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Liz Pichon (born 16 August 1963) is a British illustrator and children's writer. She is best known for her Tom Gates series of "satirical realist comedy fiction", which have been translated into 43 languages, and sold more than eight million copies worldwide.

Liz Pichon
Liz Pichon 20181206.jpg
Pichon in Waterstones at Piccadilly, London, December 2018
Born (1963-08-16) 16 August 1963 (age 55)
London, England
ResidenceBrighton, England
Alma materCamberwell School of Art
OccupationIllustrator and children's writer
Known forTom Gates series
Spouse(s)Mark Flannery


Early lifeEdit

Pichon was born on 16 August 1963 in London, England.[1] She studied graphic design at the Camberwell School of Art.[2] Her first job was as an art director for the music label Jive Records.[2]

known for her work as a freelance illustrator and writer of children's books.[2]

Her best-selling and multi-award winning Tom Gates series was first published in 2011. There are currently 15 books in the Tom Gates series, as well as a special £1 book produced for World Book Day in 2013, and a Tom Gates Annual.

In 2016 Pichon created the "Kid's Tapestry", a child's version of the Bayeux Tapestry, featuring historical events to the mark the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.[3]

In 2017 Pichon, Horsenden Primary School and her publisher, Scholastic Children's Books, broke the World Record for the Largest Disco Dance.[4]

It was announced in 2017 that Pichon has begun working on a new standalone series to be published by Scholastic Children's Books. [5]

Personal lifeEdit

Pichon is dyslexic (like her character Tom Gates). She lives in Brighton with her husband Mark, their three children.[6][2]


Outside of Tom GatesEdit

  • The VERY Ugly Bug (London: Little Tiger Press, 2004)
  • My Big Brother, Boris (Scholastic, 2004)
  • Bored Bill (Little Tiger, 2015)
  • Penguins (London: Gullane Children's Books, 2008)
  • The Three Horrid Pigs and the Big Friendly Wolf (Little Tiger, 2008); US title, The Three Horrid Little Pigs (Tiger Tales, 2008)

As illustrator only (selected)Edit

  • Twilight Rhymes Moonlight Verse, compiled by Mary Joslin (Oxford: Lion Children's Books, 1997)
  • Spinderella, written by [Julia Donaldson][Egmont UK], 2002)
  • Beautiful Bananas, Elizabeth Laird (Oxford, 2003)
  • The Three Billy Goats Fluff, Rachael Mortimer (Hodder Children's Books, 2010)
  • Red Riding Hood and the Sweet Little Wolf, Rachael Mortimer (Hodder, 2012)

Tom Gates seriesEdit

  • The Brilliant World of Tom Gates (2011)
  • Tom Gates: Excellent Excuses (And Other Good Stuff) (2011)
  • Tom Gates: Everything's Amazing (Sort Of) (2011)
  • Tom Gates: Genius Ideas (Mostly) (2012)
  • Tom Gates Is Absolutely Fantastic (at Some Things) (2013)
  • Tom Gates: Best Book Day Ever! (so far) (2013)
  • Tom Gates: Extra Special Treats (not) (2013)
  • Tom Gates: A Tiny Bit Lucky (2014)
  • Tom Gates: Yes! No (Maybe... ) (2015)
  • Tom Gates: Top of the Class (Nearly) (2015)
  • Tom Gates: Super Good Skills (Almost...) (2016)
  • Tom Gates: DogZombies Rule (For Now) (2016)
  • Tom Gates: Family, Friends and Furry Creatures (2017)
  • Tom Gates: Epic Adventure (kind of) (2017)
  • Tom Gates: Totally Brilliant Annual (2017)
  • Tom Gates: Biscuits, Bands and Very Big Plans (2018)
  • Tom Gates: What Monster? (2018)
  • Tom Gates: Mega Make and Do (and Stories Too!) (2019)



  • 2004: Silver Award, Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (0–5 years), My Big Brother Boris
  • 2008: Finalist, Red House Children's Book Award and the Stockport Schools Book Award, The Three Horrid Pigs and the Big Friendly Wolf
  • 2012: Shortlisted for the Specasvers National Book Awards Children's Book of the Year, Genius Ideas (Mostly)


  1. ^ "FAQ's / Liz Pichon".
  2. ^ a b c d Lambert, Victoria (10 August 2016). "Liz Pichon on how dyslexia inspired her Tom Gates children's books - and made them a global phenomenon". Retrieved 9 December 2017 – via
  3. ^ "'Kids' Tapestry' by Liz Pichon marks Battle of Hastings anniversary - CBBC Newsround". Retrieved 2018-10-06.
  4. ^ Horsenden Primary (2017-11-02), Horsenden's Guinness World Record on BBC Breakfast, retrieved 2018-10-12
  5. ^ "Pichon opens the Gates to standalone fiction in seven-figure deal | The Bookseller". Retrieved 2018-10-06.
  6. ^ "Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2011". Prizes Archive: Roald Dahl Funny Prize. Booktrust. Retrieved 2014-10-15. With more information linked, including 17 November 2011 interview of Pichon.
  7. ^ "Blue Peter Books Awards 2013". Prizes: Blue Peter Book Awards. Booktrust. Retrieved 2014-10-15. With more information linked.

External linksEdit