Books:

Books I’ve written and co-written

This page lists my books in order of publication, most recent first. Just scroll down to read, and then click on “older entries” to see the full list.

You won’t find every single title I’ve published here, as many have been re-issued as bind-ups or with new titles – this page just lists what I’ve written, as it first appeared.  Searching on Amazon will reveal more editions, as well as some forthcoming titles.  I have also edited, rewritten, project-managed and contributed to quite a few other books, but I’m keeping this list to books I’ve written all or a large part of.

My specialist areas include:
Life science topics, such as the human body, genes and DNA, insects, plants and sea life
Other science topics, such as sound and light, matter, electricity, science history, inventions and discoveries
Social science, health education and healthy eating
Geography and geology, especially volcanoes and other natural disasters
History, especially ancient history
Art, craft and “how to make” topics
Textiles, sewing, fashion and design
Shakespeare, both as a non-fiction topic, and retellings of his works
Retellings of myths and legends, folktales and classic novels
Rhyming stories for young children

Book count! (as listed in this section) currently standing at:  196

Coming soon

Upcoming titles include a health series, and books on tech, rocks and minerals, experiments, and dinosaurs. Watch this space (or check out Amazon if you’d like to see recent publications asap).

Sharks: Predators of the Sea

2016, QED Publishing

Aaaaaaah, I love sharks. This book is full of amazing photos and has a really exciting, dramatic design style. It’s great for finding out lots of in-depth facts about particular types of sharks, and also takes a close look at their teeth, skeletons, senses, skin, and strange, little-known habits.

100 Most Indestructible Things on the Planet

2016, Scholastic

The latest 100 Most takes a look at all kinds of super-tough animals, bugs, materials and structures. Find the sponge that lives for 15,000 years, the creepy-crawly that can survive in outer space, the beetle that doesn’t mind being run over, and the ultimate nuclear bunker.

100 Most Unexplained Things on the Planet

2014, Scholastic

The 100 Most juggernaut continues, but sadly some of the new titles aren’t available in the US or sometimes the UK. I’m not sure why this is. Anyway, 100 Most Unexplained is the book a lot of readers have been asking for – I’m often asked to write 100 most weird, spooky, mysterious or bizarre things, and this is the book! Ghost sightings, cryptids, haunted castles, mysterious monuments, undecoded writings, and even some brain-boggling mysteries of science – it’s got the lot. Try ordering from Australia if you can’t get hold of it.

The Story of You

2016, Wayland

This book brings together brain science, psychology, genetics and evolution in a simple and accessible way, to discover what makes each person unique, individual and the one and only them. Introvert or extrovert, sporty or shy, musical, tall, deaf, brown-eyed, or the world’s pickiest eater – what made you that way?

50 Things You Should Know About: Wild Weather

2016, QED Publishing

The ultimate book about terrible, extreme and deadly weather, covering giant hailstones, monster storms, devastating dust storms, and the world’s wettest village.

Insects in 30 Seconds

2015, Ivy Press

My second book in the Ivy Press 30 Seconds series, this explores the world of insects in easily digestible chunks – from insect eyesight, skeletons and camouflage to termite towers, bloodsucking bugs and poo-eating beetles.

Collins Big Cat: The Shang Dynasty

2015, Collins Educational

This Big Cat reading scheme book introduces the warfaring, sacrifice-making, bronze-casting, incredibly inventive Shang, a Chinese people so ancient and interesting, they were once thought to be purely mythical.

Collins Big Cat: Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace

2014, Collins Educational

A Big Cat book for older readers on two of biology’s greatest thinkers – covering their amazing scientific discoveries, and also their fascinating lives.

Around the time of writing this, the beautiful new statue of Wallace at the Natural History Museum in London, made by sculptor Anthony Smith, was unveiled.

The Comedy, History and Tragedy of William Shakespeare

2015, Franklin Watts

A friendly, clear and attractive introduction to the life, times and works of Shakespeare, brought to life by the wonderful illustrator Adria Meserve, and co-written with multi-talented writer Timothy Knapman. Shortlisted for The English 4-11 Picture Book Awards and the SLA Information Book Awards, and received a special mention and commendation from the SLA.

Education Umbrella says:
Perfect for Upper Key Stage 2, The Comedy, History & Tragedy of William Shakespeare is a fantastic overview of the life, times and work of Avon’s most famous playwright. With fresh and artful illustrations, a clear layout and bold colours, this marvellous book will give children and pre-teens an enjoyable introduction to Shakespeare…

…Then come one-page overviews of 12 of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, across the three genres of comedy, tragedy and history. These give a simple summary of the plot interwoven with lines from the play. As well as the tasteful motifs and colour schemes, the impressive thing about these summaries is a correct use of the word literally in the page on King Lear. ‘Lear and Gloucester are both blind to the truth about which of their children are good, and which evil. But Gloucester is literally blinded by Regan’s husband’. Encore! Encore!

Thanks for noticing that! 🙂

Where’s Will? Find Shakespeare Hidden in His Plays

Where'sWill

 

 

 

 

 

2015, Ivy Press

I wrote the text for this book showcasing the amazing artwork of illustrator Tilly. It introduces 10 Shakespeare plays, with a plot synopsis for each, followed by a big and beautifully drawn scene in which you have to find several of the characters, and the bard himself.

Book blogger ReadItDaddy kindly says:
Here’s a different approach altogether and it’s a stroke of genius. Marry the observational fun of the “Where’s Wally?” books with a goodly dose of Shakespeare’s plays, to produce a stunning and glorious activity book that will keep your younglings occupied for hours.

Fashion Stylist

2015-2016, Laurence King

I’m thrilled to have started working with creative, design and textile publishing house Laurence King. This series of fashion sticker books lets you create your own range of stylish looks, and contains fashion facts and drawing advice too. Co-created with the fabulously talented Missy McCullough.

This Amazon review sums up the concept:
This is more than just your average kids’ sticker book! It is so thoughtfully put together. There is interesting and informative fashion info on the pages (about fabrics, patterns, styles, etc-). My 7-year-old daughter is actually learning a lot from it! There are more than enough stickers for each model, so there’s flexibility in creating custom outfits and looks, which she likes a lot. (It’s not just put sticker A in spot A.) The quality is great.
The body types are realistic and not typically overdrawn models with bones protruding and exaggerated limb length, etc. I’m happy to let my daughter play with this. Highly recommend!

The two titles so far are:

Fashion Stylist: Autumn/Winter
Fashion Stylist: Spring/Summer

Living in the Wild: Big Cats – Tigers

2015, Raintree

Another Living in the Wild book, exploring the life and habits of the biggest cat.

I Love This Tree

2015, Franklin Watts

Discover the life, beauty and importance of trees through the story of one ancient, spreading sweet chestnut.

100 Most Destructive Natural Disasters

2014, Scholastic

In this new 100 Most title, you can explore the world of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, floods and ice storms, and their awesome power.

Disgusting & Dreadful: Two more titles

2014, Wayland

Following on from 2013’s four physics-based titles, I contributed two very gross books to a new Disgusting & Dreadful Science series on living things. They are:

Killer Plants and Other Green Gunk
Stinky Farts and Other Body Horrors

Mind Webs

2014-2015, Wayland

This series presents core science information in the form of mind webs, also called mind maps or spidergraphs. For each topic, you can see the main facts at a glance, and how they are connected. Great for visual thinkers (like me!).

Electricity and Magnetism
Light and Sound
Forces
Materials
Human Body
Living Things

The Human Body in 30 Seconds

2014, Ivy Press

My first book for Ivy Press’s fab “30 Seconds” series, introducing a topic in handy bite-sized chunks.

Short, Sharp Shakespeare

2014-2015, Wayland

A series of six Shakespeare books that include both a detailed modern retelling of a play, and 16 pages of helpful notes and information. Illustrated in brilliant scratchy cartoon style by the unique Tom Morgan-Jones.

Macbeth
Romeo and Juliet
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Much Ado About Nothing
The Tempest
Hamlet

Whizzy Science

2014, Wayland

A series of six easy-to-read, cartoon-style books full of great science experiments to try.

Make it Zoom!
Make it Bang!
Make it Glow!
Make it Splash!
Make it Change!
Make it Grow!

Also available as a six-books-in-one bind-up, entitled Whizzy Science: Speedy Science Crafts and Experiments.

First Animal Encyclopedia: Seas and Oceans

2014, A&C Black

Lots of gorgeous photos in this introduction to sea and ocean habitats and amazing underwater life.

Animal Atlas

2014, Bloomsbury

A tour of the world, looking at the kinds of animals found in each area and habitat. Beautifully illustrated by Christina Wald.

100 Most Feared Creatures on the Planet

2013, Scholastic

A slightly different 100 Most title, featuring top 5 countdowns for all kinds of scary and fearsome animals.

Body Works

2013, QED Publishing

A series of four fun-packed human body books, containing lots of experiments and activities as well as detailed science info.

Brilliant Brain
Heroic Heart
Super Skeleton
Gruesome Guts

Explorer Travel Guides: Caves

2013, Raintree

An in-depth (ta-daa!) exploration of caves around the world, their features, formations and cavers’ amazing feats. The book features exciting interviews with two great cavers, scientist Penny Boston and adventurer Martyn Farr.

 

Animal Abilities

2013, Raintree

Three titles on the amazing skills and abilities of some of our animal relatives. Especially octopuses!

Orcas
Rats
Octopuses

 

Collins Big Cat: Black Holes

2013, Collins Educational

A Big Cat reading scheme book about a fascinating mystery of the Universe.

 

Mental Development: From Birth to Old Age

2013, Raintree

This unusual book, part of a series on “Your Body for Life”, explores what happens to your brain and your mind as you grow up and grow older. Lots of amazing in-depth detail about things like how the brain makes connections, why most people don’t remember being born, which are the happiest and cleverest ages to be, and the mysteries of the teenage brain.

Car-Sized Crabs and Other Animal Giants

2013, A&C Black

Quite simply all about the biggest of various types of animals, from supersized spiders and monster worms to enormous elephants and mighty blue whales. Loads of fun to write!