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.

In May 2018 Graffeg published Gaspard the Fox, written by BBC Radio 4 broadcaster Zeb Soanes and illustrated by James. After much critical acclaim, the second title in the Gaspard series, Gaspard Best in Show, is due for release in August 2019.

May 2019 saw the publication of the Mouse & Mole series, written by Joyce Dunbar and illustrated by James, originally published in 1993 now brought back to life in a larger hardback format. Graffeg are planning on bringing some previously unpublished Mouse & Mole stories into print in the future.

Graffeg republished a new edition of Koshka’s Tales: Stories from Russia in October 2019. A wonderfully imaginative adaptation of five timeless stories from Russian folklore, the collection was first published in 1993 by Kingfisher Books and has been out of print for over 20 years.


Koshka's Tales: Stories from Russia by James Mayhew, published by Graffeg

Koshka’s Tales: Stories from Russia

Brave princes, evil witches and beautiful maidens abound as the tales of Koshka, the wise old story-telling cat, unfold. James Mayhew has drawn inspiration from the traditional stories and art style of old Russia to re-tell five enchanting tales in this re-published edition of a children’s classic.

ISBN 9781913134457, £12.99
Publication October 2019

Gaspard best in show by Zeb Soanes and James Mayhew published by Graffeg

Gaspard: Best in Show

Gaspard and Peter set out on a new adventure and find Finty at the local summer fete. When Gaspard unwittingly gets entered into the fancy-dress dog show, chaos and hilarity ensue in this fun-packed sequel to Gaspard the Fox, by Zeb Soanes and James Mayhew.

A charming and humorous picture book celebrating urban foxes and their relationship with the humans and animals they share the city with. Second in a series of picture books following the adventures of Gaspard and his friends.

ISBN 9781912654673, £12.99
Publication 22 August 2019

mouse and mole, james mayhew, joyce dunbar, graffeg

Mouse & Mole series

Mouse & Mole

What will Mouse and Mole find to do tomorrow? They set out their plan: a picnic of cheese and cucumber sandwiches if it is a fine day, or roasted chestnuts and toasted muffins in front of an apple wood fire if it is wild and wintry. But what will they do if it is an in-between sort of day?
ISBN 9781912050406, £12.99

Mouse & Mole Have a Party

Mole can’t help but get himself into difficulty, but thankfully he has Mouse to ensure things to smoothly, even when he least expects it!
ISBN 9781912050390, £12.99

Happy Days for Mouse & Mole

When Mouse makes himself a hammock, Mole is only too happy to test it for his friend, and Mouse is equally eager to help Mole find his lost spectacles. But who will catch the falling leaf? Join the two friends on their endeavours in this collection of wonderfully warm and witty tales.
ISBN 9781912050383, £12.99

A Very Special Mouse & Mole

Simple pastimes help mouse and mole realise there’s something special in everything, including themselves.
ISBN 9781912050987, £12.99

Gaspard the Fox by Zeb Soanes and James Mayhew published by Graffeg

Gaspard the Fox

Meet Gaspard the Fox as he sets out one summer evening in search of adventure and something to eat. On his travels he meets Peter the cat and Finty the dog, who help him navigate the local canals, boats and people in his hunt for supper.

This charming and humorous picture book celebrates urban foxes and their relationship with the humans and animals they share the city with. It is the first in a series of urban adventures with Gaspard and his friends by broadcaster Zeb Soanes and best-selling illustrator James Mayhew.

ISBN 9781912213542

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


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gaspard the fox, james mayhew, zeb soanes

Graffeg Authors and Illustrators celebrate World Book Day 7 March 2019

Graffeg authors and illustrators are celebrating World Book Day 2019 with special events taking place in Cambridge and Wales.

flavours of england, vegetarian, graffeg

What’s new in March

New titles for March 2019, including Gaspard the Fox paperback by Zeb Soanes and James Mayhew and the brand new Flavours of England cookbook series by Gilli Davies and Huw Jones.

james mayhew, joyce dunbar

Graffeg to re-publish the classic Mouse and Mole series by Joyce Dunbar, illustrated by James Mayhew

Out of print for almost 20 years, we are delighted to bring this series back for children to enjoy today in a new larger hardback format. With its classic feel and endearing characters, Mouse and Mole is perfect for reading with young children and for older children to read independently.

Zeb Soanes and James Mayhew on BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House with Paddy O’Connell, 20 May 2018

Article in Bishop’s Stortford Independent, January 2018

James Mayhew, Bishop's Stortford Independent, Graffeg