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John Agard

Jon AgardJOHN AGARD is a poet, playwright and short story writer who grew up in Guyana. He has won many prizes, including the Smarties Book Prize, the CLPE Award, the Queen's Gold Medal and most recently the 2021 Booktrust Lifetime Achievement Award. John tours widely giving performances and speaking to students.


Jon Agee Personal website
Meet the authorMeet the author
Jon visits a schoolJon visits a school

Jon AgeeJon Agee went to college at The Cooper Union School of Art in New York City, where he studied painting and film-making. Now a full-time author, he lives in San Francisco with his wife, Audrey.

Jon is the author/illustrator of many acclaimed books for children including It's Only Stanley, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor winner. Terrific and Milo's Hat Trick between them have won New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Books, ALA Notable Book, Horn Book Fanfare, PW Best Books of the Year, Book Sense Top Ten Pickand LA Times Best Children's Picture Books Miami Herald Top Ten.

"Agee appeals to connoisseurs of the absurd, and he shapes ridiculous developments into a tightly composed and satisfying picture book." Publishers Weekly


Chair of YLG, Jake Hope, interviews Jon Agee CILIP.


Jon features in Letters From Lockdown from the Children's Bookshow


Read about Jon's books:

Elena Arevalo MelvillePersonal website

Elena Arevalo MelvilleElena Arevalo Melville grew up in tropical Guatemala, surrounded by volcanoes and mountains and a large family, including a little green parrot. She has an MA in Children's book illustration from Cambridge School of Art. She is a mother, a writer, an illustrator, a cartographer and leads workshops and art clubs in comics and art for children and adults. Her published work includes a series of Fantastical Maps for Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination, contributions to small comic anthologies, and a tween picture book Niente Principe Ranocchio (No frog Prince) with Donzelli Editore (2014). She lives in Cambridge, with her partner and children and, although she still considers herself a bird person, she loves their little black cat.

Derrick BarnesPersonal website

Derrick BarnesDerrick Barnes lives in the USA. His picture book Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut received a Newbery Honor, a Coretta Scott King Honor, and the 2018 Ezra Jack Keats Award.

Vanessa Brantley-NewtonPersonal website

Vanessa Brantley-NewtonVanessa Brantley-Newton lives in the USA. She created Let Freedom Sing and Grandma's Purse and has illustrated many other titles.

Magda BrolPersonal website

Magda BrolMagda was born in Wroclaw, Poland, where she graduated with a degree in Business and Environmental Sciences. After a few years working in the City of London and the birth of her two girls, Magda dived into the magical world of picture books and turned her passion for drawing into a dream job. She is inspired by all things Nordic and would love to see her favourite character, Sven the Moose, in a picture book one day. Magda lives in the leafy and very hilly part of London called Gipsy Hill, with her family, a Cypriot dog and a canary bird. When she's not drawing, you might spot her rollerblading around London or at the local ice rink.

Magda's previous books include When the Crocodiles came to town, Story Time, The Great Hamster Getaway and Pirates Don't go to School.

Ruth Brown

Ruth BrownRuth Brown is the creator of some of Britain's best loved children's books. She was born in Devon and now lives in London and Kent. Ruth's books are translated in many languages around the world, and she has won the Earthworm Award, the English Association Award, the Prix Sorcière and been shortlisted 3 times for the Kate Greenaway Medal.

"Brown, whose exceptional draughtsmanship makes all her books a feast, visits a gallery with a difference in this picture book about cats and artists. A book to lead readers to 13 painters from Mondrian to Munch and Kahlo to Klimt." Sunday Times Culture Magazine

Read about Ruth's books:


Jake Hope interviews Ruth on the YLG blog CILIP

Books for Keeps interview Books for Keeps interview

Deborah Chancellor
Meet the authorMeet the author

Deborah ChancellorDeborah Chancellor has written over a hundred books for children, from toddlers to teenagers. She has tackled a broad range of subjects, both in fiction and non-fiction. A keen walker with a healthy appetite for good food, Deborah lives in rural Essex with her husband, their dog, small grandson and his long-suffering parents. Deborah was shortlisted for the Little Rebels Award for her children's biography Harriet Tubman (2014).

Read about Deborah's books:

Joey Chou Personal website

Joey ChouJoey Chou was born in Taiwan and moved to sunny California in his early teens. Joey works by day as a visual development artist on feature animated films, and by night as a picture book illustrator.

Jeff CrosbyPersonal website

Jeff CrosbyJeff Crosby has illustrated over a dozen children's books and his clients include the New York Times, the Village Voice, Entertainment Weekly, and GQ.

Cori Doerrfeld Personal website
Cori reads her book The Rabbit Listened!Cori reads her book!

Cori DoerrfeldCori Doerrfeld lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband and two children. She received her undergraduate degree in Studio Art from St. Olaf College and her Post Baccalaureate from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Cori wrote The Rabbit Listened after several of her friends went through difficult times.

Louise Duvoisin
Interview with Anne DuvoisinInterview with Anne Duvoisin

Louise Duvoisin was born in Lausanne in 1904 and educated in Geneva. She moved to America with her husband in the 1920s. She was the author of many children's books, amongst which The Happy Lion which was illustrated by her husband Roger and won the inaugural German Children's Book Prize in 1956.

Roger Duvoisin
Interview with Anne DuvoisinInterview with Anne Duvoisin

Roger DuvoisinRoger Duvoisin was born in Geneva in 1900. He studied at the École National Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. His first job was designing scenery, making textiles, and painting murals. He married Louise Fatio, another artist from Switzerland. In 1927 they moved to New York City.

Duvoisin wrote and illustrated forty books, and illustrated over 100 more by other authors.

In 1947 he won the Caldecott Medal for White Snow, Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt and in 1966 their Hide and Seek Fog won a Caldecott Honor.

The Happy Lion was the first book created together by Duvoisin and his wife Louise and it won the inaugural German Children's Book Prize in 1956.

Read about Roger's books:

Mark ElvinsMark ElvinsPersonal website

Mark Elvins lives in Yorkshire. When he's not drawing pirates he's a print-maker and recently won an English Heritage competition to illustrate the displays at Whitby Abbey.


Read about Mark's books:

Brian FitzgeraldPersonal website

Brian FitzgeraldBrian Fitzgerald is an award-winning, Irish illustrator who lives and works in the harbour town of Dún Laoghaire. His earliest illustrations often featured the sheep and horses that could be seen from his childhood home - a farmhouse on the Curragh plains. Brian studied at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin where he discovered his love for illustrating children's books.

"Once I had my first picture book published I was hooked. For me there is no other type of illustration work that provides such sense of achievement. The journey with the author and publisher is a fun one and everyone's input helps to create my best work. I love what I do and I enjoy the element of creative surprises during the process of picture book making. I'm reminded of the joy it brings to the reader when I add a new book or two to the shelf each year."

Nigel GrayPersonal website

Mark ElvinsNigel Gray lives in Australia. His much-loved books have won the Prix Chronos, been shortlisted for the Smarties Prize, German Book Award, Mother Goose Award, and more.

Julia Groves
Meet the illustratorMeet the illustrator

Julia GrovesJulia Groves created her first children's books whilst studying for an MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art. Since graduating in 2014 she has designed and illustrated a range of baby books and picture books. She enjoys working in all kinds of media; papercut, printmaking, letterpress and hand-drawn typography.

Her baby books were awarded a starred Kirkus review and were nominated for the Progressive Pre-School Awards. Her first picture book received an Outstanding Merit from Bank Street College of Education, New York’s Best Books of the Year list and has been long listed for the Cogan Biodiversity Picture Book Award 2020 in the UK.

Julia also works as a college lecturer, teaching illustration, graphics and printmaking. She lives in the medieval city of Norwich with her husband and two children.

Read about Julia's books:

Marjoke Henrichs
Meet the authorMeet the author

Marjoke HenrichsMarjoke Henrichs graduated from the MA Children's Book Illustration course at Cambridge School of Art in 2019. She is also a theatre designer and a painter. She was born in the Netherlands and now lives in Suffolk.

Marjoke's Event Sheet Marjoke's Event Sheet

Derek Keilty Derek Keilty
Meet the authorMeet the author

Derek Keilty lives in Belfast and is the author of over ten books for children. His work has been translated into many different languages, selected for the Richard and Judy Club and shortlisted for the Children's Books Ireland Book of the Year.


Read about Derek's books:


Derek in conversation with LIBRARIES ADVENTURES LIVE

Derek is interviewed for Books Make Things Better Books Make Things Better

Satoshi Kitamura

Satoshi KitamuraSatoshi Kitamura had no formal art training but drew constantly from an early age and devoured comics. His career started with commercial illustration work for adverts and magazines; then he moved to London in 1979, and made his picture book debut with ANGRY ARTHUR, which in 1983 won the Mother Goose Award for the most exciting newcomer to British illustration. Since then Satoshi has illustrated over 20 of his own books and many more in collaboration with internationally renowned authors Hiawyn Oram, Jon Agard, and Colin McNaughton.

'The bold, bright, beautiful style of Satoshi Kitamura stands out like a beacon.' (T.E.S.)

'Satoshi Kitamura has produced some of the most delightful picture books of the last dozen years.' (New York Times Book Review)

Read about Satoshi's books:


Satoshi features in Letters From Lockdown from the Children's Bookshow


Jake Hope interviews Satoshi on the YLG blog CILIP


Here is Satoshi being interviewed about HAT TRICKS:

His recent Kamishibai performances for THE CAVE and LIONELS HAIR are here:

Simon LambPersonal website

Simon LambSIMON LAMB is a poet, performer and storyteller. With a background in teaching, he works extensively in schools to ignite and inspire young learners by sharing his passion for poetry. He has lived on the west, east and north coasts of Scotland, never far from the sea, and currently lives in Ayrshire, where he is the Scriever, the writer-in-residence at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, 2022-2025. A Passing On of Shells is Simon's debut collection of poetry.

Inbal Leitner
Inbal reads her book The Longest Strongest ThreadInbal reads her book!

Inbal LeitnerInbal Leitner studied Classic Animation at Bezalel Academy for Art and Design, Jerusalem, and worked there as a classic animator for ten years. Now living in Cambridge with her family, Inbal is focusing on illustration; she has illustrated children's books, and worked for magazines and private clients. Inbal prefers using traditional techniques such as acrylic, pastels, watercolours, printmaking, collage and mixed media.

Jeff NortonPersonal website

Jeff NortonJeff Norton is an award-winning author and television writer-producer. As an author, Jeff has written ten books including MetaWars: Fight For The Future (Orchard) - a high-tech thriller about the fight for the internet that has spurred three sequels, and Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie (Faber).

Padmacandra Personal website
Meet the illustratorMeet the illustrator

PadmacandraI grew up in East Scotland, between the North Sea, and the "fairy hills" of the Sidlaws.

From an early age I loved to write stories and poems, and to draw. No doubt influenced by my childhood reading, I believed in other worlds, in the possibility of doors appearing in walls with the right repetition of words or actions, of falling into another reality from the mundane.

As I grew up and entered the adult world, this thread went underground, except that in the margins of every sensible written page, little drawings would appear or lines of poetry. Through my practice as a buddhist, and feedback from friends, I began to realise that such quiet voices might be trying to communicate something about my unique contribution to the world. I began writing and publishing poetry, and, rather later than might be expected, embarked on an MA in children’s book illustration at the Cambridge School of Art, graduating in 2019.

I now live alone in a village on the edge of the fens in Norfolk UK, where I have converted my front room into a studio. Illustration and writing feel at times like a natural expression of meditation/ awareness practices. I also work part time with the elderly, and teach meditation.

My aspiration is to introduce children to the power of imagination – the possibility of wider and wilder worlds, beyond those we think we know. If through my art and/or writing I can also communicate values of kindness and wisdom, I would be very happy!

Antoinette Portis Antoinette Portis Personal website
Antoinette's Studio TourAntoinette's Studio Tour

Antoinette's picture-book debut was the New York Times best-selling Not A Box: an American Library Association Seuss Geisel Honor book, and one of the New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Books of the Year. She won a 2010 Sendak Fellowship. Antoinette studied fine arts before working in the world of design and advertising, including for Disney, before taking a flying leap to pursue her dream of writing and illustrating picture books.

Read about Antoinette's books:

Rob RamsdenPersonal website

Rob RamsdenRob Ramsden teaches graphic illustration and animation in East Anglia to pupils from 5 years old to university level, and has exhibited his illustration and animation nationally and internationally. Born in Yorkshire, he was raised as an artist in Cornwall, then explored Sussex and is currently settled in Suffolk. Since 1992 he's drawn comics, animated cartoons, illustrated commercially and exhibited his illustration and animation nationally and internationally. He's put creativity into mounting exhibitions, fairs and music events. Rob is a graduate of the MA in Children's Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art (2014). Since 2017, he has set up Fictional Space, a screen printing studio in Suffolk dedicated to collaboration, editions and limited-edition publications. Rob is the proud dad of a fantastically funny son.

He likes that we live in a visually rich world, and dislikes it when people can't see it.

Read about Rob's books:


Jake Hope interviews Rob on the YLG blog CILIP

Jean ReidyPersonal website

Jean ReidyJean Reidy lives in Denver, USA and is the author of many picture books. She is a three-time winner of the Colorado Book Award, and has won a Parent's Choice Gold Award, and a Charlotte Zolotow Honor.

Chris Riddell

Chris RiddellCHRIS RIDDELL, the 2015-2017 UK Children's Laureate, is an award-winning illustrator and acclaimed political cartoonist. He is currently the only artist to have won the Kate Greenaway Medal three times. He has illustrated the work of many celebrated children's authors, and has long-loved working with poetry, illustrating several books by former Poet Laureate Ted Hughes early in his career. He lives in Brighton with his family.

Rose Robbins Personal website
Meet the authorMeet the author

Rose RobbinsRose Robbins is an award-winning Author/Illustrator based in Nottingham, UK. Rose has been making picture-books since the age of 6, when she received a stapler for her birthday. Her earliest surviving work is entitled 'Two bunnies needing friends' of which only one copy is currently know to exist. She was awarded 'Best New Blood' at the D&AD graduate fair in 2012, was runner up in the Carmelite Prize in 2017, and part of the Cheltenham awards for illustration in 2017. Rose has been published previously in Mexico and in various international anthologies. She also likes to make sculptures, soft toys, music videos and lino-prints.

Rose's brother is autistic and she teaches autistic young people.

Read about Rose's books:


Jake Hope interviews Rose on the YLG blog CILIP

Rose Robbins' blog tour for Autism Awareness Week 2020

Rose talks to Female First about children’s books featuring characters with disabilities

Rose talks to Federation of Children’s Book Groups about the inspiration behind her new book TALKING IS NOT MY THING

Rose talks to Library Girl and Book Boy blog and tells her story from the perspective of a non-verbal autistic sister who has found other ways to communicate with her sibling

Rose talks to BookTrust:'Books like this can comfort young carers'

Rose talks to Just Imagine

Rose talks to SEN magazine

Karen Swann
Meet the authorMeet the author

Karen SwannKaren Swann won the Writing Magazine Picture Book Prize in 2018. She grew up in the UK where she trained as a physiotherapist in a small town by the sea. Always a writer and a storyteller, she now lives with her family in Nottingham and, when she’s not halfway up a climbing wall, she loves to write lyrical rhyming stories at an old Victorian scrub-top table. The Tale of the Whale is her debut picture book.

Bethan Welby

Rose RobbinsBethan Welby grew up in the midlands where she had an enormous garden to lose herself in, which she often did. She received an MA in Children’s Book Illustration from the Anglia Ruskin in 2019. Bethan was a winner of the international Picture This! Illustration competition 2018. She now lives in South Devon where she enjoys printmaking and outdoor drawing.

Jeanne Willis

Jeanne WillisJeanne Willis has written many hilarious and moving picture books texts which have sold all over the world. She lives in London. She has won the Silver Medal Smarties Prize, the Nasen Special Needs Award, the Sheffield Children's Book Award and the Red House Children's Book Award. Jeanne has also worked in advertising, and written scripts for TV.