Related to: 'The Bamboo Flute'

Giles Andreae speaks to Graham Marks

Author Spotlight

Giles Andreae is not only the bestselling author of such award-winning picture books as Giraffes Can’t Dance, Rumble in the Jungle and The Lion Who Wanted to Love, he’s also the man behind the entertaining world of Purple Ronnie, as well as The Interesting Thoughts of Edward Monkton. Here he talks to Graham Marks about all the many and varied bits of his very creative life, including toilet brush poetry.

Franklin Watts

Just Breathe: Keeping Anger at Bay

Franklin Watts
Authors:
Franklin Watts

Billy and Betty are bored. It's raining, they have no internet connection, there's nothing to do. Then, the doorbell rings. A cheerful, rain soaked woman introduces herself: she's selling secrets. All it will cost is 5 minutes of their time.'What's the biggest secret in the world?', the children ask.'It's right under you nose!', she replies. 'But there's nothing there!''Look again. But not with your eyes.'When they look again, with their awareness, they find the breath. They feel it move. Over the next few pages they are guided through a mindfulness exercise, feeling their breath like waves rising and falling. Each wave feels different. 'Wow, I never realised there is a whole sea inside of me!''And there's another secret too!', the woman says, as she leaves. 'But you need to find that out for yourselves...All it takes is five minutes of breathing a day'.The children sit and wonder what the secret is. It's still raining outside. There is still nothing to do. But, strangely, they no longer feel bored. In fact, they feel calm. And full of ideas!'Let's paint the sea!'So...do you know what this secret is?Mindfulness practices (exercises) are integrated into each story, and expanded on in the 'Notes to Parents and Teachers' section at the end of the books. Readers are invited to PAUSE at various points in the story to notice their own present moment experience. The four stories in the 'Mindful Me' series explore how a mindful attitude to life can enhance enjoyment, promote a sense of calm and confidence, and provide young people with a 'friend for life'. The books can be used at home or in the classroom, for storytime or as part of the PSHCE curriculum.The other titles are:Emotions and Me: A Mindfulness Guide to Exploring EmotionsIt's Beautiful Outdoors: A Mindfulness Guide to Noticing NatureSleep Easy: A Mindfulness Guide to Getting a Good Night's Sleep

Jonathan Meres

Jonathan Meres left school at the age of 16 to join the merchant navy spent the next 7 years sailing around the world. Since then he has worked as an ice cream van driver and in Harrods, got a band together, appeared in a pop video and been a stand up comedian. He's won a Time Out Award for Comedy and been nominated for The Perrier Award at the The Edinburgh Festival. He began writing full time in 1994: he's the author of the bestselling World of Norm series, a comedy about a small boy whose life is very unfair...

Nathaniel Harris

Nathaniel Harris taught history at secondary level for many years. He is an experienced writer of history books for young people, specializing in modern problems. He is also an art lover.

Olivia Chase

Olivia Chase lives in Edinburgh, where she is inspired by the Gothic architecture and local ghost stories. She has a black cat called Fell and loves singing with her local choir, Thai food and everything Joss Whedon. Demon Hunters: Trinity is her first YA novel.

Pat Thomas

Pat Thomas is a trained psychotherapist, trainee Naturopath, journalist and mother. After working as a journalist and broadcaster in the USA, she now works in the field of women's health and child development and writes for publications such as The Guardian Company Magazine and Practical Parenting as well as contributing editor to Natural Parent Magazine. Her book 'MY Bees: My Family's Changing' was the winner of The English 4-11 Awards.

Paul Calver

Paul Calver has been designing and writing books for 25 years. he has designed everything from encyclopaedias, sticker books and non-fiction, to children's novelty books. He co-founded Green Android Limited in 2011 and produces books for publishers all over the world. He lives in South London with his wife and two sons.

Paul Harrison

Paul was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and grew up in County Durham. This left him with an accent that people find trustworthy, surveys have confirmed. It also left him with an allegiance to Newcastle United football club. Newcastle won their last major trophy months before he was born. In bleak moments, he wonders if this is his fault.After a degree in Southampton he worked in a variety of different jobs with mixed success. He's been a labourer for a roofer (rubbish), a labourer for a builder (he was keen, but rubbish), a waiter (really rubbish) and a barman (merely adequate). He's sold double glazing (rubbish), toys (not bad), and garden furniture (all right at that). Somehow he never got sacked-it must have been that trustworthy accent. Since then he's been a children's books editor (not bad at that, actually) and now he writes them for what may loosely be described as a living.Paul lives with his wife and two children in West Sussex.

Richard Spilsbury

Richard Spilsbury has worked in educational publishing for more than 20 years and has written on a variety of subjects, from climate change and food and farming to art history and design.

Robert Muchamore

ROBERT MUCHAMORE was born in Islington in 1972. As a teenager he dreamt of either becoming an architect, a photographer or a writer. On discovering that architects have to train for seven years and after quitting his Saturday job in a camera shop, he saved up enough money to buy a word processor and set his heart on writing. The only problem was, he didn't know what to write. So, he found a regular job and spent thirteen years as a private investigator. He was inspired to start writing again by his nephew's complaints about the lack of anything decent to read. Robert's CHERUB and Henderson's Boys series are bestsellers around the world. Robert grew up listening to mix tapes sent to him by his older brother, developing tastes for indie bands like Joy Division, The Pogues and The Smiths. The idea for Rock War came from seeing that many of Robert's fans turned up at book signings wearing the logos of long dead rock bands, and a realisation that his online fan forum had more kids talking about the X-Factor than about his books. For more information, go to www.muchamore.com.

Rosie Banks

Rosie Banks is in her late twenties, and grew up in a small village in the South West. She spent her childhood dreaming of magical creatures and faraway places, so it was natural that she grew up to write a series of stories where such dreams came true!Rosie has always been close to her best friends, and their special relationship provided her with inspiration for her characters.As a child, Rosie's ultimate ambition was to ride a unicorn. She hasn't managed that yet, but she does have a pony called Flip, and cute puppies called Moony and Max.

Roy Apps

Roy Apps is the author of more than fifty children's books, including The Twitches, Fang Gang and How To Handle. He is the author of the highly successful Dream to Win series for Franklin Watts.His novel The Secret Summer of Daniel Lyons won The Writers' Guild Children's Book Award and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Awards. It is now a successful musical.Roy writes extensively for radio, theatre and TV. In 2001 he was awarded a BAFTA for his children's TV work, which includes Byker Grove, The Ghost Hunter and Barmy Aunt Boomerang.Roy visits schools, libraries and bookshops to read from his books and to share the secrets of The Shed in Your Head . He runs Writing Projects for all ages and over the last few years has helped young and new writers make books, stage plays, films, performance poetry and most recently, an opera.

Ryan Graudin

Ryan Graudin was born in Charleston, South Carolina with a severe case of wanderlust. When she's not travelling, she's busy photographing weddings, writing and spending time with her husband and wolf-dog. You can visit her website at ryangraudin.com, follow her on Twitter @ryangraudin and find out more about the world of THE WALLED CITY at ryangraudin.tumblr.com

Sally Grindley

Sally began writing in 1984 while she was working for a children's book club. Since 1995 she has been writing full time and has won the Smarties Prize. She now has some fifty titles in print. 'Shhh' won the Children's Book Award, 'Wake Up Dad' won the Best Books for Babies Award and 'There's a Monster Who Eats Books in our House' was Highly Commended in the Right Start/Petit Filous award, shortlisted in the Sheffield Children's Book Award and selected by the Young Book Trust as one of the '100 best books'. One of her successful POPPY AND MAX series was chosen for the Richard and Judy book award.

Sarah Warburton

Sarah has many books, working for a large variety of publishers. With author Hiawyn Oram, she created the Orchard Books' character of Rumblewick - the witch's familiar - employed by a very unwilling witch. Both in picture book and fiction this character has sold worldwide and is under movie option with DreamWorks. Sarah also illustrated the 'Happy Ever After' series, written by Tony Bradman, as well as the picture book 'Sir Laughalot', written by Tony Mitton for Orchard. Sarah works using a wide combination of pencil sketches, digital colour and traditional pen and ink and watercolour. She lives in Bristol, with her husband and two children.

Sharon Cohen

Sharon Obeng loves to explore themes of 'ancient' and 'cutting edge' and intertwines these elements into her stories. After graduating with a first-class science degree and a doctorate earned catching swans and studying their parasites, Sharon became a medical writer. Her passion for children's fiction emerged following the birth of her first son and she completed the Open University Children's Literature course, gaining a distinction. She has three children and lives with her husband, an ex-Olympic Ghanaian sprinter. THE STARMAN AND ME is her debut novel.

Sue Graves

Sue Graves has been a freelance children's author for more than 17 years. She has written over two hundred books for children from pre-school up to 15+ years. She writes fiction and non fiction, plays and poetry across the age ranges. Sue loves reading all sorts of books and is at her happiest when she has a book in her hand. She also loves painting in watercolours, playing tennis and badminton and going for long walks in the country with her husband and children.

Teri Terry

Teri Terry has lived in France, Canada, Australia and England at more addresses than she can count, acquiring four degrees, a selection of passports and an unusual name along the way. Past careers have included scientist, lawyer, optometrist and, in England, various jobs in schools, libraries and an audiobook charity. The footpaths and canal ways of the Buckinghamshire Chilterns where she now lives inspired much of the setting of her futuristic thriller trilogy - Slated, Fractured and Shattered.Teri Terry is also the author of the award-winning Mind Games and Book of Lies. Her books have been translated into twelve languages and won prizes at home and abroad.

Tim Cooke

Tim Cooke is a graduate of Oxford University. He has worked in children's publishing for over 20 years, and has written or contributed to dozens of books on a wide range of subjects. Among his publications as writer or editor are numerous sets about military history, particularly the American Revolution, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Vietnam War. He has also written extensively about general history, both ancient and modern.

Toby Reynolds

Toby Reynolds has worked in children's publishing for 20 years. After working for some of the largest UK publishers, he spent many years freelancing in a variety of roles. In 2011 he co-founded Green Android Limited,a children's publishing company. he lives and works from his home in East London.

Venitia Dean

Venitia Dean is a freelance illustrator who grew up in Brighton. She has always loved drawing, ever since she could hold a pencil! As a teenager she discovered a passion for figurative illustration and then when she turned 19 she was given a digital drawing tablet for her birthday and started transferring her work to the computer. She hasn't looked back since! As well as illustration, Venitia loves reading graphic novels, and walking her dog Peanut.