Martin Waddell biography and books reviewed

Born 10th April 1941 during a bombing raid on Belfast, children's author Martin Waddell is a prolific children's writer both under his own name and the pseudonym 'Catherine Sefton' which her uses for books with a more serious subject matter for older children. He now publishes all his books under his own moniker. A resident for most of his life in Newcastle, Co. Down, Martin has never shied from writing about difficult situations that children have to sometimes deal with, this was never more so reflected in his books 'Starry Night', 'Frankie's Story' and 'The Beat of the Drum' which addressed the difficulties, anger and grief attributed to the political troubles in Northern Ireland but from a teenager's perspective.

His books for younger children, which he said are written for pure enjoyment and amusement, have won some prestigus awards such as the Smarties Book Prize for on not one but two occasions. He has also won the British Book Award's Children's illustrated Book of the Year, Best Babies Book of the Year, the Kurt Maschler Award and the Hans Christian Anderson Award in recognition of his contribution to children's literature, to name but a few. His hugely successful Big Bear, Little Bear series are loved by children around the world, as are many other titles, and his experience as a footballer in his youth have been translated into books such as the Napper series. Waddell also enjoys writing about ghosts, as he says not only are they fun they can also show how the past can affect the future. Father to grown-up children, Martin lives with his wife in their home by the sea where he writes and describes himself as 'a happy man'.

Martin Waddell reviews

Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell

Poor Duck, he has to do everything around the farm whilst the Farmer lies in bed eating chocolates and gets fatter and fatter. “How goes the work?” the Farmer asks, “Quack!” says the Duck. This wonderfully illustrated and funny book from Martin Waddell tells the tale of the hardworking duck how does everything from feeding the cows to shooing the hens safely into their coop at night without a rest. When the farmer’s incessant question of “How goes the work?” gets too much for duck his friends the cows, sheep and hens, who love duck very much, have a meeting with all the other farm animals to find a solution to poor duck’s plight and rid themselves of the lazy farmer. Through the story children learn how working together and helping out friends is the right thing to do and ultimately reaps rewards whereas being lazy like the farmer won’t get you very far! Martin Waddell is no stranger to writing successful children’s stories and doesn’t disappoint with this delightfully engaging and slightly quirky tale.

"The illustrations by children's book favourite Helen Oxenbury are as integral to the story as the words and convey so beautifully the humour of Waddell's story and touching affection of duck's friends that make this a book that children will want you to read again and again. It is no wonder then that this book has won the Smarties Book Prize and the British Book Award's Children's Illustrated Book of the Year."

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Owl Babies by Martin Waddell

Sarah, Percy and Bill wake up in their tree nest to find their owl mother gone. “I want my mummy” cries Bill, whilst Sarah and Percy do their best to comfort him and each other whilst waiting for their mother’s return.

"A beautifully written and illustrated story; your child will love to cuddle up and read this book with you time after time."

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