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As an artist
I've written about 60 books, mostly factual books for children. My first children's book was Incredible Cross Sections, which had fantastic illustrations by Stephen Biesty. One of the things I enjoy most about writing is that it gives me the chance to work with wonderful illustrators. When Chris Riddell drew the pictures for Castle Diary and Pirate Diary he managed to capture the characters of all the people in the stories exactly as I'd imagined them. I also love writing because people pay me to find out all this fascinating stuff about strange, wacky and obscure subjects. I spend far more time than I should trying to find amazing facts that bring a subject to life. I trawl through books at home (I've got 2500) and in dusty libraries.
Longlisted for the 2017 Klaus Flugge Prize | December 2016 Fascintating Facts Book of the Month A visually stunning collection of facts and figures for all the family to enjoy. Do you know how many bones there are in the human body or how clouds form? Or about different types of knots or how Morse code works? Each illustration by James Brown is both beautiful and enlightening, and is accompanied by an engaging fact-filled explanation by celebrated author Richard Platt. Covering more than 30 diverse and fascinating topics, there is a world of information at your fingertips in this book which is a real delight to browse through.
This is a ground-breaking piece of non-fiction written in diary form in the voice of nine year old cabin boy - Jake Carpenter and brilliantly illustrated by none other than illustrator of the moment, Chris Riddell. All action boys and girls will revel in the adventures of derring-do on the high seas. Published originally some years ago it won the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Blue Peter Book Awards: Best Book with Facts. It offers detailed information ion swords, pistols, cannons, floggings and how to navigate ships. It includes a fact section at the back about the colonies, the first pirates, viking raiders, buccaneers, famous pirates throughout history and piracy today. It also includes an index and glossary.
There are two terrific books for the price of one in this hugely attractive volume. In both, the jaunty story written as a diary brings the past to life through the freshly written accounts by Tobias Burgess, a young boy sent off to be a page at Standborough castle in Castle Diary and by Jake Carpenter who describes his first adventures at sea on board the Sally Anne in Pirate Diary. Both are filled with action, danger, difficulties and success â€“ all recorded in the accompanying illustrations.
How does the body protect itself from infections? What makes your tummy rumble? Are you taller at the beginning or end of the day? This extraordinary book actually takes you inside - and around - the human body to see how it works, with the help of some truly unique illustrations and some very small people! Explore your brain, your bones, and everything in between in incredible cross-section drawings of all the body systems. Inside each one are teams of tiny characters busy at work, and explaining what's going on. Every page is packed with jaw-dropping facts. Did you know that the skin is your largest organ - in an adult it's 2 sq m (22 sq ft). Have you ever thought about how heavy the brain is? Well, it's about 1.4 kg (3 lb) and is crammed with 100 billion nerve cells that help you think and move. And by the time you turn 75, your heart will have pumped blood around your body 4,000 million times! With the challenge of finding two tiny explorers making their way through the body, learning about anatomy has never been so much fun!
An entertaining and comprehensive telling of diseases, infections, plagues and pandemics for young readers. The Germ Lab features case histories of specific epidemics and pandemics, 'eyewitness' accounts from the rats, flies, ticks and creepy-crawlies who spread the most deadly viruses, plus plenty of fascinating facts and figures on the biggest and worst afflictions. Discover how bacteria and bad beasties are beaten through the work of genius scientists and the development of vaccinations. Written by Richard Pratt and illustrated by John Kelly, the brilliantly humorous artworks and fun characters will entertain readers with a cabinet war room showing the war on germs, a rogues' gallery highlighting the worst offenders, the very deadliest diseases examined under the microscope, and much more.
How many rivets and bolts hold the wings of a Boeing 777 plane together? Why does an astronaut's space suit have a layer of liquid-cooled underwear? Who puts the jam in doughnuts? Find out the answers to these questions and much, much more in Stephen Biesty's Incredible Cross-Sections of Everything. His intricate artwork will have children and adults alike poring over every detail, whether it's following the production line of a factory making newspapers or exploring the insides of the Saturn V rocket. Taking you through every stage of each process is Chester the Tester, a character who helps explain how things are made, along with his sidekick Hector the Inspector. Written with humour and fascinating facts to guide you through the illustrations, this book is a glorious way to learn about the world around you. First published 25 years ago, Stephen Biesty's Incredible Cross-Sections series has been updated for the silver anniversary, bringing delight to a whole new generation of curious young readers.
This illustrated book for children shows you how things work. Look inside the human body, explore the magic of Venice, and take a tour around a movie studio - and much more! Part of a unique series that the Guardian in 2016 voted one of the best illustrated non-fiction books ever, More Incredible Cross-sections is Stephen Biesty at the top of his game. In this updated edition with a refreshed, contemporary style, he gives readers an exploded view of 12 objects, places, landmarks, and modes of transport. But look closer! In every picture is an alien who has lost his way: can you find him? As you pore over Stephen Biesty's superbly detailed pages, you will also discover loads of awesome facts. Did you know that steam engines were notoriously difficult to stop, leading to frequent accidents? Or that people at an Antarctic research base rely on supplies from an aircraft's parachute drops during winter? From windmills to cities, airports to space stations, More Incredible Cross-sections is for curious minds of any age interested in finding out how our amazing world works.
Look inside an 18th-century warship as it sails into battle on the high seas. Packed with extraordinary illustrations, this history book for children covers everything from warship design to navigation. Biesty's incredible drawings slice through a man-of-war to explore every corner, from the crow's nest to the stinking hold. Packed with fascinating facts and gory details, the pages teem with sailors busy about their duties. Find out how gun crews fired a cannon, examine a surgeon's toolkit, and learn the best way to wriggle the maggots out of the ship's biscuits. Look out, too, for the stowaway on every page. He's the one with spiky hair and there's a reward for his capture! This absorbing book will have children - and adults - poring over every page. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Stephen Biesty's Cross-Sections Man-of-War remains as entertaining as ever.
History comes alive in this incredible children's illustrated book about castles. Slicing through different areas of a medieval fortress, extraordinary views reveal the people busy inside, and preparing for battle as an enemy army approaches. Packed with facts, you'll find out what it takes to build a massive 14th-century castle, dress a knight in armour, or prepare a feast fit for a king or queen. From the drawbridge to the dungeon, Cross-sections Castle swarms with the people who keep the castle ticking over - the workers, craftsmen, and servants. And, as you pore over every page, look out for the villainous spy. Is he in the well... the keep... the moat? No? Keep looking, he's there somewhere! Back in print after 20 years, you can cheer on jousters, be entertained by a troubadour, and witness the gory details of a traitor's demise. This unique illustrated book for kids is not just the story of a castle - it brings medieval history to life.
This children's book explores the innermost workings of some extraordinary buildings and machines. From helicopters to submarines, skyscrapers to coal mines, open up a fascinating world packed with unique and detailed cutaway drawings. Whether it's a Spanish galleon or a medieval castle, each cross-section slice or exploded view reveals what's going on inside. See the people swarming inside the Empire State Building, the workers busy backstage at an opera house, and where the crew sleep on a jumbo jet. Included also are two impressive fold-outs showing an ocean liner and a steam train. There are lots of fun facts to be discovered, and curious details are highlighted and explained. Did you know one of the funnels of the Queen Mary liner was fake, and used for storing deckchairs? And in almost every scene there's the challenge... to find a man sitting on a toilet! With more than a million copies sold, Stephen Biesty's award-winning illustrated book is as fascinating today as it was when first published, in 1992. Incredible Cross-sections is the ultimate way to see how things work.
A stunning collection of the world's most important discoveries for all the family to enjoy. In the stylish miscellany, print-maker James Brown travels through the past and present, showing the amazing breakthroughs in science and technology that have changed our lives for ever. Discover fascinating facts and figures about space travel, the human body, time, the computer and much more with Brown's bold, bright colours and beautiful contemporary designs. Each illustration is presented alongside an engaging fact-filled explanation by celebrated author Richard Platt. Covering more than 30 diverse and fascinating topics, this is the perfect book for the whole family to enjoy.
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