Related to: 'When the Crocodiles Came to Town'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Guy Parker-Rees

Guy Parker-Rees is the award-winning author of whole shelf of bestselling picture books, including the international hit Giraffes Can’t Dance. He writes his own stories, as well as working with other authors, such as Giles Andreae and Tony Mitton. Here he talks to Graham Marks about his world of colour, line and characters, and his latest Tom & Millie books.

Alex Ayliffe

Alex Ayliffe is a bestselling, award-winning writer and artist. Her distinctive papercut illustrations are bright and bold with lots of child appeal. Alex has illustrated many books for children, including the bestselling Dig Dig Digging and Boo Barney, winner of the Sainsbury's Baby Book Award. She lives with her family in Hertfordshire.

Alison Bartlett

Alison studied illustration at Anglia College of Art in Cambridge and began an M.A. At Kingston University. In 1993 she was shortlisted for the Macmillan Prize for Oliver's Vegetables. She lives in Bristol with her young son..

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.

Caroline Craig

Caroline Craig is a food writer from London. She is the co-author with Sophie Missing of The Little Book of Lunch and The Cornershop Cookbook and a columnist for Guardian Cook.

Chris Higgins

Before writing her first novel, Chris taught English and Drama for many years in secondary schools. She also worked at the Minack, the open-air theatre on the cliffs near Land's End, but now writes full-time.Chris has won a number of awards including Young Minds, the Lancashire Book Award, the Lincolnshire Young People's Book Award, the KYBA, and she has been shortlisted twice for Queen of Teen.She lives in the far west of Cornwall with her husband.

Claire Powell

Claire is an illustrator, writer and designer who lives and works in London. She has spent several years as a design director in the world of channel rebranding working for clients such as Nickelodeon, BBC Three, CBBC and BBC One. Claire has a tendency towards humour and bright, bold use of colour and she loves creating strong typographical layouts to help tell a story.

Daisy Meadows

The Rainbow Magic and Magic Animal Friends books are written by a small collective of authors under the name Daisy Meadows. Rainbow Magic is the no.1 bestselling series for girls aged 5 and up with over 30 million copies sold worldwide!Learn more about the books at www.rainbowmagicbooks.co.uk (where you can download the Rainbow Magic Reading Challenge poster) and www.magicanimalfriends.com (where you'll find fun animal activity sheets)

David Almond

David Almond is the author of Skellig, My Name is Mina, Counting Stars, The Savage, Island, A Song for Ella Grey, The Colour of the Sun and many other novels, stories, picture books, opera librettos, songs and plays. His work is translated into 40 languages, and is widely adapted for stage and screen. His major awards include the Carnegie Medal, two Whitbread Awards, the Eleanor Farjeon Award, the Michael L Printz Award (USA), Le Prix Sorcières (France) and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. In 2010 he won the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world's most prestigious prize for children's authors. David speaks at festivals and conferences around the world. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. He is widely regarded as one of the most exciting, inspirational and innovative children's authors writing today. He has one amazing daughter. He lives in Bath and in Newcastle, the city in which he was born.www.davidalmond.com

David Litchfield

David Litchfield first started to draw when he was very young, creating comics for his older brother and sister. Since then his work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, books and on T-shirts. David's first picture book The Bear and the Piano won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize. He lives in Bedfordshire.

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.

Guy Parker-Rees

Guy Parker-Rees exuberant and energetic illustrations have made him a household name and one of today's bestselling children's illustrators. Notable successes include Giraffes Can't Dance - written by Giles Andreae, a worldwide besteller, and Richard & Judy children's book choice, Spookyrumpus, winner of the Sheffield, Dundee and Portsmouth book awards, and the highly acclaimed All Afloat on Noah's Boat. Guy lives in Brighton with his wife and three sons.

Hannah Phillips

Hannah has worked in publishing since leaving university in a variety of roles. She lives in Shropshire.

James Bishop

James was born in Oxfordshire - he is proud that after 32 years, he has moved one town over from where he was raised (although he does still feel homesick).Previous work includes writing credits on Diddy TV and Gigglebiz, as well as "successfully" convincing 90's pop act Hanson to play at his wedding. Well, they didn't actually play, but they sent him on a honeymoon to Jamaica which James thinks is even better.James spends his spare time thinking of inventive ways to engineer more spare time for himself ... so far unsuccessfully.

James Mayhew

James Mayhew studied at Maidstone College of Art and his first children's book, Katie's Picture Show was published in 1989. It's been firmly in print ever since, recognised universally as the original and best introduction to art for children. Many more titles have followed, and the series sells in museums and galleries all over the world, from the Met in New York, to the Uffizi in Florence, the Louvre in Paris and beyond. He is also the creator of the much-loved Ella Bella Ballerina series, and many other titles. Alongside his work in publishing, James has devised and performed in a hugely successful series of concerts for children, combining live classical music, storytelling and live art. From Peter and the Wolf, to Scheherazade, James has worked internationally with many different orchestras and musicians, creating illustrations in time to music. James grew up in Suffolk but now lives in Hertfordshire.

James Nixon

Politics graduate and sports enthusiast James Nixon lives in Leominster, Herefordshire and is an experienced editor and author of children's non-fiction. He has written over 50 titles on a wide range of topics.

Joe Archer

Joe Archer works at Kew Gardens as Head Horticulturalist in the kitchen garden. He appeared in the 'Kew on a Plate' television programme with Raymond Blanc.

Joyce Dunbar

Joyce Dunbar has published more than 80 books. Translated into 20 languages, she is best known for her lively and quirky picture books stories, with their wide emotional range. She has, as Philippa Pearce once said in a review, 'a passionate authenticity of imagination.' She revels in the joy of language, the playfulness of words, and in seeing her work fabulously brought to life by world class illustrators. She has written many stories for radio and television and contributed to several anthologies.

Kes Gray

Kes is a bestselling, multi award-winning author of more than 70 books for children. He eats Ideaflakes for breakfast, spreads silliness on his toast and lives in a place called Different.Oi Frog!, Oi Dog! and Oi Cat! are a top ten bestselling series. Oi Dog! was shortlisted for the Sainsbury's Children's Book Award and the British Book Awards in 2016, amongst others. It also won the Teach Primary New Children's Fiction Award, MadeForMums Award, Bishop's Stortford Picture Book Award and Portsmouth Picture Book Award. Oi Cat! was the Independent Booksellers Children's Book of the Season and Oi Goat! is a World Book Day book in 2018.

Kita Mitchell

Kita wrote and illustrated her first work, Cindersmella, at the age of six. It was swiftly and cruelly rejected by publishers. The sequels, Repunsmell and Moudilocks were equally badly received.Disheartened, she turned her attention to making stuff and luckily they did degrees in that. After getting one she went on to produce films for Channel 4 - but the feeling that she should write funny books for children never went away.Kita graduated from the Bath Spa MA in Writing for Young People last year and the opening of Grandma Dangerous appeared in their recent anthology.She lives in Oxfordshire with four daughters, sixteen chickens and a hamster.

Margaret Mayo

Margaret Mayo is an acclaimed storyteller and author who has been creating stories for children for over 35 years. She has written more than 50 books, including the bestselling Dig Dig Digging, Choo Choo Clickety-Clack! and Stomp, Dinosaur, Stomp! A former teacher, Margaret uses her wide-ranging experience with children in her writing. She lives in Brighton.