Tony Mitton spent much of his early childhood abroad before going to a state boarding grammar school for his secondary education. At school he was very involved with drama and music, but also liked writing assignments and reading in his spare time. He went on to do a degree in English at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. After graduation he trained as an English teacher, but went on to work instead as a primary school teacher, a preferred option. In his mid thirties he became a father and went part-time as a teacher to share parenting with his wife. At this time he began to specialise in mainstream special needs teaching, working with literacy and behaviour issues. He recalls having a keenness for poetry, song and story from an early age and wrote poetry consistently from his teens onwards. However, he only began writing for children around the age of 40. His first efforts in this new realm were for his own children, but the pleasure of this kind of writing soon prompted him to work at it and seek publication. His first collection of poems, PLUM, was published in 1998 and has been followed by THE RED AND WHITE SPOTTED HANDKERCHIEF (winner of the Smarties Silver Medal), PIP (a Poetry Book Choice) and FLUFF AND OTHER STUFF. Tony has also written many picture book texts including DOWN BY THE COOL OF THE POOL and the AMAZING MACHINES series as well as ten books of RAP RHYMES, humorous versions of well-known traditional stories. He now writes full-time, as well as giving performances of his work in schools and libraries and at festivals. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and their two teenage children.