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Born in Belfast, Martin Waddell was an aspiring football player for many years, before turning his hand to writing. He is now widely regarded as one of the greatest living children's writers, and has over 220 published titles to his name. He is perhaps best known for Owl Babies, illustrated by Patrick Benson and Farmer Duck, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury; as well as the 1989 Kurt Maschler Award-winning The Park in the Dark and the Little Bear series, both illustrated by Barbara Firth. In 2004, Martin received the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for his lasting contribution to children's literature, the highest career recognition available to a writer or illustrator of children's books. He lives in Newcastle, County Durham.
The best owl family is in Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson's Owl Babies. Sarah, Percy and Bill live in a tree trunk with their owl mother. One day they wake up and find she has gone. They know that she has gone hunting for them and they know how dangerous that can be. The three owl chicks spend a long, long night waiting for her return. How they keep their spirits up and survive until Owl Mother returns is stunningly shown in Patrick Benson's evocative illustrations which capture all small children's terror at the disappearance of their mum! -- Julia Ecceshare * The Guardian Online * "This book has been comforting toddlers for 25 years." * The Sun *