Authors beginning with: B
Aaron Blabey is a best-selling picture book author and illustrator. He was a successful actor for 15 years, as well as an artist, before becoming an award-winning author and illustrator of children's books. His two most popular series are The Bad Guys and Pig the Pug. Aaron lives in Sydney, Australia.
Adam Blade is the name for a small collective of authors who have been writing the bestselling series Beast Quest and Sea Quest for 10 years. Beast Quest has now sold over 10 million copies. The newest series from the Adam Blade team is called Team Hero.
Angela Barrett is widely regarded as one of this country's finest illustrators. She won the 1989 Smarties Book Prize for Can It Be True? and the 1991 WH Smith Illustration Award for The Hidden House. In addition, she has been shortlisted three times for the Kurt Maschler Award and once for the Kate Greenaway Medal.
Her other picture book titles include Beware Beware, The Emperor's New Clothes, Through the Tempest Dark and Wild: Mary Shelley and the much acclaimed Beauty and the Beast.
Alex Bellos writes about maths for the Guardian and is the author of two works of popular science, Alex’s Adventures in Numberland and Alex Through the Looking-Glass, as well as the mathematical colouring book Snowflake Seashell Star. He has also written Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life, which was shortlisted for Sports Book of the Year, and he ghost-wrote Pelé’s bestselling autobiography. He lives in west London.
Ben Lyttleton a journalist, broadcaster and football consultant. He is the author of Twelve Yards: The Art and Psychology of the Perfect Penalty and his football articles have been published in over 20 countries. He is a director of Soccernomics, a football consultancy that helps teams improve their performance. He lives in north London.
Amy Blackwell was actively encouraged as a child to paint, print, make, mend and draw. She’s now a painter and printmaker who is inspired by the weird and wonderful. Amy’s work is bright and colourful, and her drawings appear in all shapes and sizes, sometimes appearing on a digital platform or a bit of cardboard, wooden beads to fabric, walls to watercolours.
Andrew Beasley was born in Hertfordshire, and has spent most of his life with his nose buried in a book. As a student, he read law in Bristol, but was disappointed to discover that life as a lawyer wasn’t as exciting as books had led him to believe. He then spent a number of years travelling extensively across Europe for work, although he didn’t see much of it because he was usually reading a book. Andrew is now a primary school teacher, where he shares his passion for storytelling with his class. Andrew lives in Cornwall with his wife and their two children, Ben and Lucy.
Andy is a screenwriter, graphic novelist, author and conservationist, writing on movie projects such as Judge Dredd and Freddy vs Jason and Foreverman. He has worked on TV projects for Syfy, Netflix, ITV and Amazon and is working extensively between the UK, US and China. Andy went on to work on Warner Bros.' animated Aquaman while at the same time landing an eight-book deal with Oxford University Press for Hero.com and Villain.net. His comics and graphic novels include Madison Dark, Ritual and Dinocorps. He has rebooted the classic character Tarzan, with a series of contemporary books Tarzan: The Greystoke Legacy, Tarzan: The Jungle Warrior and Tarzan: The Savage Lands. His latest series of middle grade novels, The Inventory, is published by Scholastic. He wrote and Executively Produced the UK/Chinese movie Legendary, starring Scott Adkins and Dolph Lungdren. In 2017 his movie Crowhust was released, and Supervised and War Wolf entered production in 2017.
Children's Laureate 2009-2011
Anthony Browne is an internationally acclaimed author and illustrator of children's books with over forty titles to his name including Gorilla and Willy the Wimp. He was born in Yorkshire and studied graphic arts at Leeds Art College, working as a medical illustrator and an illustrator of greetings cards before his first book was published in 1976. He has gone on to win numerous awards including the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal and the Hans Christian Andersen Award.
Anthony was the Children's Laureate 2009-2011 and used his time in the post to raise the profile of picture books and picture book illustration, as well as the value of supporting children's creativity and imagination.
Once an underground rapper, in 2010 Ben Bailey Smith created the double BAFTA winning CBBC television series 4 O'clock Club, which combines razor sharp rhymes and laugh-out-loud comedy. It filmed its ninth season in 2018. He has appeared on Blue Peter, both as a performer and a contributor to their reviews of children's literature, and has been a storyteller on CBeebies' Bedtime Stories. In 2016 he contributed to Sky's countdown of the nation's favourite Roald Dahl books and in 2017 made an unforgettable cameo in the Sky One adaptation of the David Walliams' bestselling children's novel Ratburger.
In 2016, Ben released his first children's book, I Am Bear; and followed up quickly with sequel, Bear Moves. He's currently writing a young adult play for the National Theatre's Connections programme. His latest work is a comic tale of the school run entitled Get a Move On!, aimed at 5-8 year olds. Ben lives in London.
Cerrie Burnell is an actress and writer best known for her work on CBeebies, a role that has earned her critical recognition and a devoted fan base. Alongside this, she works very closely with a number of charitable organisations linked to childhood and diversity, as Cerrie is passionate about these subjects.
In 2011, Cerrie was named in the Observer’s top ten children’s presenters and in the Guardian’s list of 100 most inspirational women. Cerrie is author in residence for Great Ormond Street hospital and a patron of Polka children’s theatre.
She trained at Manchester Metropolitan and her credits prior to CBeebies include Eastenders, The Bill, Holby City, and Comedy Lab for Channel Four and various plays, including Winged, an original play she wrote and starred in at the Tristan Bates theatre.
Cerrie’s one-woman show The Magical Playroom opened in Edinburgh in 2013 and she has published seven books for children with Scholastic. Harper and the Sea of Secrets was a World Book Day title in 2016. Cerrie recently adapted her picture book Snowflakes for the stage, which was performed at the Oxford Playhouse in December 2016. Harper and the Night Fox was published by Scholastic in 2017, and her novel, The Girl With the Shark’s Teeth, was published by Oxford University Press in January 2019. Her most recent novel, The Ice Bear Miracle, was published in February 2020.
When she was young, Clare Balding thought she was a dog. Disappointed to discover she was only human, she did her best to spend every waking hour with dogs and ponies. She could ride before she could walk and, growing up surrounded by racehorses trained by her father, she dreamt of winning the grand National or riding for Great Britain at the Olympics.
Those dreams never came true but the consolation prize hasn't been bad. As a television presenter and radio presenter, Clare has worked at six Olympic Games as well as the Winter Olympics, Paralympics, Commonwealth Games, the Grand National, Royal Ascot, Wimbledon and the Ryder Cup.
Claudia Boldt was born in Germany but now lives in London. She attended the Glasgow School of Art, and then Kingston University, London, where she graduated with her Masters in Illustration in 2007 - the same year she founded Cloud Cuckoo Studio with fellow illustrator Katharina Koall in London's East End.
Already with two books to her name, UUGGHH! and Star Gazers, Skyscrapers & Extraordinary Sausages (both Child’s Play), Claudia loves to write and illustrate fun and slightly absurd comedies for four-year-olds, which are as equally entertaining for adults. She received a BookTrust Best New Illustrators Award in 2011.
Cristy Burne has joint New Zealand and Australian citizenship, has travelled widely and lived for several years in Japan as a teacher and editor. It was during this time that she became fascinated with Japanese folklore and the supernatural yokai - demons - which are very much a part of Japanese culture, but little known outside Japan. She won the Voices on the Coast Youth Literature Award for emerging writers, in Queensland, Australia, but Takeshita Demons was her first published book. Cristy and her family live in Perth, Australia.
Chris Bradford is a professional musician and songwriter. He began Judo at the age of 7 and has since trained in a variety of martial arts, including samurai swordmanship, and has earned his black belt in Kyo Shin Tai-jutsu, the secret fighting art of the ninja. His bestselling Young Samurai and Bodyguard series are both hugely popular and have been shortlisted for a number of awards, including the Children's Book Award. He lives in a small village in West Sussex with his wife and children.
Dan Bramall studied Graphic Arts in Liverpool and more recently did an MA in Illustration. He has worked as a creative in many different sectors, including as a catalogue designer and an interactive designer/animator for educational projects. He has also designed websites, logos, marketing material and worked as a cover designer.
Miffy's creator Dick Bruna was born in Utrecht on 23 August 1927. He not only wrote and illustrated no fewer than 124 picture books, but also designed many posters and book covers for the Black Bear pocket editions. During a career spanning 60 years, Dick Bruna gained international acclaim. He retired in 2011. Dick Bruna passed away on 16 February 2017 at the age of 89.
Eileen was born and brought up in Birmingham. She lived in London for over twenty years before moving to Wiltshire where she now lives. She worked as a school teacher and a youth worker before becoming an author and illustrator. Her first book was published in 1977.
Eileen believes "Certain groups of people are not well represented in books. For example, females only feature as main characters in around 30% of children's books. Because of this, I give them priority. Where's That Bus? was one of the first animal picture books with all female characters." Eileen has written books with Kit Wright and Floella Benjamin. In 2004, Handa's Surprise was made into a theatre production by the Little Angel Theatre, London. Since then it has played in many London theatres, schools, Holloway Prison and at the Guardian Hay Festival.
Elisabeth Beresford first came up with the idea for the Womble characters when walking on Wimbledon Common with her two children. She started sketching out the characters that day: Great Uncle Bulgaria was based on her father-in-law, Tobermory on her brother (an inventor), Orinoco on her son, and Madame Cholet on her mother. She hoped that the Wombles stories would encourage children to fight pollution and to think up ways of 'making good use of bad rubbish'. In fact, the Wombles so charmed the nation that they were chosen as the mascots for the Tidy Britain campaign. Since then they have had their own television series, first broadcast on 'Jackanory'.
Elisabeth Beresford was awarded an MBE for her services to children's literature in 1998 and she lived in Alderney, the Channel Islands. She died in December 2010.
Enid Blyton is one of the most-loved authors in children's publishing. With over 700 titles published, Enid Blyton's stories remain timeless classics, adored by children throughout the world.
Soon after Enid Blyton was born in 1897. Throughout the 40 and 50s, Enid wrote books at a colossal pace: adventure stories, mysteries, magical stories, farming stories, stories for younger children, best-selling series like The Famous Five and Noddy...her writing knew no bounds!
Apart from breaks to play golf and spend time with her children, Enid's working week was consumed with writing new stories, correcting proofs and answering the hundreds of letters she was, by now, receiving weekly. She explained that her characters evolved organically and her stories seemed to naturally form, she described herself as "merely a sightseer, a reporter, and interpreter."
Enid fell ill with Alzheimer's disease in her old age (a disease that affects people's memory) and she died in 1963. Her spirit lives on in her books and she is remembered as one of the most-loved and celebrated children's authors.
Baroness Floella Benjamin, OBE, DL was born in Trinidad in 1949 and came to England in 1960, aged 10. She is an actress, presenter, writer, producer, working peer and an active advocate for the welfare and education of children. She is best known as a presenter of the iconic BBC children’s television programmes Play School and Play Away, and she continues to make children’s programmes. Her broadcasting work has been recognised with a Special Lifetime Achievement BAFTA and OBE. She was appointed a Baroness in the House of Lords in 2010 where she continually promotes legislation to protect children’s wellbeing. In 2012 she was presented with the prestigious J. M. Barrie Award by Action for Children’s Arts, for her lasting contribution to children’s lives through her art. Floella has written thirty books, including Coming to England, a Guardian Children’s Book of the Year 2016, which is used as a resource in schools in social and cross-curricular areas. The book was adapted into an award-winning film for BBC Education. She was also appointed Chancellor of the University of Exeter until 2016 and this year had honorary Freedom of the City of London bestowed upon her.
Georgia is a British children's writer, illustrator, actress and film producer. Byng worked as an actress from 1989 to 1990, appearing in the television series Screen Two, Dealers, and Capstick's Law. While pursuing her acting career, Byng began writing comic strips, and illustrating. After her initial success in this field, she gave up acting to write full-time.
Her first published book was a comic strip story, The Sock Monsters. Byng's best-known work is Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism, a book about a girl who finds a book about hypnotism and learns how to hypnotise people. In later books, Molly learns to use other powers such as stopping time, travelling through time, reading minds, and morphing into other forms. The sixth book in the Molly Moon series was released in 2012. Byng produced and co-wrote the screenplay for the 2015 Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism movie.
Georgie Birkett completed her degree in Graphic Design and Illustration at the University of Brighton in 1996. She has since illustrated many books, in various styles, for the educational and young fiction markets, as well as picture books and pre-school novelty books.
Guy Bass grew up dreaming of being a superhero - he even had a Spider-Man costume. The costume doesn't fit anymore, so Guy now contents himself with writing and drawing the occasional picture.
He writes the Gormy Ruckles series for Scholastic UK, as well as the popular Dinkin Dings series for Stripes. In 2010, Dinkin Dings and the Frightening Things won a CBBC Blue Peter Book Award in the 'Most Fun Story with Pictures' category. Guy lives in London with his wife.
Holly Black is an American writer and editor best known for The Spiderwick Chronicles, a series of children's fantasy books she created with writer and illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi, and a trilogy of Young Adult novels officially called the Modern Faerie Tales trilogy.
Ian Beck was born in 1947. His first picture book, Round and Round the Garden, was published in 1983. In 1997 his book Home Before Dark won a gold award in the best toy awards and in 2000 he won the award for a second time, for Alone in the Woods, and later again he won the award for The Happy Bee. He was elected Master of the Art Workers Guild in 1999. He has published over sixty picture books.
James Bowen is the author of the bestselling A Street Cat Named Bob and The World According to Bob. My Name is Bob is James' first picture book. He found Bob the cat in 2007 and the pair have been inseparable ever since. They both live in north London.
Jan Bielecki lives and works in London, UK. He specialises in children’s literature and has illustrated books about space, the human body, wrestling trolls, monsters and more.
Jeff Brown was born Richard Chester Brown. In Hollywood he worked for the producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr. and was a story consultant at Paramount. Preferring to write himself, he sold fiction and articles to national magazines while working at The New Yorker, Life, The Saturday Evening Post, Esquire and finally at Warner Books, where he was a senior editor until 1980.
The idea for Stanley came to him one night at bedtime when his sons J. C. and Tony were young and stalling for time. One asked what would happen if the big bulletin board on the wall were to fall on J. C., and Mr. Brown said he would most likely wake up flat. That led to speculation about what such a life might be like.
After writing Flat Stanley, Mr. Brown went on to Stanley and the Magic Lamp, Stanley in Space, Stanley's Christmas Adventure, Invisible Stanley and finally Stanley, Flat Again!
Jeffrey Brown is the author/illustrator of the international bestselling DARTH VADER & SON (Chronicle). Jeffrey is a lifelong Star Wars fan, but despite his best efforts, has been unable to use the Force. He lives in Chicago with his wife and son.
New Zealand author Jennifer Beck has written over 45 books for children and is the winner of a number of awards including New Zealand's Children's Book of the Year for this book (under the title 'The Bantam and the Soldier'). Jennifer lives in Auckland, New Zealand.
Jenny Broom studied Fine Art at the Slade, before becoming a writer and editor of children's books. She lives and works in London.
Jess spent her childhood between the UK and India, and grew up hearing stories about the Himalayas from her grandmother. She's lived in India and even met with the Dalai Lama. She studied creative writing at Bath Spa and now lives between Louisiana and the UK.
Joe Berger has been drawing for as long as he can remember. He grew up loving books and the thought of giving children the same excitement he felt from reading is a huge part of his inspiration.
The official illustrator of World Book Day 2010, Joe has had three picture books published: Hattie the Bad, Bridget Fidget and Bridget Fidget – Hold on Tight! (Puffin Books). He received a Book Trust Best New Illustrators Award in 2011.
Joe’s illustrations are hand drawn with pencil, pen or wax crayon and then scanned into the computer where he adds colour. Before using the computer he found colouring difficult. He explains that using the computer you can make mistakes and correct them and once you’ve got used to this freedom you can’t go back.
John Burningham studied illustration and graphic design at the Central School of Art, graduating with distinction in 1959. Many illustration commissions followed, including iconic posters for London Transport, before the publication of Borka: the Adventures of a Goose with No Feathers, John’s first book for children. It won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration and heralded the beginning of an extraordinary career spanning 50 years.
John Burningham has since written and illustrated over 30 picture books, which have been translated and distributed all over the world. These feature his classic and much-loved children’s books, including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming; Mr Gumpy’s Outing, also awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal; Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne; The Shopping Basket; The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame; Granpa, later made into an animated film; Oi! Get off our Train; and various books for adults.
John is married to the illustrator, Helen Oxenbury. They have three children, three grandchildren and a dog named Miles. They live in London.
John Bendall-Brunello has been working as a children's book illustrator for over 25 years, illustrating more than 30 books. He has worked alongside many prestigious authors, such as Dick King Smith and Martin Waddell. John began drawing at a young age when he used to doodle cartoons of his teachers in his books at school. He now lives part of the year in Cambridge and part in Cannes, South of France with his wife, Tiziana. When he is not illustrating children’s books, he enjoys playing the piano, snooker and chess, and travelling to far-flung places.
John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971 and is the author of six novels for adults. His first novel for children, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, won two Irish Book Awards, was shortlisted for the British Book Award and has been made into a film. His novels are published in over 40 languages. He lives in Dublin.
Joyce Lankester Brisley (1896-1978) was born in Bexhill, England. Her first stories about Milly-Molly-Mandy were printed in 1925 in the Christian Science Monitor, and a collection appeared in book form in 1928. She wrote and illustrated six collections of stories about Milly-Molly-Mandy. The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook was published in the UK in September 1996. She also illustrated books by other authors, including the classic Ursula Moray Williams story, Adventures of a Little Wooden Horse.
Judy Blume spent her childhood in Elizabeth, New Jersey USA, making up stories inside her head. She has spent her adult years in many places, doing the same thing, only now she writes her stories down on paper. Adults as well as children will recognize such Blume titles as: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Superfudge, Blubber, Just As Long As We're Together and Forever. She has also written the novels Wifey, Smart Women, and Summer Sisters. More than 75 million copies of her books have been sold, and her work has been translated into twenty-something languages.
Julie Bertagna (born 1962) is a Scottish author who has written real life and science fiction novels for both children and young adults. Her books have been shortlisted for several literature awards, including the Carnegie Medal and her novel Exodus was the winner of the Lancashire County Library Children's Book of the Year Award. Soundtrack, her second novel for young adults, won a Scottish Arts Council Award, the second highest award ever given to a Scottish children's writer.
Julie is an English journalist, writer and broadcaster who describes herself as a "militant feminist". Beginning as a staff writer at the New Musical Express at the age of 17, she has since contributed to newspapers such as The Sunday Times and The Guardian. She has been involved in legal action resulting from her work on several occasions. Burchill is also an author and novelist, and her 2004 ground-breaking novel Sugar Rush was adapted for television.
Katy Birchall is the author of The It Girl series. She also works as a freelance journalist. Katy won the 24/7 Theatre Festival Award for Most Promising new Comedy Writer with her very serious play about a ninja monkey at a dinner party. Her pet Labradors are the loves of her life, she is mildly obsessed with Jane Austen, and one day hopes to wake up as an elf in The Lord of the Rings. Katy lives in Brixton, London.
Kevin Brooks was born in Exeter, Devon, and he studied in Birmingham and London. He had a varied working life, with jobs in a crematorium, a zoo, a garage and a post office, before – happily – giving it all up to write books. Kevin is the author of many critically acclaimed novels including Martyn Pig, Lucas, Kissing the Rain, Candy and The Road of the Dead. He now lives in North Yorkshire.
L. Frank Baum was born in New York in 1856. The Wizard of Oz was based on a story he used to tell his own children. It was published in 1900 and became an international bestseller. The Wizard of Oz was made into a stage play in 1902 and a film starring Judy Garland in 1939. Baum wrote 12 more Oz novels and six short stories. After his death in 1919, his publishers carried on producing Oz stories and didn't stop until 1963!
Lennox Benson is a first-time author from London. He was born to a doctor and education consultant in Lagos, Nigeria, and migrated to London at the age of two. He was gifted many books and graphic novels from his parents and became a keen reader. At school, he excelled in art and creative writing and nurtured a dream to write a book of his own one day. After working with a number of mentors in the performing and creative arts, Lennox finally wrote The Biracial Butterfly as an educational tool for children to learn about mixed heritage and modern families.
Liz Brownlee has poems on all subjects in over seventy anthologies, including Reaching the Stars - Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls, written with Jan Dean and Michaela Morgan.
Malorie Blackman is acknowledged as one of today's most imaginative and convincing writers for young readers.
The novels in her Noughts & Crosses sequence have won several awards, including the Children's Book Award, and she has won many other awards for her books for the Random House list. Both Hacker and Thief! won the Young Telegraph/Gimme 5 Award - Malorie is the only author to have won this award twice - while Hacker also won the WH Smith Mind-Boggling Books Award in 1994. Her work has appeared on screen, with Pig-Heart Boy, which was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, being adapted into a BAFTA-award-winning TV serial. Malorie has also written a number of titles for younger readers. In 2005, Malorie was honoured with the Eleanor Farjeon Award in recognition of her distinguished contribution to the world of children's books.
In 2008, she was then honoured with an OBE for her services to Children's Literature. She was the Waterstones Children's Laureate for 2013-2015.
Mara Bergman was born in the Bronx, New York, on leap year day. She grew up in Wantagh, Long Island, and attended Wantagh High School and the University of the State of New York at Oneonta. After moving to England with her husband, Martin Camus-Smith, in 1983 she worked for the children's publisher Walker Books. When her three children, Marissa, Eva and Jonathan, were young she decided to write picture books. Her poetry has been published widely in literary magazines and her books published internationally, having been translated into French, Japanese, Finnish, Korean and Hebrew.
Martin Brown was born in Melbourne. Ever since he can remember he’s been drawing. His dad used to bring home huge sheets of paper, which Martin would fill with doodles and little figures. Then suddenly, with food and water, the local state school, Melbourne High and a touch of teachers college, Martin grew up, moved to the UK and found work doing what he always wanted to do: drawing doodles and little figures.
Max Brailler is the author of more than 20 books and games. He writes children's books and adult books, including the pick-your-own-path adventure Can YOU Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? He is the creator and writer of Galactic Hot Dogs, an ongoing middle-grade web serial, which was released as a book by Simon & Schuster in 2015. He writes for licensed properties including Adventure Time, Regular Show, Steven Universe, and Uncle Grandpa. Under the pen name Jack Chabert, he is the creator and author of the Eerie Elementary series for Scholastic Books. He is a game designer for the crazy fun virtual world Poptropica and does freelance game design for numerous online properties. In the olden days, he worked in the marketing department at St. Martin's Press. Max lives in New York City with his wife, Alyse, who is way too good for him.
Melvin was born in Sussex in 1954. He is the author of a number of highly successful books for teenagers and young adults including, Junk, Doing It, Lady, My Life as a Bitch, Bloodsong, Bloodtide, Sara's Face and The Cry of the Wolf (shortlisted for the Carnegie medal). His most recent book is Kill All Enemies.
He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, with his partner Anita.
Michael Bond was born in Newbury, Berkshire, England on 13th January 1926. He was educated at Presentation College, Reading. During World War II Michael Bond served in both the Royal Air Force and the Middlesex Regiment of the British Army. He began writing in 1945 and sold his first short story to a magazine called London Opinion. This experience helped him decide that he wanted to be a writer.
It was while Michael Bond was working as a television cameraman for the BBC that he first came up with the idea for Paddington. After the first Paddington book was accepted, Michael Bond went on to write a whole series and by 1965 his books were so successful that that he was able to give up his job with the BBC in order.
In 1997 Michael Bond was awarded an OBE for services to children's literature and this was followed by a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2015. Bond died on 27 June 2017.
Mike Barfield is a writer, poet, performer and award-winning cartoonist. He originally trained as a scientist before switching to writing jokes for all ages. Mike has worked in TV, radio, books, newspapers and magazines – as well as in schools, libraries, museums, and science festivals across the country. While performing to schools and festivals, he can often be found dressed as a giant housefly.
Nick Butterworth was born in North London in 1946 and grew up in a sweet shop in Essex. He now lives in Suffolk with his wife Annette and they have two grown-up children, Ben and Amanda. The inspiration for the Percy the Park Keeper books came from Nick's many walks through the local park with the family dog Jake.
Nina Bawden was one of the UK's best writers for both adults and children. She often used her own childhood experiences in her books - Carrie's War is set in the mining valley in Wales where she lived as an evacuee in wartime. She studied philosophy, politics and economics at Somerville College, Oxford and finished her first novel the year after she took her degree. She won the Guardian Award for Children's Fiction for The Peppermint Pig. Nina died in 2012, aged 87.
As a child, Pamela was lucky enough to grow up in a house full of pets, have a mum and dad who were bonkers, and go to The Best Most Awesome Primary School in the World™. As a student, Pamela's student jobs included: fishwife, teaching basketball in America, phlebotomist, and Artist Liaison for a (really bad) Abba tribute band. Now, Pamela teaches philosophy to teenagers and spends all day pondering questions such as, 'Is time travel possible?' and 'How do I know I'm not really a robot?' The stories write themselves, really…
Peter Bently lives in Totnes in South Devon with his wife Lucy and their two children, Theo and Tara. He wrote stories as a child and has always been fond of rhyming (including writing his brother's best man speech all in verse).
A Lark in the Ark was Peter's very first picture book and was shortlisted for the 2009 Red House Children's Book Award. He has written many other books for children, including King Jack and the Dragon, which was shortlisted for the 2013 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal. He has twice been shortlisted for the Book Trust Roald Dahl Funny Prize, which he won in 2011 with Cats Ahoy! His latest titles include Diggory Digger and the Dinosaurs for Egmont, illustrated by Guy-Parker Rees.
Who is PSEUDONYMOUS BOSCH? Pseudonymous Bosch is a pseudonym, or as he would prefer to call it (because he is very pretentious), a nom de plume. Unfortunately, for reasons he cannot disclose, but which should be obvious to anyone foolhardy enough to read his books, he cannot tell you his real name. He describes himself as impetuous, immature, immodest and immoderate and likes to spend his spare time eating but admits to a deep-seated fear of mayonnaise.
Writing is not his only trade, he is also a spy for a very small country but of this, for your sake and his, we can say no more. Pseudonymous writes in the dark as his words tend to scare him, the subject matter being so terrible. However the dark also scares him so the only thing that gets him through the trauma of writing is chocolate. Pseudonymous is carrying on with his writing for Usborne, despite the danger. This bravery has paid off, as The Name of This Book is SECRET was a New York Times Bestseller.
Children's Laureate 1999-2001
Quentin Blake was born in 1932 and read English at Cambridge, before attending Chelsea Art College. He has won many major prizes for illustration, including the Kate Greenaway Medal (1980) and the Red House Children's Book Award (1981) for Mister Magnolia. He is also the winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration and in 1990 was voted 'The Illustrator's Illustrator' by Observer Magazine. A tireless promoter of children's literature – and a long-time collaborator with roald Dahl – Quentin Blake was awarded the OBE in 1988 and in 2005 he was awarded a CBE for services to Children's Literature. In the most recent New Year’s Honours list he has been knighted.
Quentin was the inaugural Children's Laureate (1999-2001), an experience he recorded in his book Laureate's Progress. During his time in the role, he celebrated children's books and children's book illustration with a range of projects and exhibitions, and conceived the idea for the House of Illustration, the world's first centre dedicated to the art of illustration in all its forms.
Rachel Bright is a writer, illustrator, printmaker, entrepreneur and eternal optimist. Her award-winning stationery range, The Bright Side has sold over 2 million cards in just a few years and also now comprises of gift wrap and home ware. The range is widely stocked by major retailers such as John Lewis, Waitrose, Selfridges and Paperchase, as well as in many independent outlets across the UK.
She trained in Graphics at Kingston University, winning prizes for her typography, followed by an MA in Printmaking at UWE. Her striking illustrative style, using a mix of reclaimed type and etching coupled with her witty stories create uniquely entertaining picture books. Rachel lives on a farm near the seaside with her family and their dog named Elvis. Her picture books include Love Monster, Mine!, What Does Daddy Do? and My Sister is an Alien.
Raymond Briggs is one of our most respected and beloved artists. Born in Wimbledon in 1934, he studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and went on to produce a treasure trove of work. He has created characters that are now icons for generations of children, including Fungus the Bogeyman, Father Christmas and, of course, the beloved Snowman. His original Mother Goose was published in 1966 and won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal. His work has won numerous awards and been adapted for film on several occasions, including, most recently, Ethel and Ernest.
Raymond Briggs was given the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.
In a previous life, author/illustrator Rob was the art director of publications such as the Observer Magazine, NME and Just Seventeen. Now he spends his time making up stories for his three daughters and drawing pictures to go with them. He is the official World Book Day Illustrator for 2019 and 2020.
Illustrator Robyn Belton lives in Dunedin, New Zealand, and has won many awards including New Zealand's prestigious Margaret Mahy Medal and, with Jennifer Beck, New Zealand Children's Book of the Year.
Sage Blackwood worked for many years as a teacher in Alaska, and now writes full-time. Jinx: The Wizard's Apprentice is the first in the Jinx fantasy series.
Sebastien Braun was born in Strasbourg, the hometown of Gustav Doré and Tomi Ungerer (his heroes). As a child he spent countless hours drawing, but at secondary school there were no art classes, so he filled his homework with doodles and portraits of his teachers. At university he initially studied history – fortunately, the building was shared with the art department, and when he saw the students sketching, knew he had to change. After that, he spent a few years teaching applied art to sixth formers, before taking the plunge as a freelance illustrator. His first commissions were for magazines in Paris, and when he moved to London, he developed his portfolio for children's books.
Apart from creating pictures, Seb's favourite pastimes are making toys from wood, playing with his children and climbing the Cotswold hills on his vintage road bike.
Simon Bartram graduated from Birmingham Polytechnic with a First Class degree in illustration in 1990, and his art style is heavily influenced by such artists as Peter Blake, Peter Howson, Stanley Spencer and Reg Cartwright.
His retelling of the children's classic Pinocchio was runner up for the 1999 Mother Goose Award. Simon has [roduced loads of children's books but is perhaps best known for his series of books following Bob the astronaut including, The Alien-Spotter's Handbook and in the picture book sequel Bob's Best Ever Friend.
Simon lives in Newcastle-upon-Tyne with his wife and their young son.
Sita Brahmachari is a multi-award-winning writer of novels, plays, novellas and short stories. Sita's first novel, Artichoke Hearts, won the Waterstones Children's Book Award and was voted in the Guardian's top 50 books celebrating diversity since the 1950s. Her subsequent Carnegie-nominated novels are: Jasmine Skies, Red Leaves, Tender Earth, Worry Angels and Zebra Crossing Soul Song. Kite Spirit was nominated for the UKLA book award. She has been an Amnesty International Ambassador and speaks in schools, at festivals and conferences. In 2018 Tender Earth received the UK Honour from the International Board of Books for Young People. Sita is based in London.
She is a former Writer in Residence for BookTrust and Writer in Residence at the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants.
Sophia Bennett is the author of the Threads series, whose debut novel won the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition in 2009 and was subsequently published around the world. You Don't Know Me is her fifth book of YA contemporary fiction for Chicken House. Sophia travelled extensively as an army child and had various careers before settling down to write. She now lives in London with her family, writes full time and mostly limits her travelling to school visits and book festivals, to celebrate reading and writing for pleasure.
Stella spent most of her childhood doodling, drawing, making things and playing with guinea pigs. Now she is grown up she is extremely happy to get paid to doodle, draw and make things. Since joining Usborne in 2004 as a designer and illustrator she has worked on over 80 titles ranging from 365 Things to make and do and Sticker Dolly Dressing to Baby's Very First series and Lots of Things to Find and Colour. Stella lives in North London and when not drawing pretty pictures she enjoys making sock monkeys, taking pottery classes and drinking tea.
Like her heroine Kat, Stephanie Burgis comes from a big,noisy, loving family. She grew up in Michigan, USA, where as a little girl she became addicted to reading and writing stories. At the age of ten, Stephanie’s favourite books were The Lord of the Rings and Pride and Prejudice, and, in her own words, ‘Writing the Kat books was my chance to finally combine fantasy adventure and nineteenth-century romantic comedy – the two kinds of story I love best.’
Before Stephanie became a full-time writer, she was a student of music, playing the French horn. She won a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to study in Vienna, Austria, and earned a Master’s degree in music history. Stephanie has had lots of different jobs, including teaching English to teenagers in Vienna and editing the website of an opera company in northern England.
Stephanie now lives in Wales with her husband, toddler son and their sweet border collie dog, Maya.
Steve Backshall is the hugely popular and fearless presenter of the Children's BBC series Deadly 60, Live and Deadly, Deadly 360 and Deadly Art. His eventful life is well documented and he recently hit the headlines after being bitten by a Caiman live on camera! Steve travels the world to learn about the most inspiring predators, from boxing mantis shrimp to charging tigers. Steve also regularly writes articles for newspapers and magazines including the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELER and BBC WILDLIFE and is an inspirational public speaker.
Steven Butler is a writer, actor, dancer and trained circus performer as well as a keen observer of trolls and their disgusting habits! Having trained at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts and The Toronto Circus School (in Aerial Ropes), he has starred in Peter Pan, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and as Henry in Horrid Henry Live and Horrid! His future as a writer was almost guaranteed when his primary school headmaster turned out to be the fantastically funny author Jeremy Strong! The Wrong Pong is Steven’s debut novel and before writing this he lived at sea for two years onboard the Disney Cruiseliner.
Tanya Byrne was born in London and studied in Surrey, where she still lives with her cat who goes by several names, none of which he actually answers to. After eight years working for BBC radio, she left to write her debut novel, Heart-Shaped Bruise, which was published in 2012. She has a weakness for boys with guitars, drinks far too much tea and, even though her mother tells her not to, she always talks to strangers.
Follow Me Down was published in 2013, and Tanya's third novel, For Holly, was published in 2015. She was included in the 2017 poetry and fiction collection A Change is Gonna Come, and was also one of the seven authors of Floored, a collaborative novel published in 2018. Tanya has also written for the Guardian and The Pool.
Tony Bradman has been involved in the world of children's books for more than 30 years, as an award winning writer, an editor and a reviewer. He has written poetry, picture books and fiction books for all ages, and has edited many anthologies of short stories and poetry. In recent years he has also written a number of books with his son Tom, including Titanic: Death in the Water which won a Young Quills Award from the Historical Association in 2012.
Theresa Breslin is the author of over 30 books for children and young adults, and is particularly well-known for her critically-acclaimed historical fiction. She won the CILIP Carnegie Medal in 1994 and her work has been filmed for television and broadcast on radio. Before taking up writing full time, she worked as a librarian.
Valerie Bloom is the prize-winning author of poetry for adults and children, plus picture books, pre-teen and teenage novels and stories for children. She has presented poetry programmes for the BBC, among others. Her poetry has been featured by Poems on the Underground; included on school courses in the UK (GCSE), the Caribbean and Malaysia; and published in over 500 anthologies worldwide.
Valerie lives in Kent and performs her work and runs writing workshops in primary and secondary schools, libraries and universities around the world.
She is the winner of The Voice Community Award for Literature, has been awarded an Honorary Masters Degree from the University of Kent, and received an MBE in 2008.
Vicky Barker is an illustrator and designer whose humorous, energetic artwork and clear, clever layouts have been bringing children’s books to life for over ten years.
A graduate of Liverpool John Moores University, Vicky lives between Liverpool, London and Los Angeles, and has worked for Egmont, Usborne, Catnip, Really Decent Books and b small publishing.
You can discover more of Vicky’s work in the bestselling titles Facts, Stem Starters for Kids and The Fintastic Diary of Darcy Dolphin.
Yaba Badoe is an award-winning Ghanaian-British documentary filmmaker and writer. A graduate of King's College Cambridge, she has taught in Spain, Jamaica and Ghana. Her short stories for adults have been published in Critical Quarterly and in African Love Stories: An Anthology, edited by Ama Ata Aidoo. In 2014 Yaba was nominated for the Distinguished Woman of African Cinema award.
Her debut novel, A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars, published by Zephyr, was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2018 and has been nominated for the 2019 Carnegie Medal. Yaba is based in London.