Related to: 'The New Friend'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Cressida Cowell

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…

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The Happy Christmas

Jenny Colgan, Thomas Docherty
Jenny Colgan, Thomas Docherty

The fourth children's book featuring Polly and her puffin Neil, from bestselling adult novelist Jenny Colgan. With gorgeous two-colour illustrations throughout, Polly is perfect for reading aloud - especially at Christmas!Polly and her puffin friend Neil have wrapped presents, practised for the village nativity and written their lists for Santa. But Christmas is taking a very long time to arrive. And Polly isn't enjoying the wait.What's worse, Neil is busy helping to keep an egg warm, so he hasn't got much time to play. Will it EVER be Christmas? And will a tiny little puffling hatch in time for the big day?Perfect for bedtime stories and early readers. From the bestselling author of The Little Beach Street Bakery.Contains lots of fun festive recipes and activities in addition to the story.

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The Stormy Day

Jenny Colgan, Thomas Docherty
Jenny Colgan, Thomas Docherty

Polly and Neil are back in the second gorgeous children's book from Sunday Times bestselling novelist Jenny Colgan. Perfect for reading aloud and including fun activities based on the story.The boat masts jangled louder and louder. Above their heads, black clouds gathered. Polly shivered, and then the rain started to fall: plop, plop, plop.Polly is waiting for something important to happen. But waiting is hard. It's even harder when it's raining and you can't go outside...Can Polly find enough to do to keep busy ALL day? And what will happen when her puffin friend, Neil, decides to fly off into the storm?Perfect for bedtime stories and early readers. From the author of The Little Beach Street Bakery.Contains recipes, activities and rhymes in addition to the story.

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Polly and the Puffin

Jenny Colgan, Thomas Docherty
Jenny Colgan, Thomas Docherty

Meet Polly and her puffin Neil in the debut children's book from Sunday Times bestselling novelist, Jenny Colgan. Illustrated throughout and with recipes, activities and rhymes in addition to the irresistible story.Polly heard a CRASH downstairs. Was it a monster? NO! Was it a spider alien? NO!It was a little puffin with a broken wing...When Polly discovers an injured puffin, she and her mummy look after him in their cottage by the sea.Slowly, Neil's wing heals and Polly must prepare herself to say goodbye to her new friend. Will she ever see him again? Perfect for bedtime stories and early readers. From the author of The Little Beach Street Bakery.Contains recipes, activities and jokes in addition to the story.

Adam Stower

Adam is at university in Canada.

Adelle Smith

Adelle Smith is an award-winning baker. She founded her company BKD (aka BAKED) in September 2014, and since then it has grown from a kitchen industry - offering fun, messy children's baking events, classes and parties, as well as innovative, distinctive and delicious homemade baking kits - into an award-winning, media attention-grabbing company, with kits stocked in Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Fenwicks among many retailers. All the kits are handmade in her bakery in Peckham. Adelle lives in Forest Hill, London with her husband, Mark, and their children.

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 begins airing as a TV show on Disney Junior in 2018. 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 2016 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 was the official World Book Day illustrator in 2014.

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.

Angela Royston

Angela Royston is an extremely well known writer of children's educational books. Her library of titles includes books about space, science, geography, history, social sciences and literacy, just to name a few! Angela regularly visits schools to find out what children are learning and exploring in the classroom, and discusses many of her book titles with children during these visits. Angela is married with children, and lives and works in London.

Anita Jones

Anita is married with three children and one gorgeous grandchild. She loves reading and travelling, and lives in Solihull. She's had a unique and interesting career path including PA/Secretary, Project Manager, IT Consultant and Teacher. She also owned and ran a newsagent's shop for three years.She's a founder member of a small local writers' group who meet once a month to discuss their writing projects. She also loves to sing and is a keen member of Solihull Pop Chorus who've sung at various concerts and by special invitation at a prestigious inauguration event at The Mansion House in London. They recorded a charity CD in November 2016 at Abbey Road Studios in aid of Help Harry Help Others.

Becky Cameron

Becky Cameron is a British author and illustrator from sunny Sheffield. She graduated in 2012 from Sheffield Hallam University with a first class degree in Graphic Design and Illustration and has just completed an MA in Children's Book Illustration at the prestigious Cambridge School of Art. She was highly commended in the Macmillan Prize during her MA.Wishing for a Dragon is Becky's first picture book. As well as drawing and picture books she also loves cats, Kate Bush, moleskine sketchbooks, walking up hills and spends much too much time on twitter and instagram. She dislikes pigeons, slugs in the bathroom and being late for things. She lives in Oxfordshire.

Ben Hubbard

Ben Hubbard began his writing career at a what's-on newspaper in the 1990s, interviewing bands, actors and artists in his native Wellington, New Zealand. He later joined the fast-paced world of daily newspaper journalism before packing up shop and moving to England. Here, Ben tied a number of new strings to his bow: magazine editor, book editor, and finally, author. Today, Ben writes a mix of non-fiction for all ages - preschoolers through to adults. He has penned titles on an eclectic subject range: from space exploration, samurai warriors and medieval castles; to pop music, pets, tornadoes and rugby skills.

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 d'Lacey

Chris d'Lacey is the author of the The Last Dragon Chronicles and the Dragons of Wayward Crescent series. He likes dragons. He was born in Malta, but now lives in Devon with his wife, Jay, and about three hundred teddy bears. He likes teddy bears, too. After graduating from York University with a Biology degree, he went to Leicester University where he worked for twenty-eight years as a research scientist, mainly looking down microscopes. He now writes full time.In his spare moments, he likes to watch TV and walk by the sea - though not necessarily at the same time. His passion is writing and recording songs. His ultimate ambition is to write a song that will feature on the soundtrack of a movie of the dragon books, always assuming a movie is made.Presently, he is working on two new projects, both of which feature dragons to some extent.

Clare Hibbert

Clare specializes in non-fiction books for children of pre- and primary school age. Her favourite subjects are animals, history, art and culture. She has been shortlisted for the prestigious Aventis Junior Science Prize, and won a dozen Practical Pre-School Gold Awards. When she's not writing, Clare likes spending time with her family, taking long walks, going to the theatre and watching contemporary dance - her favourite dancer is Akram Khan.

Daisy Meadows

Daisy Meadows is the author of the bestselling series Rainbow Magic and Magic Animal Friends. Her books have sold over 30 million copies worldwide.You can find out all about her magical stories and much more at the series websites: and

David Dean

David Dean studied illustration at Manchester Metropolitan University and has been working as an illustrator since 1999. He has to date created covers for nearly 40 books including Lauren St. John's THE WHITE GIRAFFE and DOLPHIN SONG (both Orion), as well as many other illustrations for books, magazines, CDs, posters and advertisements. He lives (with his cat) in Cheshire.

Diana Hendry

Diana Hendry lives in Edinburgh, and is well-connected on the literary scene. Her picture book, The Very Noisy Night, was adapted into a show by Blunderbus Theatre Company. She has given readings, poetry readings, workshops and talks to children and adults at numerous festivals throughout the UK including Cheltenham, Edinburgh, Dead Good Poets, Liverpool and Wigtown Book Festival and she has visited schools all around the country from Devon to the Shetlands. She relates to children and teenagers (and adults) with just the right mix of seriousness and fun and they appreciate her dry, mischievous sense of humour.

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 worked for 12 years as a freelance arts journalist, writing for the Sunday times, and The Guardian amongst others. Francesca wrote her first children's book in 1989 and has gone from strength to strength ever since. She lives in London with her husband and son.Francesca Simon spent her childhood on the beach in California, and then went to Yale and Oxford Universities to study medieval history and literature. She now lives in London with her family. She has written over 50 books and won THE CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE YEAR at the Galaxy British Book Awards for HORRID HENRY AND THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN. Visit Francesca's website at and keep up-to-date with Horrid Henry at You can also follow her on Twitter @simon_francesca

Georgia Amson-Bradshaw

Georgia Amson-Bradshaw is a children's writer and editor who lives in Brighton, East Sussex. She has worked on a number of high-profile and award-winning science books for kids, including the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize winner Eye Benders, and the London Science Museum activity book This Book Thinks You're a Scientist. She remembers the eye-opening and inspiring effect her favourite books had on her as a child, and so takes her responsibility to pass that interest and excitement on very seriously!