Francesca Dow – Managing Director, Penguin Children's
Francesca Dow is Managing Director of the Penguin Children's Division, which comprises Puffin, Ladybird, Frederic Warne and the successful licensing Media and Entertainment list. Penguin Children's is home to the most successful and popular children's brands – Peter Rabbit, Peppa Pig, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Snowman, Roald Dahl, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dr Who, Artemis Fowl and Moshi Monsters. Over her career Francesca has published books by award-winning illustrators such as Raymond Briggs, Eric Carle, Lauren Child, Helen Oxenbury, Quentin Blake, Jan Pienkowski and most recently Peter Blake and Anthony Gormley.
'Excellent design and illustration are absolutely crucial to the success of children's books,' says Francesca Dow. 'Puffin has always promoted great design and supported new illustrators and the Puffin Design Prize continues that tradition. We love working with talented new designers. New ideas, new skills are vital to our business.'
Anna Billson – Art Director, Penguin Children's
Anna graduated in Graphic Design from Middlesex Polytechnic, where she spent most of her time printmaking and producing hand-made books. After working at ITN for a couple of years she moved into publishing, where she was able to turn her love of design and her love of books into her dream career. Anna joined Puffin in 2002 from Orchard Books, where, along with Francesca Dow, she helped create Lauren Child's original Clarice Bean and Charlie and Lola titles. Anna was made Art Director of Puffin in 2003 and in 2011 took on her current role as Art Director for Penguin Children’s. She is responsible for the art direction and design of the Ladybird, Warne and Media & Entertainment lists, as well as Puffin. Anna leads a fabulously talented team who work with a dazzling array of illustrators and design for some of the biggest brands in children's publishing.
Chris Riddell is an accomplished graphic artist whose distinctive line drawings, with their clever caricature, fascinating detail and often enchanting fantasy elements, are familiar to both children and adults.
He studied illustration at Brighton Polytechnic and has illustrated many acclaimed books for children, including Pirate Diary by Richard Platt, and Jonathan Swift’s ‘Gulliver’, both of which won the Kate Greenaway Medal. Other notable titles illustrated by Chris are Kathryn Cave’s Something Else, which won the Unesco Award and was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal, and Richard Platt’s Castle Diary, which was Highly Commended for the Kate Greenaway Medal.
In addition to his work on children’s books, Chris is a renowned political cartoonist and his pieces appear regularly in the Observer and the Literary Review.
Chris lives in Brighton with his wife and children.
Jacqueline Wilson, creator of Tracy Beaker, Hetty Feather and The Illustrated Mum, is a multi-award-winning author and consistent favourite with both readers and critics. A former Children's Laureate, Jacqueline is as famous for her marathon signing sessions for her dedicated fans as she is for her distinctive chunky silver jewellery. She was born in Bath in 1945 and has lived most of her life in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey. She has one daughter and a much-loved pet cat called Jacob.