Related to: 'A T-Wit for a T-Woo'

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.

Alex T. Smith

Alex graduated from Coventry University with a degree in Illustration and won second place in the Macmillan Prize for Children's Illustration. Claude won the 5-9 young fiction Sainsbury's Children's Book Award, was selected for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize, the Richard and Judy Book Club and is soon to be a TV star on Disney Junior with 52 episodes airing in 2018. Alex T. Smith is a World Book Day Illustrator.

Caryl Hart

Caryl Hart is the author of many bestselling books for children, including the hugely successful How to Grow A Dinosaur and The Princess and the Peas. She is the winner of the Stockport Children's Book Award, the Sheffield Children's Book Award and the Lancashire Share a Story Award. Caryl lives on the top of a windy hill in the Peak District with her guitar-playing husband, two cheeky daughters, one extremely fluffy black cat, a goldfish, four hens and an invisible dog called Paddy.

Catherine Anholt

Catherine and Laurence Anholt are a husband and wife team who have produced about 200 children's books, published in more than 30 languages around the world. Their books have won numerous awards, including the Nestlé Smarties Gold Award on two occasions.Catherine comes from an Irish family and is one of eight brothers and sisters. Catherine and Laurence met while studying Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art. They went on to take Master's Degrees at the Royal College of Art and the Royal Academy respectively.Around half of the Anholts' titles are illustrated by Catherine, including the Chimp and Zee series and numerous picture books published by Orchard Books.The Anholts have been closely involved with a number of literacy charities and Catherine produced some of the original material for the highly successful government funded BookStart scheme, which encourages parents to share books with babies from the earliest possible age. Their work has taken them inside Downing Street and Buckingham Palace on several occasions.Catherine and Laurence live near the sea in Devon. They have three grown up children: Claire works for the UN in New York, Tom Anholt is a painter living in Berlin and Maddy is an actor based in London. Alongside her children's books, Catherine produces hundreds of painting and prints. You can see some of them at: www.catherineanholt.com

Charles Causley

Charles Causley was born in Cornwall and apart from six years in the Royal Navy in the second world war lived there all his life. He was one of Britain's foremost poets and wrote for both adults and children. He was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 1967 and appointed CBE in 1986. He received (with Michael Foreman) the Signal Award for 'Early in the Morning'. In 1987 he won the Kurt Maschler Award for 'Jack the Treacle Eater' and in 1990 the Ingersoll/T.S. Eliot Award of America. Sadly, Charles died in 2003.

Cressida Cowell

Cressida Cowell is the author and the illustrator of the bestselling How to Train Your Dragon book series, and the author of the Emily Brown picture books, illustrated by Neal Layton. How to Train Your Dragon has sold over 8 million books worldwide in 38 languages. It is also an award-winning DreamWorks film series, and a TV series shown on Netflix and CBBC. The first book in Cressida's new series, The Wizards of Once (also signed by DreamWorks), publishes in September 2017. Cressida is an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and the Reading Agency and a founder patron of the Children's Media Foundation. She has won numerous prizes for her books, including the Gold Award in the Nestle Children's Book Prize , the Hay Festival Medal for Fiction, and Philosophy Now'magazine's 2015 Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity. She grew up in London and on a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland and she now lives in Hammersmith with her husband, three children and a dog called Pigeon.

David Melling

David Melling has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Smarties Book Award and the Independent Booksellers Award. His Hugless Douglas books have sold over 1.4 million copies worldwide, and the loveable brown bear has starred in a World Book Day book as well as his own theatre show. Before becoming an internationally acclaimed author-illustrator, David worked as an animation artist for films including the much-loved Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs. One of his most popular picture books The Tale of Jack Frost was animated and shown on BBC1 on Christmas Day.

Emma Dodd

Emma was brought up in Guildford, Surrey, in a family of artists. As a child she loved the work of Peter Firmin, John Burningham and Gerald Rose and from as far back as she can remember she wanted to be an illustrator. Emma studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Central Saint Martin's School of Art and has worked in advertising, editorial and book illustration. The I Love You range has sold over 750,000 copies and I Love My Mummy won the Bookstart Early Years Award. Emma lives in Surrey with her husband and two children and their terrier cross, Buzz, who keeps her fit and provides inspiration. The family like to spend any spare time in North Cornwall, surfing and walking in all weathers.

Enid Blyton

Enid Blyton's books have sold over 500 million copies and have been translated into other languages more often than any other children's author.She wrote over 600 books and hundreds of short stories, including favourites such as The Famous Five,The Secret Seven, The Magic Faraway Tree, Malory Towers and Noddy. Born in London in 1897, Enid lived much of her life in Buckinghamshire and adored dogs, gardening and the countryside. She died in 1968 but remains one of the world's best-loved storytellers.

Garry Parsons

Garry studied Fine Art at Canterbury and the Illustration Sequential Design MA at Brighton. He has illustrated many books and has won various awards, including the Red House Children's Book Award, the Stockport Schools Book Award, the Nottingham Children's Book Award and an AOI Images award.

Giles Andreae

Giles Andreae is the author of many top selling award-winning picture books. For Orchard, 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 and an icon of contemporary popular culture. Giles lives with his wife, Victoria, a children's clothes designer, and their four young children by the river in Oxfordshire.

Hilary Mckay

Hilary McKay won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize with her first novel, The Exiles. Her subsequent work has achieved recognition: The Exiles at Home won the Smarties Prize, whilst Saffy's Angel, the first in the Casson Family series, won the Whitbread Award, for which the third book, Permanent Rose, was also shortlisted.

Izzi Howell

Izzi Howell is the author and editor of over fifty children's books. She lives in East Sussex and enjoys learning languages, cooking and travelling around Europe.

Jim Field

A lead-driven, pencil-pushing, 25-frames-per-second, Led Zeppelin fan, Jim Field is also a hugely talented illustrator and animation director. His first picture book Cats Ahoy! won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. The bestselling Oi Frog! books, written by Kes Gray, have been shortlisted for numerous prizes, as has The Lion Inside with Rachel Bright. His vibrant, energetic style and witty detail delight children and adults alike.

Jo Weaver

Jo Weaver had a career as a support worker in the non-profit sector before retraining as an illustrator. She completed an MA degree in Children's Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art in 2014, where she discovered a love of working in charcoal. Shortly afterwards she was shortlisted for the Association of Illustrator's newcomer's Awards. Jo lives with her young family in north London, and when she's not drawing she can be found escaping the city to walk and explore in the wild outdoors.

Joanna Nadin

Joanna Nadin is a winner of the Fantastic Book Award, the Surrey Book Award, Blue Peter 'Book of the Month' and Radio 4 Open Book 'Book of the Year'. She has been shortlisted for the Booktrust Best Book Award and Queen of Teen, and Spies, Dad, Big Lauren and Me was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club. In 2011, Penny Dreadful is a Magnet for Disaster was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. Joe All Alone was nominated for the 2016 CILIP Carnegie Medal. She writes the Flying Fergus series with Sir Chris Hoy. Joanna previously worked as a policy writer for the Labour Party and a special adviser to the Prime Minister. She continues to freelance as a speechwriter and editor, and lectures in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.

Kes Gray

Voted by the Independent as one of the TOP TEN children's authors only a year after publishing his first book, Kes Gray is a major talent and the author of the bestselling and award-winning Eat Your Peas and many more. He lives in Witham, Essex, with his wife, family and assortment of animals.

Lauren Child

Lauren Child MBE is a multi-award-winning author and current Children's Laureate, whose books are known and loved the world over. She is the creator of many much-loved characters, including Charlie and Lola, Clarice Bean and Ruby Redfort. Since her first book was published in 1999, Lauren has sold over six million books in 19 languages worldwide. Her many awards include the prestigious Kate Greenaway Prize for I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato, the Nestle Gold Book Award for That Pesky Rat and the Nestle Bronze Book Award for Beware of the Storybook Wolves. Lauren loves designing and making things and finds it exciting to see her drawings turned into objects. Other favourite things include the cinema, TV matinees, small Italian cars, handbags, cardigans, travelling and being picked up from the airport.

Laurence Anholt

Laurence and Catherine Anholt live and work in a house and studios on top of a hill above the sea in Devon. They started making picture books in 1984 when their first daughter was born. Since then they have made more than 200 classic picture books, which are published all over the world in more than 30 languages. Their titles range from their Orchard picture book series which include Babies Love Books and Billy and the Big New School; to Laurence's self-illustrated Anholt's Artists series, an introduction to great artists for young children, which include Camille and the Sunflowers. Laurence also collaborates with his friend, the illustrator, Arthur Robins on the bestselling Seriously Silly Stories, which include the Nestlé Smarties Gold Award winner Snow White and the Seven Aliens.The Anholts' books have won many awards and are frequently featured on television and radio. Babies, Babies, Babies is listed in The Sunday Times 100 Modern Classics. Laurence was included in the Independent on Sunday's Top 10 Children's Authors in the UK and was described as 'one of the most versatile authors writing for children today'. Laurence was brought up mainly in Holland where he developed a lasting passion for art. He then went on to study Fine Art for eight years, finishing with a Master's Degree from the Royal Academy of Art in London.The Anholts have been closely involved with a number of literacy schemes such as the UK Government funded Bookstart scheme, which encourages parents to share books with babies from the earliest possible age. Their work has taken them inside Buckingham Palace and Downing Street on many occasions. Recent projects include a full-scale stage musical in Korea. Laurence and Catherine have three grown up children: Claire works for the UN in New York, Tom Anholt is a painter living in Berlin and Maddy is an actor based in London. Laurence's favourite things include, 'my lovely family, travelling to wild places and anything to do with art'. The best way to relax? 'A long soak in a warm book.'

Louise Spilsbury

Louise Spilsbury is a prolific children's book author. She has written titles on almost every subject, from science and geography through to world affairs, social issues, art, history, and literacy. Louise is married to the author Richard Spilsbury and has two children. She lives and works in Devon.

Mara Bergman

Mara Bergman is an award-winning poet and children's writer. She grew up on Long Island, NY, and always knew she wanted to write. Her poetry has been published widely in magazines and anthologies in the UK and abroad. Her short collection, The Tailor's Three Sons and Other New York Poems, won the 2014 Mslexia Poetry Pamphlet Competition and was published in 2015 by Seren. Mara has always felt a strong link between poetry and picture books and began to write for children when her own were young. She has published more than twenty books, including Snip Snap! (reissued as Snip Snap Alligator!), illustrated by Nick Maland, which won the Stockport Children's Book Award and, in the US, a Parents' Choice Award and the Society of Illustrators' Silver medal. In 2009 she won the Booktrust Early Years Prize for Oliver Who Travelled Far and Wide, also illustrated by Nick Maland. Mara works in London as a children's fiction editor and lives in Kent. Visit her at www.marabergman.com