Pignatius was passing the palace one day, when he saw ten fresh buns left to cool on a tray . . . When Pignatius sees fresh pastries cooling on the windowsill of the palace kitchen, he’s tempted to try them. Surely, the cook won’t miss just one. But Pignatius’s greed gets the better of him, and he eats all the buns before sneaking into the palace in search of more treats. Before long, he finds himself in the prince’s room trying on a wig and some clothes, and the servants mistake him for the real prince! When the actual prince returns, Pignatius fears the worst, but the prince saves Pignatius’s bacon instead. It turns out that the prince has always wanted a double to deal with a particularly frightening problem—his aunt Alice! This hilarious reimagining of Mark Twain’s classic The Prince and the Pauper is sure to make kids laugh with its clever rhyming text and delicious, dessert-filled illustrations by New York Times bestselling illustrator David Roberts.
My dad was an army bandmaster and director of music. Having a dad in the army meant that we moved around a fair bit when I was a child, so I lived in Germany, Singapore and Hong Kong as well as places in England, including in Devon where I live now. I recently worked out that I went to ten different schools, or eleven if you count going to the same school twice (that was in Hong Kong). Imagine having that ‘first day at school’ feeling eleven times! But often there were other children whose parents were in the services too and who had also changed schools a lot, so I didn’t feel too weird.
I have always enjoyed words but it took me quite a while to discover that I wanted to be a children’s writer. After university I worked for a short time as a journalist and then for a much longer time editing and sometimes writing books for grown ups. But I always liked writing funny stories and verses. When I was best man at my brother John’s wedding I even wrote my best man’s speech in rhyme.
A few years later, my wife read that speech and said I should do more of that kind of thing. After we had our first child, Theo, and then (in 2001) moved from London to Devon, I started taking children’s writing seriously. I joined a creative writing group and in 2004 took a course run by the excellent Arvon Foundation. In 2005 I sent the text of A Lark in the Ark to fourteen publishers. Twelve of them said no thanks, but Egmont accepted it. I still have a copy of their cheque on my wall. (Bio via peterbently.com)
David Roberts is an award-winning illustrator who has earned great acclaim for his distinctive style. He was born in Liverpool and studied fashion design at university in Manchester. After graduating, he worked as a milliner and a fashion illustrator, but always felt his true calling was in children’s books. David finally realised his dream when his first book was published in 1998, and since then he has collaborated with some of Britain’s finest children’s authors, including Julia Donaldson, Sally Gardner, Philip Ardagh and Jacqueline Wilson. He is also the creator of the popular Dirty Bertie books. He lives in London with his partner. His book Little Red was shortlisted for the 2005 Kate Greenaway Medal. In 2006 he won the Nestlé Children’s Book Prize Gold Award for his line drawings in Mouse Noses on Toast. (Bio via https://www.penguin.co.uk/puffin/authors/david-roberts/1073472/)