The Hans Christian Andersen Award

2004 - Martin Waddell

Born: 10 April 1941, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Author's quote: "I was read to a lot as a child by people who knew how to read stories. These stories came alive for me, and the love of story has stayed with me ever since. "

Field: Children's Literature

Prize share: 1/1

Books Written By Martin Waddell

About Martin Waddell

Martin Waddell (born 10 April 1941) is a British writer of children's books. He may be known best for the texts of picture books that feature anthropomorphic animals, especially the Little Bear series illustrated by Barbara Firth (not to be confused with Minarik & Sendak's Little Bear series). He also writes under the pen name Catherine Sefton, for older children, primarily ghost stories and mystery fiction.

Waddell was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and has lived most of his life in neighbouring County Down, in Newcastle. As a child, he grew up with a fondness of animals and often told stories in a lively manner. This inspired him and "the love of story" stuck with Waddell ever since. He aspired at a young age to be a football player and signed for Fulham FC youth team; Waddell reflects that he scored a hat-trick on his debut in adult football but wound up as a goalkeeper.

When it became clear to him that his future did not lie as a professional footballer, Waddell turned to his other love and began to write (he would later combine the two in the Napper series of football-centred children's books). Originally writing for adults, his first real success was a comic thriller "Otley", which was made into a film starring Tom Courtney and Romy Schneider. After moving back to Northern Ireland in the late sixties he wrote books that reflected on the changing situation in his native land. Soon his love of storytelling would pull him into the medium of children's literature.

In 1972 he went into a church to stop some vandals and got caught up in an explosion in Donaghadee—an experience that took him years to overcome. As an author, nearly all of Waddell's stories are inspired by events or places in his life at the foot of the Mourne Mountains. As he humorously claimed, "I've been blown up, buried alive and had cancer as an adult, and survived all these experiences, so I'm a very lucky man."


The Pig in the Pond - Martin Waddell

By A Customer

Waddell captures the feeling of a hot afternoon in his humerous story "Pig in a Pond." While watching the ducks splash in the farm yard pond, the pig becomes more and more hot, more and more furstrated, because who ever heard of a "Pig in a Pond"? Finally, he give into temptation and dives in! When the farmer sees this, he decides its not a bad idea and joins the animals on his farm for a spash in the old swimming hole! A delight ful story perfect for reading alod on a sticky summer afternoon


The Pig in the Pond - Martin Waddell

By T.R. Sandberg

Experiencing The Pig in the Pond with preschoolers is a delight. Three to Five year olds will be fully engaged by the rich illustrations and simple text--words full of meaning to young children. My preschool class waited with anxious anticipation to see what that very hot pig would do AND what would happen when Nelligan came home. The end is silly and satisfying and just what the children were waiting for. This has become a much loved favorite in our classroom.