(and Leah Thaxton, PUBLISHER)

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BY NIGHT, I AM KATIE BLACKBURN … author of  Where the Wild Mums Areand various children’s books, including Dozy Bear and the Secret of Sleep. But Katie Blackburn is a pen name. By day – I am better known as Leah Thaxton, Children’s  Publisher at Faber & Faber.

 

Where the Wild Mums Are is the first book I had published, and has sold over 100k copies. Whoop! It is a homage to Maurice Sendak and a celebration of the wonder of mums – especially those who are up to their ears. Here’s a window display in New Zealand…

 

 

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But weary dads needn’t feel left out: there’s a follow-up, Where the Wild Dads Went featuring a sports bar, much beer and some swinging from the rafters. Here it is, in a juicy Father’s Day round up…

 

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Then there’s ‘Twas the Nightcap Before Christmas inspired by the mayhem of a typical family Christmas. (With a wistful shot of magical mystery in the form of Father Christmas.) All three books are illustrated by comic mastermind Sholto Walker.

 

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And for children …

 

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Dozy Bear and the Secret of Sleep  was written while lying on my son’s bedroom floor, and out of utter desperation! It is a sleep aid disguised as a story, and has been endorsed by Channel 4’s Three Day Nanny, ‘The first book I’ve read that teaches children how to fall asleep’. There’s also Dozy Bear and the Secret of Food (a toolkit to make toddler mealtimes less stressful). Both Dozys are illustrated by the supremely talented collage artist Richard Smythe.
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Last but not least, a toot toot for Scoot, the eye-popping tribute to scooter power, illustrated by the genius that is Jim Smith (author/ illustrator of the fabulous Barry Loser stories).

 

 

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I’ve worked on some incredible books over the years: Andy Stanton’s Mr Gum stories, Michael Grant’s Gone series, Kieran Larwood’s Podkin adventures … I’ve collaborated with a number of fabulous Estates – Ted Hughes, de la Mere, Enid Blyton, Flat Stanley, and championed the works of the greats: Kate Saunders, Francesca Simon, David Long, Emma Carroll, Julia Copus, Jason Reynolds, along with comic genius Harry Hill … I’ve had the privilege of commissioning a companion for TS Eliot’s Cats, (Consequential Dogs), seen The Iron Man reissue in magnificent style, illustrated by the legendary Chris Mould, and developed the vitally important I Like Bees, I Don’t Like Honey with the NSPCC… but it was nonetheless an absolute thrill to go through the publishing process myself. Seeing my own words type-set, the characters hand drawn, my book in a shop window, that first royalty statement, news of a reprint… There’s nothing like it.

 

You can find me on twitter (Leah Thaxton)  and instagram (Leahthaxton1)  – do get in touch and say hi (or ask your agent to send in your manuscript to Faber & Faber!)

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