authors and Illustrators


Here's what our authors and illustrators have to say about themselves.

Jessie Wall


I haven’t always written children’s books. Once upon a time I wrote newspaper articles for a water company, which meant I spent a lot of time trudging around sewage farms in the pouring rain! And I don’t always write about animals either, although I do have plans for a follow-up to Geronimo, about a cat - called Philomena – who thinks she’s a dog. Here's a picture of me with the real-life Geronimo. As you can see, he likes to give kisses!

emily stanbury


I have been drawing pictures for as long as I can remember and I’ve drawn everything from mischievous animals to the Royal Family. I recently received a letter from the Queen complimenting my illustrated children’s story about Prince George learning his royal duties! I drew inspiration for the characters of Geronimo and Philomena from a large black and white moggy called Thomas. I found him on my doorstep a year ago and he has made himself at home with me ever since.

Jackie Marchant


Dougal Daley was inspired by a messy bedroom and a random question from my son about writing a will. Dougal Daley has been huge fun to write about – you wouldn’t believe the disasters that happen around him (none of which are his fault of course)! When I’m not writing I love doing school visits and creative writing workshops. I also take time away from the writing world looking after guide dogs while their owners are away.

Loretta Schauer


I originally studied performing arts and have a degree in Dance Performance – well you never know when you need a quick pirouette! I also worked in practical conservation for a long time, and spent many years battling balsam, identifying lichen, and searching for creepy crawlies before I picked up my pencils and paints and began exploring illustrating and writing for children. In 2011 I won the Waterstone’s ‘Picture This’ competition and I now illlustrate full time. However I am still happiest noodling around for fossils and shells on the beach!

Sally Harris


I'm best described as a writer, a teacher, a coffee drinker, a dog wrangler, and an expert mess maker. I grew up in rural Australia and wrote my first book when I was ten. (It was a homemade joke book, full of some seriously cheesy jokes.) Since then I have barely stopped writing stories and, while my taste in jokes may not have improved in the slightest, I like to think that my storytelling skills have.

Maria Serrano


I am a freelance illustrator based in Spain but I’ve also lived in loads of other places including London. I have worked with Oxford University Press, Pearson Education and Templar books among others, and have also published three books in my own country. I love my job and work long hours…but I’m always happy to relax with a glass of beer at the end of the day!



I grew up in Northern Ireland where everyone had a tale to tell and the landscape was littered with magic stones and the lochs were mostly under some fairy curse or another. I live in a teeny weeny cottage in deepest, darkest Northamptonshire in England these days, but I’ve never forgotten the wonderful feeling that those fairy tales gave me so feel very privileged to now be able to write and illustrate my own books. If I wasn’t an author I would almost certainly be a dinosaur bone digger-upper or a pirate. Or both!

Coral Rumble


I have worked as a poet and performer for many years and I’m proud to have my work featured in Favourite Poets (Hodder). I have three published poetry collections of my own and have contributed to more than 150 anthologies. I am also one of the writers of the popular Cbeebies prgrammes ‘Poetry Pie’ and ‘The Rhyme Rocket’. I have given workshops in some fairly unusual venues as well…the grandest of which being Buckingham Palace!

Charlotte Cooke


I was thrilled and proud when my picture book The Adventures of the Owl & the Pussycat was highly commended for the Macmillan Children’s Prize in 2010. Since then I have gone on to illustrate many other picture books and I enjoy making the occasional card too. When I’m not in my studio I’m usually outside running or playing referee to my two kids.

Martin Thomas


I am a writer, journalist and public speaker with over twenty years’ experience working with children’s charities. My love for children’s literature comes from a passion for telling stories and in working with young people to help them realise their potential. I live in Oxfordshire with my wife, two children, one cat (who definitely thinks he's a cat, not a dog!), three rabbits and a Kakariki.

Ag Jatkowska


I was born in Gdansk in Poland and grew up by the cold Baltic sea. I still love the sound and smell of the ocean and that sense of infinity. I love animals , including elephants! That’s why they seemed the obvious character choice for Wacky Bee’s Little Elephant picture books. I’d love to have a pet one day…but maybe not an elephant!

Charlie Farley


I love picture books, and having my own kids has been a great excuse to re-read old favourites and find new ones. Apart from allowing me to read to them endlessly, my rabble are great company; they speak the truth, laugh with abandon, know unbridled fun, and always find farts amusing, a bit like Slob Beast. Although any resemblance between myself and Slob Beast is clearly ludicrous!

Joe Barleymow


Before I became an illustrator I had quite a few other jobs, including working in a public library. I read so many picture books there that I decided I’d like to make them myself. Under the name of Layn Marlow I’ve written and illustrated many picture books for pre-school children but Slob Beast is my first picture book for the over 5s illustrating as Joe Barleymow. Charlie Farley’s cheeky story really makes me laugh!



Bjarne was born and brought up in a suburb of Copenhagen and since his debut novel Kidnapping in 1975 he has become an institution in Danish literature, winning numerous prizes. Books including Buster’s World, Zappa, Someone Like Hodder and When the Bindweed Blooms are a major part of almost every Danish person’s childhood.



Kirsten was born in Denmark and lived on the small island of Tåsinge where she started her own studio. She has illustrated books for children all her life and is also the author of several picture books. She now lives on a farm in Sweden and the influence of nature, space and rich wildlife can clearly be seen in her illustrative work.