Ian Whybrow is a prolific writer of children’s books since his first was published in 1989. He has written over 100 books for children, has been translated into 27 languages and is published in 28 countries. When interviewed on BBC Radio Oxford on 24th March 2009 he stated that he had written 110 books. His books are known for their humour and child-friendliness and range from picture books to novels, short stories and poetry.
Whybrow was born in Gillingham, Kent, and grew up in Margate and Hong Kong. He began his professional career as a teacher, becoming head of English and head of sixth form at The John Lyon School in Harrow on the Hill in north-west London. He subsequently was able to give up teaching to write full-time.
His first book was The Sniff Stories in 1989, which was followed by other books about the character. He is best known for his series of books about Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs, illustrated by Adrian Reynolds. Other popular characters that have featured in series of books include Little Wolf, Miss Wire and Sissy Buttons, but it is Harry who has spawned the most books by far.
Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs series has been adapted into a 104 episode animated television series with a slightly different name, Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs, which premiered on Cartoon Network's Tickle-U block in the United States on August 22, 2005.
Little Wolf's book of Badness has been made into an award-winning film for television in 2003, directed by Karsten Kiilerich. Most recently, it was made into a play, which ran at the Hampstead Theatre, London from December 2007 to January 2008, adapted by the director, Anthony Clark, with Llan Goodman as Little Wolf.
He is married to Ann and has two daughters, Suzannah and Lucy (who is an actor). He lives in Harrow.
Quacky Quack-quack! was nominated for the Smarties Prize.
A Baby For Grace was nominated for the Carnegie Medal.
Little Wolf’s Book of Badness won the TSB Birmingham Book Award, a UKRA Award for making a substantial contribution to literacy, the Talkie Award for the Best Children’s Book and Tape, a nomination for the best TV movie (for a 2003 Christmas special on Channel 4), and was a finalist for the Best Children’s Programme in the Broadcast Awards and the Best TV Special in the British Animation Awards. The book has also won awards in Italy and the USA.
Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs was shortlisted for the Children’s Book Award and won both the Sheffield Children’s Book Award and the Norfolk Libraries Children’s Book Award.
Whiff was nominated for the Blue Peter Award for the Best Picture Book to Read Aloud.
Where’s Tim’s Ted has won prizes in France and Italy.