Simon James first book, The Day Jake Vacuumed, was published in 1989 – and two more books about Jake soon followed. ‘My Friend Whale’, was the first of several concerned with a child's relationship with the natural world – ‘Dear Greenpeace’, ‘Sally and the Limpet’, ‘The Wild Woods’ and ‘The Birdwatchers’ have established Simon as one of the country's leading author/illustrators. ‘Leon and Bob’ won the Smarties Book Prize Silver Award and was the New York Times' Best Illustrated Book of the Year, and ‘Days Like This’, a collection of small poems, was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal.  His best-selling book ‘Baby Brains’ was the overall winner of the Red House Children's Book Award, voted for by 25,000 children across the country. Simon continues to be a much sought-after speaker in schools, and at festivals and conferences both here in the UK and in the US. His lively and humorous delivery making him a popular speaker at book festivals, schools and literary events. His joyful pen and ink water colour illustrations, full of life and character, capture perfectly his intuitive observations of everyday childhood moments. He continues to enjoy international success with his latest books, ‘George Flies South’, 'Nurse Clementine’ and ‘Rex’, a book about dinosaurs and adoption! This year sees the arrival of his new book ‘The Boy From Mars’

If you would like to book Simon for a visit to your school or event then please email, or visit his website for more information and reviews of his visits: As a child Simon James grew up in Bristol and Exeter. He was educated at Queen Elizabeth School, Crediton. From an early age he spent much of his time drawing and stapling stories into little books. His father had many books on cartoonists, many of whom he tried to copy. His favourites were Ronald Searle and Gerard Hoffnung. He spent the rest of the time climbing trees, saving worms from puddles and worrying about the strange shapes in the curtains at night. As a child, Simon hoped to become a cartoonist or a stuntman.

After leaving school Simon studied Graphic Design and Art History. “Whilst working with words and images together I developed a greater understanding for the techniques used in creating picture books”, he says. After college Simon went back to spending much of his time drawing and stapling stories into little books, and still does to this day.


Testimonial from Exwick Heights:

''Simon James came to visit Exwick Heights on World Book Day and all we can say is WOW! He worked with three large groups of children from Reception to Y6 and the experience could only be compared to magic. There was utter silence as all children were enthralled with the weaving of Simon’s storytelling. Character drawings seemed to be an extension of himself as they appeared on the paper. Every young mind was ignited, eager to write stories for themselves. Many children left school that day with vivid pictures in their minds, clutching a treasured signed book. A truly memorable day, thank you Simon.''   Emma Slaven, Assistant Headteacher, Exwick Heights Primary School, Exeter.