Nicola Davies photo

Nicola Davies is the author of more than 80 books for children and young people, including poetry, non-fiction, picture books and novels. Her work has been published in more than 10 different languages and won awards in the UK, US, Europe and Asia. In 2017, she was the first recipient of the School Library Association’s award for Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Non-Fiction. Her picture book The Promise (with Laura Carlin) was one of the New York Times’ picture books of the year and was made into an animated film for the BBC. The Day War Came (with Rebecca Cobb) sparked an online campaign, ‘3000 chairs’, in support of unaccompanied child refugees. Her recent YA novel, The Song that Sings Us, has been nominated for the Yoto Carnegie Medal. The Star Whale is her third collaboration with Petr Horáček. Their first, the poetry collection A First Book Of Animals, was shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway medal. Nicola regularly runs workshops for children and adults to help them find their voices as writers and advocates for nature. She lives in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Petr Horáček photo

Petr Horáček has won many international awards as a creator of picture books. His glowing, expressive artwork is perfectly matched by words that speak directly to children. Petr was born in Prague and studied at the Academy of Fine Art. As a teenager he used to go out and paint in the woods, and his feeling for wild nature is very apparent in his illustrations. He moved to the UK in 1994 and his first picture books were published in 2001. He runs hugely popular workshops in schools and bookshops, and at book festivals. As one teacher said, “He makes every child feel the most special child in the room.” Petr also tutors students of illustration. His other books for Otter-Barry Books are The Last Tiger and The Perfect Present, nominated for the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration. Petr lives in Worcester, UK.

Nicola Davies and Petr Horáček - The Star Whale

'The Star Whale' by Nicola Davies Illustrated by Petr Horáček

Discover a pangolin at dusk, fly on the bat's back, visit a lion and hear about his plight; try the moth alphabet tongue-twister, meet fighting Tazzies on a night out in Tasmania or dream about the five-legged dog and three-legged cat! Then find out about real, huge Titanosaurus and amazing Coelacanths. You might spot a kingfisher, that 'small glint of wonder', and see how 'wild reclaims the world' in the urban night-time.

These beautiful poems are perfectly melded with Petr Horáček’s gorgeous, glowing paintings and the combination is extraordinary - passionate, playful, thoughtful and exciting. Like the goldfinch in the final poem, this wonderful book will 'set the heart free and flying'.