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Authors/Illustrators HEADING_TITLE

Our Talent

Many Child's Play books are developed in-house by our hardworking team. Our accomplished illustrators bring these stories and ideas,
as well as those from outside authors, to life.

Authors & Illustrators

Pam Adams                  Paul Adshead                             Marta Altés                    Sarah Arnold   
Mark Birchall                 Claudia Boldt                              Hannah Cumming            Penny Ives
Kees Moerbeek            Amanda Montgomery-Higham    Carol Thompson


Sue Baker                      Andrew Fusek Peters                   John Light                     Polly Peters
Gervase Phinn               Mandy Ross


Airlie Anderson               Roberta Angeletti                    Laura Barella                Georgie Birkett
Cristiana Cerretti             Charlotte Cooke                       Estelle Corke                Dan Crisp
Jane Eccles                     Alison Edgson                         Kate Edmunds              Lisa Evans
Caroline Formby              Tina Freeman                           Rachel Fuller                Masumi Furukawa
Toni Goffe                       Richard Johnson                      Dubravka Kolanovic      Annie Kubler
Anthony Lewis                Martha Lightfoot                      Diana Mayo                   Andrea Petrlik
Sanja Rescek                  Bruno Robert                           Simona Sanfilippo         Elisa Squillace
Jess Stockham                Barbara Vagnozzi                    Claudia Venturini           Anna Wadham
Kay Widdowson              Hannah Wood                          Elke Zinsmeister

Pam Adams


Pam Adams was born in 1919 in Swindon, Wiltshire. She was always drawing as a child so Swindon Art College was the natural place to begin her formal art training. In the 50's and 60's, following several years at the Central School of Art in London, she worked as a graphic artist for various advertising agencies in the city.

When she returned to Swindon in the 70's she teamed up with Michael Twinn who had recently founded Child's Play. Her first book ‘There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly', published in 1972, is still Child's Play best selling title.

Her bright, clear colours, appealing shapes and attention to detail make her pictures instantly successful with children.

Pam moved into writing with the ‘Mrs Honey' series. Her attractive artwork, sense of humour and great versatility made her an invaluble member of the Child's Play team.

Pam work for Child's Play for nearly forty years, illustrating her final book, a prequel to ‘There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly' in 2006.

Sadly Pam passed away in 2010 at the age of 91.


Paul Adshead

As a child, only two things really interested me: wildlife and art. I was fascinated by nature and loved drawing and painting the creatures I saw around me. I was also an avid reader.

I started to write and illustrate professionally during the mid 1980's. My first book, called "A Peacock on the Roof" told the true story of my pet family of peacocks. My second book, "The Chicken that could Swim" told another true story and was nominated for the Kate Greenaway award for illustration. Due to the enormous popularity of the hidden puzzles in these two books, I soon became known for creating complex picture Puzzle books, starting with Puzzle Island- which went on to sell over a million copies. This was followed by more puzzle books: "One Odd Old Owl", "The Red Herring Mystery" and "Around the World with Phineas Frog." In between, I branched out into writing short novels for children. "The Secret Hedgehog," "Trilby" and finally, "The Incredible Reversing Peppermints" which was nominated for the Redhouse Children's Book Award.


Marta Altés

I studied graphic design in Barcelona and, after working there as a graphic designer for almost five years, I decided to pursue my interest for illustration that I had since I was a child. Last year I joined the MA in Children's Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art. Now, after finishing the course, I think that it was the BEST decision I ever made. I had worked in illustration doing some freelance work before this course, but I had never had the chance to work on it full time and it makes me feel so lucky and happy.

What I like the most about illustration is that it allows me to bring a smile to the person looking at my drawings or reading my stories. I always try to have a positive and funny vision of life and I hope this can be seen in my work.



Sarah Arnold

Having trained as a conceptual fine artist at Goldsmith's College, I now spend my time drawing crocodiles, rabbits and porcupines with clothes on! But that's what I love doing best.

After a period studying art history in France and teaching English I came back to London and worked as a wallpaper designer, a mural painter and portrait artist, where I specialized in Dogs, before embarking on a short children's book illustration course at Chelsea with the wonderful Carolyn Dinan. There I won a highly commended on the Macmillan prize which was encouraging and after a few years of struggle I now work as a freelance illustrator/writer in London and make my living jumping between adult and children's illustration, and feel very lucky, and love it!


Mark Birchall

Mark grew up in the northwest of England. His heroes were Nelson, Achilles, and Roger Hunt the footballer.

He went to art college in Liverpool and Norwich, where he graduated in graphic-design. When he decided he'd like to illustrate children's books he went to writing-classes at Kensington & Chelsea College, hoping to find somebody there who could write stories for him to illustrate. Instead he found that he liked writing too. When he realized that he didn't know how to do the pictures he went to Chelsea College of Art to study illustration. He occasionally teaches there now.

Mark lives in London. He doesn't have any pets but some of his best friends have been cats and dogs.


Claudia Boldt

I went to Glasgow School of Art as well as Kingston University where I graduated with a Masters in Illustration in 2007. The same year I founded Cloud Cuckoo Studio with fellow illustrator Katharina Koall in London's East End.

What I like doing most is writing and illustrating fun and slightly absurd comedies for 4 year olds! I want to entertain while remaining truthful to my personal emotions, interests and ideas. This year I have been selected to show my work at the illustrators exhibition at the Bologna Children's Book Fair and my first two picture books will be published with Child's Play.

Apart from making picture books my work has been exhibited internationally and was showcased in several publications including Images 33 and the 3x3 Illustration Directory. Recent editorial commissions include Waterstone's Books Quarterly, Die Zeit and Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin.


Hannah Cumming

Hannah grew up in Dorset, England, and was drawing and writing stories as soon as she was old enough to hold a pencil. After teaching in a primary school in Malaysia (and doodling many pictures on the blackboard), it dawned on her that putting pictures and words together was how she wanted to make a living. She went on to study Illustration at University College Falmouth, graduating in 2007 with First Class Honours.

She has twice gained Highly Commended in the Macmillan Children's Book Prize for her original picture book ideas and was commissioned to illustrate her first book, ‘The Gift', written by Victoria Field for Fal Publications, while at university.
She has produced work for a number of clients since, including Brightday Publishing, the NSPCC, and the Welsh Assembly.

Hannah enjoys walking up hills (Eggardon Hill in Dorset is her favourite), baking experimental cakes, drinking tea, and with her artist sister Chloe, forms an as yet unbeaten Pictionary team.


Penny Ives

Penny Ives lives and works in Bath. She shares an untidy house with her tall and still growing teenage son, three cats all the size of small horses and two giant goldfish.

Years ago Penny was a student at Bath Academy of Art and later Brighton Art School.

Before that she was a very shy child who wouldn't say boo to a goose. It was always easier to sit in the shed with the dog and write poems.


Kees Moerbeek

Kees Moerbeek studied graphic design at the art school in Arnhem, The Netherlands, and works as a full-time paper engineer and illustrator. He lives in The Netherlands with his wife, the book designer and sculptor Carla Dijs.


Amanda Montgomery-Higham

Amanda lives in Cornwall with her husband Malcolm, their two dogs Poppy and Floyd, and one very bad cat!

She currently divides her time illustrating children's books - her foremost love - and teaching Art in adult education.

She attended Falmouth College of Art and Design as a mature student, once her daughter had flown the nest. She graduated in June 2000 with a BA (Hons) in Illustration.



Carol Thompson

Carol Thompson is an English illustrator/author living in a small town in the centre of England. Her childhood was spent in the Fens of East Anglia, a wild landscape of flatland and huge skies. As a child she cycled everywhere and still does!

She graduated with a BA in textile design, became an illustrator, and finally found her way to the wonderful world of children's books. As well as raising three sons she has both illustrated and written over fifty books which have been translated into more than twenty languages, including, most excitingly, Lebanese and two indigenous Sioux languages, Dakota and Ojibwe.

Carol has previously received a 'Mother Goose Award' for children's book illustration in the UK. However, 2009 has been an exceptional year for recognition of her work in the U.S.

'THUNDERBOOMER' (Clarion) received an American Library Association 'Notable Book Award' and Smithsonian Museum 'Notable Book Award', and also the School Library Journal 'best of the year'!

'MOMMY, MAMA AND ME' and 'DADDY, PAPA AND ME' (Tricycle) by Leslea Newman, received the ALA Stonewall Honor Picture Book Award, an ALA 'Notable Book Award', an Oppenheim Gold, and was the Co-operative Children's Book Centre Choice 2010.

Look out for her three new titles in 2010:
'CHILL' - Little Hare, Australia and Holiday House, USA.
'COME TO ME MY CHICKADEE' - Child's Play (International) Ltd
'SNUG' - Child's Play (International) Ltd

Carol is a member of The Society of Authors, SCWIBI, (Soc. of Children's Writers and Illustrators), and is a committee member of IBBY UK (International Board on Books for Young People). IBBY aims to promote international understanding through children's literature and to ensure that children everywhere have access to good books.