Related to: 'Catherine Rayner'

Hodder Children's Books

Accidental Trouble Magnet

Zanib Mian, Nasaya Mafaridik
Contributors:
Zanib Mian, Nasaya Mafaridik

Welcome, readers, to the imaginative brain of Omar! You might not know me yet, but once you open the pages of this book you'll laugh so hard that snot will come out of your nose (plus you might meet a dragon and a zombie - what more could you want?). My parents decided it would be a good idea to move house AND move me to a new school at the same time. As if I didn't have a hard enough time staying out of trouble at home, now I've also got to try and make new friends. What's worse, the class bully seems to think I'm the perfect target. At least Eid's around the corner which means a feast (YAY) and presents (DOUBLE YAY). Well, as long as I can stay in Mum and Dad's good books long enough...The combination of Zanib Mian's hilarious text and Nasaya Mafaridik's fantastic cartoon-style illustrations make the PLANET OMAR series perfect for fans of Tom Gates and Wimpy Kid. Previously published as 'THE MUSLIMS', this was the winner of the Little Rebels Award in June 2018. The text has been revised, expanded with new scenes and re-illustrated.

Orion Children's Books

Scaredy Cat, Scaredy Cat

Phil Earle
Authors:
Phil Earle

From the author of DEMOLITION DAD, the CBBC Book of the Month June 2017, comes the fourth and final hilarious Storey Street by Phil Earle, illustrated by Waterstones Children's Book Prize-shortlisted artist, Sara Ogilvie. Perfect for fans of Roald Dahl, Liz Pichon and David Walliams.Kay Catt has a nickname - Scaredy Catt. And with good reason. You've never met a more timid, anxious girl in your life. And when you meet her dad, you'll start to understand why. But when a mysterious old man is spotted on Storey Street, it heralds the start of a great adventure for Kay. Because Wilf Wilkinson isn't your average, cardigan-wearing, sherbet lemon-sucking old codger. Oh no. Wilf wears a cloak, and a strange pointy hat, and his walking stick looks suspiciously like an over-sized wand.Wilf couldn't be a wizard ... could he?

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The Incredible Billy Wild

Joanna Nadin
Authors:
Joanna Nadin
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The New Friend

Jenny Colgan, Thomas Docherty
Contributors:
Jenny Colgan, Thomas Docherty
Wayland

Poems About Animals

Brian Moses, Natalia Moore
Contributors:
Brian Moses, Natalia Moore

A fantastically fun collection of poetry for young readers! Compiled by Brian Moses, this anthology contains a mix of light-hearted poems and more serious ones, poems that rhyme and those that don't. There are plenty of good 'read alouds', thumping choruses, and the sort of poems that children can use as models for their own writing. Poetry is a key feature of the National Curriculum and these fantastic poems are perfectly suited for this. Suitable for KS1 or KS2 children to read alone or in groups.Beautiful illustrations tell the story of each poem.Poems include The Terrible Ten by James Carter; On My Way From School by Roger Stevens; Animal Riddles by Marian Swinger; My Dog by Joshua Seigal; Sad Rabbit by Eric Finney; A Bear in his Underwear by Brian Moses; Komodo Dragon by Graham Denton; I'm A Giraffe by Mike Jubb; Hungry Crocodile by Carol Rumble; If You Should Meet a Crocodile by Anon; How to Spot a Kangaroo by Robert Scotallero; Caterpillar by Christina Rosetti; Swish Swash by Bill Condon; Tiger by Alison Chisholm; Animal Farewells by Kate Snow;Read other poetry compilations by Brian Moses including Poems About the Seaside, Poems About Seasons, Poems About Families, Poems About Emotions and Poems About Festivals.

Orion Children's Books

The War Next Door

Phil Earle, Sara Ogilvie
Contributors:
Phil Earle, Sara Ogilvie
Orion Children's Books

The Ghosts of Heaven

Marcus Sedgwick
Authors:
Marcus Sedgwick

Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2016, this mesmerising and mysterious novel by Printz Award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick is written in four cleverly interlinked parts and can be read in 24 different ways. Spanning thousands of years, The Ghosts of Heaven can tell us a secret as old as time, about survival, discovery, and the effect of the spiral - a symbol that has no end - on all our lives. It's there when a girl walks through the forest, the moist green air clinging to her skin. There centuries later in a pleasant green dale, hiding the treacherous waters of Golden Beck that take Anna, who they call a witch. There on the other side of the world, where a mad poet watches the waves and knows the horrors they hide, and far into the future as Keir Bowman realises his destiny. Each takes their next step in life. None will ever go back to the same place. The spiral has existed as long as time has existed. Follow the ways of infinity to discover its meaning.

Hodder Children's Books

Claude in the Spotlight

Alex T. Smith
Authors:
Alex T. Smith

Meet Claude - the ordinary dog with an extraordinary life. Now the star of his very own TV show on Disney Junior with 52 episodes.A gentle stroll through town leads to leg kicking and bottom shaking as Claude dances his way into the theatre and straight into the spotlight!The fifth book in this hilarious bestselling series - perfect for new readers and also great for sharing!Praise for the Claude series:'Illustrated with humour and elegance' The Times'With quirky illustrations and plenty of humour' MetroClaude in the City was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club. Claude Going for Gold won the Sainsbury's Children's Book Award. Alex T. Smith was the official World Book Day illustrator in 2014.Follow Alex at alextsmith.com and on Twitter: @Alex_T_Smith

Hodder Children's Books

Claude in the Country

Alex T. Smith
Authors:
Alex T. Smith
Hodder Children's Books

Oliver and the Noisy Baby

Mara Bergman, Nick Maland
Contributors:
Mara Bergman, Nick Maland

Oliver's baby sister won't stop crying. Oliver gets in his plane and travels to distant lands to get away from the noise. But wherever he goes, there are babies crying. Oliver wonders if back home HIS sister might need him so he flies back to cuddle her to sleep!A new story from a talented prize-winning author/illustrator team praised for their rhythmic imaginative texts and gloriously detailed illustrations.

Hodder Children's Books

We are wearing out the naughty step

Mick Inkpen
Authors:
Mick Inkpen

The naughty step is being used a lot this week. First, I lost the school hamster, then Josh fed the elephant the wrong way and we then made the dog into a panda... Mummy is not happy. But the day she makes Kevin a chocolate birthday cake is the day that ALL of us, including Mummy, end up on the Naughty Step! An hilarious story that reflects family life at its most chaotic - and realistic! It will strike a chord with any parent.Mick Inkpen is the libraries' ninth most borrowed author and is the creator of the much-loved Kipper and Wibbly Pig.'The charmingly comical Inkpen, as always, hits the spot.' Guardian

Orchard Books

Posy

Linda Newbery, Catherine Rayner
Contributors:
Linda Newbery, Catherine Rayner
Wikipedia

Emma Dodd

Emma Dodd (born 1969) is an English illustrator and author. She is best known for her award-winning children's books published by Orchard Books, Templar Publishing, Penguin Books, Macmillan Publishers (United States), Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins (US) and Scholastic Corporation (US and UK). Emma Dodd was born in 1969 in Guildford, Surrey, the daughter of designers Robert Dodd and Fay Hillier. She attended Tormead School, Kingston Polytechnic, where she did a Foundation Course in Art and Design, and then Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London graduating in graphic design and illustration in 1992. During the early part of her career, Emma worked in advertising and editorial, for clients including Volvo, BMW, Pentagram (NYC and London), Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew), The Guardian, The Observer, Sunday Express and She Magazine. At the same time, she began to illustrate children’s books. Today, illustrating and writing children's picture books is the focus of Emma’s career. Emma Dodd illustrated the award-winning Amazing Baby series for Templar, was selected as a winner in the 2010 Booktrust Early Years Awards for I Love My Mummy, written by Giles Andreae (Purple Ronnie) and is nominated for the 2011 Kate Greenaway Medal for her book, I Love Bugs.[1][2] Emma has appeared at The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival, at Cheltenham Literature Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival and Guildford Book Festival. Emma Dodd lives in Surrey with her husband, two children and their Jack Russell Terrier, Bart.[3] 2011 I Love my Daddy, Orchard Books, written by Giles Andreae Roman Rescue, Templar Publishing, written by K.A. Gerrard 2010 I Love my Mummy, 2010, Orchard Books, written by Giles Andreae 2011 I Love All Beasts.... Great and Small Beasts, Orchard Books 2010 You..., Templar Publishing Me..., Templar Publishing I Love Bugs, Orchard Books (nominated for 2011 Kate Greenaway Medal) Dot and Dash are Dressing Up, Scholastic Corporation Dot and Dash Go To Bed, Scholastic Corporation Dot and Dash Learn To Count, Scholastic Corporation Desert Discovery, Campbell Books Jungle Hide and Seek, Campbell Books 2009 I Don't Want a Cool Cat, Orchard Books Miaow said the Cow, Templar Publishing (shortlisted for the 2009 Booktrust Early Years Awards) Dot and Dash Love To Play, Scholastic Corporation Dot and Dash Find a Friend, Scholastic Corporation Dot and Dash Learn to Share, Scholastic Corporation Dot and Dash Eat their Dinner, Scholastic Corporation Dot and Dash Make and Do, Scholastic Corporation Dot and Dash at the Beach, Scholastic Corporation Messy Fingers, Campbell Books 2008 I Don't Want a Posh Dog, Orchard Books Little Croc, Campbell Books Little Pup, Campbell Books Best Bear, Gullane Books 2007 I thought I saw a Dinosaur, Templar Publishing Sometimes..., Templar Publishing When..., Templar Publishing 2006 What Pet to Get?, Templar Publishing (shortlisted for the 2006 Booktrust Early Years Awards) Booktrust Early Years Awards 2010, I Love My Mummy (Orchard Books, written by Giles Andreae)

Giles Andreae

Giles Andreae is the author of many top-selling, award-winning picture books. These include Rumble in the Jungle, Commotion in the Ocean and I Love My Mummy. However, it is for the international bestseller Giraffes Can't Dance that he is best known. Giles is also the creator of Purple Ronnie, Britain's favourite stickman, and of the artist/philosopher, Edward Monkton. These two ranges of greetings cards, books and merchandise have made Giles the country's top-selling living poet. Giles lives with his wife, Victoria, a children's clothes designer, and their four young children by the river in Oxfordshire.

Wikipedia

Lauren Child

Lauren ChildMBE (born 1965)[1] is an English author and illustrator. She is best known for the Charlie and Lolapicture books and the Clarice Bean series of picture books and novels. Child introduced Charlie and Lola in 2000 with I will not ever Never eat a tomato and won the annual Kate Greenaway Medal from the Library Association for the year's most "distinguished illustration in a book for children".[2] For the 50th anniversary of the Medal (1955–2005), it was named one of the top ten winning works, selected by a panel to compose the ballot for a public election of the all-time favourite.[3] Helen Child was born in 1965, the middle child of three daughters. She later changed her first name to Lauren.[1] She attended St John's School and from 16, Marlborough College, where her father was Head of Art.[4] She studied Art briefly at Manchester Polytechnic and later at City and Guilds of London Art School,[5] after which she worked in a variety of jobs, including as a painting assistant to Damien Hirst. She also started her own company, Chandeliers for the People, making exotic lampshades together with the actor Andrew St Clair; it was not a commercial success, though the lampshades are instantly recognisable as Child's work and highly valued.[citation needed] Between 1998 and 2003 she worked for the design agency Big Fish. Two picture books both written and illustrated by Child were published in 1999, and also issued in the U.S. within the year:[6]I Want a Pet! and Clarice Bean, That's Me. The latter, published by Orchard Books, inaugurated the Clarice Bean series, was a highly commended runner up for the Greenaway Medal,[7][a] and made the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize shortlist. Next year she won the Greenaway Medal the first Charlie and Lola book, I Will Not Ever, NEVER Eat a Tomato.[2] Her timing was good, for a bequest by Colin Mears had provided a £5000 cash prize to supplement the medal beginning that year.[8] She won a second Smarties Prize in 2002 for That Pesky Rat, which was commended for the Greenaway too.[7][a] In the same year she wrote her first children's novel, Utterly Me, Clarice Bean, one of 39 books nominated by the librarians for the Carnegie Medal in Literature.[9] Her second novel in this series, Clarice Bean Spells Trouble was shortlisted for the 2005 British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year. The third novel, Clarice Bean, Don't Look Now was published in 2006. Child's humorous illustrations contain many different media including magazine cuttings, collage, material and photography as well as traditional watercolours. As well as being author of several highly successful books, she is the illustrator of the Definitely Daisy series by Jenny Oldfield. A television series based on her Charlie and Lola books was made by Tiger Aspect for Disney/Cbeebies, on which Child was an Executive Producer. Three series of 26 episodes were made and two specials. A number of spin off books are available based on the scripts of the TV shows, though these were not written or illustrated by Child.[10]Charlie and Lola has been sold throughout the world, and has won many prizes, including BAFTAs in 2007 for Best children's Television Show and Best Script. Charlie and Lola is a series of picture books made by Lauren Child and now is a children's TV show. Each half-hour format show contains two segments with different plots, each starting off with Charlie saying, "I have this little sister, Lola. She is small and very funny." Clarice Bean is also a picture book and novel series by Lauren Child that is for children/young teenagers. Her full name is Clarice Bean Tuesday. She is best friends with Betty P Moody, and Karl Wrenbury is another friend of hers. Clarice Bean is a fan of a book series called Ruby Redfort (Lauren Child is writing a series for Ruby Redfort , started in 2011 ), enemies with Grace Grapello and Mrs Wilberton (her teacher) and is a not a very good speller and she day-dreams a lot. Her family consists of her mum, dad, younger brother Minal Cricket, older sister Marcie, her even older brother Kurt, her grandad and her granny who lives in America and who phones regularly. Those books are: In 2009 Lauren signed a new six book deal with HarperCollins for the release of her Ruby Redfort series. Ruby Redfort, undercover agent and mystery solver, is familiar to Lauren's readers as Clarice Bean's favourite literary character. Ruby is a genius code-cracker, a daring detective, and a gadget-laden special agent who just happens to be a thirteen-year-old girl. She and her slick side-kick butler, Hitch, foil crimes and get into loads of scrapes with evil villains, but they’re always ice-cool in a crisis. The first book in the series, Ruby Redfort: Look Into My Eyes was released in September 2011 in hard back, with the paper back to be released in July 2012. The secret codes used in the book were developed by Lauren and mathematician Marcus du Sautoy. Child was the cover artist for all three volumes and the author of at least the first volume's introduction. Child was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours.[11][12] She has won two major British children's book awards. Furthermore, both What Planet Are You From Clarice Bean? (2001) and That Pesky Rat won the Smarties Prize "Kids' Club Network Special Award". Her work as author or illustrator has been recognised many other times.

Jim Field

Jim Field is a lead-driven, pencil-pushing, 25-frames-per-second Led Zeppelin fan. He is also a hugely talented illustrator and animation director. His first picture book Cats Ahoy! won the Booktrust Roald Dahl Funny Prize and was nominated for the Kate Greenaway award. He has since illustrated a string of bestselling, multi-award-winning children's books, including Oi Frog! and The Lion Inside, as well as young fiction series Rabbit and Bear.

Press Release

My Name is Mina on CILIP Carnegie Medal Shortlist

Hodder Children's Books are proud to announce that My Name is Mina by David Almond has been shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2012.

Chapter 1

Guardian Angel

1. SHORTBREAD 12 March 2012 Twelve kids had started basic training back in December, but four quitters, two cracked bones, a badly sprained ankle, a chest infection and an asthma attack meant only three were left as the sun came up on the course’s hundredth and final day. Instructors Kazakov and Speaks had spent the night in the cabin of a dilapidated trawler, playing cards and sipping whisky while their captain navigated choppy waters off Scotland’s west coast. Daybreak had a rugged beauty: golden sky, islands shrouded in mist and the little boat struggling against the sea. But the three trainees appreciated none of this because they’d spent the night out on deck, pelted by sea spray in temperatures close to freezing. The closest thing the trio had to shelter was a mound of fishing gear. They’d dug in under buoys and rope and huddled together, hooking their limbs around slimy netting so that big waves didn’t pitch them across the deck. Ten-year-old Leon Sharma had the warm spot in the middle, propped against his twin Daniel with his face nestling the broad back of twelve-year-old Fu Ning. Leon had one eye open and there was enough light for him to see the angry red mosquito bites on Ning’s neck, and her pale blue training shirt stained with grass, blood and rust-coloured Australian dirt. Before basic training Leon wouldn’t have been able to sleep on a wooden deck with freezing Atlantic water sloshing about, but the instructors kept trainees in a near-permanent state of exhaustion and his body had conditioned itself to take whatever sleep was on offer. But pain had woken him up before the others. He’d lost his footing and crashed into a bush on a speed march the previous day. A thorn had driven beneath his thumbnail, splicing it down the middle and leaving a throbbing, bloody mess at the tip of his right thumb. It was the newest and most painful of two dozen cuts, scabs and blisters on Leon’s body, but an even greater torment came from a growling stomach. The fall meant he’d missed his target time for the march and Instructor Speaks had thrown his dinner on the fire as punishment. Tantalisingly, Leon had food within reach. Trainees weren’t supposed to carry food, but Leon knew Ning had a secret stash of biscuits in her pack. He’d seen her swipe them from the hostess’s trolley on their plane back from Australia a few days earlier. Ning had hooked the straps of her backpack around her ankles to stop it getting washed away. As a mini-wave swept the deck and sploshed through the mound of ropes, Leon reached towards the zip on Ning’s pack. It was a risky move: Ning was two years older and a champion boxer who could easily batter Leon if he pissed her off. Despite the throb of the trawler’s propeller shaft and the sounds of wind and water, the click of each zip tooth felt like a gun going off. Once he had an opening big enough for his hand, Leon felt blindly inside Ning’s pack. He burrowed past underwear, which had been hand-washed but packed before fully dry. Grains of sand stuck to his arm as he went deeper, feeling the smooth handle of Ning’s hunting knife, then at the very bottom pairs of shortcake biscuits in plastic wrapping. As Leon pulled up shortbread, his palm touched a larger packet. It was rectangular, with the biscuits sitting in a plastic tray and a spongy feel when he pushed down. It had to be Jaffa Cakes. Saliva flushed Leon’s mouth as he anticipated the tang of orange and chocolate melting against his tongue. As a small wave washed over the deck, he pulled out the little package and ripped it open with his teeth. Leon hadn’t eaten in eighteen hours and stifled a satisfied groan as he crammed a spongy biscuit into his mouth whole. Soooo good! He practically inhaled the second, but as the third Jaffa Cake neared Leon’s mouth a hand touched his shoulder, making him jump. ‘You just gonna scoff them all yourself?’ Leon’s twin, Daniel, asked quietly. Leon turned to face his brother and spoke in a whisper. ‘You got dinner last night. I’m starving.’ ‘I’ll tell Ning,’ Daniel threatened, as he aimed his pointing finger at her back. ‘She’ll crack you like an egg.’ Leon knew his brother wouldn’t really grass, but this knowledge also reminded him of his bond with his twin. He pulled the biscuit apart and gave Daniel the bigger half. As Daniel made a quiet-but-appreciative mmm, the sliding door at the rear of the trawler’s cabin opened with a crash. ‘Wipe your top lip,’ Leon said anxiously, as he chewed fast and flicked chocolate flakes off his shirt. ‘If he sees us eating we’re dead.’ As Leon zipped Ning’s pack and swallowed the evidence of his crime, Instructor Speaks stepped on to the lilting deck. Everything about Speaks said hard man, from the wraparound sunglasses and shaved black head, to the mirror-shined size-fourteen combat boots on his feet. ‘Sleep well, maggots?’ Speaks boomed, cracking a smile as he woke Ning with a dig in the ribs. ‘On your feet. Line up at the double.’ Sleepy eyes blurred as Ning disentangled herself from the fishing gear, and both shoulders burned where her pack had rubbed them raw on the previous afternoon’s speed march. When Speaks closed up, Ning expected a shove for being slow, but his arm delved past her into the rope mound and swooped on the wrapper from a pack of Jaffa Cakes. Speaks held it up for inspection, jaw agape in mock horror. Ning realised one of the twins must have swiped it from her pack and glanced back to scowl at them. ‘Well, well!’ Speaks said, as the three trainees attempted to stand in line on the swaying deck. ‘A serious breach of the rules. Mr Kazakov, come look at this.’ Kazakov was in his mid-fifties, but the grey-haired Ukrainian instructor looked as fit as he’d been thirty years earlier when he’d fought for Russian Special Forces in Afghanistan. He was already on his way outside when Speaks called and he came on deck holding a mesh sack filled with fluorescent life vests. ‘Who ate these Jaffa Cakes?’ Speaks shouted. ‘Fess up now and I won’t be too hard on you.’ Ning was anxious: if the instructors started an investigation and searched her pack they’d find the other biscuits she’d nabbed on the plane. ‘It’s just litter, sir,’ Leon said. ‘It probably blew on deck while the boat was docked.’ But it was a poor lie and Speaks instantly noticed chocolate stains where Leon’s front teeth met his gums. The giant instructor squished Leon’s cheeks between thumb and forefinger and yanked him out of line. ‘If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s liars,’ Speaks roared, as he gave Leon a shake, then grabbed his bad thumb and squeezed hard. ‘Still snivelling over that pathetic little graze?’ Leon winced with pain as the scab over his broken thumbnail split and blood trickled down his hand. ‘How dare you lie to me!’ Speaks hissed. ‘Just because it’s the last day of training, don’t think I’ll take it easy on your bony arse. Get your kit bag over here. Let’s see what other contraband you’ve got.’ Leon had teary eyes and drips of blood pelting the deck as he walked back to the rope mound and grabbed his pack. While the instructors concentrated on Leon, Ning yawned and took in her surroundings. The trawler was idling into a natural harbour, with near-vertical cliffs rising out of the mist a couple of hundred metres away. Kazakov pointed towards land and began a lecture as Speaks ripped open Leon’s pack and threw all his stuff out over the sodden deck. ‘It’s now just before seven a.m. and basic training ends at midnight,’ Kazakov began. ‘Somewhere on that island you’ll find three grey CHERUB T-shirts. If you find a T-shirt and put it on, you can congratulate yourselves on passing basic training. Give us a call on your radio and we’ll come and pick you up. But if anyone’s not wearing a shirt by midnight, I’ll see you back on campus in three weeks’ time and you’ll start training again from day one. Questions?’ Daniel raised his hand. ‘Sir, are our T-shirts all together, or hidden separately?’ Kazakov considered the question as he reached into the sack and handed Ning a life vest. ‘Figure it out,’ he said eventually. Once her life vest was zipped up, Ning went down on one knee and began pulling a waterproof rubber cover over her backpack. While she did this Leon began gathering up his gear, which was washing around the deck. But as he bent forward to take his water bottle Instructor Speaks grabbed a handful of his shorts and lifted him into the air with one muscular arm. ‘Jaffa Cake-eating mummy’s boy,’ Speaks yelled, as Leon dangled centimetres from his face. ‘I want you out of my sight, so you can make do without your kit.’ With that, Speaks took two huge strides to the stern of the trawler and lobbed Leon over the side. ‘Happy swimming,’ Speaks shouted, as he threw a life vest after the trainee. ‘You might need this as well!’ Kazakov glared at the other two trainees as Leon made a big splash. ‘Off you go then,’ he ordered. ‘That water’s not getting any warmer.’

Guardian Angel Chapter 1

Sneak Peek!

Read the first chapter of the brand new CHERUB adventure...

Wikipedia

David Almond

David Almond (born 15 May 1951) is a British author who has written several novels children or young adults from 1998, each one to critical acclaim. He is one of thirty children's writers, and one of three from the U.K., to win the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award. For the 70th anniversary of the British Carnegie Medal in Literature in 2007, his debut novel Skellig (1998) was named one of the top ten Medal-winning works, selected by a panel to compose the ballot for a public election of the all-time favourite.[1] It ranked third in the public vote from that shortlist. Almond was born and raised in Felling and Newcastle in post-industrial North East England and educated at the University of East Anglia. He started out as an author of adult fiction, and his stories appeared in many little magazines, including Iron, Stand, London Magazine, Edinburgh Review. His first short story collection Sleepless Nights, was published by iron Press in 1985[2]). His second, A Kind of Heaven, appeared in 1987. He then wrote a series of stories which drew on his own childhood, and which would eventually be published as Counting Stars, published by Hodder in 2001. These stories led directly to his first novel, Skellig (1998), set in Newcastle. It won the 1998 Whitbread Award, Children's Book and the Carnegie Medal. It has been published in over thirty languages.[citation needed] And it has become a radio play scripted by Almond; a stage play scripted by Almond, first production at the Young Vic, directed by Trevor Nunn; an opera with libretto by Almond, composed by Tod Machover, first directed by Braham Murray at The Sage in Gateshead; and a film directed by Annabel Jankel, with Tim Roth as Skellig. In the next seven years, four more novels by Almond made the Carnegie Medal shortlist of five to eight books.[3] Since Skellig his novels, stories, and plays have also brought international success and widespread critical acclaim. They are Kit's Wilderness (1999), Heaven Eyes (2000), Secret Heart (2001), The Fire Eaters (2003), Clay (2005), Jackdaw Summer ( ), and My Name is Mina (2010), a prequel to Skellig. He collaborates with leading artists and illustrators, including Polly Dunbar (My Dad's a Birdman and The Boy Who Climbed Into the Moon); Stephen Lambert (Kate, the Cat and the Moon; and Dave McKean (The Savage, Slog's Dad and the forthcoming Mouse Bird Snake Wolf). His plays include Wild Girl, Wild Boy, My Dad's a Birdman, Noah & the Fludd and the stage adaptations of Skellig and Heaven Eyes. Almond's novel The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean (2011) was published in two editions: Adult (Penguin Viking); and Young Adult (Puffin). 2012 publications include The Boy Who swam With Piranhas (illustrated by Oliver Jeffers). 2013: "Mouse Bird Snake Wolf" (illustrated by Dave McKean). His works are highly philosophical and thus appeal to children and adults alike. Recurring themes throughout include the complex relationships between apparent opposites (such as life and death, reality and fiction, past and future); forms of education; growing up and adapting to change; the nature of the "self". He has been greatly influenced by the works of the English Romantic poet William Blake.[citation needed] In November 2008 he was a guest on Private Passions, the biographical music discussion programme on BBC Radio 3.[4] His short story "The Knife Sharpener" appeared in The Sunday Times on 25 January 2009[5] and The Savage was given away free as part of the Liverpool Reads event.[6] In 2010 David Almond became the 29th recipient of the so-called Nobel Prize for children's literature, the international Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing, which biennially recognises the "lasting contribution" of one living author.[7] Almond's major awards include the Carnegie Medal (Skellig);[8] two Whitbread Awards; the Smarties Prize in category 9–11 years (The Fire-Eaters); the U.S. Michael L. Printz Award (Kit's Wilderness);[a] the U.S. Boston Globe-Horn Book Award (The Fire-Eaters); Le Prix Sorcieres (France); the Katholischer Kinder-und Jugendbuchpreis (Germany); and a Silver Pencil and three Silver Kisses (Netherlands).[clarification needed][citation needed] The Skellig prequel My Name is Mina (Hodder, 2010) was a finalist for three major annual awards: the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize,[9] the Carnegie Medal in Literature,[10] and the (German) Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis.[citation needed] Almond currently lives with his family in Northumberland, England. Since 2006 he has been a Visiting Professor in Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University.