Sage, Angie 1952-

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Sage, Angie 1952-


Born 1952, in London, England; father a publisher; married; children: Laurie, Lois. Education: B.A. Hobbies and other interests: Sailing, the sea, boats, Cornwall, rock music.


Home—Cornwall, England.


Writer and illustrator.


(With Chris Sage) The Trouble with Babies, Viking Kestrel (London, England), 1989.

(With Chris Sage) Happy Baby, Dial Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 1990.

(With Chris Sage) Sleepy Baby, Dial Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 1990.

(With Chris Sage) That's Mine, That's Yours, Viking (New York, NY), 1991.

(And adaptor) Give a Little Love: Stories of Love and Friendship, illustrated by Valeria Petrone, Element Children's Books (Shaftesbury, England), 1999, Element Books (Scranton, PA), 2001.

The Lonely Puppy, illustrated by Edward Eaves, Puffin (London, England), 2003.


Monkeys in the Jungle, Methuen (London, England), 1989.

(With Laurie Sage) The Little Blue Book of the Marie Celeste, Puffin (London, England), 1993.

The Little Pink Book of the Woolly Mammoth, Puffin (London, England), 1994.

The Amazing Mushroom Mix-up, Young Lions (London, England), 1994.

Bats, Boilers, and Blackcurrant Jelly, Young Lions (London, England), 1994.

I Spy Baby!, Puffin (London, England), 1994.

Muriel and the Monster Maniac Spell, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1995.

Muriel and the Mystery Tour, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1995.

The Little Green Book of the Last Lost Dinosaur, Puffin (London, England), 1995.

Ellie's Slugbucket, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1996.

Ellie and the Wolves, Hodder Children's (London, England), 1996.

My Blue Book: A Play-doh Play Book (board book; packaged with Play-doh), Campbell (London, England), 1996.

Allie's Crocodile, Puffin (London, England), 1997.

Shark Island, Puffin (London, England), 1997.

In My Home, Dial Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 1997.

On the Move, Dial Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 1997.

Dear Alien, A. & C. Black (London, England), 1998.

Crocodile Canal, Puffin (London, England), 1998.

Stack-a-Car: Read the Books! Make the Toy!, David & Charles Children's Books (London, England), 1999.

Hello Ducks!, Hodder Children's (London, England), 2001.

Mouse, Puffin (London, England), 2001.

Molly and the Birthday Party, Peachtree (Atlanta, GA), 2001.

Molly at the Dentist Peachtree (Atlanta, GA), 2001.

No Banana!, Hodder Children's (London, England), 2001.

Work included in anthology The Big Book of Pet Stories, Viking (London, England), 2001.


Magyk illustrated by Mark Zug, Katherine Tegen Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Flyte, illustrated by Mark Zug, Katherine Tegen Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Physik, illustrated by Mark Zug, Katherine Tegen Books (New York, NY), 2007.

Queste, illustrated by Mark Zug, Katherine Tegen Books (New York, NY), 2008.

The Magykal Papers, illustrated by Mark Zug, Katherine Tegen Books (New York, NY), 2009.

Syren, illustrated by Mark Zug, Katherine Tegen Books (New York, NY), 2009.


My Haunted House, illustrated by Jimmy Pickering, Katherine Tegen Books (New York, NY) 2006.

The Sword in the Grotto, illustrated by Jimmy Pickering, Katherine Tegen Books (New York, NY) 2006.

Frognapped, illustrated by Jimmy Pickering, Katherine Tegen Books (New York, NY) 2007.

Vampire Brat, illustrated by Jimmy Pickering, Katherine Tegen Books (New York, NY) 2007.

Ghostsitters, illustrated by Jimmy Pickering, Katherine Tegen Books (New York, NY) 2008.


Fran Hunia, adaptor, Ananse and the Sky God, Ladybird Books (Loughborough, England), 1980.

Enid Blyton's Ruby Storybook, Knight (Sevenoaks, Kent, England), 1980.

The Nightmare Song (lyrics from Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Iolanthe), Angus & Robertson (London, England), 1981.

Enid Blyton's Turquoise Storybook, Hodder & Stoughton (Sevenoaks, Kent, England), 1983.

Enid Blyton's Coral Storybook, Hodder & Stoughton (Sevenoaks, Kent, England), 1983.

Saviour Pirotta, Jasper Joe and the Best Trick in the World, Blackie (London, England), 1988.

Jana Novotny Hunter, Get up, Ben!, Viking (London, England), 1991.

Christine Morton, The Pig That Barked, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1992.

Susan Mayes, The Usborne Book of Kites, Usborne (London, England), 1992.

Peter Holland, The Usborne Book of Paper Superplanes, Usborne (London, England), 1992.

Linda Fisher, Shape and Colour, Headway (London, England), 1992.

Tony Mitton, Nobody Laughed, Collins Educational (London, England), 1994.

Sarah Bowen, Laura's Granny: Explaining Death to Children, Scripture Union (London, England), 1995.

Jill Atkins, The Moonsnoop, Heinemann Educational (Oxford, England), 1998.


Angie Sage ranges widely in her writing for children, from picture books for the youngest children to fantasy novels for middle-grade readers, such as her popular

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"Septimus Heap" and "Araminta Spookie" series. Although Sage trained as a radiographer and planned to attend medical school in her native England, she ultimately made the switch to art school. After creating dozens of original self-illustrated picture books and contributing artwork to texts by other several authors, Sage has more recently passed on the illustration duties; Mark Zug brings to life her "Septimus Heap" stories while Jimmy Pickering captures the weird whimsy in Sage's "Araminta Spookie" saga.

One of Sage's first books for children, Happy Baby, is a board book for toddlers that she created with Chris Sage. In the simple story, an appealingly drawn baby goes through the activities of his average day. Similarly, Sleepy Baby follows a drowsy tot as sleep approaches. In a playful twist, the baby's demeanor changes abruptly on the last page: sleepy baby is suddenly wide awake, and happy baby wails out a complaint against the world. The book's pleasing colors and first-person narration "are sure to draw children in," noted a contributor to Publishers Weekly.

In Molly and the Birthday Party Sage uses a lift-the-flap-format book to allow children to discover for themselves what Molly the Monster is doing next. When Molly attends Olly's birthday party, she does not want to give up the present she has brought. She plays games and wins a prize, but only after she sees Olly's other friends give him presents is she ready to offer hers. In Molly at the Dentist, the reluctant Molly resists letting the dentist examine her teeth. When he takes out a small dental mirror, however, Molly agrees to have a look along with him. In School Library Journal Laura Scott called Molly's adventures "treats for storytime or laptime."

Sage tackles the sometimes tricky subject of sharing in That's Mine, That's Yours. Here an older sister butts heads with her baby sister when the younger of the pair becomes more interested in the older's belongings than her own. The older sister "displays admirable patience" as she tries to explain to her sibling that certain objects are "mine," and other objects are "yours," observed a Publishers Weekly reviewer. At first, the baby fails to grasp the concept, and tugging matches between the sisters ensue. Kindly big sister finally gives in, and in the end little sister shares too when the duo lie down for a nap in little sister's crib. The critic also called That's Mine, That's Yours a "good choice for toddlers as well as older siblings."

Sage turns to older readers in her "Septimus Heap" fantasy series for middle-school readers. In Magyk, she introduces the magically gifted Septimus, a boy born with powers only given to the seventh son of a seventh son. Surprisingly, Septimus appears to be killed in the first paragraph of the first book of his series. However, ten years later a powerful necromancer named DomDaniel arrives at the home of the large Heap family. Jenna Heap soon learns that she is not a member of the Heap family after all; she is actually a princess who was hidden among the raucous family of six boys a decade earlier. As Jenna and her protector, ExtraOrdinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand, flee from the menacing DomDaniel, other members of the Heap family join them, among them the unremarkable brother known as Boy 412. When Boy 412 demonstrates stunning powers and awesome magical potential, readers clue in that the infant Septimus was declared dead a little too early. In Booklist, Jennifer A. Mattson cited "Sage's fluent, charismatic storytelling" and character development, while a Kirkus Reviews contributor called Magyk "a quickreading, stand-alone, deliciously spellbinding series opener."

Jenna and Septimus return in Flyte, as DomDaniel is reconstituted and continues to plan their demise. Now apprenticed to ExtraOrdinary wizard Marcia, Septimus works to help sister Jenna while his jealous brother Simon Heap teams up with DomDaniel to thwart both siblings' efforts. The villainy of DomDaniel is eclipsed by the ghost of an evil queen in Physik, as Septimus is pulled 500 years into the past. Ordered to apprentice himself to an ancient alchemist, Septimus is soon joined by several others from his own era, including Princess Jenna and several members of the Heap family. In Queste Nicko Heap and friend Snorri become trapped in the past, forcing Septimus and his sister Jenna to locate the place where all paths through Time meet in order to free his brother and his girlfriend. Although School Library Journal contributor Emily Rodriguez noted the sometimes-confusing cast of characters in Flyte, she added that fantasy buffs "will find themselves quickly immersed in [the author's] … imaginative world, moving from one well-crafted adventure to another at a suspenseful pace." Even Harry Potter fans, "won over by Sage's confiding, whimsical tone and tightly interlocking plot elements, [readers] will welcome Septimus Heap as their second-favorite wizard," predicted Mattson. Reviewing Physik, Mattson concluded that fans of the "Septimus Heap" novels will enjoy the author's "quirky storytelling, [which is] marked by a sprawling, omniscient purview and plenty of entertaining tangents."

Sage turns from frightening time-travel adventure to humorously creepy, spine-tickling tales in her "Araminta Spookie" series of middle-grade novels. In series opener My Haunted House, Araminta lives in a haunted house with her aunt Tabby and Uncle Drac. When Aunt Tabby attempts to put Spook House on the market because of the costs of maintaining it, Araminta gets help from several resident ghosts to keep interested real-estate agents fleeing from the house. When the fun-loving Wizzard family shows up, family members' love of ghostly haunts make them a perfect fit as roommates. Noting that Pickering's illustrations "add the perfect mood" for the story, School Library Journal critic Amelia Jenkins wrote that My Haunted House serves up "fun escapism for readers who like their spooky without the scary," while in Publishers Weekly the critic dubbed Sage's novel a "humorous, fast-paced … caper."

The "Araminta Spookie" series continues in The Sword in the Grotto, as Araminta and Wanda Wizzard join Edward the ghost and risk a trip into a hidden tunnel in Spook House. Their goal: to locate a long-missing sword that would make the perfect birthday gift for chief Spook House ghost Sir Horace. Frognapped finds the two girls on the hunt for Mr. Wizzard's five acrobatic frogs, even when the trail leads them to a bizarre marine park that has been constructed on the property of their crabby neighbor Old Morris. Uncle Drac's spoiled nephew is a guest at Spook House in Vampire Brat, while Ghostsitters finds the house thrown into chaos by a pair of poltergeists who moves in while Tabby and Drac are away on holiday. According to School Library Journal critic Walter Minkel, Frognapped will appeal to middle graders "who like the idea of spooky things such as secret passages and ghosts," but would like to avoid more gruesome fare.

Sage invests all of her characters with a sense of humor, an enjoyment in the company of others (whether ghost or human), and the ability to deal with oddities life as they happen. In an interview for, she specifically reflected on the cast of her "Septimus Heap" novels. "I like their chaotic acceptance of life, and the fact that they don't do what they are told by authority if they think it is wrong," she explained. "Stuff happens to them that makes their life difficult at times but they don't moan about things, they just get on and sort it out as best they can. They are remarkably accepting of other people, I think because they are so strong as a unit." "They are also a family which becomes separated by circumstances," Sage added, "and I wanted to show that families can still be close to each other and care for each other even though they live apart."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, March 15, 2005, Jennifer Mattson, review of Magyk, p. 1295; May 15, 2006, Jennifer Mattson, review of Flyte, p. 59; April 1, 2007, Jennifer Mattson, review of Physik, p. 52; May 15, 2008, Jennifer Mattson, review of Queste, p. 56.

Christian Parenting Today, November-December, 2001, review of Molly and the Birthday Party and Molly at the Dentist, p. 60.

Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2005, review of Magyk, p. 125; March 1, 2007, review of Physik, p. 231; April 15, 2008, review of Queste.

Publishers Weekly, June 29, 1990, review of Happy Baby and Sleepy Baby, p. 99; March 22, 1991, review of That's Mine, That's Yours, p. 79; August 9, 1999, review of Stack-a-Car: Read the Books! Make the Toy!, p. 355; January 31, 2000, review of Give a Little Love: Stories of Love and Friendship, p. 109; January 3, 2005, review of Magyk, p. 561; August 14, 2006, review of My Haunted House, p. 205.

School Library Journal, August, 2000, Susan Helpler, review of Give a Little Love, p. 164; November, 2001, Laura Scott, review of Molly and the Birthday Party, p. 136; April, 2005, Steve Engelfried, review of Magyk, p. 140; June, 2006, Emily Rodriguez, review of Flyte, p. 165; February, 2007, Amelia Jenkins, review of My Haunted House, p. 96; June, 2007, Emily Rodriguez, review of Physik, p. 159; September, 2007, Walter Minkel, review of Frognapped, p. 175; June, 2008, Elizabeth Bird, review of Queste, p. 150.

Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2005, review of Magyk, p. 13.


BookBrowse Web site, (January 28, 2009), interview with Sage.

Septimus Heap Web site, (January 28, 2009), "Angie Sage."