Martin Waddell Bibliography Format

Martin Waddell (born 10 April 1941) is an Irish writer of children's books. He may be known best for the texts of picture books that feature anthropomorphic animals, especially the Little Bear series illustrated by Barbara Firth (not to be confused with Minarik & Sendak's Little Bear series). He also writes under the pen name Catherine Sefton, for older children, primarily ghost stories and mystery fiction. The work by Sefton most widely held in WorldCat libraries is the novel In a Blue Velvet Dress (1972).

For his "lasting contribution" as a children's writer Waddell received the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 2004.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Waddell was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and has lived most of his life in neighbouring County Down, in Newcastle. As a child, he grew up with a fondness of animals and often told stories in a lively manner. This inspired him and "the love of story" stuck with Waddell ever since. He aspired at a young age to be a football player and signed for Fulham F.C. team; Waddell reflects that he scored a hat-trick on his debut in adult football but wound up as a goalkeeper.

When it became clear his future did not lie in professional football, Waddell turned to his other love and began to write (he would later combine the two in the Napper series of football-centred children's books). Originally, he wrote for adults; his first real success was a comic thriller, Otley, which was made into a film starring Tom Courtenay and Romy Schneider. After moving back to Northern Ireland in the late 1960's, he wrote books that reflected on the changing situation in his native land. Soon his love of storytelling would pull him into the medium of children's literature.

In 1972, he went into a church to stop some vandals and got caught up in an explosion in Donaghadee—an experience that took him years to overcome. As an author, nearly all of Waddell's stories are inspired by events or places in his life at the foot of the Mourne Mountains.[3] As he humorously claimed, "I've been blown up, buried alive and had cancer as an adult, and survived all these experiences, so I'm a very lucky man."

Waddell and Firth won the Kurt Maschler Award, AKA the Emil, for The Park in the Dark (Walker, 1989). From 1982 to 1999, the award annually recognised one British "work of imagination for children, in which text and illustration are integrated so that each enhances and balances the other."[4]

The biennial Hans Christian Andersen Award, conferred by the International Board on Books for Young People, is the highest career recognition available to a writer or illustrator of children's books. Waddell received the writing award in 2004.[2]

Selected works[edit]

Little Bear

The Little Bear picture books were written by Waddell, illustrated by Barbara Firth, and published by Walker Books.

An omnibus edition of the first four books was published for Borders in 2001.

Mimi Mouse

The Mimi Mouse picture books were written by Waddell and illustrated by Leo Hartas.

Other picture books
– winner of the British Illustrated Children's Book of the Year and the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (age 0–5 and overall); Oxenbury was a highly commended runner-up for the annual Greenaway Medal


External links[edit]

Martin Waddell

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 books reviewed


  • Alice the Artist (1988)
  • Along a Lonely Road (1993)
  • Amy Said (1990)
  • The Black House Ghosts (1991)
  • Baby�s Hammer (1993)
  • Bears Everywhere (1996)
  • The Beat of the Drum (1989)
  • Bee Frog (2008)
  • Bertie Boggin and the Ghost Again! (1991)
  • The Big Big Sea (1994)
  • Blue Misty Monsters (1985)
  • Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? (1992)
  • The Cast Off (1993)
  • Cup Final Kid! (2008)
  • Cup Run (2003)
  • Daisy's Christmas (1990)
  • The Day the Smells Went Wrong (1988)
  • Death and the Neighbours an Little Bridget (1993)
  • Emer�s Ghost (1981)
  • Ernie and the Fishface Gang (2006)
  • The Emma Dilemma (1984)
  • Farmer Duck (1992)
  • The Finn Gang (1981)
  • Flying Sam (1986) 
  • Frankie�s Story (1990)
  • A Frog in the Throat (1997)
  • Gallow�s Hill: And The Ghostly Penny (Tales of Ghostly Ghouls and Haunting Horrors (2006)
  • The Ghost and Bertie Boggin (1980)
  • The Ghost Ship (1985)
  • The Ghosts of Cobweb (1992)
  • The Ghosts of Cobweb and the Circus Star (1993)
  • The Ghosts of Cobweb and the Skully Bones Mystery (1993)
  • The Ghosts of Cobweb and the TV Battle (1995)
  • Give it to Joe! (2001)
  • Going West  (1983)
  • Good Job, Little Bear! (1999)
  • Grandma's Bill (1990)
  • Great Gran Gorilla to the Rescue (The Great Gran Gang) (1989)
  • The Great Green Mouse Disaster (1981)
  • The Happy Hedgehog Band (1992)
  • Harriet and the Crocodiles (1984)
  • Harriet and the Haunted School (1984)
  • Harriet and the Robot (1987)
  • The Haunted Schoolbag (1993)
  • Herbie Whistle (1993)
  • The Hidden House (1990)
  • Hi Harry! (2003)
  • The Hollyhock Wall (1999)
  • Horace the Ghost (1991)
  • House Under The Stairs (1983)
  • In A Blue Velvet Dress (1973)
  • Island of the Strangers (1994)
  • John Joe and the Big Hen (1995)
  • The Kidnapping of Suzie Q (1996)
  • A Kitten Called Moonlight (2001)
  • Let's Go Home, Little Bear (1993)
  • A Little Bit British: Being the Diary of an Ulsterman (1970) [Adult title]
  • Little Dracula at the Seashore (1992)
  • Little Dracula Goes to School (1992)
  • Little Dracula's Christmas (1986)
  • Little Dracula's First Bite (1986)
  • Little Frog and the Dog (1997)
  • Little Frog and the Frog Olympics (1997)
  • Little Frog and the Tadpoles (1997)
  • Little Mo (1993)
  • Little Obie and the Flood (1992)
  • Little Obie and the Kidnap (1994)
  • Millie Bean, Jungle Queen (
  • Mimi and the Blackberry Pies (2001)
  • Mimi and the Dream House (1995)
  • Mimi and the Picnic (1996)
  • Mimi�s Christmas (1997)
  • My Gang (1987)
  • My Great Grandpa (1990)
  • The Mystery Squad and Mr Midnight (Solve It Yourself) (1984)
  • The Mystery Squad and the Artful Dodger (Solve It Yourself) (1984)
  • The Mystery Squad and the Candid Camera (Solve It Yourself) (1985)
  • The Mystery Squad and the Dead Man�s Message (Solve It Yourself)(1984)
  • The Mystery Squad and the Whistling Teeth (Solve It Yourself) (1984)
  • Going West (1983)
  • Napper Goes for Goal (1981)
  • Napper Strikes Again (1981)
  • Napper�s Golden Goals (1984)
  • Napper�s Big Match (1993)
  • Napper�s Luck (1993)
  • Napper�s Super Sub (1993)
  • Night, Night Cuddly Bear (2000)
  • Once There Were Giants (1989)
  • The Orchard Book of Ghostly Stories (1997)
  • The Orchard Book of Goblins, Ghouls, and Ghosts and Other Magical Stories (2006)
  • Otley (1966) [Adult title]
  • Otley Forever (1968) [Adult]
  • Otley Pursued (1967) [Adult]
  • Otley Victorious (1969) [Adult]
  • Owl Babies (1992)
  • The Park in the Dark (1989)
  • The Pig in the Pond (1992)
  • The Pocket Elephant (1997)
  • A Puff of Smoke (1988)
  • Room for a Little One (2008)
  • Rosie's Babies (1999)
  • Sailor Bear (1992)
  • Sam Vole and His Brothers (1992)
  • The School That Went to Sea (1993)
  • Shadows on the Lake (1993)
  • The Skeleton Club (1997)
  • Sleep Tight Little Bear (2006)
  • The Sleepers on the Hill (1990)
  • Small Bear Lost (1996)
  • The Smugglers of Mourne (1994)
  • Snow Bears (2004)
  • Soft Butter�s Ghost (Tales of Ghostly Ghouls and Haunting Horrors) (2006)
  • Squeak-a-lot (1991)
  • Starry Night (1995)
  • Star Striker Titch (2004)
  • Tango's Baby (1995)
  • Tiny�s Big Adventure (2008)
  • Tom Rabbit (2001)
  • The Tough Princess (1987)
  • Tough Ronald (2007)
  • The Toymaker: A Story in Two Parts (1992)
  • Watch Out, Fred�s About (1997)
  • Well Done, Little Bear (2003)
  • We Love Them (1990)
  • Webster J. Duck (2001)
  • What Use Is a Moose? (1996)
  • When the Teddy Bears Came (1995)
  • Who Do You Love? (1999)
  • You and Me, Little Bear (1996)
  • Yum, Yum, Yummy (1998)

This list should not be regarded as exhaustive.

Farmer Duck
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 a...

Owl Babies
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 hi...

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