood Avenue. Blyton adored her father and was devastated after he left the family to live with another woman; this has often been cited as the reason behind her emotional immaturity. Blyton and her mother did not have a good relationship, and later in life, Blyton claimed to others that her mother was dead. After both her parents did die, Blyton attended neither of their funerals. From 1907 to 1915, Blyton was educated at St. Christopher's School in Beckenham, leaving as head girl. She enjoyed physical activities along with some academic work, but not maths. Blyton was a talented pianist, but gave up her musical studies when she trained as a teacher at Ipswich High School.[2] She taught for five years at Bickley, Surbiton and Chessington, writing in her spare time. Her first book, Child Whispers, a collection of poems, was published in 1922. On 28 August 1924 Blyton married Major Hugh Alexander Pollock, DSO (1888–1971), editor of the book department in the publishing firm of George Newnes, which published two of her books that year. The couple moved to Bourne End, Buckinghamshire (Peterswood in her books).[3] Eventually they moved to a house in Beaconsfield, named Green Hedges by Blyton's readers following a competition in Sunny Stories. They had two children: Gillian Mary Baverstock (15 July 1931 – 24 June 2007) and Imogen Mary Smallwood (born 27 October 1935). In the mid-1930s Blyton experienced a spiritual crisis, but she decided against converting to Roman Catholicism from the Church of England because she had felt it was "too restricting". Although she rarely attended church services, she saw that her two daughters were baptised into the Anglican faith and went to the local Sunday School. Since her death in 1968 and the publication of her daughter Imogen's autobiography, A Childhood at Green Hedges, Blyton has emerged as an emotionally immature, unstable and often malicious figure. By 1939 her marriage to Pollock was in difficulties, and she began a series of affairs. In 1941 she met Kenneth Fraser Darrell Waters, a London surgeon with whom she began a relationship. During her divorce, Blyton blackmailed Pollock into taking full blame for the failure of the marriage, knowing that exposure of her adultery would ruin her public image. She promised that if he admitted to charges of infidelity, she would allow him unlimited access to their daughters. However, after the divorce, Pollock was forbidden to contact his daughters, and Blyton ensured he was unable to find work in publishing afterwards. He turned to drinking heavily and was forced to petition for bankruptcy. Blyton and Darrell Waters married at the City of Westminster Register Office on 20 October 1943, and she subsequently changed the surname of her two daughters to Darrell Waters. Pollock remarried thereafter. Blyton's second marriage was very happy and, as far as her public image was concerned, she moved smoothly into her role as a devoted doctor's wife, living with him and her two daughters at Green Hedges. Blyton's husband died in 1967. During the following months, she became increasingly ill. Afflicted by Alzheimer's disease, Blyton was moved into a nursing home three months before her death; she died at the Greenways Nursing Home, London, on 28 November 1968, aged 71 years and was cremated at the Golders Green Crematorium where her ashes remain. Blyton's home, Green Hedges, was sold in 1971 and demolished in 1973. The area where Green Hedges once stood is now occupied by houses and a street called Blyton Close. A blue plaque commemorates Blyton at Hook Road in Chessington, where she lived from 1920-4. [4] Her daughter Imogen has been quoted as saying "The truth is Enid Blyton was arrogant, insecure, pretentious, very skilled at putting difficult or unpleasant things out of her mind, and without a trace of maternal instinct. As a child, I viewed her as a rather strict authority. As an adult I pitied her."[5] Elder daughter, Gillian, did not hold the same view toward their mother, and Imogen's biography of Blyton contains a foreword by Gillian to the effect that her memories of childhood with Enid Blyton were mainly happy ones. The Red Story Book, The Green Story Book, The Blue Story Book, Bedtime Stories are some other books by Enid Blyton. Blyton wrote hundreds of other books for young and older children: novels, story collections and some non-fiction. She also filled a large number of magazine pages, particularly the long-running Sunny Stories which were immensely popular among younger children. She used a pseudonym Mary Pollock for a few titles (middle name plus first married name). The last volumes in her most famous series were published in 1963. Many books still appeared after that, but were mainly story books made up from recycled work. Blyton also wrote numerous books on nature and Biblical themes. Her story The Land of Far-Beyond is a Christian parable along the lines of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, with modern children as the central characters. She also produced retellings of Old Testament and New Testament stories. Enid Blyton was a prolific author of short stories. These were first published, for the most part, in Sunny Stories, an Enid Blyton magazine, or other children's papers. She also used to explore the forests when she was a little girl and wrote of her dreams in a notebook kept by her bedside. In February 2011, the manuscript of a previously unknown Blyton novel, Mr Tumpy's Caravan, was discovered in a collection of her papers which had been auctioned in 2010[6] following the death of her elder daughter in 2007.[7] Blyton books are generally split into three types. One involves ordinary children in extraordinary situations, having adventures, solving crimes, or otherwise finding themselves in unusual circumstances. Examples include the Famous Five and Secret Seven, and the Adventure series. The second and more conventional type is the boarding school story; the plots of these have more emphasis on the day-to-day life at school. This is the world of the midnight feast, the practical joke, and the social interaction of the various types of character. Examples of this type are the Malory Towers stories, the St Clare's series, and the Naughtiest Girl books and are typical of the times — many comics of the day also contained similar types of story. The third type is the fantastical. Children are typically transported into a magical world in which they meet fairies, goblins, elves, pixies, or other fantasy creatures. Examples of this type are the Wishing-Chair books and The Faraway Tree. In many of her short stories, toys are shown to come alive when humans are not around. Enid Blyton's status as a bestselling author is in spite of disapproval of her works from various perspectives, which has led to altered reprints of the books and withdrawals or “bans” from libraries. In the 1990s, Chorion, the owners of Blyton's works, edited her books to remove passages that were deemed racist or sexist.[8] The children’s author Anne Fine presented an overview of the concerns about Blyton's work and responses to them on BBC Radio 4 in November 2008, in which she noted the “drip, drip, drip of disapproval” associated with the books.[9][10] It was frequently reported (in the 1950s and also from the 1980s onwards) that various children's libraries removed some of Blyton's works from the shelves. The history of such "Blyton bans" is confused. Some librarians certainly at times felt that Blyton's restricted use of language, a conscious product of her teaching background, militated against appreciation of more literary qualities. There was some precedent in the treatment of L. Frank Baum's Oz books (and the many sequels by others) by librarians in the United States in the 1930s. There were numerous critical comments about Blyton: claiming that her vocabulary was too limited, that she presented too rosy a view of the world, even suggestions that little Noddy's relationship with Big Ears was "suspect", that he was a poor role model for boys because he sometimes wept when frustrated and the laws were politically incorrect. A careful account of anti-Blyton attacks is given in Chapter 4 of Robert Druce's This Day Our Daily Fictions. The British Journal of Education in 1955 carried a piece by Janice Dohn, an American children's librarian, considering Blyton's writing together with authors of formula fiction, and making negative comments about Blyton's devices and tone. A 1958 article in Encounter by Colin Welch, directed against the Noddy character, was reprinted in a New Zealand librarians' periodical. This gave rise to the first rumour of a New Zealand "library ban" on Blyton's books, a recurrent press canard. Policy on buying and stocking Blyton's books by British public libraries drew attention in newspaper reports from the early 1960s to the end of the 1970s, as local decisions were made by a London borough, Birmingham, Nottingham and other central libraries. There is no evidence that her books' popularity ever suffered: her response to criticism is said to be that she was not interested in the views of critics aged over 12.[11] Blyton was defended by populist journalists, and others. In November 2009 it was revealed in the British press that the BBC had a longstanding ban on dramatising Blyton's books on the radio from the 1930s to the 1950s. Letters and memos from the BBC Archive show that producers and executives at the time described Blyton as a "tenacious second-rater" who wrote "stilted and longwinded" books which were not suitable to be broadcast. In 1936 Blyton wrote to the BBC suggesting herself as a broadcaster, pointing out that she had "written probably more books than any other writer." She was turned down. In 1938, Blyton's husband, Hugh Pollock, wrote to Sir John Reith, the then Director General of the BBC, pointing out that his wife was receiving letters from children from all parts of the British Empire, and that she should be allowed to speak to them via the radio. Jean E. Sutcliffe, of the BBC's schools broadcast department wrote, "Her stories...haven't much literary value. There is rather a lot of the Pink-winky-Doodle-doodle Dum-dumm type of name (and lots of pixies) in the original tales."[12][13] Enid Blyton tried to get her work on the radio again in 1940, but her manuscript was once more turned down, the BBC employee who reviewed it writing, "This is really not good enough. Very little happens and the dialogue is so stilted and long-winded...It really is odd to think that this woman is a bestseller." Eventually, in 1954, Blyton's works appeared on air for the first time. Jean Sutcliffe wrote of Blyton's ability to churn out "mediocre material", and that "Her capacity to do so, amounts to genius...anyone else would have died of boredom long ago." Michael Rosen, the former Children's Laureate, said of the BBC's ban on Blyton, "...the quality of the writing itself was poor...it was felt that there was a lot of snobbery and racism in the writing...There is all sorts of stuff about oiks and lower orders."[12] The books are very much of their time, particularly the titles published in the 1950s. They present the UK's class system — that is to say, "rough" versus "decent".[14] Many of Blyton's children's books similarly reflected negative stereotypes regarding gender, race, and class. One incidence of altering this type of dated material might be the altering of a statement like "black as a nigger with soot" appearing in Five Go off to Camp.[15][16] At the time, "Negro" was the standard formal term and "nigger" a relatively common colloquialism. This is one of the most obvious targets for alteration in modern reprints, along with the replacement of golliwogs with teddy bears or goblins. Some of this responses by publishers to contemporary attitudes on racial stereotypes has itself drawn criticism from some who view it as tampering with an important piece of the history of children's literature. The Druce book brings up the case of The Little Black Doll (who wanted to be pink), which was turned on its head in a reprint. Also removed in deference to modern ethical attitudes are many casual references to slaves and to corporal punishment - The Faraway Tree's Dame Slap was changed to Dame Snap and several references to characters in the Malory Towers and St. Clare's series being spanked were changed to them being "scolded". Blyton's attitudes came under criticism during her working lifetime; a publisher rejected a story of hers in 1960, taking a negative literary view of it but also saying that "There is a faint but unattractive touch of old-fashioned xenophobia in the author's attitude to the thieves; they are 'foreign'...and this seems to be regarded as sufficient to explain their criminality."[17] Similarly, some have suggested the depictions of boys and girls in her books were sexist. For example, a 2005 Guardian article[18] suggested that the Famous Five depicts a power struggle between Julian, Dick and George (Georgina), with the female characters either acting like boys or being heavily put-upon. Although the gender issues are more subjective than with some of the racial issues, it has been suggested that a new edition of the book will "address" these issues through alterations, which has led to the expression of nostalgia for the books and their lack of political correctness.[19] In the Secret Seven books, the girls are deliberately excluded from tasks such as investigating the villains' hideouts — in Go Ahead, Secret Seven, it is directly stated "'Certainly not,' said Peter, sounding very grown-up all of a sudden. 'This is a man's job, exploring that coal-hole'".[20] In "The Adventurous 4, the two girls are often sent to do the cooking and washing up for the two boys. In the Famous Five this is less often the case, except Anne doing it voluntarily most of the times, but in Five on a Hike Together, Julian gives similar orders to George: "You may look like a boy and behave like a boy, but you're a girl all the same. And like it or not, girls have got to be taken care of."[21]. Similarly, in "Five have a wonderful time", Anne says "I don't expect boys to tidy up and cook and do things like that but George ought to because she's a girl". To this, George replies "If only I'd been born a boy". This is perhaps the most prominent example of gender stereotyping in her books. It shows that the stereotypes were not just enforced by boys but accepted by girls too. The story of Blyton's life was turned into a BBC film in 2009 with Helena Bonham Carter in the title role. Filming began in March 2009 and first aired in the United Kingdom on BBC Four on 16 November 2009, followed by a documentary on Enid Blyton. Matthew Macfadyen and Denis Lawson played Blyton's first husband, Hugh Pollock, and Blyton's second husband, Kenneth Darrell Waters, respectively.[22]

Clare Corbett

Clare Corbett has had a successful career on stage, screen and radio. Theatre credits include 'To Kill A Mocking Bird' 'Pygmalion' and Spoonface Steinberg' and her TV credits include BBC's 'Spooks,' 'Fastnet' and 'Final Demand'. A winner of the prestigious Carleton Hobbs Radio Award, she has appeared in over 250 radio plays including 'Absolute Power' 'Venus and Adonis' and ' Dr Zhivago'. Her other voice work comprises of Aardman Animation's ' the planet sketch' and numerous audiobooks (children and adult) including 'Poppy Shakespeare', 'Swallowing Grandma' and 'Child X'. She read 'Alys, Always' by Harriet Lane for Orion.

Wikipedia

Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan (born 1974) is an Australian illustrator and author of children's books and speculative fiction cover artist. He won an Academy Award for the The Lost Thing, a 2011 animated film adaptation of a 2000 picture book he wrote and illustrated. Beside The Lost Thing, The Red Tree and The Arrival are chapterbooks he has written and illustrated. Tan was born in Fremantle, Western Australia in 1974 and, after freelancing for some years from a studio at Mount Lawley, relocated to Melbourne, Victoria in 2007.[1] In 2006, his wordless graphic novelThe Arrival won the "Book of the Year" prize as part of the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards.[2] The same book won the Children's Book Council of Australia "Picture Book of the Year" award in 2007.[3] and the Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Premier's Prize in 2006.[4] Tan was the University of Melbourne's Department of Language Literacy and Arts Education Illustrator In Residence for two weeks through an annual Fellowship offered by the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust.[5] In 2010, Shaun Tan was the Artist Guest of Honour at the 68th World Science Fiction Convention held in Melbourne, Australia. For his career contribution to "children's and young adult literature in the broadest sense" Tan won the 2011 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award from the Swedish Arts Council, the biggest prize in children's literature.[6] As a boy, Tan spent time illustrating poems and stories and drawing dinosaurs, robots and spaceships. At school he was known as a talented artist.[1] At the age of eleven, he became a fan of The Twilight Zone television series as well as books that bore similar themes. Tan cites Ray Bradbury as a favorite at this time. These stories led to Tan writing his own short stories. Of his effort at writing as a youth, Tan tells, "I have a small pile of rejection letters as testament to this ambition!"[7] Eventually he gained success with his illustrations. At the age of sixteen, Tan's first illustration appeared in the Australian magazine Aurealis in 1990.[7] Tan almost studied to become a geneticist, and enjoyed chemistry, physics, history and English when in high school as well as art and claimed that he did not really know what he wanted to do, even at university.[7] University studies were taking him along an academic route until he "decided to stop studying and try working as an artist."[8] Illustration was something Tan enjoyed. The decision to choose it as a career simply allowed him to make a living from drawing and painting.[8] Drawing was something he had never stopped doing, claiming "...it was one thing I could do better than anyone else when I was in school."[7] Tan claims that he had little formal training in the field of book illustration.[1] Tan attended Balcatta Senior High School in the northern suburbs of Perth where he was enrolled in a special art program for gifted and talented students. "The main advantage," cites Tan, "was that students came to be taught by a wide range of practising artists, not just art teachers."[8] He completed the program in 1991 and he "credits the...Program [for] providing him the fundamental skills of art making." [9] Tan continued his education at the University of Western Australia where he studied Fine Arts, English Literature and History. While this was of interest to him, there was little studio practice involved.[8] In 1995, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts.[10] Of his actual works he has said: ‘‘I don’t think I’ve ever painted an image as a reproduction of what I’m seeing, even when I’m working in front of it. I’m always trying to create some kind of parallel equivalent."[7] Originally, Tan worked in black and white because the final reproductions would be printed that way and this preference extended to The Stray Cat. Some black and white mediums he used included pens, inks, acrylics, charcoal, scraperboard, photocopies and linocuts.[7] Tan's current colour works still begin as monochromatic. He uses a graphite pencil to make sketches on ordinary copy paper. The sketches are then reproduced numerous times with different versions varying with parts added or removed. Sometimes scissors are used for this purpose. The cut and paste collage idea in these early stages often extend to the finished production with many of his illustrations using such materials as "glass, metal, cuttings from other books and dead insects."[7] Tan describes himself as a slow worker who revises his work many times along the way. He is interested in loss and alienation, and believes that children in particular react well to issues of natural justice. He feels he is "like a translator" of ideas, and is happy and flattered to see his work adapted and interpreted in film and music (such as by the Australian Chamber Orchestra).[11] Tan draws from a large source of inspiration and cites many influences on his work. His comment on the subject is: "I’m pretty omnivorous when it comes to influences, and I like to admit this openly."[7] Some influences are very direct. The Lost Thing is a strong example where Tan makes visual references to famous artworks. Many of his influences are a lot more subtle visually, some of the influences are ideological. Below are some influences he has named in various interviews: The Shaun Tan Award for Young Artists is sponsored by the City of Subiaco and open to all Perth school children between 5 and 17 years. The award is aimed at encouraging creativity in two-dimensional works. It is held annually with award winners announced in May and finalists' works exhibited at the Subiaco Library (crn Rokeby and Bagot Road, Subiaco) throughout June.[13] Mural in the Children's Section of the Subiaco Public Library (Perth, Western Australia). Size: 20 square metres[1]

Finty Williams

Finty Williams is a successful stage and screen actress. Her theatre credits include Luise Miller at The Donmar, Twelfth Night at The National, Bedlam at Shakespeare's Globe, Bedroom Farce at Rose Theatre & Duke of York's and Tons of Money at Theatre Royal Windsor. Television work includes Cranford and Born and Bred and film features include The Good Night, Ladies In Lavender and Gosford Park. Finty regularly performs on radio and has read numerous audio books. She also provided the voice of Angelina in the hit children's television and audio book series Angelina Ballerina.

Emilia Fox

Emilia Fox appeared in the BBC's PRIDE AND PRJUDICE whilst still at university, and has gone on to star in REBECCA, DAVID COPPERFIELD, BBC's 2009 MERLIN series and in 2012 starred as Lady Portia Alresford in UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS. She also reads regularly on Radio 4 and has taken over the role as Dr Nikki Alexander in the TV series SILENT WITNESS. Emilia has read numerous audiobooks including the MAGICAL CHILDREN series, THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE by Alan Bradley and SECRETS OF THE TIDES by Hannah Richell for Orion.

Derek Jacobi

Sir Derek Jacobi is one of the UK's most distinguished contemporary actors. He made his name with commanding performances on stage and screen, most memorably in the BBC TV series I, Claudius. He was nominated for a 'Best Actor' Tony Award for his portrayal of Alan Turing in the play Breaking the Code, and then for a BAFTA when that was adapted for television. Other notable TV work includes the series Cadfael. His film work ranges from The Day of the Jackal to Gladiator and Gosford Park. He has read numerous audiobooks including, for Orion, The Book of Dead Days by Marcus Sedgwick. He was knighted in 1994.

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

David Melling

David Melling is the international bestselling author and illustrator who first came to our attention with the critically acclaimed The Kiss That Missed, and whose The Tale of Jack Frost went from page to animated TV feature, voiced by Hugh Laurie. Here he talks to Graham Marks about how he became a children’s book illustrator, his influences, his passions and why he loves Twitter…

Creator of Hugless Douglas speaks to Graham Marks

Interview with David Melling

David Melling is the international bestselling author and illustrator who first came to our attention with the critically acclaimed The Kiss That Missed, and whose The Tale of Jack Frost went from page to animated TV feature, voiced by Hugh Laurie. Here he talks to Graham Marks about how he became a children’s book illustrator, his influences, his passions and why he loves Twitter…

Rupert Degas

Rupert Degas has narrated over a hundred audiobooks. He has recorded a diverse range of authors, from Andy McNab, James Patterson, Wilbur Smith and Chris Ryan to children's authors such as Derek Landy, Darren Shan, Jamie Rix and Philip Pullman. He has narrated books by Patrick Rothfuss, Haruki Murakami, Mervyn Peake, Rose Tremain and Cormac McCarthy as well as recording classics from Kafka, Conan-Doyle, Lovecraft and Wilde. Rupert has lent his voice to numerous cartoons, including Mr Bean, Robotboy, Gumball, Thomas & Friends and Bob the Builder and has performed in over fifty radio productions for BBC Radio 4, including The Brightonomicon and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He spent eighteen months in the West End performing in Stones in his Pockets and was in the original London cast of the smash-hit comedy The 39 Steps.

Samuel West

Samuel West, the son of Timothy West and Prunella Scales, has appeared in films ranging from Notting Hill to Iris, on television in Persuasion and Prince Caspian and on stage (including an acclaimed Hamlet for the RSC). Radio work includes The Merchant of Venice, Poetry Please and Richard II (as Richard). Sam has read numerous audiobooks, including The King of Middlemarch and At the Crossing Places for Orion Audio.