Related to: 'Hidden Talent'

Develop confident, independent readers

Reading Champion

Reading Champion from Franklin Watts offers fantastic independent reading books for children to practise and reinforce their developing reading skills.

Anita Ganeri

Anita Ganeri is an award-winning author of children's information books. She has been a writer for 20 years, after working in-house for Usborne Publishing and Walker Books. She specialises in the natural world, religion and mythology but is always looking for new challenges. Among her many titles are the best-selling 'Horrible Geography' series for Scholastic Children's Books which won the Blue Peter Book Award for the Best Book with Facts in 2009 and the Tivy Education Medal from the Royal Scottish Geographical Society for an outstanding contribution to geographical education. Anita lives in northern England with her husband, children, dogs and cat. She enjoys reading, walking the Moors, playing tennis and dreaming of winning Wimbledon.

Bryony Gordon

In the 18 years that she has worked for the Telegraph, Bryony Gordon has become one of the paper's best-loved writers. She is the author of the bestselling The Wrong Knickers plus The Sunday Times Number One bestseller Mad Girl which was nominated for a British Book Award. Her weekly column in the Sunday Telegraph has won her an army of fans who have followed her journey from single girl about town to - finally! - settled mum. Bryony is now 37 and lives in Nappy Valley (Clapham) with her daughter Edie and her husband, a financial journalist. The last sentence is one she never thought she would see written down on paper.

Chris Mould

Chris Mould went to art school at the age of sixteen. During this time, he did various jobs, from delivering papers to washing-up. Chris loves his work and writes and draws the kind of books that he would have liked to have on his shelf as a boy. He has won the Nottingham Children's Book Award, has been shortlisted for the Greenaway Award and commended for the Sheffield Book Award. Chris has also worked for the RSC, the BBC, the FT and many other famous initials, as well as for Aardman Animations, where he did character and environment development work on the film Flushed Away. Chris is married with two children and lives in Yorkshire.

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.

Dermot O’Leary

Toto the Ninja Cat series was inspired by Dermot O'Leary's real-life cats.Dermot started his career on T4 for Channel 4, and has presented shows for both ITV and the BBC. His best known work includes ten series of The X Factor, Big Brother's Little Brother, BBC3's First Time Voters Question Time, Unicef's Soccer Aid, the RTS Award winning 'Live from Space' season following the International Space Station's orbit of the Earth in 2014 and the Brit Awards which he presented with Emma Willis in 2016.2017 saw Dermot launch his new Saturday morning show on BBC Radio 2, 'Saturday Breakfast with Dermot O'Leary'. Previously in the Saturday afternoon slot, 'The Dermot O'Leary Show' won three Sony Radio Awards and was well known for its support of new and emerging bands.2018 saw Dermot host the National Television Awards for the ninth time. He also joined Kirsty Young and Huw Edwards to host the BBC's coverage of the Royal Wedding in front of an audience of 13 million people.Dermot lives in London with his wife Dee and their cats Socks and, of course, Toto.You can find Dermot on Twitter and Instagram - @radioleary

Emma Fischel

Emma Fischel is an experienced writer, specialising in both fiction and non-fiction for children of primary school age. She has written several titles in this series. Emma lives in London with her three children.

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.

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

G M Berrow

G M Berrow is a writer and television industry professional living in Brooklyn, New York. When she was little, she aspired to become either a princess or a magical pony. Things seem to be right on track.

Giles Andreae

Giles Andreae is the author of many top-selling, award-winning picture books. These include Rumble in the Jungle, Commotion in the Ocean and I Love My Mummy. However, it is for the international bestseller Giraffes Can't Dance that he is best known. Giles is also the creator of Purple Ronnie, Britain's favourite stickman, and of the artist/philosopher, Edward Monkton. These two ranges of greetings cards, books and merchandise have made Giles the country's top-selling living poet. Giles lives with his wife, Victoria, a children's clothes designer, and their four young children by the river in Oxfordshire.

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.

Jane Ray

Jane Ray's exquisite artwork has gained acclaim both in the UK and internationally, and she regularly shows her work at galleries and exhibitions. Jane won the Smarties Prize with The Story of Creation; The Story of Christmas was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award; and A Balloon for Grandad was shortlisted for the Mother Goose Award. Jane's books for Orchard include the contemporary fairy tale The Apple-Pip Princess, the heartwarming The Dolls' House Fairy and the fabulously festive The Twelve Days of Christmas. She is also the illustrator of Heartsong, written by Kevin Crossley-Holland. Jane lives in London.

Lauren St John

Lauren St John is the author of several books on sports and music, as well as the award-winning children's series THE WHITE GIRAFFE, the BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD-winning LAURA MARLIN series and THE ONE DOLLAR HORSE trilogy. Her first adult novel, THE OBITUARY WRITER, was published in 2013. Lauren St John is one of the lead voices of Authors4 Oceans, a collective of 50 writers calling to ban the use of plastics in the book industry.Visit Lauren's website at www.laurenstjohn.com, like her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Lauren-St-John/120957211278399 and follow her on Twitter @laurenstjohn

Martin Waddell

Martin Waddell is known and respected the world over for his incredible storytelling. Martin has won the Smarties Prize twice and was presented with the Hans Christian Andersen Award for children's literature. For Orchard, Martin has written the fun, action-packed bestseller 'The Dirty Great Dinosaur' and its sequel 'The Super Swooper Dinosaur' (both illustrated by Leonie Lord), and two wonderful story collections 'The Orchard Book of Goblins, Ghouls and Ghosts' (illustrated by Tony Ross) and 'The Orchard Book of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales' (illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark). Martin lives in Northern Ireland.

Miranda Richardson

Miranda Richardson has appeared in films such as THE HOURS, SLEEPY HOLLOW, THE CRYING GAME, EMPIRE OF THE SUN and HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE. TV work includes A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME, JACKANORY, Queen Elizabeth in BLACKADDER and Queen Mary in THE LOST PRINCE. She has won two Spoken Word awards for her inspired readings of HORRID HENRY AND THE SECRET CLUB and HORRID HENRY'S STINKBOMB audiobooks for Orion.

Nasaya Mafaridik

Nasaya Mafaridik is based in Indonesia. Self-taught, she has a passion for children's books and bright, colourful stationery. Nasaya can be found on Instagram: @a.nasaya

Nicola Davies

Nicola Davies is an award-winning author whose books for children include Big Blue Whale, Just Ducks!, One Tiny Turtle and The Promise, which was declared one of the best picture books of the year by the New York Times. She graduated in zoology, studied whales and bats, then worked in the BBC Nature History Unit. She was one of the original presenters of The Really Wild Show. Nicola lives in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales. Visit her website at www.nicola-davies.com

Steve Barlow

As 50% of the Two Steves, Steve Barlow has written over 160 books with Steve Skidmore since their first published work appeared in 1988. Born in Crewe, he was educated at Crewe Grammar School, Warwick University and Nottingham University before a varied career in teaching, acting, stage management and puppetry. He worked in a village school in Botswana for four years before returning to the UK and working with Steve Skidmore. The Two Steves tour extensively in the UK and overseas, and are frequent visitors to book festivals including Edinburgh and Hay. Their work for Hachette includes the highly popular I Hero and Crime Team choose-your-adventure books, and their I Horror series is raising the short hairs at the back of readers' necks with Orchard Books.

Steve Skidmore

Steve Skidmore writes with Steve Barlow. Together they are Britain's most popular comedy writing and performing double act for young people. Not surprisingly, they are known as The 2 Steves!The 2 Steves met over twenty years ago when they were both teaching in Nottingham. Since then they have written over 160 books together. They have also acted as series editors on numerous reading programmes for several major publishing houses.The 2 Steves are in great demand for author visits to schools, colleges and libraries across the world. They also undertake INSET events and make regular appearances at Literary Festivals.Steve Skidmore is shorter than Steve Barlow and less hairy. He was born in Birstall near Leicester in England. After managing to pass some exams at school, he went on to Nottingham University to supposedly read English, but spent most of his time playing sport and doing a variety of summer jobs including counting pastry pie lids (yes, really). He trained as a teacher of Drama, English and Film studies, before teaming up with Steve Barlow to become a full time author.He lives in Leicester and is a great rugby fan (he supports Leicester Tigers - "Come on you Tiiiiigeeeers!").

Tommy Donbavand

Tommy Donbavand is the author of the 13-book Scream Street series, published in over a dozen languages worldwide. He has also written several titles for reluctant and struggling readers, including Zombie!, Wolf, Virus and Uniform - which won the 2011 Hackney Short Novel Award. Originally from Liverpool, Tommy now lives in Lancashire with his family and an increasing number of pets. He sees sleep as a waste of good writing time.