Frances Watts

Andrew Daddo

Frances Watts was born in Switzerland and grew up in Australia. She spentnearly ten years working with some of Australia’s most talented children’s authors and illustrators as an editor before writing a book of her own. Her bestselling picture books include: Goodnight Mice! (ill. Judy Watson), the winner of the 2012 Prime Minister’s Award for Children’s Fiction, Kisses for Daddy, 2008 Children’s Book Council of Australia award-winner Parsley Rabbit’s Book about Books, Captain Crabclaw’s Crew and The Fearsome Frightening Ferocious Box (all illustrated by David Legge), and 2012 KOALA Honour Book A Rat in a Stripy Sock (ill. David Francis). Frances is also the author of a series about two very unlikely superheroes, Extraordinary Ernie and Marvellous Maud (ill. Judy Watson), as well as the fantasy/adventure series, the Gerander Trilogy and the Sword Girl series about a girl who lives in a medieval castle and longs to be a knight (ill. Gregory Rogers). Her latest book, written under the pen name Alex Ratt, is The Stinky Street Stories (illustrated by Jules Faber).

Frances has also written two YA novels, The Raven’s Wing, a story of love and intrigue set in Ancient Rome, and The Peony Lantern, a powerful story of art, love and friendship set against a vivid backdrop of nineteenth century Japan.

A love of reading is what Frances most enjoys conveying to children, especially infants and primary students. She favours an interactive style of engaging with children, encouraging them to join her in talking about books and reading. As both a writer and editor of children’s books, she is in a unique position to talk about how books are made. As a writer she discusses both the writing process and turning ideas into books.

For more information, visit Frances’s website: