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

A beautiful and lyrical celebration of love, step by step, through the seasons.The heartwarming words are matched by stylish and contemporary art making this a book to treasure and read time and time again. A perfect picture book to share at bedtime or as a gift to welcome a new baby, and for Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.

A H Benjamin

A H Benjamin is an established children's author with 30 titles to his credit. His books have sold worldwide with more than 20 translations, including Chinese, Korean, Turkish and Arabic. Some of his work has been adapted for radio, television and theatre.He's married with four grown up children and four young grandchildren who have all been his inspiration for writing. He lives in Lincolnshire with wife, Trisha. His hobbies are reading, WRITING, walking and playing the playstation 2 (but only football!).When he was a little boy he dreamt of being a cowboy... He still does!

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 2017. Alex T. Smith is a World Book Day Illustrator.

Alison Steadman

Alison Steadman OBE is a national treasure. Her illustrious and wide-ranging career includes roles in Abigail's Party, Pride and Prejudice, Secrets & Lies and Gavin & Stacey.

Chloe Inkpen

Chloë Inkpen grew up surrounded by picture books and has a natural gift for storytelling. A love of language and art saw her swap an English course for a degree in illustration, graphics and photography at the Glasgow School of Art. She spent her final year specialising in children's book illustration and was awarded second place in the Macmillan Prize for Illustration in 2008

Clare De Marco

Clare lives in London with her husband, son and daughter. She is always sharing stories with young, and not so young, children.

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.

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

Damian Harvey

Damian Harvey lives in North Wales with his lovely wife, Vicky. He has three wonderful daughters, one brilliant boy and a cat called Polly. He has written more than 60 books for children and is busy writing more. Although Damian loves sitting at home writing stories, he also loves visiting schools and libraries where he shares stories, talks about writing and generally gets people excited about books and reading. You can find out more about Damian by visiting www.damianharvey.co.uk.

David Roberts

David Roberts is a hugely successful illustrator who has illustrated books by Philip Ardagh, Julia Donaldson, Jacqueline Wilson and Chris Priestley. He's also the creator of Dirty Bertie and the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling artist of picture books IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT and ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER. David lives in London.

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.

Enid Richemont

Although I've lived for most of my life in north London, I was born and grew up in South Wales. My mum read to me a great deal,and I think it was from her that I developed my love of language. I also enjoyed drawing and painting, and eventually won a scholarship to study at Dublin College of Art.When I came back from Eire, I first worked as a teacher in a Rudolf Steiner school. Then I came to London and took a number of strange jobs, including reading aloud to a blind writer and typing out his manuscript. The typewriter I'd hired to do this had some paid-for time left, so I used it to write a short story which I sold to a women's magazine. It became the first of many, and the beginning of a successful career. While my children were growing up, I stopped writing, and started a small design business, making screen-printed puppet theatres, flying saucers and playhouses that looked like medieval battle tents.Work took us to Paris, where we lived for two years, and where, incidentally, I first encountered the Romanian gipsy girl who features in my novel, FOR MARITSA WITH LOVE (Simon&Schuster).My first children's book, THE TIME TREE (Walker Books) grew out of a story I told my daughter and her best friend to pass the time on a very long walk (the original idea came from a TV programme I'd watched about teaching children with hearing problems). The girls begged me to write it down so that they could read it for themselves - so I did. This book is currently being marketed as a film series by Wild Thyme Productions.TO SUMMON A SPIRIT (Walker Books), was one of the Pick of the Year titles listed in the Children's Book Award. I'm now published in the USA and Australia as well as the UK, and my work has been translated into Danish, German and Japanese.My first book for Franklin Watts was PLOP CITY, a book about bird poo which continues to be loved, especially by small boys. I have two copies of the Arabic version

Georgia Pritchett

Georgia Pritchett is a comedy writer who has written for a number of TV comedies and comedians including The Thick Of It, Veep, Miranda, Have I Got News For You, Smack the Pony, Graham Norton, Jo Brand, Paul Merton, Lenny Henry, Ronnie Corbett, Wallace and Gromit and several other real, fictional and occasionally plasticine people. Wilf the Mighty Worrier is Georgia's first work for children. She lives in London with her partner and two children.

Ian Whybrow

Ian Whybrow has lived in Kent, various places in London and as far afield as Hong Kong and New York. The most important thing to him in his writing is that it reads aloud brilliantly and that there is something in it for everyone.

Jamie Littler

Jamie is a St. Albans-based illustrator who graduated from the Arts Institute at Bournemouth in 2008, and won a High Commendation in the Macmillan Children's Book Award in the same year. Since then Jamie has worked with many varied clients, and his debut children's book, 'MUM'S THE WORD', written by Timothy Knapman, is to be published by Hodder Children's Books in 2013.He is the creator, writer and illustrator of the on-going comic series 'COGG & SPROKIT' which is serialised in the Phoenix Comic, and his debut fiction series 'ATOMIC!', published by Scholastic Children's Books, written and created by Guy Bass, was released in 2012. When not trying to tame his un-naturally fast growing hair, he likes drawing, colouring in, cutting things out and sticking things in. Whatever medium he uses, Jamie tries to create a 'hand-made', organic and energetic feeling in his work. His interests are pretty wide and varied; although he does have a soft spot for wild animals and things that go bump in the night.Jamie is represented by Jodie Marsh at United Agents.Jamie Littler graduated from the Arts Institute at Bournemouth in 2008. He has won a High Commendation Award at the Macmillan Children's Book Awards and is the creator of 'Cogg and Sprokit', which is serialised in the PHOENIX. He has worked on high-profile projects including The Famous Five. Follow him on Twitter @jamieillustrate or visit his website at http://jamielittler.co.uk/

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.

Karen Wallace

A Canadian, Karen Wallace gained a degree in English from London University. Shortly afterwards she and her husband went to Toronto and worked in the publishing business. A few years later they moved to Ireland with their two young sons, and returned to England in 1982. She now writes full-time for children and for children's television. She and illustrator Mike Bostock won the TES Information Book Award for THINK OF AN EEL (Walker Books). Her novel RASPBERRIES ON THE YANGTSE was short-listed for the Guardian Award. She is married to novelist Sam Llewellyn.

Katharine Holabird

Born: Cambridge, MA USA, Jan 23, 1948Childhood spent in Chicago, IL with 3 sisters (and actress mother, architect father)Jobs: magazine editor, nursery school teacher, freelance journalist, writerLives: North London, England and Water Mill, NY USAFirst Book: Angelina Ballerina published 1983Katharine grew up in an artistic household in Chicago, the 2nd of 4 daughters. As a child she lived in an imaginary world of fairy tales, princesses and ballerinas, and loved to put on plays and dances with her sisters. Katharine received a BA in Literature from Bennington College in Vermont in 1969, and after graduation worked as a literary editor, then moved to Italy where she was a freelance journalist for 2 years.In 1973 Katharine married and moved with her husband to London, where she became a nursery school teacher until the birth of their first daughter in 1976. Another daughter was born in 1979 and a son in 1983.Katharine was already the mother of young children when she created Angelina Ballerina in 1982. "I wanted to write for all the children who love dance and drama, and my daughters were a great inspiration."There are now over 20 books in print about the adventures of ballet mad Angelina, translated into over 15 languages. Angelina has danced in an animated TV series for several years, and has pirouetted into the limelight with the English National Ballet in two children's ballets based on the series. A new musical, "Angelina the Mousical", is touring the UK in 2012 and will head to the Peacock Theatre in London in 2013. The Angelina books have won a collection of awards, including: the Kentucky Bluegrass Award for Angelina Ballerina in 1985; ALA Notable Book Awards in 1986 and 1987, a British Book Design and Production award in 1990. Angelina's Christmas was selected as the Child Study Association's Children's Book of the Year in 1987. "Angelina Ballerina's Invitation to the Ballet" won the Oppenheim Platinum Award in 2005.

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.