Cressida Cowell 

Current Waterstones Children's Laureate: 2019-21

Cressida Cowell is the number one bestselling author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once book series, and the author of the Emily Brown picture books, illustrated by Neal Layton. 

Read Cressida Cowell's letter to announce her Laureateship

See Cressida's giant to-do list as Laureate

Cressida Cowell has sold over 11 million books worldwide in 38 languages. How to Train Your Dragon is also an award-winning billion dollar DreamWorks film series, and a TV series shown on Netflix and CBBC; The Wizards of Once has also been optioned for film by DreamWorks.

Cressida is an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust, a trustee for World Book Day and a founder patron of the Children's Media Foundation. She has won numerous prizes for her books, including the Blue Peter Book Award, the Ruth Rendell Award for Championing Literacy, Gold Award in the Nestle Children's Book Prize, the Hay Festival Medal for Fiction, and Philosophy Now magazine's Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity.

Cressida grew up in London and on a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland. She she now lives in Hammersmith, London, with her husband, three children and a dog called Pigeon.

Read Cressida Cowell's letter to announce her Laureateship

Some books by Cressida Cowell

That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown

Author: Cressida Cowell Illustrator: Neal Layton

Emily and her toy rabbit, Stanley, love to go on adventures together.

Read more about That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown

The Story of Tantrum O'Furrily

Author: Cressida Cowell Illustrator: Mark Nicholas

Set on a wild and windy night, a stray cat called Tantrum O'Furrily is out and about with her three hungry kittens. Soon, they discover the power of stories and the courage they can give you. Cressida Cowell's story reads like a heartwarming fairy tale.

Read more about The Story of Tantrum O'Furrily

What Shall We Do With the Boo-Hoo Baby?

Author: Cressida Cowell Illustrator: Ingrid Godon

A picture book guide to diagnosing all the reasons babies usually cry, this is a delightful board book, perfect for reading again and again to little ones. Reassuring and cute at the same time!

Read more about What Shall We Do With the Boo-Hoo Baby?

The Wizards of Once

Author: Cressida Cowell

Wish is a girl from a warrior tribe and Xar is a boy from a wizard tribe, living in a world loosely based on Ancient Britain at the beginning of the Iron Age, but where magic is real. A fabulously imaginative, funny and unpredictable adventure. 

Read more about The Wizards of Once

The Wizards of Once: Twice Magic

Author: Cressida Cowell

The sequel to the glorious The Wizards of Once picks up almost exactly where we left it – and it's just as thrilling, gorgeously written and illustrated. Prepare to get totally drawn into a magical world.

Read more about The Wizards of Once: Twice Magic

Emily Brown and the Thing

Author: Cressida Cowell Illustrator: Neal Layton

Lying in bed, Emily can hear lots of household noises which she discovers are made by a Thing who is afraid of things.

Read more about Emily Brown and the Thing

Cheer Up Your Teddy Bear, Emily Brown!

Author: Cressida Cowell Illustrator: Neal Layton

Emily Brown and her sidekick rabbit, Stanley, are back – and this time, they're on a mission to cheer up one very unhappy teddy bear. Another lovely story of friendship and humour from the author of How To Train Your Dragon and illustrator Neal Layton.

Read more about Cheer Up Your Teddy Bear, Emily Brown!

How to Train Your Dragon

Author: Cressida Cowell

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was an incredible sword-fighter, dragon-whisperer and the greatest Viking hero who ever lived.

Read more about How to Train Your Dragon

Charlie and Lola: Shapes

Author: Lauren Child

Ideal for young fans of Charlie and Lola, this series of shapes in different contexts is a fun place to start naming and recognising.

Read more about Charlie and Lola: Shapes

How To Train Your Dragon 2: How to Be A Pirate

Author: Cressida Cowell

The second in Cressida Cowell’s epic adventure series follows Hiccup as he hones his skills and starts to realise some of his power. This continuation of Hiccup’s tale has as much humour and brilliant characterisation and world building as the first book. 

Read more about How To Train Your Dragon 2: How to Be A Pirate

How To Train Your Dragon 3: How to Speak Dragonese

Author: Cressida Cowell

The third in the series featuring Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III sees the heroic Viking warrior recall more adventures of his life as a small boy.

Read more about How To Train Your Dragon 3: How to Speak Dragonese

How To Train Your Dragon 4: How to Cheat A Dragon’s Curse

Author: Cressida Cowell

The fourth book in this wonderful series might put a beloved character in peril, but we know from the narrating elderly Hiccup that his younger self will save the day. A thrilling instalment of the laugh-filled adventure, which always favours the underdog.

Read more about How To Train Your Dragon 4: How to Cheat A Dragon’s Curse

How To Train Your Dragon 5: How to Twist A Dragon’s Tale

Author: Cressida Cowell

The fifth in the hugely successful series is just as likely to get kids reading as the others – the humour, illustrations and fast-moving plot are fantastic even for reluctant readers.

Read more about How To Train Your Dragon 5: How to Twist A Dragon’s Tale

How To Train Your Dragon 6: A Hero’s Guide to Deadly Dragons

Author: Cressida Cowell

The sixth instalment in this brilliant series includes a dragonese dictionary for the superfan wanting to learn the language for themselves. There’s even a selection of profiles, chronicling the vital statistics of all the dragons.

Read more about How To Train Your Dragon 6: A Hero’s Guide to Deadly Dragons

How To Train Your Dragon 7: How to Ride A Dragon’s Storm

Author: Cressida Cowell

The seventh book in this adventure-filled, hilarious series is a must read for fans of dragons, fantasy and Vikings – as well as all of us who appreciate good friends and brilliant ideas in the nick of time.

Read more about How To Train Your Dragon 7: How to Ride A Dragon’s Storm

How To Train Your Dragon 8: How to Break A Dragon’s Heart

Author: Cressida Cowell

The eighth book in this fabulous, action-filled series explores the Viking world even further and weaves depth into Hiccup’s story all the more, with plenty of scary dragons, peril and even a bit of romance. 

Read more about How To Train Your Dragon 8: How to Break A Dragon’s Heart

How To Train Your Dragon 9: How to Steal A Dragon’s Sword

Author: Cressida Cowell

Can Hiccup find the King's Things and win the sword-fighting contest to stop Alvin the Treacherous from becoming King of the Wilderwest? The reluctant hero Hiccup is back in the ninth instalment of this epic series.

Read more about How To Train Your Dragon 9: How to Steal A Dragon’s Sword

How To Train Your Dragon 10: How to Seize A Dragon’s Jewel

Author: Cressida Cowell

The world may be dark in this instalment of Cowell’s supremely enjoyable Viking series, but friendship, loyalty and Hiccup’s intelligence will surely win the day.

Read more about How To Train Your Dragon 10: How to Seize A Dragon’s Jewel

How to Betray a Dragon's Hero

Author: Cressida Cowell

High up in the treacherous mists of the Murderous Mountains, Hiccup and the Company of Dragonmark are in hiding. The witch's Spydragons are guarding the shores of Tomorrow - but Hicup is determined to become King of the Wilderwest.

Read more about How to Betray a Dragon's Hero

How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury

Author: Cressida Cowell

This is the final instalment in the How to Train Your Dragon series and it packs an emotional punch. It brings together every adventure Hiccup and his friends have had, as well as reintroducing old characters and tying up loose ends.

Read more about How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury

How To Be A Viking

Author: Cressida Cowell

Cressida Cowell came up with the idea for her How To Train Your Dragon series by sketching this little story about a timid Viking in her sketchbook. The story of Hiccup is one of believing in yourself and not measuring yourself against others' standards.

Read more about How To Be A Viking

Emily Brown and the Elephant Emergency

Author: Cressida Cowell Illustrator: Neal Layton

Emily, her rabbit Stanley, and their friend Matilda are doing Very Important Things and having Great Adventures, but keep getting interrupted by the emergency telephone. Cowell and Layton perfectly blend imaginative play with reality.

Read more about Emily Brown and the Elephant Emergency

Emily Brown and Father Christmas

Author: Cressida Cowell Illustrator: Neal Layton

Father Christmas is on a mission to be modern this year. But are the old ways sometimes best? The unshakeable Emily Brown is just the girl to sort Santa out and save everyone's Christmas. Fabulously fun and festive!

Read more about Emily Brown and Father Christmas

Search books by Cressida Cowell