In a career spanning three decades, LAURENCE ANHOLT has produced over 200 children's books, which are published in more than 30 languages. His books have won numerous awards, including the prestigious Nestlé Smarties Gold Award on two occasions.
Laurence's debut crossover novel, THE HYPNOTIST was published by Penguin Random House in October 2016 to great acclaim. A tale of prejudice and tolerance set in the Deep South of America in 1963, The Hypnotist was described by the Guardian as "Full of suspense and heartbreak." THE HYPNOTIST has been officially endorsed by Amnesty International who called it "a passionate, important novel." The book was the overall winner of the Historical Association Young Quills Award 2017. It has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal and is currently shortlisted for 6 major fiction awards.
Titles such as the hilarious SERIOUSLY SILLY STORIES and the self-illustrated ANHOLT'S ARTISTS series have sold many millions of copies around the world. Laurence has also collaborated on numerous picture books with his wife, the artist, Catherine Anholt.
Born in 1959 into a Dutch/English family with Persian roots, Laurence Anholt spent his early years in Holland where he developed a lasting love of Art. He went on to study Painting for 8 years, culminating in a Master's Degree from the Royal Academy of Art in London. Catherine and Laurence live and work in a house on a hill with studios and wild flower meadows, overlooking the sea in Devon, southwest England.
For more than a decade, Laurence has been amongst the top 200 Most Borrowed Authors from UK libraries across all genres. He was included in the Independent on Sunday's Top 10 Children's Authors in the UK and was described by William Watt as "one of the most versatile authors writing for children today".
Catherine and Laurence have been closely involved with a number of literacy schemes such as the UK Government funded Bookstart scheme. Their publication Babies Love Books (also a much-loved picture book) encourages parents to share books with babies from the earliest possible age. Their work has taken them inside Buckingham Palace and Downing Street on several occasions.
Laurence's self‐illustrated ANHOLT'S ARTISTS series, is an introduction to great artists for young children. This multi-million selling series is used as part of the national school curriculum in many countries and is sold in galleries and museums all over the world. The books, which include FRIDA KAHLO AND THE BRAVEST GIRL IN THE WORLD, CAMILLE AND THE SUNFLOWERS, DEGAS AND THE LITTLE DANCER and THE MAGICAL GARDEN OF CLAUDE MONET have taken Laurence on many fascinating journeys of discovery. Each scrupulously researched story is based on an actual encounter between a real child and a great artist. In several instances, Laurence has been assisted by relatives of the artists or by the protagonists themselves - for example, Laurence developed a long-standing friendship with Sylvette David, Picasso's Girl With a Ponytail. This series currently includes 9 titles and it has been adapted in many forms, including Apps for iPads, stage and TV productions and a full scale van Gogh musical which Laurence launched in Korea. The Anholt's Artists books are renowned not only for their educational value, but also for their life-affirming themes of aspiration, tolerance and acceptance of those who are different.
Laurence Anholt is a much sought after public speaker, talking about literature and his own zany view of life at conferences such as the European Council of International Schools Conference, the Society of Authors' Bi-Annual Conference and the Edinburgh Festival.
The Anholts have twin grandchildren, Nina and Felix and three grown up children - daughter Claire and twins, Tom and Maddy. Claire is an anthropologist who works for the UN in Geneva, Maddy is an actor living in London and Tom is a successful artist based in Berlin.
Laurence Anholt's interests include bees, books and Buddhism.
For further information visit the Anholts' website: http://www.anholt.co.uk
Follow Laurence on Twitter: @LaurenceAnholt