James Mayhew, Graffeg

James Mayhew

James Mayhew is an acclaimed illustrator, author, concert presenter and storyteller. He has been writing and illustrating for nearly 30 years, with his first book being published in 1989.

James is the creator of the best-selling Katie and Ella Bella book series as well as many other titles. In 1994 he received the New York Times book illustration award for Jenny Koralek’s The Boy and the Cloth of Dreams (Walker Books).

James is a trustee for Action for Children’s Arts and a patron of Magic Lantern. He also does frequent school visits, offering art or writing workshops.

In August 2017 Graffeg released The Knight Who Took All Day, a reissued publication of the book originally published in 2005 by Chicken House.

James is also an established presenter of family classical concerts, taking part in many unique events at music festivals all over the UK. In 2017, composer Bernard Hughes adapted The Knight Who Took All Day into a new orchestral work for children.

James is currently working on a series of children’s books in collaboration with Radio 4 presenter Zeb Soanes titled Gaspard the Fox. The first title is due for release in May 2018.


The Knight Who Took All Day, James Mayhew, Graffeg

The Knight Who Took All Day

A knight must do battle with a dragon if he is to win the hand of his beloved princess. But when a dragon finally comes along our hero realises he also needs to look his best if he is to impress, and that may take some time. And who knows what might happen as he takes his time getting ready…

ISBN 9781912050451

Praise for The Knight Who Took All Day

‘Mayhew’s frolicking adventure features a self-infatuated knight whose longing to impress a princess sends him scouring the country for a dragon to fight. Visual humor abounds…’ Publishers Weekly

‘Mayhew’s irresistibly cheery pictures … live up to the promise of this delicious title.’ Kirkus Review

‘The greatest superpower of all here is James Mayhew’s ability to combine storytelling flair and gorgeous illustration to create something supernaturally wonderful.’ Kenilworth Books, Raring 2 Go



12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Gaspard the Fox at Cardiff Children's Literary Festival
Cardiff Castle Undercroft, Cardiff
3:30 pm - 4:15 pm
The Knight Who Took All Day at Stratford-on-Avon Literary Festival
Stratford Arts House, Stratford-upon-Avon
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Gaspard the Fox with Zeb Soanes and James Mayhew
Starlight Stage, The Hay Festival, Brecon Road, Hay on Wye


Article in Bishop’s Stortford Independent, January 2018

James Mayhew, Bishop's Stortford Independent, Graffeg

Gaspard the Fox signs three book deal

Broadcaster and writer Zeb Soanes to collaborate with illustrator James Mayhew on a series of children’s books about Gaspard the fox.

The series of children’s picture books will be inspired by Zeb’s encounters with an urban fox, Gaspard, who is reputed to be ‘the handsomest fox in London’ and who appeared at his home with an injured leg. Since then she has become something of a social media star, with her Twitter page quickly gaining nearly 4,000 followers and her reputed taste for cave-aged parmesan attracting the attention of the national media.

The first title in the series is due for release in May 2018.