Anderson, (Tom) Scoular

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ANDERSON, (Tom) Scoular

PERSONAL: Male. Education: Attended art school in Glasgow, Scotland. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, playing the guitar, cooking, walking.

ADDRESSES: Home—Dunoon, Argyll, Scotland. Agent—c/o Author Mail, A. and C. Black, Inc., 37 Soho Sq., London W1D 3QZ, England.

CAREER: Writer and illustrator. Appeared in Storybook TV: A Video Collection of Eight Well-loved Children's Picture Books, Introduced and Read by Their Authors, Scottish Council for Educational Technology, 1999.

WRITINGS:

AND ILLUSTRATOR

My First Joke Book, Young Corgi (London, England), 1986. (With Chris Powling) The Phantom Carwash, 1986, Barn Owl (London, England), 2001.

A-Z of Animal Jokes, Young Corgi (London, England), 1987.

The Enormous Chocolate Pudding, Dent (London, England), 1987.

(With Chris Powling) Hiccup Harry, A. and C. Black (London, England), 1988, Dutton Children's Books (New York, NY), 1990.

The Daring Dot-to-Dot Dinosaur, Young Corgi (London, England), 1989.

The Knock Knock Joke Book, Hippo (London, England), 1989.

A Journey down the Clyde, Drew (England), 1989.

A Plunder of Pirates, Puffin (London, England), 1989, published as Project Pirates: Amazing Facts! Amazing Fun!, Viking (London, England), 1994.

The Spider and Chips Joke Book, Young Corgi (London, England), 1989.

(With Chris Powling) Harry's Party, A. and C. Black (London, England), 1989.

Never Keep a Python as a Pet, Dent (London, England), 1990.

The Really Revolting Puzzle Book, Piccolo (England), 1990.

Wendy's Wheels, Ginn (England), 1990.

(With Chris Powling) Harry with Spots On, A. and C. Black (London, England), 1990.

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?, Hippo (London, England), 1991.

The Magic Boomerang; The Magic Present, Macmillan Children's (London, England), 1991.

School Jokes for Aliens, Young Corgi (London, England), 1991.

The Puffin Book of Royal London, Puffin (London, England), 1991.

Dreamy Daniel, Brainy Bert, Simon & Schuster Young Books (Hemel Hempstead, England), 1992.

The Curse of Hackjaw Island, Puffin (London, England), 1992.

Changing Charlie, A. and C. Black (London, England), 1992.

Land Ahoy! The Story of Christopher Columbus, Puffin (London, England), 1992.

Puzzling People, Puffin (London, England), 1992.

The Elephant Joke Book, Scholastic (London, England), 1993.

The Haunted Dot-to-Dot Hotel, Young Corgi (London, England), 1993.

The Puffin Factfile of Kings and Queens, Puffin (London, England), 1993.

(With Chris Powling) Harry Moves House, A. and C. Black (London, England), 1993.

Clogpots in Space, A. and C. Black (London, England), 1994.

A Puzzling Day at Castle MacPelican, Walker Books (London, England), 1994, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 1995.

The Survival Guide to Parents, Lions (London, England), 1994.

The Amazing Mark in Creepstone Castle, Viking (London, England), 1994.

The Survival Guide to Pets, Lions (London, England), 1995.

Finlay MacTrebble and the Fantastic Fertiliser, A. and C. Black (London, England), 1995.

Plotting and Chopping: Tudors and Stuarts with a Few Gory Bits, Puffin (London, England), 1995.

(With Chris Powling) Harry the Superhero, A. and C. Black (London, England), 1995.

Backseat's Special Day, Hippo (London, England), 1996.

A Puzzling Day in the Land of the Pharaohs, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 1996.

The Survival Guide to Food, Collins (London, England), 1996.

(With Chris Powling) Harry on Holiday, A. and C. Black (London, England), 1997.

1314 and All That, Canongate Books (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1998.

MacPelican's American Adventure, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 1998.

Ghost Docs on Patrol, Collins Children's (London, England), 1998.

Images of Dunoon and the Cowal Peninsula (for adults), Argyll Publishing (Glendaruel, Argyll, Scotland), 1998.

Raiding and Trading: Vikings with a Few Gory Bits, Puffin (London, England), 1998.

Fun: The Awful Truth, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1999.

Grown-ups: The Awful Truth, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1999.

School: The Awful Truth, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1999.

Ghost Docs at School, Collins Children's (London, England), 1999.

(With Chris Powling) Rover Goes to School, A. and C. Black (London, England), 1999.

(With Chris Powling) Rover Shows Off, A. and C. Black (London, England), 1999.

(With Chris Powling) Rover the Champion, A. and C. Black (London, England), 1999.

(With Chris Powling) Rover's Birthday, A. and C. Black (London, England), 1999.

(With Chris Powling) The Book about Books, A. and C. Black (London, England), 2000.

1745 and All That: The Story of the Highlands, Berlinn (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2001.

The Bin Bears, Corgi Pups (London, England), 2001.

My First Knock Knock Joke Book, Young Corgi (London, England), 2001.

Rob the Roman Gets Eaten by a Lion (Nearly), Hippo (London, England), 2001.

Trev the Tudor Gets the Chop (Nearly), Scholastic (London, England), 2001.

Some of Anderson's books have been translated into Spanish.

"WIZARD BOY" SERIES; AND ILLUSTRATOR

The Perfect Pizza, A. and C. Black (London, England), 2000.

The Posh Party, A. and C. Black (London, England), 2000.

The Potty Panto, A. and C. Black (London, England), 2000.

The Muddled Monsters, A. and C. Black (London, England), 2000.

ILLUSTRATOR

Sybil Marshall, Polly at the Window, Puffin (Harmondsworth, England), 1975.

Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, adapted by Norman Wymer, Collins (London, England), 1979.

Charles Dickens, Hard Times, adapted by Viola Huggins, Collins (London, England), 1979.

Viola Huggins, Five Ghost Stories, Collins (London, England), 1980.

WAC Ghosts, Monsters, and Legends, Corgi (London, England), 1986.

WAC Jokes, Corgi (London, England), 1986.

David Pugh, editor, The Grisly Joke Book, Armada (London, England), 1986.

Jennifer Kavanagh, editor, The Methuen Book of Humorous Stories, Methuen (London, England), 1987.

Brian Ball, The Quest for Queenie, Macdonald (England), 1988.

Corley Byrne, Kipper & Co., Dent (London, England), 1988.

Dick Cate, Alexander and the Star Part, Macmillan Children's (London, England), 1988.

Ruth Manning-Sanders, editor, A Cauldron of Witches (short stories), Methuen (London, England), 1988.

Jennifer Curry and Graeme Curry, Down Our Street, Methuen (London, England), 1988.

Victor Osborne, Rex, the Most Special Car in the World, Dent (London, England), 1988, Carolrhoda Books (Minneapolis, MN), 1989.

Phillip Schofield, The Philip Schofield for File, Bantam (England), 1988.

Miranda Seymour, Pierre and the Pamplemousse, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1989.

Dick Cate, Alexander and the Tooth of Zaza, Macmillan Children's (London, England), 1989.

Dick Cate, Scared!, Macdonald (England), 1989.

Carol Vorderman, Dirty, Loud, and Brilliant Too, Knight (England), 1989.

Paul Jackson, Flying Mobiles, [England], 1989, Watermill Press (Mahwah, NJ), 1990.

Mary Danby, How to Halt a Hiccup, Knight (England), 1990.

Corley Byrne, Kipper & Co. Strike Again!, Dent (London, England), 1990.

Robert Swindells, Tim Kipper, Macmillan Children's (London, England), 1990, new edition, 1992.

John Dinneen, Super-Challenge 2, HarperCollins, 1991.

Saviour Pirotta, Pineapple Crush, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1991.

Peter Hayward, Nature File, Puffin (London, England), 1992.

Christina Noble, The Story of Loch Fyne Oysters, Oyster Ideas (Cairndow, Scotland), 1993.

Robert Swindells, The Siege of Frimly Prim, Methuen Children's (London, England), 1993.

Theresa Breslin, Bullies at School, Canongate Books (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1994.

Roy Apps, Nigel the Pirate, Simon & Schuster Young Books (Hemel Hempstead, England), 1994.

Sam McBratney, The Stranger from Somewhere in Time, Heinemann (London, England), 1994.

Hazel Townson, The Armband Band, Collins Educational (London, England), 1995.

Wes Magee, The Scumbagg School Scorpion, Orchard (London, England), 1995.

Sam McBratney, The Firetail Cat, Macdonald Young Books (Hemel Hempstead, England), 1995.

Wes Magee, The Spook Spotters of Scumbagg School, Orchard (London, England), 1996.

Wes Magee, Sports Day at Scumbagg School, Orchard (London, England), 1996.

Elisabeth Jane McNair, Robert Burns: Maker of Rhymes, Viking (London, England), 1996.

Dick Cate, Bernard's Prize, Walker Books (London, England), 1996.

Sally Grindley, Jimjams and the Ratnappers, Macdonald Young Books (Hove, England), 1997.

Judy Allen, The Most Brilliant Trick Ever, Walker Books (London, England), 1997.

Jack Marlowe, Explorers, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1997.

Jack Marlowe, Inventors, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1997.

Jack Marlowe, Scientists, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1997.

Jack Marlowe, Writers: Truly Terrible Tales, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1997.

Dick Cate, Bernard's Magic, Walker Books (London, England), 1997.

Dick Cate, Bernard's Gang, Walker Books (London, England), 1998.

Hazel Richardson, How to Split the Atom: The Hands-on Guide to Being a Science Superstar, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1999, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 2001.

Clive Gifford, How to Meet Aliens, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 2001.

Hazel Richardson, How to Build a Rocket, 1999, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 2001.

Jeremy Strong, Problems with a Python, Barrington Stoke (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1999.

Dyan Sheldon, Leon Loves Bugs, Walker Books (London, England), 2000.

Margaret McAllister, Doughnut Dilemma, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2000.

Margaret McAllister, The Worst of the Vikings, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2000.

Timothy de Jongh Scott, History Hoaxes, Hodder Children's (London, England), 2000.

Clive Gifford, How to Live on Mars, 2000, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 2001.

Barbara Taylor, How to Save the Planet, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 2001.

David Shenton, A Day in the Life of a Roman Charioteer, Pearson Education (Harlow, England), 2001.

Jeremy Strong, Living with Vampires, Barrington Stoke (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2001.

Pat Thomson, Pirates, Gold, and Custard, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2001.

Garry Kilworth, Monster School, A. and C. Black (London, England), 2002.

K. M. Briggs, Hobberdy Dick, Barrington Stoke (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2002.

Illustrator of numerous other children's books.

OTHER

Contributor of short stories to journals, including Puffin Post.

SIDELIGHTS: Scoular Anderson is the author and illustrator of more than sixty books and the illustrator of at least a hundred more. His internet web site informs the viewer that he likes to write about unusual facts or events, and he enjoys writing history books because it allows him to read widely and search for "interesting facts." Many of Anderson's titles are history books, illustrated with his own cartoons, and some couch their history lessons in puzzle series that readers can solve along the way. Anderson's books are popular among young readers, even as young as age six or seven, and it is said that the humorous cartoon illustrations make them appealing to older, reluctant readers as well.

One of Anderson's early successes was A Plunder of Pirates, in which he relates the stories of several famous pirates, both male and female. From their stories the reader learns interesting background information about how people came to be pirates, how they dressed and talked, what daily life was like aboard a pirate ship, and about the ships and their armaments as well. The book proved popular enough to merit a redesign and reprint titled Project Pirates, which Stuart Hannabuss referred to in School Librarian as a witty and "light-hearted" presentation for young readers. A Junior Bookshelf reviewer cautioned, however, that Project Pirates does "include some chilling details." Yet Kevin Steinberger praised the reprint in Magpies as full of facts so "engaging" and "comically presented" that children would be inspired "to read it [from] cover to cover."

In Land Ahoy! The Story of Christopher Columbus, Anderson introduces young readers to the self-styled "admiral of the ocean sea." In humorous narrative, punctuated by lively cartoons, maps, and other line drawings, the author/illustrator presents a great deal of biographical and historical detail and even offers his views on what might have compelled the explorer to risk his life and the lives of his crew, not once, but four times in his futile quest to reach the East Indies. Though Barbara Roberts reported "some minor discrepancies" in her Science Books & Films review, Ingrid Broomfield, writing for School Librarian, commended Anderson for an account that is "factually accurate without being . . . boring." In Books for Keeps, Veronica Holliday noted a "carefully balanced . . . blend of humour and factual information." Holliday also recommended Land Ahoy! for its "refreshingly lively, anecdotal style."

Anderson has penned and illustrated two popular children's histories of his native Scotland, 1314 and All That—1314 being the year the Scots won their independence from England at the Battle of Bannockburn—and 1745 and All That: The Story of the Highlands. He described daily life in other times in Trev the Tudor Gets the Chop (Nearly) and Rob the Roman Gets Eaten by a Lion (Nearly). Each of these books contains facts about historical events, humorous anecdotes and obscure trivia about the people and the times in which they lived and, of course, Anderson's trademark cartoon illustrations.

Sometimes Anderson disguises his histories in puzzle books. He introduces inventor Hector MacPelican in A Puzzling Day at Castle MacPelican, which takes readers on a treasure hunt full of puzzles to solve, mazes to explore, and tiny details of evidence to spot in the illustrations. In her School Librarian review, Elizabeth J. King noted an "amazing amount of detail" in the art work and the "sheer fun" of pursuing the hidden treasure. In MacPelican's American Adventure the inventor leads readers, along with the whole MacPelican family, on a tour of the United States as it appeared in 1898, the year of the "Grand Louisiana Exhibition." Readers with the "patience, fortitude, and great vision" required to solve the puzzles in this book, observed Susan Pine in School Library Journal, will also be treated to a scenic tour of America at the end of the nineteenth century. In A Puzzling Day in the Land of the Pharaohs the adventurous reader travels backward in time with Mrs. Pudget and her students to ancient Egypt. In what School Library Journal critic Jane Claes called a "lighthearted romp around an ancient world," readers can't help but learn something about Egyptian history as they search for the clues they need to solve puzzles that will return them to their own world and time.

Anderson is also a fiction writer. In his "Wizard Boy" series, he introduces Eric and his father, a somewhat bumbling wizard whose attempts at magic often stray far afield. In The Perfect Pizza Dad attempts to spruce up dinner with a magic spell that ends up turning pizza dough into snow and transforming the family's pets beyond recognition, not to mention creating a mess in the kitchen. Therefore, in The Posh Party, when Dad offers to substitute for a birthday-party magician, Eric has some anxious reservations. In The Potty Panto Dad is assigned to provide special effects for a children's play, and in The Muddled Monsters he tries to repair one of the rides at the Mighty Monster Theme Park. Margaret Mallett, in a School Librarian review of The Perfect Pizza, described the combination of page layout, narrative, and cartoon-style illustrations as "cleverly matched" to "add energy and interest." The series is meant for beginning readers, and Mallett predicted that the books will encourage children toward the joy of reading and the joy of learning as well.

Also for the beginning reader is Dreamy Daniel, Brainy Bert. Daniel is a daydreamer, not much interested in reading or learning. During idle moments in class he begins to notice a little mouse who lives in the classroom. Sherbert the mouse is no daydreamer; he can read and write. The boy and the mouse become friends, and "Bert" offers a series of tips to help Daniel with his studies, including a trip to the school library. The book is intended to motivate reluctant readers, but Frances Ball pointed out in School Librarian that Bert is a well-rounded, engaging little fellow, "and the advice about reading is nicely disguised."

For the very young Anderson has written and illustrated The Enormous Chocolate Pudding, about a king with an incongruous problem. Somehow the palace garden sprouted a chocolate pudding so huge that it is blocking the king's view from his window. What to do? The king tries everything, to no avail. The court jester finds an answer, but he must somehow get the king to think it was his own royal idea. The solution unfolds in a colorful two-page spread that requires no narrative explanation. A Books for Keeps contributor remarked that the story, with its detailed illustrations, provides "plenty to laugh about." Critic Elizabeth J. King enthusiastically recommended The Enormous Chocolate Pudding in the British Book News, citing a "good story line" with "funny, expressive illustrations" that demonstrate the author's sense of "visual and verbal humour."

Anderson is also noted for the sense of humor he demonstrates in numerous joke books for young readers and his "awful truth" books, in which he offers fun facts and quasi-facts about school, grownups, and other aspects of childhood that sometimes puzzle and frustrate young readers everywhere.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Books, October, 1989, review of The Knock Knock Joke Book, p. 22; July, 1991, Tony Bradman, review of The Puffin Book of Royal London, p. 8.

Books for Keeps, May, 1989, review of The Enormous Chocolate Pudding, p. 8; March, 1992, review of The Magic Boomerang; The Magic Present, p. 9; May, 1992, Veronica Halliday, review of Land Ahoy! The Story of Christopher Columbus, p. 22; July, 1992, review of Dreamy Daniel, Brainy Bert, p. 11; May, 1995, review of The Amazing Mark in Creepstone Castle, p. 11; November, 1999, review of MacPelican's American Adventure, p. 24.

British Book News, December, 1987, review of The Enormous Chocolate Pudding, p. 11.

Horn Book Guide, spring, 1997, Kelly A. Ault, review of A Puzzling Day in the Land of the Pharaohs, p. 142; fall, 1998, Patricia Riley, review of MacPelican's American Adventure, p. 399.

Junior Bookshelf, June, 1995, review of Project Pirates: Amazing Facts! Amazing Fun!, p. 98.

Magpies, May, 1995, Kevin Steinberger, review of A Plunder of Pirates and Project Pirates, p. 36.

Publishers Weekly, August 5, 1996, review of A Puzzling Day in the Land of the Pharaohs, p. 442.

School Librarian, August, 1992, review of Dreamy Daniel, Brainy Bert, p. 99; August, 1992, review of Land Ahoy!, p. 105; May, 1995, Elizabeth J. King, review of A Puzzling Day at Castle MacPelican, p. 62; May, 1995, Stuart Hannabuss, review of Project Pirates, p. 68.

School Library Journal, May, 1990, Carolyn Jenks, review of Hiccup Harry, p. 90; June, 1995, JoAnn Rees, review of A Puzzling Day at Castle MacPelican, p. 76; October, 1996, Jane Claes, review of A Puzzling Day in the Land of the Pharaohs, p. 120; August, 1998, Susan Pine, review of MacPelican's American Adventure, p. 132; spring, 2001, Margaret Mallett, review of The Perfect Pizza, p. 17; summer, 2001, Carol Woolley, review of The Bin Bears, p. 73.

Science Books & Films, November, 1992, Barbara Roberts, review of Land Ahoy!, p. 244.

OTHER

Scoular Anderson,http://www.scoularanderson.co.uk (March 8, 2002).*

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