Related to: 'Chatterbox Bear'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Chris Higgins

Chris Higgins is an ex English and Drama teacher turned award-winning writer. She has written the My Funny Family series for younger readers, but is probably best known for her teen novels, which have gained her two nominations for Queen of Teen. Here she talks to Graham Marks about how she became a writer, tells us some of her writing secrets and talks about her latest novel, The Day I Met Suzie.

Hodder Children's Books

Lucie Goose

Danny Baker, Pippa Curnick
Contributors:
Danny Baker, Pippa Curnick

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.

Claudia Boldt

Claudia Boldt is a young German illustrator based in London. She attended the Glasgow School of Art, and then Kingston University, London, where she graduated with her Masters in Illustration in 2007. Claudia was a winner of the Booktrust Best New Illustrators Award. She is the co-founder of children's newspaper The Loop.

Cressida Cowell

Cressida Cowell is the author and the illustrator of the bestselling How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once 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, a Trustee of World Book Day and a founder patron of the Children's Media Foundation. She has won numerous prizes, including the Gold Award in the Nestle Children's Book Prize,the 2017 Ruth Rendell Award for Championing Literacy, 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

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 Broadbent

David Broadbent has been an illustrator for many a long year, he has created illustrations for different companies and people all over this planet of ours and would like to keep doing so. Books are his favourite thing to work on and he has created artwork for titles such as Do Nice be Kind Spread Happy, Be the Change, Make it Happen and The Camper Van Bible. He lives on the south coast of England with his family, including a strange dog and a three legged hamster.

Deborah Chancellor

Deborah Chancellor is a writer of fiction and non-fiction books for children. She has written nearly 100 books and worked with many leading publishers. Deborah is a prolific writer of children's non-fiction on a wide range of subjects. She is a versatile author who has written biographies for teenagers, adapted Bible stories for pre-school children, and written teenage fiction for older children with reading difficulties. Her books have been translated into many languages and sold all over the world. An Associate Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, Deborah appears at Literary Festivals and runs writing workshops for young people.

Diane Ewen

Diane Ewen is British illustrator, born in Walsall, in the West Midlands. She has always been in love with art and graduated from the University of Wolverhampton with a B.A. Honours Degree in illustration. Diane likes to create illustrations that are hand-drawn in pencil before painting in watercolour and acrylics prior to embellishing them using Photoshop but she also enjoys working directly on the computer screen creating her designs. She likes the fact that illustrations are the first things that entice the reader to engage with a book and is inspired by the use of vibrant colour.

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.

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

Erica-Jane Waters

Erica is no stranger to sea faring adventures! When she was a little girl, her father, a former Merchant Navy Officer would tell her 'ship stories' about water spouts, sharks and mountainous waves. Inside Erica's six-year-old imagination, these stories soon included fairies that lived under the sea, mermaids, curious sea beasties and gigantic ocean dwelling monsters. She spent her childhood exploring the rock pools of the rugged and wild coast of Northern Ireland, but now lives far, far away from the sea so contents herself by writing about it instead.Illustrator Erica-Jane Waters grew up in the beautiful Northern Irish countryside where her imagination was ignited by the local folklore and fairy tales. She now lives in Northamptonshire with her young family. Find her website at http://www.ericajanewaters.com/

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

Howard Calvert

As a child, Howard was a big Richard Scarry fan, and still considers Lowly Worm a close confidante, even if he is an anthropomorphic worm. He now writes his own children's books, mainly while on the train to work, and in 2015 was runner-up in the Greenhouse Funny Prize. His full-time job is as a magazine journalist. He lives in Hampshire with his wife and two daughters, and enjoys getting covered in mud in the countryside while trail running or mountain biking, eating his own bodyweight in cinnamon buns, riding his Brompton and destroying his kitchen while baking.

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.

Jim Field

Jim Field is a lead-driven, pencil-pushing, 25-frames-per-second Led Zeppelin fan. He is also a hugely talented illustrator and animation director. His first picture book Cats Ahoy! won the Booktrust Roald Dahl Funny Prize and was nominated for the Kate Greenaway award. He has since illustrated a string of bestselling, multi-award-winning children's books, including Oi Frog! and The Lion Inside, as well as young fiction series Rabbit and Bear.

Josh Greenhut

Josh Greenhut is a consultant and writer. He lives in Toronto with his family.

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.

Julian Gough

Julian Gough is the author of several novels, a children's book, some BBC radio plays, and the narrative at the end of the wonderful computer game, Minecraft (TIME magazine's computer game of the year). His first children's book, Rabbit's Bad Habits, published in 2016, has been widely critically-acclaimed; Neil Gaiman called 'a laugh-out-loud story', and Eoin Colfer called 'an instant modern classic'. Julian has won the BBC National Short Story Award and has been shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction. He also, in his youth, wrote the words (and sang) on four albums by the cult Galway group, Toasted Heretic, and had a top-ten hit in Ireland with 'Galway and Los Angeles', a song about not kissing Sinead O'Connor. He was born in London, raised in Tipperary, educated in Galway and now lives in Berlin.

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! won the 2017 Laugh Out Loud Picture Book Award and 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! was the number one bestselling World Book Day book in 2018.