Related to: 'The Witch of the Ditch'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Emmy Laybourne

Emmy Laybourne is, in her own words, ‘a writer, teacher and a recovering character actress’ who lives in upstate New York with her husband ‘and two surprisingly well-mannered children’. Here she talks to Graham Marks, on Skype, about how she became a writer, the highs and lows of starting out on a writing career, and her novel, Monument 14.

Orion Children's Books

Robbie and the RAAAH

Steven Butler, Nigel Baines
Contributors:
Steven Butler, Nigel Baines

A red Early Reader full of humour and fun, from bestselling author and actor, Steven Butler.Robbie always behaves. He always does what he's told. Until one day, when he just doesn't want to anymore. That's when the RAAAH appears...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.

Orion Children's Books

Mr P's Naughty Book

Francesca Simon, Pete Williamson
Contributors:
Francesca Simon, Pete Williamson

AARDVARK: shouts atBAKED BEANS: drops on catKETCHUP: decorates mother withMr Punishment has the perfect punishment for every naughtiness in the world and every day his telephone rings with parents desperate for his advice. But Mr Punishment never seems to get it quite right - with chaotic results!Read by Steven Butler(P)2004 Orion Publishing Group.Ltd

Orion Children's Books

The Parent Swap Shop

Francesca Simon, Pete Williamson
Contributors:
Francesca Simon, Pete Williamson
Orion Children's Books

Spider School

Francesca Simon, Tony Ross
Contributors:
Francesca Simon, Tony Ross

Snakes and snails and spiders for dinner! Kate was having a bad day. Her first morning at her new school and already her clothes have gone missing, her best friend has disappeared, and her new teacher is a comic-reading gorilla. Something is very wrong! Francesca Simon brings every child's worst nightmare to life in this funny, original story brought to life with Tony Ross's inimitable illustrations. Read by Steven Butler.(P)2004 Orion Publishing Group.Ltd

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

Andrew Matthews

Andrew Matthews is a celebrated children's author, who has written over fifty books and has twice been nominated for the Smarties prize.

Andy Riley

Andy Riley is a highly successful cartoonist and comedy scriptwriter. TV writing credits include HBO's Veep, Gangsta Granny, Robbie the Reindeer, Little Britain and Black Books. Film credits include The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists and Gnomeo and Juliet. His bestselling books include The Bunny Suicides series.

Brita Granström

Mick Manning (born in Yorkshire, England, 1959) and Brita Granström (born in Eskilstuna, Sweden, 1969) work together as a team sharing the illustration and text. They have been producing award-winning non-fiction picture books for almost twenty years. They show that the best non-fiction for children can be scholarly, albeit with a light touch, and can have some of the imagination-stretching qualities of fiction. They are well known for their exciting performances involving readings and live drawing using overhead camera projection (often involving participation from members of the audience) all mixed with an audio-visual presentation. They appear on a regular basis at major UK book festival venues such as Bath, Cheltenham and Edinburgh International Book Festival. They have appeared at The Royal Society Science Festival and have celebrated The Big Draw at various venues including The Imperial War Museum. They have worked closely to support libraries and schools, performing voluntarily to school classes in the UK and Sweden and have also attended the American Library Conference and visited US schools.Many of Manning & Granström's books are translated into a number of languages, including Chinese, German, Greek, Danish, Japanese, Norwegian, Swedish and Slovakian. For the last 12 years Mick & Brita have created, written and illustrated a monthly 5-page gentle pre-school series called 'Max and Kate' for the critically acclaimed US children's magazine Ladybug.http://www.mickandbrita.com Selection of Franklin Watts books:The World Is Full of Babies! (Smarties Silver Award Winner); What's under the Bed? (TES Award Winner); Wash, Scrub, and Brush (English Association Award KS1 Winner); Stone Age, Bone Age and many other Wonderwise titles; How Did I Begin? (Rhone Poulenc Science prize winner); How Should I Behave?; Seaside Scientist; My Body Book; My Uncle's Dunkirk; Charlie's War Illustrated (English Association Award KS2 Winner); The Story of Britain; The Brontës - Children of the Moors.

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

Cath Senker

Cath Senker is a children's non-fiction writer who specialises in writing about modern history, global issues and world religions. Her latest history titles include Living Through the Vietnam War (Raintree, 2011), Our World Divided: Israel and the Middle East (Wayland, 2011) and A Cultural History of Women in America: Women Claim the Vote (Bailey Publishing, 2011). She has a particular interest in the topics of migration, refugees and racism and recently wrote Mapping Global Issues: Immigrants and Refugees (Arcturus, 2011). In her work, Cath aims to highlight individuals' experiences and to present different viewpoints in a non-judgemental way as a basis for discussion.Cath also works as a project manager and editor on non-fiction titles for both children and adults. Before embarking on a freelance career, she worked as a commissioning editor for a children's educational publishing company for eight years. She is also an experienced ESOL teacher. Cath volunteers with City Reads, a project that aims to widen the enjoyment of books and reading among people of all ages, especially people from disadvantaged communities. She is a also a keen amateur cyclist, cook and gardener.

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.

Claudia Martin

Claudia Martin has worked in book publishing for 17 years. She is the author of several books and websites for children and young people. Her favourite subjects are history, current affairs and technology.

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 Wojtowycz

David Wojtowycz is a bestselling, award-winning author and artist. He studied at Goldsmiths College in London, graduating with a degree in Fine Art. In 1996 David illustrated his first book for children, Rumble in the Jungle, which went on to become an international bestseller. David has gone on to create many more hugely successful children's books, including The Lion Who Wanted to Love, winner of the Red House Book Award, and the bestselling Mad About Minibeasts. David lives in Berlin.

Dawn Hewitt

Dawn Hewitt is CEO of CHUMS, a Child Bereavement Trauma and Emotional Wellbeing Service based in Bedfordshire. They are an independent social enterprise with over 45 staff and over 70 volunteers and they provide much needed help and support to children and young people who are dealing with grief and bereavement, amongst other issues. This book is a collaboration between Dawn and her colleagues at CHUMS.

Dermot O’Leary

Toto the Ninja Cat and the Great Snake Escape is the first book Dermot O'Leary has written for children, and was inspired by his real-life cats.Dermot started his career on T4 for Channel 4, and went on to present and produce Big Brother's Little Brother. In 2007 Dermot landed the coveted role hosting ITV 1's The X Factor and presented eight consecutive series, deftly holding the judges to account on a weekly basis. Dermot made a much anticipated and triumphant return to the X Factor in 2016.Dermot has also chaired the debate, and interviewed party leaders, for First Time Voters Question Time on BBC3. He regularly presents Unicef's SoccerAid, and is also the host of the National Television Awards. In 2014 Dermot hosted the groundbreaking and RTS-Award-winning 'Live from Space' season on Channel 4, and in 2017 he was proud to host the Brit Awards.This is all alongside hosting his own multi-award-winning BBC Radio 2 show every Saturday (winner of three Sony Radio Awards), known for its solid support of new and emerging bands.

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/

Garry Parsons

Garry studied Fine Art at Canterbury and the Illustration Sequential Design MA at Brighton. He has illustrated many books and has won various awards, including the Red House Children's Book Award, the Stockport Schools Book Award, the Nottingham Children's Book Award and an AOI Images award.

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.

Helen Greathead

Helen Greathead is a highly experienced creator, editor, project manager and writer of successful non-fiction titles and series. She spent 14 years at Scholastic Children's Books where she commissioned series, including Horrible Histories. She began a freelance career in 2003, and titles she has written include the Now You Know series (Scholastic) and the Design and Make series (Watts).