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

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
Contributors:
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.

Jackie Walter

Jackie Walter has written and edited many books for children. She never gets tired of listening to and telling a good story. Jackie lives in Cornwall with her husband and young daughters.

James Mayhew

James Mayhew studied at Maidstone College of Art and his first children's book, Katie's Picture Show was published in 1989. It's been firmly in print ever since, recognised universally as the original and best introduction to art for children. Many more titles have followed, and the series sells in museums and galleries all over the world, from the Met in New York, to the Uffizi in Florence, the Louvre in Paris and beyond. He is also the creator of the much-loved Ella Bella Ballerina series, and many other titles. Alongside his work in publishing, James has devised and performed in a hugely successful series of concerts for children, combining live classical music, storytelling and live art. From Peter and the Wolf, to Scheherazade, James has worked internationally with many different orchestras and musicians, creating illustrations in time to music. James grew up in Suffolk but now lives in Hertfordshire.

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.

Katie Woolley

Katie Woolley is a creative and versatile editor and writer who has worked on children's books for all age levels, from board books, novelty books and picture books to non-fiction, licensed publishing and educational books and apps. With more than 10 years' publishing experience working for companies such as Ladybird Books and Hachette Children's Books, she has written, commissioned, edited and project-managed a wide variety of titles for some of the biggest children's publishers.

Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is the number one New York Times bestselling author fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse. With over one million copies sold, her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone trilogy, the Six of Crows duology and The Language of Thorns. She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood, where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.Find her website at www.leighbardugo.com and follow her on Twitter @lbardugo.

Lisa Regan

Lisa Regan studied English and Linguistics at the University of Nottingham and gained a postgraduate diploma in Publishing at West Herts College. She has written over 400 published titles, including picture books, puzzle books, children's reference and curriculum-linked workbooks. She lives in Colchester, UK, with her sons, and a husband with an encyclopaedic knowledge of football.Her work ranges from magazine-style books on fashion and sleepovers, to highly illustrated STEM titles that fit into schools and libraries lists. Her favourite topics are wildlife and geography, but she also has huge fun writing rhyming tales.

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.

Mojca Dolinar

Mojca Dolinar is a Slovenia-based illustrator and designer. She discovered her passion for illustration at an early age. After studying graphic design at the University of Ljubljana she worked as a designer, and now for more than 15 years she has been working in her own studio as an illustrator and designer. Her sketchbook is always close and she uses it as much as she can. She also tries to be creative with different techniques, mixing traditional and digital tools, hand-drawn and digital illustration. Mojca's inspirations are nature and animals - no wonder she likes to illustrate books for children so much!

Neal Layton

Neal is an award-winning illustrator and author of children's books. He has worked on more than 80 titles to date, working with authors such Cressida Cowell and Michael Rosen, and won several prizes including a Gold Award in the Nestle Children's Book Prize for 'That Rabbit belongs to Emily Brown'. His books have also been shortlisted for the Red House Book Awards, the Blue Peter Book Awards, the Booktrust Early Years Award, Funfzig Jahre Deutcher Jugendliteraturpreis and New York Public Library's annual list of best Children's Books.He also writes his own books, 'The Invincible Tony Spears' and the bestselling 'Mammoth Academy' Series. His books are currently in print in more than 16 languages worldwide. He lives in Portsmouth with his wife and two daughters.

Nick East

Nick East is the illustrator of the bestselling Toto the Ninja Cat as well as the Goodnight Digger and Knock Knock series. He has been working as a museum designer for the past 16 years but has always been a storyteller, whether as a child, filling sketchbooks with quirky characters, or as a designer displaying a collection of ancient artefacts. Nick lives near York with his wife and two children and, when he isn't drawing, he is out riding bikes and spending time with his family.Find Nick at nickeastillustration.com

Pat-a-Cake

Pat-a-Cake takes you and your child on a magical journey. From sharing the very first baby book to watching your little one read all by themselves. The adventure begins here . . .

Paul Christelis

Paul Christelis has worked as a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, writer, group facilitator and teacher for over twenty years. He is director of School of Moments (www.schoolofmoments.com), an organisation dedicated to teaching mindfulness to individuals, groups and communities.

Saviour Pirotta

Saviour Pirotta has written over 100 children's books, ranging from picture books to novels. He has been fascinated by traditional tales since he was a child, and before becoming a full-time writer he worked as a storyteller for the Commonwealth Institute in London. His titles include The Orchard Book of First Greek Myths and The Orchard Book of Grimm's Fairy Tales. He lives in Saltaire, West Yorkshire.

Steve Antony

Steve Antony - a graduate from the prestigious MA in Children's Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin - is the author-illustrator of The Queen's Hat and Please Mr Panda. Only debuting in 2014, Steve has had enormous success: The Queen's Hat won the Evening Standard's Oscar's First Book Prize, and was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize. Please Mr Panda was chosen as Picture Book of the Month by US retailer Barnes & Noble, who held over 650 Panda events over one weekend. Steve aims to create picture books that are slightly 'off the wall', books that children will laugh at and adults will tweet about, but most of all, books that he enjoys.

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!").

Tony Ross

Tony Ross was born in London and studied at the Liverpool School of Art and Design. He has worked as a cartoonist, a graphic designer, as the Art Director of an advertising agency, and as Senior Lecturer in Art at Manchester Polytechnic. Tony is one of the most popular and successful children's illustrators of all time, best known for illustrating Horrid Henry and the works of David Walliams. Tony's books have been translated into 40 languages in over 100 countries. He lives in Macclesfield.