Related to: 'Secrets in the Skies'

Author Spotlight With Graham Marks

Giles Andreae

Giles Andreae is not only the bestselling author of such award-winning picture books as Giraffes Can’t Dance, Rumble in the Jungle and The Lion Who Wanted to Love, he’s also the man behind the entertaining world of Purple Ronnie, as well as The Interesting Thoughts of Edward Monkton. Here he talks to Graham Marks about all the many and varied bits of his very creative life, including toilet brush poetry.

Franklin Watts

The Sun and Stars

Giles Sparrow
Authors:
Giles Sparrow
Franklin Watts

Space Exploration

Giles Sparrow
Authors:
Giles Sparrow

Space Travel Guides offer a unique look at our Solar System and beyond for older children. Adopting a `travel guide` format, this original series takes the reader on a fascinating fact-packed voyage, offering insights and points of interest along they way. Stunning full-colour photographs and quirky cartoons ensure that no detail is omitted as the trip progresses - from planetary features to star magnitudes and from space toilets to driving on the Moon.

Franklin Watts

Earth and the Inner Planets

Giles Sparrow
Authors:
Giles Sparrow
Franklin Watts

The Outer Planets

Giles Sparrow
Authors:
Giles Sparrow

Albert Uderzo

Albert Uderzo was born in 1927 in a small village in Marne, France. He met Rene Goscinny in 1951 and on 29 October 1959 their most famous creation, Asterix, made his first appearance on page 20 of Pilote. Asterix the Gaul, their first album, was published in 1961 and there have now been 34 Asterix albums.

Alex Ayliffe

Alex Ayliffe is a bestselling, award-winning writer and artist. Her distinctive papercut illustrations are bright and bold with lots of child appeal. Alex has illustrated many books for children, including the bestselling Dig Dig Digging and Boo Barney, winner of the Sainsbury's Baby Book Award. She lives with her family in Hertfordshire.

Bernard Ashley

Bernard John Ashley is a British author of books for children and young adults. He has won 'The Other' award and has been a commended runner up for the Carnegie medal three times.

Derek Jacobi

Sir Derek Jacobi is one of the UK's most distinguished contemporary actors. He made his name with commanding performances on stage and screen, most memorably in the BBC TV series I, Claudius. He was nominated for a 'Best Actor' Tony Award for his portrayal of Alan Turing in the play Breaking the Code, and then for a BAFTA when that was adapted for television. Other notable TV work includes the series Cadfael. His film work ranges from The Day of the Jackal to Gladiator and Gosford Park. He has read numerous audiobooks including, for Orion, The Book of Dead Days by Marcus Sedgwick. He was knighted in 1994.

Dominic Barker

Sarah grew up in Derbyshire, mainly under a snow drift. She spent much of her childhood scampering in the nearby fields with a few goats. Then she decided to be sensible and studied Illustration at Falmouth College of Arts, graduating in 2001. She has illustrated for many different projects including an ad campaign for Kew Gardens entitled 'Plantastic Play'. She has also undertaken commission from The Guardian and The Independent newspapers. Sarah now specialises in funny, inky illustration and words for children's fiction and picture books. Sarah likes to paint on very big canvas. She loves funny detail, colour, music, dreams and big open spaces.Sarah now works from a studio on a hill in Forest Hill, London.

Fiona Dunbar

Fiona Dunbar was born in Hertfordshire. She grew up trailing around jazz clubs with her jazz musician stepfather and left school when she was sixteen to go to Art College. Fiona was a regular at the Camden Palace, her and a friend would spend all Thursday night making their clothes for the Friday night's clubbing. When Fiona realised she wouldn't be a famous artist, she began a commercial art career in TV and advertising. After a stint doing illustration for Punch, which she really enjoyed, Fiona began illustrating for picture books by other authors. It was at this time that she met her lovely American lawyer husband Pano. After living in New York for a number of years, where her two children were born, Fiona settled back in North London and began to write for children instead of drawing for them!Fiona now lives in North London and is an active fundraiser for her children's primary school. She loves helping out with the Christmas pantomime and puts her eighties dressmaking skills to good use by making costumes! When she's not writing, painting or gardening, Fiona loves nothing better than to cook. Her creations might not be as magical as Lulu's but they bring just as much pleasure in the end!

Gary Crew

Gary Crew has an outstanding reputation as a writer of Young Adult fiction and innovative picture books. His numerous prizes and awards include CBC Book of the Year, CBC Honour Book, and CBC Picture Book of the Year. As well as writing fiction, Gary is a Associate Professor in Creative Writing.

Hannah Shaw

Hannah Shaw is a hugely talented illustrator of the award-winning The Great Hamster Massacre. She has also written and illustrated several successful picture books, including Evil Weasel and Errol. She was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize in 2009 with Crocodiles are the Best Animals of All.Max and Molly's Guide to Trouble: How To Catch A Criminal has also been selected for the Read by Yourself category of Richard and Judy's Children's Book Club 2011.

J.L. Smith

J L Smith lives in Buckinghamshire with her family, and a West Highland terrier called Angus. She was born and brought up in Glasgow, and loved to write from a very young age.A friend once told her: 'You're funny, you should write funny'. So, that's exactly what she did and, inspired by her two sons idea of how to 'do posh', Cecil Trumpington-Potts was born - along with his panty wanty woos!She has appeared twice on Dave Gorman's radio comedy show Genius, and thinks humour is under-rated.

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.

Jerry Spinelli

Jerry Spinelli started out wanting to be a cowboy. Luckily for young readers, he later decided to become a writer, even though he's still not sure he can call himself one (he does other things too, like picking berries and skipping stones).

Julia Jarman

Julia Jarman has won the Stockport Schools' Book Award twice for her brilliant picture book texts! After studying English and Drama at Manchester University, she became a teacher. Julia has been writing for over fifteen years and in that time has written ten novels and over seventy shorter books. Initially, she was encouraged to write by her three children who asked for 'real characters like us', with the girls asking for 'lots of scary bits.' Recently, she has become a grandmother, inspiring her to write her fabulous picture book texts. She has also been influenced by her three cats! Julia keeps in touch with readers through her numerous visits to schools and libraries where she enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for facts and fiction. For more information on Julia Jarman visit her happy zappy website www.juliajarman.com Julia lives in an English village near Bedford.

Linda Chapman

Linda Chapman is the million-copy selling author of such series as My Secret Unicorn, Stardust, Skating School, Not Quite a Mermaid and Loving Spirit. She has also written for the Animal Ark series, Rainbow Magic and many more Working Partners' series. Linda lives in Leicestershire with her husband, two daughters and their three dogs. Her website is http://www.lindachapmanauthor.co.uk/

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.

Lucy Daniels

Lucy Daniels is the creator of the bestselling Animal Ark series, which has sold more than 2 1/2 million copies in the UK alone. Animal Ark is being relaunched for a new generation of animal lovers, with exciting brand-new adventures!

Marcus Sedgwick

Marcus Sedgwick used to work in children's publishing and before that he was a bookseller. He now happily writes full-time. His books have been shortlisted for many awards, including The GUARDIAN CHILDREN'S FICTION AWARD, the BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD, the CARNEGIE MEDAL and the EDGAR ALLAN POE AWARD. Marcus lives in Cambridge and has a teenage daughter, Alice.Find his website at www.marcussedgwick.com and follow him on Twitter @marcussedgwick