Related to: 'The Littlest Things Give the Loveliest Hugs'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Jane Simmons

Jane Simmons is a uniquely talented award-winning illustrator and author, and the creator of some of our best-loved children’s books. Here she talks to Graham Marks about boats, motorbikes and making a mess, as well as her words, her art and her latest picture book, Lily Gets Lost.

Orchard Books

Never Take a Bear to School

Mark Sperring, Britta Teckentrup
Contributors:
Mark Sperring, Britta Teckentrup

Bears are clumsy. They don't sit still. They're much, much bigger than teachers - and they eat SUCH a lot of lunch! Yes, taking a bear to school is a BAD idea. But will this little boy find the courage to face the first day of school alone?With so much to do, like painting, dressing up, storytime, and making new friends, he just might! And Bear? He'll always be waiting at the end of the day, with a great big hug!A delightfully funny story that will reassure every child anxious about starting a new school or nursery.

Orchard Books

Your Hand in My Hand

Mark Sperring, Britta Teckentrup
Contributors:
Mark Sperring, Britta Teckentrup

Adrienne Kennaway

Adrienne Kennaway spent most of her formative life in Kenya, East Africa, where she developed her interest in wildlife. Interest soon turned to art and even as a child Adrienne painted animals. A spell at Ealing Tech in London and L'Academie Bella Arte in Rome polished Adrienne's skills. Adrienne has illustrated over 30 children's books and her illustrations for Crafty Chameleon won the Kate Greenaway Prize. A world-wide traveller, Adrienne now enjoys spending time in the countryside, capturing the local wildlife on canvas. She lives in the Republic of Ireland.

Andy Stanton

Andy Stanton has written eight books about Mr Gum, along with further successful fiction and picture book titles. He was overall winner of the Red House Children's Book Award for You're a Bad Man, Mr Gum! and won the inaugural Roald Dahl Funny Prize for Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear. He has twice won the Blue Peter Book Award for Best Book With Pictures, and been shortlisted for a host of other awards.

Anna Kang

Anna Kang and her husband Christoper Weyant live in New Jersey with their two daughters. Anna, a native New Yorker, grew up believing she was small until one day she realised that everyone else was big. She attended USC's School of Cinematic Arts, USA, where the visual storyteller in her was awakened, forever changing the way she saw art, life, and everything in between.

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.

Cath Senker

Cath Senker is a children's non-fiction writer who specialises in writing about modern history, global issues and world religions. Her latest history titles include Living Through the Vietnam War (Raintree, 2011), Our World Divided: Israel and the Middle East (Wayland, 2011) and A Cultural History of Women in America: Women Claim the Vote (Bailey Publishing, 2011). She has a particular interest in the topics of migration, refugees and racism and recently wrote Mapping Global Issues: Immigrants and Refugees (Arcturus, 2011). In her work, Cath aims to highlight individuals' experiences and to present different viewpoints in a non-judgemental way as a basis for discussion.Cath also works as a project manager and editor on non-fiction titles for both children and adults. Before embarking on a freelance career, she worked as a commissioning editor for a children's educational publishing company for eight years. She is also an experienced ESOL teacher. Cath volunteers with City Reads, a project that aims to widen the enjoyment of books and reading among people of all ages, especially people from disadvantaged communities. She is a also a keen amateur cyclist, cook and gardener.

Chris Weyant

Christoper Weyant live in New Jersey with his wife, Anna Kang and their two daughters. A cartoonist and illustrator, Christopher's cartoons can regularly be seen in The New Yorker magazine. His cartoons are syndicated world-wide and have been featured on The Today Show and World News. You can visit him at www.christopherweyant.com.

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), is a number one bestseller.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.

Daisy Meadows

Daisy Meadows is the author of the bestselling series Rainbow Magic and Magic Animal Friends. Her books have sold over 30 million copies worldwide.You can find out all about her magical stories and much more at the series websites: www.rainbowmagicbooks.co.uk and www.magicanimalfriends.co.uk

David Almond

David Almond is twice winner of the Whitbread Children's Book Award. His first novel, SKELLIG, won the Whitbread Children's Award and the Carnegie Medal and was made into a feature-length film on Sky1. His second, KIT'S WILDERNESS, won the Smarties Award Silver Medal, was Highly Commended for the Carnegie Medal, and shortlisted for the Guardian Award. THE FIRE-EATERS won the Whitbread, the Smarties Gold Award and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, and CLAY was shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award, and the Carnegie Medal. A SONG FOR ELLA GRAY won the Guardian Children's Book Prize.David has also won the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Award for his lasting contribution to children's literature and is widely regarded as one of the most exciting and innovative children's authors writing today. His books are bestsellers all over the world. He lives with his family in Northumberland. www.davidalmond.com

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.

David Wojtowycz

David Wojtowycz is a bestselling, award-winning author and artist. He studied at Goldsmiths College in London, graduating with a degree in Fine Art. In 1996 David illustrated his first book for children, Rumble in the Jungle, which went on to become an international bestseller. David has gone on to create many more hugely successful children's books, including The Lion Who Wanted to Love, winner of the Red House Book Award, and the bestselling Mad About Minibeasts. David lives in Berlin.

Francesca Simon

Francesca Simon worked for 12 years as a freelance arts journalist, writing for the Sunday times, and The Guardian amongst others. Francesca wrote her first children's book in 1989 and has gone from strength to strength ever since. She lives in London with her husband and son.Francesca Simon spent her childhood on the beach in California, and then went to Yale and Oxford Universities to study medieval history and literature. She now lives in London with her family. She has written over 50 books and won THE CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE YEAR at the Galaxy British Book Awards for HORRID HENRY AND THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN. Visit Francesca's website at www.francescasimon.com and keep up-to-date with Horrid Henry at www.horridhenry.co.uk. You can also follow her on Twitter @simon_francesca

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.

Laura Ellen Anderson

Laura Ellen Anderson is a children's book writer and illustrator based in London. She has illustrated several picture books, including Snowflakes and Mermaid, both written by CBBC presenter Cerrie Burnell. Laura is also the creator of the comic strip 'Evil Emperor Penguin', published monthly in The Pheonix Comic.

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.

Leonie Lord

Leonie Lord grew up in Gloucestershire and studied illustration at Central St Martins College, London.Since graduating she has worked in various different areas of illustration but has mainly produced editorial work, contributing regularly for newspapers such as The Sunday Telegraph and The Guardian.Leonie has a young family, which has recently renewed her love of children's books, inspiring a world in which anything and everything is possible and probably about to happen any minute. This has led her to illustrate for children herself; The Dirty Great Dinosaur being her first illustrated book for children.After spells in London and Sydney, Leonie now lives in Cheltenham in an upside-down house with her husband and two children.

Martin Waddell

Martin Waddell is known and respected the world over for his incredible storytelling. Martin has won the Smarties Prize twice and was presented with the Hans Christian Andersen Award for children's literature. For Orchard, Martin has written the fun, action-packed bestseller 'The Dirty Great Dinosaur' and its sequel 'The Super Swooper Dinosaur' (both illustrated by Leonie Lord), and two wonderful story collections 'The Orchard Book of Goblins, Ghouls and Ghosts' (illustrated by Tony Ross) and 'The Orchard Book of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales' (illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark). Martin lives in Northern Ireland.

Mick Inkpen

Mick Inkpen is one of the top-selling picture book artists and writers in the world and is consistently in the top ten most borrowed authors in UK libraries. The Kipper and Wibbly Pig stories have millions of readers worldwide. He has won the British Book Award twice for Lullabyhullaballoo and Penguin Small and the Children's Book Award for Threadbear. He has also been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Smarties Award three times, winning Bronze for Wibbly Pig's Silly Big Bear. In addition to this, Kipper won a BAFTA for best animated children's film.