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Ian Beck - Author

About the Author

Ian Beck was born in Hove on the Sussex coast in 1947. At the age of thirteen, after seeing an exhibition of drawings for the Radio Times, he was fired with enthusiasm about illustration and began attending Saturday painting classes at the nearby Brighton College of Art.

Ian left school at fifteen and went immediately to Brighton to study art full-time. There he was taught by both Raymond Briggs and John Vernon Lord.

Ian has worked in many fields of illustration. He's been involved in the record industry, and painted the cover of one of the most popular records of all time: Elton John's 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road'. One of Ian's titles, Lost in Snow, was made into an animated film for TV and his books have now sold a million copies worldwide.

Q & A with Ian Beck

1.  When did you first start to write stories or draw?

I drew incessantly as a child, but came late to writing stories.

2.  In general, where do your ideas come from?


From life or from other stories.

3.  What made you write this book?


The main character of Tom Trueheart popped into my head and refused to go away, he demanded to have his stories told.

4.  What have you enjoyed most about working on this book?

The process of trimming changing and cutting the book from the first draft, and working with the editor and designer on the whole book, design, illustrations, layout etc.

5.  What is your earliest memory?


Being sent to bed early in summer and looking enviously out of the bedroom window at other children playing happily in the sunlit street.

6.  What did you enjoy most at school?


At school I enjoyed Art classes and drama, I managed to appear in two Shakespeare productions at school which gave me a lifelong love of Shakespeare.

7.  Of all the places you have lived, where have you felt most at home and why?

Where I live now in the western suburbs of London surrounded by the song of blackbirds and near the Thames.

8.  Is there a particular holiday destination that you have visited that you would love to return to?


A little seaside town in France called St Jacut De La Mare.

9.  Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your pets, past or present?

We have no pets at the moment, although we have had two very nice Hamsters over the years.

10.  What would you say is your greatest talent?

Noticing things in detail and long term patience.

11.  What new skill – it can be anything at all – would you love to learn?


Although much too old I would love to surf the beaches of Cornwall.

12.  What is the most unusual job you have done?

Singing as part of a cabaret group in restaurants in Soho.

13.  What is your most treasured possession?

A beautiful and immaculate copy of Now We Are Six by A A  Milne which was given to me for a birthday present many years ago.

14.  Is there a particular book, author, or film that had a great impact on you in your childhood?

Book: The Just William stories by Richmal Crompton. Film: Forbidden Planet.

15.  What are your hobbies?

Listening to film music and going to the cinema as often as possible.

Featured books by Ian Beck

Other books by Ian Beck

The Bakery of Happiness

The Bakery of Happiness

Author: Ian Beck Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/08/2019

Paul du Pain's bakery is a very special place. Each day, Paul bakes the bread while Marie serves customers in the shop. Everyone who walks in the door walks back out feeling happier than before. But when Marie goes away, Paul's days become sad and grey. Without her, the bakery's magic is gone. Will Paul ever be able to win her back? A charming, heartfelt and timeless tale from an award-winning author-illustrator.

The Magic Hour

The Magic Hour

Author: Ian Beck Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/04/2019

One long, hot summer Lily and Rose are playing out amongst the garden of a large country house, when they spot a strange light. It must be fairies! They are determined to catch the fairies and sneak out at sunset to find them. However, things aren't always what they seem - will Lily and Rose be disappointed? Or perhaps what they find is magical in its own way? Based on the world-famous John Singer Sargent painting, Carnation, Lily, Lily Rose, Ian Beck brings the subjects to life and reveals an inspirational world behind the painting.

The Carmody Casebooks

The Carmody Casebooks

Author: Ian Beck Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/02/2017

'A cracker . . . Utterly convincing' Philip Pullman The Disappearance of Tom Pile When bright lights are spotted above a tiny village in Dorset, the locals suspect German bombers. Jack Carmody believes otherwise. He is part of a secret government department, set up to explore the supernatural and the unexplained. Then a boy - Tom Pile - is discovered, alone and scared. Tom went missing forty years ago The Miraculous Return of Annick Garel One year later two French fishermen see strange lights over the channel - and discover the body of a girl, still alive. Annick Garel drowned in a storm thirty years ago. Both children have powers that could change the course of the Second World War. Both sides in that war want their secrets These are two extraordinary stories. These are the Casebooks of Jack Carmody.

The Casebooks of Captain Holloway: The Disappearance of Tom Pile

The Casebooks of Captain Holloway: The Disappearance of Tom Pile

Author: Ian Beck Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/03/2015

On a bitterly cold winter's night in 1900, a young boy disappears without trace from the forest near his home in the quiet village of Litton Cheney. He is never found, but the man he was with claims he was snatched by angels. Forty years later, Corporal Jack Carmody is sent to investigate strange reports of mysterious lights above Litton Cheney. The villagers suspect German bombers overhead, but Carmody knows there's something far more intriguing going on. And when a terrified boy appears in the graveyard, convinced it's the year 1900, it's up to Carmody and his boss - the charismatic Captain Holloway - to uncover the truth.

Rapunzel Band 13/Topaz

Rapunzel Band 13/Topaz

Author: Ian Beck Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/01/2013

Locked away inside a cold, stone tower for many years, the beautiful Rapunzel is desperate to escape. But is there any way out? Created to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Grimm brother's first book, this fabulous retelling by Ian Beck breathes new life into this well-known tale. * Topaz/Band 13 books offer longer and more demanding reads for children to investigate and evaluate. * Text type: A retelling of a traditional tale * Curriculum links: Citizenship. * This book has been quizzed for Accelerated Reader.

The Haunting of Charity Delafield

The Haunting of Charity Delafield

Author: Ian Beck Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/10/2012

Flame-haired Charity Delafield has grown up in a vast, isolated house - most of which she is forbidden to explore - by her strict, cold father. With only her kindly nurse, Rose, and her cat Mr Tompkins for company, she knows very little of the outside world - or of her own family's shadowy past. What she does know is that she is NEVER to go outside unsupervised. And she is NEVER to over-excite herself, because of the mysterious 'condition' that she has been told she suffers from. But Charity has a secret of her own. All her life, she has had the same strange dream - a dream of a dark corridor, hidden somewhere in the house. Then, one day, Charity stumbles across the corridor. It leads to a door . . . and suddenly she realises things are not quite what they seem.

Samurai

Samurai

Author: Ian Beck Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/06/2010

A masterless samurai and his faithful dog take on terrifying demons to save a beautiful girl. Atmospheric and thrilling myth from Japan. Barrington Stoke specialise in books for reluctant, struggling and dyslexic readers

Pastworld

Pastworld

Author: Ian Beck Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/10/2009

Pastworld. A city within a city. A city for excursions and outings. Pastworld is a theme park with a difference, where travellers can travel back in time for a brush with an authentic Victorian past. But what if the Jack the Ripper figure stopped play-acting and really started killing people? For Caleb, a tourist from the present-day, his visit goes terribly wrong when his father is kidnapped and he finds himself accused of murder. Then Caleb meets Eva Rose, a Pastworld inhabitant who has no idea the modern world exists. Both Caleb and Eva have roles to play in the murderer's diabolical plans - roles that reveal disturbing truths about their origins.

Alone in the Woods

Alone in the Woods

Author: Ian Beck Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/07/2008

Teddy is guarding the picnic, but suddenly the wind goes whoosh. Before he knows it, Teddy is floating high into the sky with Lily's kite. Soon the wind drops and Teddy tumbles down into the trees but he realises he's all alone...or is he?

The Teddy Robber

The Teddy Robber

Author: Ian Beck Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/01/2006

Someone is stealing teddies. But who could it be? Who is the Teddy Robber? When Tom's own teddy is snatched in the dead of night, he is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery...A friendly, warmhearted and cheerful story that makes the perfect bedtime read for young children, teddies and Giants!

The Princess and the Pea

The Princess and the Pea

Author: Ian Beck Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2005

A prince travels the world to find a suitable princess to marry-but none of the girls he meets seems right, and he cannot be sure any is a real princess. And so he returns home sadly. But then one stormy night there is a knock at the door and in comes a girl dressed in rags. She claims she is Princess Phoebe, looking for a prince she can marry. The prince is soon fascinated by her, so the queen devises a plan-she will place a single pea underneath the many mattresses on Phoebe's bed. In the morning Phoebe complains of not having slept a wink. The queen is overjoyed-if the girl has felt the pea under all those layers she must be a real princess!

The Elves and the Shoemaker

The Elves and the Shoemaker

Author: Ian Beck Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2005

A poor shoemaker has only enough leather left to make one last pair of shoes. He cuts out the pieces and leaves them on his workbench ready to sew in the morning. But the next day the shoes are already made up-finished with tiny neat stitches. Who could have done it? Soon a delighted customer buys the beautiful shoes, and pays more than the normal price. That night the shoemaker puts out more leather that he has been able to buy, and again, the same wonderful thing happens. Soon he has lots of customers - even the king - and he can buy food and clothes. Finally the shoemaker discovers it's the work of two industrious elves, and he and his wife make them shoes and outfits of their own to bring a happy ending to all!

The Christmas Story

The Christmas Story

Author: Ian Beck Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2005

High above the stables the night sky was filled with angels, who gave thanks to God and welcomed the new baby with their beautiful music. A perfect first book of the Nativity; simply told and beautifully illustrated by Ian Beck.

Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk

Author: Ian Beck Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/11/2004

Jack and his mother are very poor and with heavy hearts decide to sell their cow, Daisy. But on his way to market Jack meets a strange old man who takes Daisy in exchange for five magic beans. His mother is horrified! Under the full moon, Jack plants his beans, and the next morning he sees an enormous beanstalk. Full of curiosity, he climbs up and discovers a huge castle. He sneaks in unseen and realizes the castle belongs to a giant. By the table in the vast room is a magic goose that unwillingly lays golden eggs for her master and is desperate to be set free. Jack must find a way to capture the goose but the giant is terrifying and has already sensed him in the room - fee, fi, fo, fum! Will he escape? This lively retelling has a truly classic feel, incorporating everyone's favourite details.

The Enormous Turnip

The Enormous Turnip

Author: Ian Beck Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/11/2004

There once was a little old man who loved looking after his vegetables - they were his pride and joy. His secret of success, he thought, was that he whispered to his seedlings every night. 'Come on, you little seedlings, grow, grow!' His wife thought he was a fool and believed it was her watering that always gave them such a fine crop. One day one of his turnips grew much bigger than the rest. It kept growing until it took up half the garden! The old man and his wife decided to pull it out to feed the whole village, but they weren't strong enough, and had to enlist some help. In scenes of glorious teamwork, the little mouse is the one who finally makes the difference.

Little Red Riding Hood Picture Book

Little Red Riding Hood Picture Book

Author: Ian Beck Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/04/2002

Ian Beck, top illustrator, tackles the classic fairy tales. Re-told with charm and humour, this is a straight-forward and child-friendly version of a tale that every child should know. Ian Beck's picture books have sold over a million copies, with one under option for TV. BLDelightful watercolour illustrations marry nostalgic charm with contemporary appeal BLPublished as part of an extremely collectable series with Goldilocks and The Gingerbread Boy

An t-Isean Glas

An t-Isean Glas

Author: Ian Beck Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/06/1998

The Owl And The Pussycat

The Owl And The Pussycat

Author: Ian Beck Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/1996

Edward Lear's popular poem is accompanied by Ian Beck's gloriously atmospheric illustrations, full of humour and tenderness this is a thoroughly enchanting book.

Peter And The Wolf

Peter And The Wolf

Author: Ian Beck Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/10/1995

Peter and the Wolf was composed by the great Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev to introduce children to the instruments of the orchestra. This timeless tale is beautifully retold and illustrated with by award-winning Ian Beck, and remains a wonderful introduction to the world of music.

TOM AND THE ISLAND OF DINOSAURS

TOM AND THE ISLAND OF DINOSAURS

Author: Ian Beck Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/08/1995

Tom finds a message in a bottle - from a girl explorer trapped on the Island of Monsters. He sets off to help, flying in a balloon through the moonlit skies to reach a volcanic island teeming with huge prehistoric creatures. By the author/illustrator of The Teddy Robber.

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