Related to: 'Wishing for a Dragon'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

David Melling

David Melling is the international bestselling author and illustrator who first came to our attention with the critically acclaimed The Kiss That Missed, and whose The Tale of Jack Frost went from page to animated TV feature, voiced by Hugh Laurie. Here he talks to Graham Marks about how he became a children’s book illustrator, his influences, his passions and why he loves Twitter…

Adam Blade

Adam Blade is the name for a small collective of authors who have been writing the bestselling series Beast Quest and Sea Quest for ten years! Beast Quest has now sold over 10 million copies. The newest series from the Adam Blade team is called Team Hero. You can find out more about all these amazing adventures at the series websites: beastquest.co.uk and teamherobooks.co.uk

Alan Gibbons

Alan Gibbons is a full-time writer and a visiting speaker and lecturer at schools, colleges and literary events nationwide, including the major book festivals: Edinburgh, Northern Children's Book Festival, Swansea, Cheltenham, Sheffield and Salford. Alan is a key supporter of a high-profile, nationwide campaign to champion libraries and librarianship and to reevaluate government commitment to educational spending. He lives in Liverpool with his wife and four children. Alan is an honorary CILIP member.Visit Alan's website at www.alangibbons.com, read his blog at alangibbons.net, follow him on Twitter @mygibbo, Facebook www.facebook.com/alan.gibbons.35 and Flickr www.flickr.com/people/71279646@N08.

Alex T. Smith

Author-illustrator Alex T. Smith is the award-winning creator of the bestselling Claude series, which is published in 16 languages worldwide, and is now a TV show on Disney Junior. Alex's newest series, Mr Penguin, launched in 2017, to widespread praise. Alex's quirky, witty writing and illustrations are instantly recognisable, critically acclaimed and as popular with adults as children. Alex is also widely praised for his work illustrating children's classics: he won Children's Book of the World Illustration Award for his illustrations in a new edition of Dodie Smith's The Hundred and One Dalmatians; he has created new art for books by Enid Blyton, Eva Ibbotson and Richmal Crompton. Alex has collaborated with Watership Down author Richard Adams on his last book, Egg Box Dragon, as well as David Almond and Juno Dawson. Alex has won the UKLA Picture Book Award and the Sainsbury's Children's Book Award, and been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Award. He has also been the official World Book Day illustrator.

Angie Rozelaar

Angie grew up in Kent and after a childhood spent mostly drawing and painting pictures, she went on to study at Chelsea Art School, and later graduated in Humanities from Exeter University. She continued to enjoy drawing in her spare time throughout a variety of jobs, from West End theatre technician to gallery assistant. Launching her career as a freelance illustrator in 2009, she secured early commissions for greetings cards and from educational publishers. Angie is now based in Normandy where she shares an old farmhouse with her family, four cats and a little brood of hens and works from her studio in a converted hayloft.

Annalees Lim

Having completed a BA in Designs for Film and Television and a postgraduate course in Prop Making, Annalees spent her early career in production design and prop making for theatre, independent film and television. More recently, she has founded Makers and Creators in her capacity as arts practitioner, and runs craft workshops for various community groups, including children and young people with additional needs, as well as vulnerable adults.

Becky Down

Becky graduated from Falmouth University with a BA(Hons) Illustration in 2013, and has since been working freelance in her studio in Hampshire. People watching, books, trips to the zoo, and tea on tap all inspire and motivate her to create fun, colourful illustrations using a combination of paint splodges, scribbly pencil and Photoshop. When she is not illustrating, she enjoys baking, films, running and country walks.

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.Follow Caryl at carylhart.com and @carylhart1

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 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.

Ellie Sandall

Ellie loved drawing from an early age and has a passion for picture books (she keeps her collection in a huge wardrobe in her studio!) After competing a degree in Graphic Design at Bath Spa University, she became interested in drawing and writing specifically for children, and went on to achieve a Master's degree in Children's Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art. As a child, her favourite picture book was The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and she still loves the work of Eric Carle. In her spare time Ellie loves to get stuck into some DIY or go out in her kayak, and she dreams of one day owning her very own sausage dog.

Emily X. R. Pan

EMILY X.R. PAN has an MFA infiction from New York University and is the founding editor-in-chief of Bodega Magazine as well as a co-creator of FORESHADOW: A Serial YA Anthology. The Astonishing Colour of After is her first book. Visit Emily online at exrpan.com, and find her on Twitter and Instagram: @exrpan.

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 Book Trust 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 likes to spend any spare time in North Cornwall, surfing and walking in all weathers.

Francesca Simon

Francesca Simon spent her childhood on the beach in California and started writing stories at the age of eight. She wrote her first Horrid Henry book in 1994. Horrid Henry has gone on to conquer the globe; his adventures are published in 27 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Francesca has won the Children's Book of the Year Award and been a judge for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. In 2009, in one of the proudest moments of her career, Francesca was awarded a Gold Blue Peter badge.Francesca is also a passionate ambassador for children's literacy and is a trustee of the World Book Day charity. She lives in North London with her family.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

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.

Jean Reagan

Jean Reagan was born in Alabama but spent most of her childhood in Japan. She now lives in Salt Lake City in America with her husband. In the summers, they serve as backcountry volunteers in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. To learn more about Jean and her work, please visit JeanReagan.com

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.

Katie Dale

Katie Dale had her first poem 'The Fate of The School Hamster' published in The Cadbury's Book of Children's Poetry, aged 8 and hasn't stopped writing since. On graduating, she went travelling through South-East Asia - only to discover whilst in a Vietnam internet cafe that she was a winner of the SCBWI 2008 Undiscovered Voices competition.

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.

L J Smith

L J Smith is the author of more than twenty books for young adults, including the bestselling Night World and Vampire Diaries series (now a hit-series on ITV2). She lives in Northern California, in a rambling house in a small town.Lisa knew that she wanted to be a writer since she was about six, when a teacher praised a poem she'd written. She wrote her first book in high school, finishing it in her first year of college. Then she became a special education teacher before she was able to become a writer full-time.