Maland, Nick

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Maland, Nick


Born in England; married; children: Eloise, Aldo (son). Education: London University, B.A. (English and drama), 1981.


Home—North London, England; France. Agent—Eunice McMullen Children's Literary Agent, Ltd., Low Ibbotsholme Cottage, Off Bridge La., Troutbeck Bridge, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 1HU, England.


Illustrator. Formerly worked in London theatre as an actor and director; freelance commercial illustrator and editorial cartoonist.

Awards, Honors

Mother Goose Award shortlist, 1996, for Welcome Night; Children's Book Award, 1998, for Brave Whale by Alan Temperley; Parenting magazine award, 1997, for Big Blue Whale by Nicola Davies; Victoria & Albert Museum Illustration Award, 2003, for You've Got Dragons by Kathryn Cave; British Society of Illustrators Silver Medal, and Stockport Children's Book Award, both 2005, both for Snip Snap! by Mara Bergman; British Book Trust Early Years Award shortlist, 2007, for Oliver Who Would Not Sleep! by Bergman.


Richard Brown and Kate Ruttle, selectors, Welcome Night (poetry), Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, England), 1996.

Nicola Davies, Big Blue Whale, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 1997.

Tony Mitton, The Seal Hunter, Scholastic (London, England), 1998.

Berlie Doherty, The Forsaken Mermen and Other Story Poems, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1998.

Alan Temperley, The Brave Whale, Scholastic (London, England), 1999.

William Mayne, Imogen and the Ark, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1999.

Kathryn Cave, The Boy Who Became an Eagle, Dorling Kindersley (New York, NY), 2000.

Kathryn Cave, You've Got Dragons, Hodder Children's (London, England), 2002, Peachtree (Atlanta, GA), 2003.

Pauline Stewart, Sunshine Showers and Four o'Clock, Bodley Head (London, England), 2000.

Kathryn Cave, The Brave Little Grork, Hodder Children's (London, England), 2002.

Kathryn Cave, Friends, Hodder Children's (London, England), 2004, published as That's What Friends Do, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2004.

Mara Bergman, Snip Snap! What's That?, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Angela McAllister, A Place for Middle, Hodder Children's (London, England), 2007.

Mij Kelly, Giants, Hodder Children's (London, England), 2007.

Pippa Goodhart, Glog, Walker Books (London, England), 2007.

Mara Bergman, Oliver Who Would Not Sleep!, Alfred A. Levine (New York, NY), 2007.

Mara Bergman, Yum! Yum! What Fun!, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 2009.

Contributor of cartoons to periodicals, including Times Educational Supplement, London Times, London Observer, Guardian, and Independent.


Big Blue Whale was adapted as an audio version by Random House, 2008.


After graduating from college in the early 1980s, British artist and illustrator Nick Maland embarked on a career in the dramatic arts, acting and directing for London's "fringe" theatre. Eventually, however, his interests turned to drawing, and he has since become well known for the editorial cartoons he creates for such major London newspapers as the Times, Observer, Guardian, and Independent. Maland is also well know to younger people as the illustrator of picture books by Kathryn Cave, Mara Bergman, and Nicole Davies, several of which have garnered praise from critics and recognition from juries for major awards. Maland lives with his family in London, where he also shares studio space with fellow children's book illustrator Sam Childs.

One of Maland's early works, Big Blue Whale by Davies, introduces young children to one of the biggest creatures to ever live on Earth, showing how magical the whale is. The illustrator's pen-and-ink and watercolor art, featuring ocean tones, has what Horn Book contributor Ellen Fader described as a "flowing quality" that pairs well with Davies' "brisk … storytelling." In his work for Cave's You've Got Dragons, a story that addresses and mollifies youngsters' worries, he creates "toothy but disarmingly tubby dragons" that a Kirkus Review critic asserted will entertain rather than frighten young children. In Publishers Weekly a reviewer described Maland's illustrations as "energetic," adding that they "demonstrate a wide array of perspectives and dashes of silliness." Calling the book "reassuring," GraceAnne A. DeCandido also enjoyed Maland's "cheerful" images, with their pastel tones and concluded that You've Got Dragons is "a great choice for the walking worried."

Maland earned a Silver Medal from England's prestigious Society of Illustrators for Snip Snap! What's That?, one of several picture-book collaborations with writer Bergman. Called an "offbeat fantasy" by Booklist contributor Carolyn Phelan, Snip Snap! follows a toothy alligator as it emerges from the sewer, strolls up a city street, enters an apartment building, and barges into the home of three startled children. As rendered by the artist, the story's "big, scaly intruder positively exudes toothy menace," according to a Kirkus Reviews writer, although a Publishers Weekly writer explained that "the goofy gothic mood" embodied in Maland's "etching-like pictures and melodramatic characterizations" is countered by the illustrator's use of warm-toned watercolor hues that "give … strong hint that the children are not on the menu." In depicting the ultimate victory experienced by the youngsters as they frighten the 'gator away, Maland's "expressive" ink-and-watercolor illustrations bring the story to life "with wit and style," Phelan added.

Together with Snip Snap!, Oliver Who Would Not Sleep! is one of the books featuring Maland's art that has been released in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Bolstered by what a Kirkus Reviews contributor described as "whimsically detailed watercolor and line illustrations," Bergman's text for the book describes the travails of young Oliver Donnington Rimington-Sneep, a boy whose battle to fall asleep in a room full of fun toys is captured in a sing-song rhyme. Reviewing Maland's artwork for Oliver Who Would Not Sleep!, Kara Schaff Dean wrote in School Library Journal that his "fanciful" images help make the book "an excellent selection for pajama storytimes."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, September 1, 1997, Ellen Mandel, review of Big Blue Whale, p. 128; October 15, 2003, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of You've Got Dragons, p. 416; March 1, 2005, Carolyn Phelan, review of Snip Snap! What's That?, p. 1201.

Horn Book, May-June, 1997, Ellen Fader, review of Big Blue Whale, p. 338.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2003, review of You've Got Dragons, p. 1070; April 1, 2005, review of Snip Snap!, p. 413; August 1, 2007, review of Oliver Who Would Not Sleep!

Publishers Weekly, October 20, 2003, review of You've Got Dragons, p. 54; May 9, 2005, review of Snip Snap!, p. 68.

School Library Journal, December, 2003, Steven Engelfried, review of You've Got Dragons, p. 111; November, 2004, Martha Topol, review of That's What Friends Do, p. 94; June, 2005, Linda Ludke, review of Snip Snap!, p. 104; September, 2007, Kara Schaff Dean, review of Oliver Who Would Not Sleep!, p. 157.


Hodder Children's Web site, (December 15, 2008), "Nick Maland."