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
Contributors:
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
Contributors:
Jenny Colgan, Thomas Docherty
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Polly and the Puffin

Jenny Colgan, Thomas Docherty
Contributors:
Jenny Colgan, Thomas Docherty

David Almond

David Almond is twice winner of the Whitbread Children's Book Award. His first novel, SKELLIG, won the Whitbread Children's Award and the Carnegie Medal and was made into a feature-length film on Sky1. His second, KIT'S WILDERNESS, won the Smarties Award Silver Medal, was Highly Commended for the Carnegie Medal, and shortlisted for the Guardian Award. THE FIRE-EATERS won the Whitbread, the Smarties Gold Award and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, and CLAY was shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award, and the Carnegie Medal. A SONG FOR ELLA GRAY won the Guardian Children's Book Prize.David has also won the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Award for his lasting contribution to children's literature and is widely regarded as one of the most exciting and innovative children's authors writing today. His books are bestsellers all over the world. He lives with his family in Northumberland. www.davidalmond.com

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.

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard is a footballer, father and author of the 'Frankie's Magic Football' series!To date, Frank remains Chelsea Football Club's all-time leading goal scorer, where he was awarded three times Chelsea Player of the Year. In 2014 Frank was the vice captain on the England football squad at the World Cup in Brazil, and then went on to play for Manchester City in 2014 in the UK before signing with New York City FC to play as part of the Major League Soccer side, starting July 2015. Frank was awarded an OBE in the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to football.Frank enjoys reading with his two daughters, and when they requested stories about football Frank decided to create his own characters and adventures to entertain them. These tales provided the inspiration for 'Frankie's Magic Football'. Frank is passionate about promoting child literacy and is an ambassador of the National Literacy Trust; he hopes to inspire both young girls and boys to read with the 'Frankie's Magic Football' series. "The idea for 'Frankie's Magic Football' came from reading bedtime stories to my daughters. Adventure stories are their favourite and I wanted to combine my love for football with something that I could read to them, and that they would love too. 'Frankie's Magic Football' reminds me of the stories that I used to like to read. Frankie's friends also remind me of the mates that I used to kick a football about with when I was young, as well as some of the players I've met during my career." - FRANK LAMPARD

Franklin Watts

Franklin Watts is well-known for its high-quality and attractive books. We aim to give children of all abilities a life-long love of learning and reading.

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.

H L Dennis

Helen Dennis was born in Brighton and loves living near the sea. She was a teacher for twenty years, and now writes full time - but enjoys making school visits, where she runs code-cracking and creative writing sessions.

Hilary Robinson

Hilary Robinson is the author of over 40 children's books including the top selling Mixed Up Fairy Tales and The Copper Tree. She is also a broadcaster and freelance BBC radio producer. Hilary was born in Devon and brought up in Nigeria and England. Her books have been translated into a number of languages and are sold across the world.

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.

Jason Chapman

Jason Chapman's great passion is writing and illustrating picture books - several of which have been published worldwide. He has also illustrated for museums and charities including the Natural History Museum, the NSPCC, the National Trust and the National Portrait Gallery and has worked with leading children's TV company Ragdoll Productions developing new characters. A promotional postcard posted to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in 1990 featuring dogs and cats relaxing in a pub, sparked a working relationship between Jason and the Home that is still strong today. Jason's charming and humorous dogs and cats have appeared on murals, magazines, books, factsheets, education packs, websites, animations, advertising and much more.

Jem Maybank

Jem illustrates from her studio in Leeds. But when she's not there, she likes to illustrate animals, hang out with her pet birds and go running by the canal where her houseboat is!

Jenny Oldfield

Born and brought up in Harrogate, Yorkshire, Jenny Oldfield went on to study English at Birmingham University, where she did research on the Brontë Novels and on Children's Literature. She then worked as a teacher, before deciding to concentrate on writing. She writes novels for both children and adults and, when she can escape from her desk, likes to spend time outdoors. She loves the countryside and enjoys walking, gardening, playing tennis, riding and travelling with her two daughters, Kate and Eve.

Jewell Parker Rhodes

Jewell Parker Rhodes grew up in Pennsylvania. She is an author of adult and children's books, a Coretta Scott King Honour award-winner, and a professor of creative writing at Arizona State University. She currently lives in San Jose.

Jim Field

A lead-driven, pencil-pushing, 25-frames-per-second Led Zeppelin fan, Jim Field is also a hugely talented illustrator and animation director. His first picture book Cats Ahoy! won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. The bestselling Oi Frog! books, written by Kes Gray, have been shortlisted for numerous prizes, and The Koala Who Could, written by Rachel Bright, is the winner of the Sainsbury's Children's Book Award and the Evening Standard Oscar's Book Prize. His vibrant, energetic style and witty detail delight children and adults alike.

Juno Dawson

Juno Dawson - formerly known as James - grew up in West Yorkshire, writing imaginary episodes of DOCTOR WHO. She later turned her talent to journalism, interviewing bands before writing for a Brighton newspaper. Until recently, Juno worked as a teacher, specialising in PSHE. She is most proud of her work surrounding anti-bullying and family diversity. In 2014 she became a School Role Model for the charity STONEWALL. In 2015, Juno announced her intention to undergo gender transition and live as a woman.Visit Juno's website at www.junodawson.com

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

Voted by the Independent as one of the TOP TEN children's authors only a year after publishing his first book, Kes Gray is a major talent and the author of the bestselling and award-winning Eat Your Peas and many more. He lives in Witham, Essex, with his wife, family and assortment of animals.