Writer in Residence: Nadia Shireen

Every six months, BookTrust appoints a new Writer in Residence (or Writer-Illustrator in Residence) to write blogs, run competitions and give us their own unique perspective on the world of children's books.

Our Writer-Illustrator in Residence is Nadia Shireen, whose focus is the importance of inclusive representation in children's books, as well as why funny books are fantastic for children. 

Nadia Shireen was our Time to Read 2017 author and illustrator, well known for The Cow Who Fell to Earth and The Bumblebear, among many other picture books.

Highlights of her residency include asking other writers about how they make people laugh and sharing some of her favourite books. She also talks about how she makes her picture books and recently ran a competition for primary school aged children.

Back in February 2018, when she was appointed, Nadia Shireen said:

'I couldn’t be more delighted to be BookTrust’s new Writer in Residence, mainly because one of my favourite things in the world is talking about myself. Sadly, Booktrust have quietly taken me to one side and told me that a) I’m not actually moving in with them and b) I’m not allowed to just write a series of blogs detailing how great I am.
'With that in mind, I’ve grudgingly decided to use my residency to focus on a couple of areas of personal interest. First, I want to celebrate funny books: from silly picture books to witty novels and everything inbetween. Secondly, I feel it’s really important that every young reader can see themselves represented in the books they read – regardless of gender, ethnicity or social class. And while it’s important for us grown-ups to keep talking about it, it’s even more important to get children involved in actually changing things.'


Previous Writers in Residence

Previous writers to take up the post include Cressida Cowell, Phil Earle, Sita Brahmachari and Philip Ardagh – see what fun things they all got up to during their time in residence.

Find out more

Features from our Writer in Residence


Books by Nadia Shireen

Billy and the Beast

Author: Nadia Shireen

Billy and her friend Fatcat are enjoying a walk in the woods when they notice that the bunnies and mice have gone missing – and a hungry Beast is collecting ingredients for a terrible soup. An empowering story, full of humour and humanity. 

Read more about Billy and the Beast

The Cow Who Fell to Earth

Author: Nadia Shireen

One night, a little cow falls to earth from the moon, but none of the earth animals speak her language. This lovely book about friendship and belonging is beautifully paced and has all of Nadia Shireen’s recognisable cute characters.

Read more about The Cow Who Fell to Earth

The Bumblebear

Author: Nadia Shireen

Norman the bear loves honey, so he thinks up an ingenious plan to get his paws on as much as he can eat - by enrolling at Bee School! An endearing tale about friendship and loyalty.

Read more about The Bumblebear

Yeti and the Bird

Author: Nadia Shireen

Yeti is all alone in the forest: he is so big and scary that all the animals leave him alone. Then one day a funny little orange bird turns up

Read more about Yeti and the Bird

The Baby That Roared

Author: Simon Puttock Illustrator: Nadia Shireen

Mr and Mrs Deer don’t have any children, but they would love to have a baby of their own to look after. When a mysterious bundle arrives on their doorstep they are overjoyed.

Read more about The Baby That Roared

Hey Presto!

Author: Nadia Shireen

With delightful illustrations and something of the same quirky humour that characterised her acclaimed Good Little Wolf, this is a fun and engaging story about friendship.

Read more about Hey Presto!

Good Little Wolf

Author: Nadia Shireen

Rolf is a good little wolf - he likes baking cakes, eating all his vegetables, and is always nice to his friends

Read more about Good Little Wolf

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