Cressida Cowell: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Cressida Cowell.

  • Cressida Cowell was born in London on 15th April 1966.
  • She has three children (Maisie, Clemmie and Alexander).
  • She’s married to a man called Simon Cowell (not the judge on X-Factor!)
  • Cressida Cowell studied English at Oxford University and illustration at Brighton University.
  • Her first published work was a picture book called Little Bo Peep’s Library Book. It came out in 1998.
  • She’s had more than 20 books published – a mixture of novels and picture books.
  • She doesn’t like spiders.
  • Her best friend at school was Lauren Child, the author of the Charlie and Lola books.
  • The first of Cressida Cowell’s books to feature the character Hiccup was How to Train Your Dragon. It was published in 2003.
  • Other Hiccup titles include: How To Be a Pirate, How To Speak Dragonese, How To Cheat A Dragon’s Curse, How To Twist A Dragon’s Tale, How To Steal A Dragon’s Sword, and How To Betray a Dragon’s Hero.
  • On 26th March 2010 a computer animated movie version of How To Train Your Dragon was released by DreamWorks Animation. How To Train Your Dragon 2 came out in 2014. The plot of the movie is almost completely different from the book’s story line.
  • She was 32 when she first had a book published.
  • Her favourite teacher was Miss MacDonald who taught history.
  • As a child, Cressida used to do lots of drawing and writing when she went on holiday with her family to an island, Little Colonsay, off the west coast of Scotland.
  • She won the Nestle Children’s Book Prize in 2006 for That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown.
  • How To Train Your Dragon has been translated into more than 20 languages.
  • She read a wide variety of books as a child. She particularly liked books by Enid Blyton, Diana Wynne Jones, Ursula Le Guin, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Lloyd Alexander.
  • Her favourite book as a child was The Ogre Downstairs by Diana Wynne Jones.
  • Some of her favourite writers today include, Louis Sachar, Michelle Paver and David Almond.
  • It takes her about a year to write a Hiccup book. This includes the illustrations.
  • If she could be anyone from history, she would choose William Shakespeare.
  • Cressida Cowell would have liked to have been a teacher or and anthropologist if she hadn’t become a writer.

What next? Visit our Books and Authors resources page to discover more facts about famous children’s authors.

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