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!

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.

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!

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.

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!

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. Charlie Farley’s cheeky story really makes me laugh!

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.

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!