A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.

Ian Beck

Ian beck 1 copyIan Beck
Ian Beck was Born in Hove, Sussex in 1947. He failed his Eleven Plus exam and so he was went to the local ‘salon des refusees’, the secondary modern school. He was there from 1958- 1963. He showed a strong interest in drawing and painting and he was encouraged by both the art teacher and the headmaster to attend the local Brighton College of Art Saturday morning art classes for children. He eventually went to the same art school as a full time student in 1963. He studied illustration and graphic design and was taught by among others, John Vernon Lord, Raymond Briggs and John Lawrence.
He graduated in 1968, and shortly afterwards moved to London with his portfolio of drawings to try his luck as a freelance illustrator. He worked part time at Harrods in the toy dept for a year, to pay the rent, and in the meantime gradually built up a client list, mainly working for mainstream consumer magazines like Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, and Homes and Gardens. He also began making drawings for the recording industry. At first these were just trade advertisements for performers like Ry Cooder and Richie Havens. Later in the early seventies he designed and illustrated album covers as well, for example the triple gatefold album ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, for Sir Elton John. He continued to work in this field until the early 1980’s, also producing work for most of the leading design groups, advertising agencies, newspapers, and magazines.
He was approached by the Oxford University Press, who had seen some drawings he had made for the Radio Times. The designer at the OUP felt that the style of the drawings would suit a project which they wanted to publish. This became his first book for children, Round and Round the Garden, an illustrated collection of finger rhymes and games. It was through working on this first book that he began his (continuing) relationship with the editor and publisher David Fickling. After the success of the first book others followed, until 1989, when he was encouraged to write his own first story to illustrate, this became The Teddy Robber, (Doubleday 1989) from this point on the books took over completely from the editorial work. Most of his time is now spent writing and illustrating his own books for children and young adults of which he has published over seventy five.
He has illustrated private press books including editions of stories notably William Boyd’s, Cork, and Jeanette Winterson’s, The Dreaming House. He contributed graphic illustrated endpapers and additional visual material to the tenth anniversary editions of the His Dark Materials trilogy for Philip Pullman, for whom he has also illustrated Puss In Boots and Aladdin.
He has been president of the Double Crown Club, and was Master of the Art Workers Guild in 1999. He is married to Emma, youngest daughter of the distinguished Wood engraver and letter cutter Reynolds Stone and they have three children and one grandchild.
His Book Home Before Dark won the gold award in the best toy awards, and was also awarded the Ownagata prize in Japan. Alone in the Woods, won the gold award in the best toy awards 2000 as did The Happy Bee. Lost In The Snow was made into an animated film for ITV in 1999.
He published his first novel for children, The Secret history of Tom Trueheart, in 2006. This book has been translated into twenty languages to date. The third in the series, Tom Trueheart & The Land of Myths & Legends, has just been translated into Japanese.
Pastworld his novel for teenagers was published by Bloomsbury in October 2009.
In 2011 he published The Hidden Kingdom (Oxford) and The Haunting of Charity Delafield (Bodley Head RHCB). He has just completed early drafts of two further novels, as well as two collections of poetry, both of which he will illustrate. He has also contributed short stories to anthologies for teen readers. His story The Summer House (Previous Parrot Press 2006) was made into a short film in 2007 featuring Talulah Riley and Robert Pattinson.
He tours schools and libraries all over the country and abroad talking about his own work and often lectures on the work of other authors and illustrators.

Ian Beck is the author and illustrator of almost 100 titles, including:


  • TOM TRUEHEART series (OUP)
  • PASTWORLD (Bloomsbury, 2009)
  • THE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM PILE (Penguin Random Jonathan Cape, April 2015)
  • GREY ISLAND RED BOAD (Barrington Stoke, February 2016)


  • TEDDY ROBBER (Transworld Publishers, 2005)
  • THE LITTLE MERMAID (Corgi Children’s, 2006)
  • ALADDIN AND THE ENCHANTED LAMP, written by Philip Pullman (Scholastic, 2011)


  • FUGITIVE LYRICS (Hand & Eye Press)
  • THROUGH THE DUSTY GLASS (Jennings. Fine Art)

grey-island-red-boat-2GREY ISLAND RED BOAT by Ian Beck

Everything on the Island of Ashes is grey, from the weather to the castle, the grass and the flowers. But then the red boat arrives, and with it a young man who believes he is cursed – everything he touches turns to colour. Princess Opal and the people of the island are enchanted, but the King is suspicious and imprisons Wendell. Opal must find a way to escape to a life filled with love and colour. High quality cream paper and a special easy to read font ensure a smooth read for all. (more)

The-Secret-History-of-Tom-Trueheart_cover-AdamStower8 copy


Will Tom ever have a story of his own?

Tom Trueheart’s six older brothers are famous. They go on exciting quests in the Land of Stories to complete tales the Story Bureau assigns them. Tom stays at home with his mother. But when his brothers fail to return from their latest adventures in time for Tom’s twelfth birthday, a letter from the Story Bureau arrives . . . addressed to Tom. (more)

“A delightful book, and one with a wide potential audience . . . a story with a timeless quality and great charm for bedtime reading upwards.” — Marcus Sedgwick, The Literary Review



The Trueheart house is busy and bustling-because today is a special day. Tom’s older brothers are getting married and preparing to live happily ever after. But then an unexpected wedding guest arrives. Someone who has decided that there will be no more Happy Endings. Tom’s brothers and their brides are whisked off to the Land of Dark Stories, as prisoners of their old enemy Brother Ormestone. And Tom himself is put under a terrible enchantment… (more)

“A volume to treasure.” — The Telegraph



Tom is determined to rescue his father, Jack the Giant-Killer, from the clutches of the dastardly Ormestone. But to do so he will have to venture into the most dangerous territory of all, the Land of Myths and Legends. Tom is brave and true, but can he overcome such terrors as the ferocious Norse dragon, an angry Cyclops and, worst of all, the hungry Minotaur waiting in the centre of the labyrinth? Join Tom in his third epic adventure as he faces dangers and creatures galore in the land of Myths and Legends. (more)

“The makings of a modern classic.” — School Librarian

6449926PASTWORLD by Ian Beck

Pastworld is the greatest theme park ever devised. It’s London – the real London – transformed into a living, breathing recreation of the Victorian era.

To Eve, a lifelong resident of Pastworld, horse-drawn carriages and gas lamps are modern technology. Eve doesn’t even know she’s living in a simulation – until she is forced to flee the only home she’s ever known, and to confront the truth about her city and herself. (more)

“A suspenseful mixture of thriller, romance and sci-fi . . .” – The Times



A pampered prince who has to give up everything he has ever known. A warrior-like girl who has promised to carry out her duty at any cost. An obedient young servant with a mission to complete and an icy chill in his heart. As ancient demons rise around them and conspire to destroy their world, only these three people can defeat the evil which threatens to engulf them. But to do so they must first find a way to survive in the bitter, snowy lands where they are banished, and discover how to work together despite their differences.(more)

“This book has a timeless charm . . . It has the potential to become a classic.” — The Book Bag



A magical, enchanting tale, with stunning illustrations that will transport you into another world.

Flame-haired Charity Delafield has grown up in a vast, isolated house – most of which she is forbidden to explore – with her fiercely strict 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. (more)

“This has all the ingredients of an enthralling adventure – a lonely child, a missing parent, a series of clues and a surprisingly satisfying twist of an ending.” — Daily Mail



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. (more)

“A cracker . . . Utterly convincing” — Philip Pullman, best-selling author of His Dark Materials

1695093THE TEDDY ROBBER by Ian Beck

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! (more)

“Big, handsome, irresistible.” — The Observer


An exciting adventure featuring tons of dinosaurs, one smoking volcano, and two brave children.

This is the story of a far away land, and one boys heroic quest to discover its secrets. The last of the dinosaurs are saved in a daring rescue in this thrilling tale, lavishly illustrated by award-winning Ian Beck.(more)

“A rip-roaring yarn . . . the stuff of a master storyteller weaving an epic – it’s not just the paper he paints, but also our imaginations.” — Books for Keeps

2568227PICTURE BOOK by Ian Beck

For every child who is just beginning to talk — a classic book of pictures from award-winning children’s illustrator, Ian Beck.
In luminous water-color, we see a duck, a moon, a teddy, a ship… familiar things that are transformed by Ian Beck’s stunning artwork into the realms of the magical.
As very young children recognize and identify these objects, they embark on a spellbinding journey through a unique picture book. A picture book that is both a learning experience and a thing of beauty. (more)

658414PETER AND THE WOLF by Ian Beck

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. (more)

“Beautifully presented with childlike, atmospheric illustrations made more dreamy by the drifting snowflakes.” — Daily Mirror


THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT by Edward Lear and Ian Beck

Sail away for a year and a day. . . To the land where the money tree grows!

A magical new edition of Edward Lear’s much-loved rhyme, dreamily illustrated by award-winning artist Ian Beck.

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. (more)

6536607FIVE LITTLE DUCKS by Ian Beck

Ian Beck’s pictures expand this favourite counting rhyme into an exciting adventure, in which a wicked fox prowls along snatching one little duck after another.

Five little ducks went swimming one day, Over the hills and far away. Mother duck said, Quack, quack, quack, quack. But only four little ducks came back …Ian Beck’s beautifully illustrated classic interpretation of a well-loved nursery song is a perfect first picture book to share with very young children. (more)

“A beautifully illustrated counting mystery based on the well-loved rhyme.” — Bookstart 

9781407107820LOST IN THE SNOW by Ian Beck

Uh-oh! Teddy is lost in the snow!

When Lily goes out to play in the snow, she leaves Teddy on the window ledge. But BANG goes the window and WHOOSH goes Teddy on another exciting adventure. But Lily can t get to sleep without him. Soon it starts to snow harder and Teddy islost in the snow! Another gorgeous book starring Teddy, thebear for all seasons, which finishes with delightful Christmas touch! This edition of Lost in the Snow also includes a poster of Teddy to pull out and treasure! (more)

522398THE LITTLE MERMAID by Ian Beck

Once, long ago there was a beautiful little mermaid with skin as pale as the palest rose petals and eyes the colour of the ocean itself. One day she swims up to the surface of the sea, where she catches a glimpse of Prince Caspar on board a sailing ship and falls deeply in love.

Ian Beck’s powerful storytelling and jewelled illustrations bring this enchanting, timeless tale to life, making it the perfect gift for little girls everywhere! (more)

“Beck’s haunting and colourful illustrations bring to life the love story between the Mermaid and Prince Caspian perfectly. A timeless classic with a modern touch.” — The Bookseller  

5969190WINSTON THE BOOK WOLF by Marni McGee and Ian Beck

Devour a good book!
In this clever take-off on Little Red Riding Hood, the big bad wolf is the very hungry Winston who likes to eat books! When the librarian scolds him for this naughty behavior, Rosie (who wears a familiar red hoodie), rescues him and takes him out into the woods to teach him how to read books, not eat books. Winston grows to love reading and is soon devouring books with his eyes, and reading them (disguised as Granny Winston) to groups of children at the library. This hilarious book, complete with fabulous art and a die-cut cover highlights the importance of books and the joy of reading! (more)

13355010ALADDIN AND THE ENCHANTED LAMP by Philip Pullman and Ian Beck

Philip Pullman’s wry wit and award-winning talent brings much to this rich, dark and uplifting rendition of the classic tale “Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp”. With magic and mischief in equal measure, it will captivate readers of all ages.

This retelling of Aladdin captures the full feel of this well-loved tale. Aladdin is a poor peasant, until he buys a magic lamp. When the lamp is rubbed vigorously, a genie appears to grant any wish. (more)

“Written with masterly ease from the reigning master of children’s literature.” — The Daily Telegraph 

You can find out more about Ian Beck’s other titles here.