With Noah the boa using his coils to work the doughnut machine and with the three giraffes tangled upon the spiral stair, Mortimer's first night in a zoo was one to be remembered for a long, long time.
JOAN AIKEN, the daughter of the American poet and novelist Conrad Aiken, was an immensely popular and prolific author who wrote over a hundred novels for adults and children. The creator of the stories about Arabel and her pet raven Mortimer, originally written for the BBC's Jackanory series and which have been televised on the BBC, she also wrote wonderful, quirky novels, full of humour and the unexpected. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase won the 1964 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award and was made into a film. Joan Aiken was awarded an MBE for her services to children's literature in 1999. She died in 2004.
QUENTIN BLAKE is one of the best-known illustrators of our time, and his books with a wide range of authors, including Joan Aiken, Russell Hoban, Michael Rosen and Roald Dahl, have been treasured by generations of children throughout the world. In 1999 he became the first Children's Laureate. In 2005 he was awarded a CBE, and in 2013 he was knighted for services to illustration. Quentin lives in London.