Authors beginning with: R
Anne Rooney writes children's non-fiction and fiction books. When she's not doing that she writes for adults, hangs out in cafés, and tries to escape to Venice in Italy as often as possible! She sometimes also designs websites and has lots of pets including a tortoise, four chickens and a crow.
One of our most prolific children's book writers, Anushka Ravishankar has slowly but surely been securing her status as one of the best children's writers of her generation. Her expansive talent shines most brilliantly in her works of nonsense verse – jubilant and artful adaptations of this difficult genre to the cadences of Indian English.
Said to be the pioneer of this form, she has earned national and international acclaim for her nine verse books released over the last decade. Rights to her books have been snapped up around the world and she has over 12 awards to her name. Her books owe their success not only to her fabulous verse, but to her willingness to collaborate and experiment with many different artists and designers – whether working with Swiss textile artists or veteran Indian illustrators, the best aspect of Anushka's work is the cohesion she creates between the text, typography and artwork of each scene.
Arthur Robins is an English children's book illustrator who has been praised by Kirkus Reviews for what they call his charming, cartoon-like style.
Arthur Michell Ransome was born in Leeds in 1884 and educated in Windermere and Rugby. His family spent their summers at Nibthwaite, to the south of Coniston Water. In 1902, Ransome abandoned a chemistry degree to become a publisher's office boy in London.
An interest in folklore, together with a desire to escape an unhappy first marriage, led Ransome to St Petersburg, where he was ideally placed to observe and report on the Russian Revolution. He knew many of the leading Bolsheviks, including Lenin, Radek, Trotsky and the latter's secretary, Evgenia Shvelpina. Ransome married Evgenia and returned to England in 1924. Settling in the Lake District, he spent the late 1920s as a foreign correspondent and highly-respected angling columnist for the Manchester Guardian.
Today Ransome is best known for his Swallows and Amazons series of novels, (1931 – 1947). All remain in print and have been widely translated. Arthur Ransome died in June 1967 and is buried at Rusland in the Lake District.
Bali Rai was born in 1971 and raised as a working class Punjabi in Leicester. He grew up in a deprived area of Leicester, a city which is almost unique in terms of cultural mix and his style of writing is firmly grounded in the reality that he has seen around him since he was a child. The senior school he attended was about 80% BAME - 20% white children in terms of ethnic makeup.
Bali Rai has been writing short stories and poetry since the age of eight. As a child he made up wild and exciting stories and his imagination has been vivid ever since. At school he excelled at English language and told his teachers that he would one day be a writer.
He left school with eight GCSE’s and English was always his favourite subject. After school he did three a-levels at a local sixth form - none of which was English Literature, which he now regrets. He went on to graduate from Southbank University in London with a 2:1 in politics and since then he has had various jobs in retail, cinema, and telesales and has kept a keen, almost obsessive, interest in current affairs.
Bjarne Reuter was born and brought up in Brønshøj, a suburb of Copenhagen, and since his debut novel Kidnapping (1975) he has become a bit of an institution in Danish literature, winning a sea of prizes in both Germany and Denmark. Bjarne Reuter's writing encompasses humorous stories for children, young adult novels, crime novels and more. Books like his Buster's World, Zappa, Someone Like Hodder or When the Bindweed Blooms were a major part of almost every Danish person's childhood. Nobody knows how to take the reader on an adventure full of humour and daydreams quite like Bjarne Reuter.
Carter Roy is an award-winning short story writer and memoirist for adults, who has published more than a half-dozen pieces in journals and anthologies. He has also been a reference librarian, a bookseller and edited hundreds of books for major publishers. Blood Guard is his debut novel. He lives in New York City.
Award-winning author and illustrator Catherine Rayner was born in Harrogate and now lives in Edinburgh. She has a BA Hons in Visual Communication and Illustration from Leeds College of Art and Edinburgh College of Art. Much of her inspiration – and occasionally modelling! – for her illustration comes from her pets: her horse Shannon, guinea pig Marvin, dog Ellie, cat Ena and goldfish, Bruce. However, it was animals of a slightly larger kind who were the inspiration for her first picture book, Augustus and His Smile – Catherine drew many of her initial sketches of him whilst watching the tigers at Edinburgh Zoo.
In 2006 Catherine was awarded the Best New Illustrator Award at the BookTrust Early Years awards and was also short listed for the V&A Illustration Awards 2006. Augustus and His Smile was selected as one of five picture books to be featured and recommended on Channel 4's 'Richard and Judy Christmas Party' in December 2006. Since January 2007, Augustus and His Smile has been nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal and short listed for the 'Read it Again' Cambridgeshire Picture Book Award and the English 4-11 Award 2007. Catherine also regularly exhibits her art work in galleries all over Scotland and also illustrates her own range of cards.
Celia Rees is one of Britain’s foremost writers for teenagers. She has a degree in History, a strong interest in which is evident in her brilliantly researched historical books. Celia lives in Leamington Spa, with her husband.
Waterstones Children's Laureate from 2015 to 2017
Chris Riddell is an award-winning illustrator and acclaimed political cartoonist. He is currently the only artist to have won the Kate Greenaway Medal three times, most recently for his illustrations in Neil Gaiman's The Sleeper and the Spindle. He was recently announced as a BookTrust ambassador.
Chris Riddell has illustrated the work of many celebrated children's authors, including five Neil Gaiman titles and J. K. Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard. He is the author of the bestselling Goth Girl and Ottoline series and co-creator of the much loved The Edge Chronicles.
Chris Ryan was born in 1961 in a village near Newcastle. In 1984 he joined the SAS. During his ten years in the Regiment, he was involved in overt and covert operations and was also Sniper team commander of the anti-terrorist team.
During the Gulf War, Chris was the only member of an eight-man team to escape from Iraq, of which three colleagues were killed and four captured. It was the longest escape and evasion in the history of the SAS.
For this he was awarded the Military Medal. During Ryan's last two years in the Regiment he selected and trained potential SAS recruits, he left the SAS in 1994. His work in security takes him around the world.
David Roberts was born in Liverpool and studied a degree in fashion design at Manchester Metropolitan University. After university he worked as a milliner and began to get work as a fashion illustrator but always felt his true calling was in children's book illustration. After working as a shelf stacker, egg fryer, hair washer, film extra and coffee-maker David finally realised his dream of becoming a children's book illustrator when his first book Frankie Stein's Robot, written by Roy Apps, was published in 1998 and shortlisted for the Mother Goose Award for emerging illustrators.
Since then he has illustrated works by authors such as Philip Ardagh, Daren King, Julia Donaldson, Jacqueline Wilson, Tom Baker and Chris Priestley. He is also the creator of Dirty Bertie - a litle boy with bad habits.
Gwyneth Rees is a British author of children's books. Her novel The Mum Hunt won the Red House Children's Book Award for Younger Readers in 2004, and another, My Mum's from Planet Pluto, was nominated for the Carnegie Medal in the same year.
J K Rowling has written fiction since she was a child, and she always wanted to be an author. Her parents loved reading and their house in Chepstow was full of books. In fact, J K Rowling wrote her first ‘book’ at the age of six – a story about a rabbit called Rabbit. She studied French and Classics at Exeter University, then moved to Edinburgh – via London and Portugal. In 2000 she was awarded an OBE for services to children’s literature.
The idea for Harry Potter occurred to her on the train from Manchester to London, where she says Harry Potter ‘just strolled into my head fully formed’, and by the time she had arrived at King’s Cross, many of the characters had taken shape. During the next five years she outlined the plots for each book and began writing the first in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which was first published in 1997.
Jane Ray is an English illustrator of more than 70 children's books.She is the writer and illustrator of some including Can You Catch a Mermaid?, Ahmed and the Feather Girl and The Elephants Garden. She won the 1992 Nestlé Children's Book Prize in the 6- to 8-year-old readers category for the Story of the Creation and has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal several times. She was also a nominee for the Bratislava Illustration Bienale 2017.
Jo Riddell has a studio in an old coach house at the bottom of her garden which she shares with her husband Chris. Jo also works at the studio which she shares with Heike Roesel at New England House, Brighton. After a BA degree at Brighton University she worked in children's books, publishing 12 books over ten years. Since returning to printmaking and painting she has found a welcome freedom to express herself, with inspiration coming from family, found objects, and the landscapes of Sussex and Norfolk.
Katherine Rundell spent her childhood in Africa and Europe. After completing a degree in English and a doctorate on John Donne, she is now a full-time writer and a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, where she studies Renaissance literature and climbs old buildings at night. Katherine is the bestselling author of The Wolf Wilder and Rooftoppers, which won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award and was shortlisted for many others. In 2017 Katherine won the Costa Children's Book Award for The Explorer. She has also been selected as one of the Aarhus39 - 39 of the leading children's writers from across Europe - and one of the Hay30 'writers and thinkers'.
Leila Rasheed is a British-Asian writer of mixed heritage who grew up in Libya. She has always loved children’s literature: its powerful themes, linguistic magic and power to change the world. Her favourite place to be is probably between ages nine to thirteen, but it all depends on the story. Some of her published books are funny and contemporary, but she loves writing historical and fantasy too. Many of her stories are in some way about a search for identity.
She enjoys exploring new forms and genres. Leila’s other role is supporting emerging writers. After graduating from the University of Warwick’s MA in writing, she returned to design and teach a module in writing for children and young people. She created the Megaphone writer development scheme, which supports black, Asian and minority ethnic children’s and young adult writers as they write their first novel. Leila is based in south Birmingham.
Louise Rennison lives in Brighton, a place that she likes to think of as the San Francisco of the south coast. Louise thinks this is sad as it is nothing like San Francisco, being mainly pebbles and large people in tiny swimming knickers who have gone bright red in the sun. Although she lives in Brighton in reality, in her mind she lives somewhere exotic with a manservant called Juan.
Louise is the author of the best-selling Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series for teens. Withering Tights is the first in her new series.
Luana Rinaldo studied illustration at the European Institute of Design in Milan and did a specialisation course at Central St Martins in London. In addition to being a prolific illustrator of children’s books for European and American publishers, her illustrations have also been used on fabrics and children’s clothes for a range of well-known brands including Benetton and Prénatal. Luana lives in Zurich, Switzerland.
Madhvi Ramani is a British Asian writer who has published three children's books: Nina and the Travelling Spice Shed, Nina and the Kung Fu Adventure, and Nina and the Magical Carnival. Her horror, fantasy and literary short stories have appeared in various anthologies and magazines, including Best of British Horror Stories, Asia Literary Review and Stand. She also writes essays, articles, plays and screenplays. Her work covers themes of identity, gender, culture and politics. She is based in Berlin, Germany.
Mandy Ross worked for Shelter and London Underground, and as a teacher with children and adults, before she started work in children's publishing.
She has written lots of books for children of all ages, including Peekaboo Baby! which was shortlisted for the Sainsbury's Baby Book Award.
She lives in Birmingham with her partner and her son.
Meg Rosoff was born in Boston, USA in 1956, the second of four sisters. She attended Harvard University in 1974. After three years at Harvard she moved to England and studied sculpture at Central St. Martins in London, England. She returned to the United States to finish her degree in 1980, and later moved to New York City for nine years, where she worked in publishing and advertising.
Aged 32, Meg returned to London and has lived there ever since. Between 1989 and 2003, she worked for a variety of advertising agencies as a copywriter. She began to write novels after her youngest sister died of breast cancer. Her young adult novel How I Live Now was published in 2004, in the same week she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It won The Guardian Children's Fiction prize, the Michael L. Printz Award in the United States, and was shortlisted for a Whitbread Award in 2004. In 2005 she published a children's book, Meet Wild Boars, which was illustrated by Sophie Blackall. Her second novel, Just in Case, was published in 2006 and won the 2007 CILIP Carnegie Medal and Germany's Jugendliteraturpreis.
Waterstones Children's Laureate from 2007 to 2009
Michael Rosen is one of the best-known figures not only in the children's book world but also the British arts scene. His first book of children's poems was published in 1974, and he has gone on to write numerous award winning children's poetry books, picture books and non-fiction, such as Quick, Let's Get Out of Here and We're Going on a Bear Hunt.
Alongside this he performs, teaches, lectures, presents Word of Mouth on Radio 4 and reviews books for the Guardian. In 2007, Michael was appointed the fifth Children's Laureate: a role he used to become an 'ambassador of fun'.
Na’ima B Robert is an African Muslim woman of mixed descent who grew up in Zimbabwe. She sees writing for children as ‘writing a love letter to the next generation’. She writes to reflect experiences that are often unspoken, unexplored and uncelebrated and to show ‘the complexity and beauty of our struggles and triumphs as nonmembers of the dominant culture’.
She wants to disrupt the narrative that paints people of colour and their experiences as ‘other’, instead placing children at the centre of stories that reflect their lived reality. Her work explores themes of identity, belonging, faith, respect for difference and, ultimately, pride in all that makes each of us unique. Na’ima has also published under the name Thando McLaren. She lives in Mirfield, West Yorkshire.
Onjali Q Raúf is the founder of Making Herstory, an organisation mobilising men, women and children from all walks of life to tackle the abuse and trafficking of women and girls in the UK and beyond. In her spare time, she delivers emergency aid convoys for refugee families surviving in Calais and Dunkirk, and supports interfaith projects. She specialised in Women's Studies at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and Oxford University. The Boy at the Back of the Class is her first novel.
Peter Richardson started working on children's fantasy paperback covers, and doing a lot of work for the BBC's educational division. He then moved into the areas of animation, design and advertising art, too. Peter has created designs for many of London's top animation studios, largely concentrating on TV commercials. In 2009, his work on the Boffin Boy series of books, with celebrated children's author, David Orme was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award. Peter's work continues to develop in a variety of media and he is currently part of a four-person team developing a TV animated series.
Philip Reeve was born and raised in Brighton, where he wrote his first story at the tender age of five about a spaceman called Spike and his dog Spook. He is a talented illustrator and writer, and he has illustrated several titles in the Horrible Histories series. Philip is best known for his multi award-winning Mortal Engines quartet, which won the Nestlé Children's Book Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award, and the Guardian Children's Book Award. Philip has also won the prestigious CILIP Carnegie Medal with Here Lies Arthur.
Rick Riordan, dubbed 'storyteller of the gods' by Publishers Weekly, is the author of five New York Times number-one bestselling book series with millions of copies sold throughout the world: Percy Jackson, the Heroes of Olympus and the Trials of Apollo, based on Greek and Roman mythology; the Kane Chronicles, based on Egyptian mythology; and Magnus Chase, based on Norse mythology. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, Rick's first novel featuring the heroic young demigod, won the Red House Children's Book Award and is now a blockbuster film franchise starring Logan Lerman.
Salvatore Rubbino grew up near the old Arsenal Stadium in Highbury in North London, although he says this didn’t make him any better at football. He studied printmaking at art college where he discovered that you could think about drawing in lots of different ways. Later on at the Royal College of Art he studied illustration, and in 2005 was shortlisted for the Victoria and Albert Museum Illustration Awards for a series of paintings set in New York.
This series has been transformed into his first picture book, A Walk in New York (Walker Books), which charts the adventure of a walk through the Big Apple. alvatore was chosen for a Book Trust Best New Illustrators Award in 2011.
Sanja lives in Zagreb, Croatia, where she studied graphic design and painting at the Academy of Fine Arts. Picture books with her illustrations have been published by Random House, Scholastic, Campbell, Child's Play among others and she has also illustrated cards for UNICEF.
When she is not illustrating, Sanja enjoys painting, designing children's furniture, photography and travelling.
Sharon Rentta grew up in Chester where she did a foundation course in illustration before doing a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design at the Liverpool John Moore’s University. In 2003, she moved to Cambridge to do an MA in Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art. Sharon is now settled in Cambridge with her husband and works in her studio at home.
She is the illustrator of Dogs go Shopping, Sidney the Little Blue Elephant, Sidney Goes to School, A Day at the Animal Doctors and Eva Ibbotson's last book, One Dog and his Boy.
Simon Rickerty studied illustration at the Royal College of Art in London, where he won two awards and graduated with a Masters in Communication Art and Design. He won his first award at the tender age of four (the Bedfordshire under-fives Children’s Book Drawing Competition!). Monkey Nut is his second picture book for Simon and Schuster, The Yoga Ogre was his first. Simon has also illustrated Peas (Puffin) and Unfortunately (Orchard). He lives in Somerset.
Tony Ross was born in London in 1938. He went to art school in Liverpool and has since worked as a typographer for design and advertising agencies. His cartoons have appeared in Punch, Town, Time and Tide and the News of the World. His first book Hugo and the Wicked Winter was published in 1972. Tony has since written over 100 books and illustrated over 2000! Two of his creations, Towser and The Little Princess have been turned into TV series. Tony lives in Wales.
Tony Robinson has written many books on historical subjects, including Tony Robinson’s Kings and Queens and The Worst Children’s Jobs in History, which won the Best Book with Facts category of the Blue Peter Book Awards. His Weird World of Wonders series launched in 2012 and there are currently seven titles in the series, including Inventions, which was a special World Book Day title in 2013. He has written several television series for children including 'Maid Marian and Her Merry Men', for which he received a BAFTA and a Royal Television Award. He presented Channel 4's archaeology series 'Time Team', and played Baldrick in 'Blackadder'. In 2013 Tony Robinson received a knighthood.