Related to: 'Beastly Beasts'

Cressida Cowell speaks to Graham Marks

Author Spotlight

Cressida Cowell’s Hiccup books, which she also illustrates, are now published in over 30 countries around the world and the first book in the series, How to Train Your Dragon, has been made into an animated movie by DreamWorks; Cressida also writes and illustrates picture books. The eleventh title in the Hiccup Saga, How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel, is published in September, and here she talks to Graham Marks about pretty much everything to do with writing a hit series…

Orion Children's Books

The Night-Time Knight

John McLay, Martin Brown
Contributors:
John McLay, Martin Brown

Early Readers are stepping stones from picture books to reading books. A blue Early Reader is perfect for sharing and reading together. A red Early Reader is the next step on your reading journey.When Harry and Oats hear strange noises in the castle they set off to explore only to find treasure, shields and yet more knightly adventures in store for them both!

Orion Children's Books

The Dragon's Dentist

John McLay, Martin Brown
Contributors:
John McLay, Martin Brown

It's never too early to share a good story with these easy-to-use Early Reader iBooks. Press on the pictures to make them move. Read on your own or use the 'read aloud' function. Enjoy sound effects that bring the text to life. Read, watch and listen to the story of Harry and his horse, Oats. Harry wishes he was a knight. All his family are. So, one morning, as he sits cleaning the shields after a very muddy battle, he decides to do a great deed. He decides to capture Eric the Dragon.This iBook contains audio on every page and 26 animated pictures. It is written by John McLay and illustrated by Horrible Histories illustrator, Martin Brown.The Dragon's Dentist is one of seven 'touch and listen' Early Reader iBooks containing animation, sound effects and unabridged audio.Early Readers are stepping stones from picture books to reading books. A blue Early Reader is perfect for sharing and reading together. A red Early Reader is the next step on your reading journey. A yellow Early Reader is a Touch and Listen iBook.You can follow John McLay on twitter @DragonsDentist.

Orion Children's Books

The Worst Wizard

John McLay, Martin Brown
Contributors:
John McLay, Martin Brown

Early Readers are stepping stones from picture books to reading books. A blue Early Reader is perfect for sharing and reading together. A red Early Reader is the next step on your reading journey.Harry's family are all knights. They are big, but Harry is quite small. Then an idea hits him. Perhaps a bit of magic can make him taller...A hilarious new Early Reader story about a horse called Oats, a wizard and a boy who longs to be a knight from John McLay and Horrible Histories illustrator, Martin Brown.

Paul Mason

Paul's books cover a wide range of subjects, from whether the Romans ate crisps to how to build the world's best skatepark, but he writes mostly about sport. Whether you are interested in swimming, cycling, snowboarding, surfing or another sport, Paul has probably written something that will inspire you to get out and give it a try. Paul writes in a shack by the beach, which he shares with his one-eyed surf dog, Daisy.

Pete Williamson

Pete Williamson is an artist, illustrator and animation designer. His highly-acclaimed work includes the award-winning DINKIN DINGS AND THE FRIGHTENING THINGS and the wonderful gothic pottiness of Marcus Sedgwick's THE RAVEN MYSTERIES.Find his website at http://www.petewilliamson.co.uk/

Peter Bailey

Peter Bailey has been illustrating books for more than 35 years and has worked with many of today's best known authors, including Philip Pullman, Allan Ahlberg, Michael Morpurgo and Joan Aiken. He lives near Liverpool with his wife, Sian, who is also an illustrator.

Peter Bently

Peter studied languages at Oxford and lives in Devon, England. He is the author of the hilarious and bestselling The Great Bottom Swap, shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. King Jack and the Dragon, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal and was among the American Library Association's Notable Children's Books of the year. In 2011 he won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize with Cats Ahoy!. www.peterbently.com

Peter Utton

Peter Utton is an author and illustrator of children's picture books. Peter has written and illustrated seven books including The Witch's Hand which won the Austrian Children's Book Prize, was runner-up of The Mother Goose Award and shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal. He has also illustrated over forty books by other authors - the most recent of which - Keep Out!, Help! and the forthcoming It's the Troll! written by Sally Grindley and published by Hodder - follow the same wonderfully innovative and interactive format as the award-winning Shhh!, winner of The Children's Book Prize and runner-up for the Smarties Prize.

Phil Earle

Phil Earle was born in the great city of Hull in 1974, and spent the next eighteen years playing a lot of sport, messing around in plays and trying to sing in bands. He has had jobs as a care worker in a residential kids' home and a bookseller, and now works as sales and marketing director for David Fickling books. In 2016, Phil was appointed as Reading charity BookTrust's new writer-in-residence. He lives on a hill in Yorkshire with his wife and three children and his favourite place to write is on the bus. Visit Phil's website, www.philearle.com, or follow him on twitter @philearle.

Pippa Curnick

Pippa Curnick grew up in rural Essex and studied at Camberwell College of Art. She graduated from the University of Derby with a First Class degree in illustration. Her website is www.pippacurnick.com and you can follow her on twitter @PippaCurnick

Rachel Bright

Rachel Bright is a wordsmith, illustrator and professional thinker of happy thoughts. She has written several books for children, including Love Monster, The Lion Inside and The Koala Who Could - winner of the Evening Standard Oscar's Book Prize and the Sainsbury's Book Award. Her books have sold over 300,000 copies in the UK alone and been translated into over 30 languages. She is also the creator of award-winning stationery and homewares range, The Brightside. Rachel lives on a farm near the seaside, with her partner and their two young daughters.

Richard Brassey

Richard Brassey is the author and illustrator of a host of colourful and original non-fiction books for children, among them the bestselling Nessie the Loch Ness Monster and The Story of Scotland, which won the TES/Saltire Society Award. He lives in Essex. Visit his website at http://www.richardbrassey.com.

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.

Ronda Armitage

Ronda Armitage was born in New Zealand, and later moved to London with her husband and children. Her first book, The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch, soon became a popular series of books. Ronda has gone on to write many much-loved stories for children, including A Very Strange Creature and the fabulous Small Knight and George series about a little knight and his pet dragon. Ronda lives in East Sussex with her husband, David.

Rose Impey

Rose Impey, a former teacher, is highly regarded as a writer for children of all ages. She has written several novels and many bestselling series for Orchard, including Titchy Witch and Animal Crackers. Rose is also the creator of the bestselling Sleepover Club books, which became a major children's television series.

Rosie Banks

Rosie Banks is the author of brilliant series Secret Princesses and Secret Kingdom. You can find out all about Secret Princesses and much more at the series website: http://www.secretprincessesbooks.co.uk

Ruth Miskin

Ruth Miskin is a leading authority on phonics and the teaching of reading. She has over 20 years' teaching experience and until recently was head teacher of Kobi Nazrul School, Tower Hamlets, London. She was an adviser to the National Literacy Strategy and is now national training director of Success for All, a literacy programme which trains British teachers.

Sally Gardner

Sally Gardner is an award-winning novelist from London. Her books have been translated into 22 languages and have sold more than one million copies in the UK. Her historical novel for older readers, I, Coriander, won the Smarties Children's Book Prize in 2005. Two thrillers both set at the time of the French Revolution, The Red Necklace and The Silver Blade, which was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in 2009, followed. Actor Dominic West (The Wire) has bought the film rights to both titles. Her YA novel, The Double Shadow, was published in 2011 to critical acclaim. Sally Gardner's stories for middle readers include Lucy Willow and the popular Magical Children series of six titles: The Strongest Girl in the World, The Invisible Boy, The Boy with Magic Numbers, The Smallest Girl in the World, The Boy with the Lightning Feet, and The Boy who could Fly, which are also available as audio books. She has also written and illustrated picture books including The Fairy Catalogue, The Glass Heart, The Book of Princesses and Playtime Rhymes. Sally Gardner continues to be an avid spokesperson for dyslexia, working to change the way it is perceived by society. She is dyslexic and argues that it is not a disability, but a gift.Her website is www.sallygardner.net and you can follow her on Twitter @TheSallyGardner

Sam Hearn

Sam Hearn started illustrating children's books around 2003, when he drew pictures for Violet and the Mean and Rotten Pirates, written by Richard Hamilton. More recent titles include Hero and the Sinking Ships by Richard Hamilton, the Charlie series by Hilary Mckay, and Meerkat Madness by Ian Whybrow. Sam lives in West London and works with a bunch of creative types in a rickety old studio near the river Thames.