Author & Illustrators


AUTHOR   Zaro Weil




Zaro Weil (with Spot and Clementine)

Zaro Weil lives in an old farm on a little hill in southern France with her husband and two sheepdogs, Spot and Clementine, alongside a host of birds, insects, badgers, wild boars, crickets, donkeys, goats, hares and loads more.  She has been, and continues to be, many things: dancer, theatre director, actress, poet, playwright, educator, antique American quilt collector and historian, author, publisher and a few more.

Zaro has written a number of books, including several books of children’s poetry.  Mud, Moon and Me was published by Orchard Books, UK and Houghton Mifflin, USA.  Her latest book Firecrackers was co-published by Troika Books and ZaZaKids Books in March 2018.  It is an anthology of poems, haiku, raps, rhymes, fairy tales and more, and is illustrated by Jo Riddell.  It has been shortlisted for the North Somerset Teachers Poetry Prize. It has also been shortlisted for the Teachers Book Awards Poetry Prize.

She has written two new books which will be published in Spring 2019, Spot Guevara Hero Dog…illustrated by Katy Riddell.. a short novel for 7-9 year olds.. and Cherry Moon… illustrated by Junli Song anthology of nature poetry.

In March 2018 she was invited to give a talk on Children and Poetry at the National Conference of the Federation of Reading Groups.

In September 2018, she was invited to appear on a poetry panel at the National YLG Conference.

While living in America, Zaro founded the ‘Metro Theater Company’ (Circus) and was, for over 10 years,  its artistic director, writer-in-residence, and a member of the performing ensemble. The company won several awards at that time including the Winifred Ward Prize for ‘Best Children’s Theatre Company in America,’ from the American Theatre Association, The Jennie Heiden Award for ‘Excellence in Professional Children’s Theatre’ awarded by the Children’s Theatre Association of America, and The Phoenix and Future Award Prize for ‘Outstanding Cultural Acheivment’ in Saint Louis, Missouri. Under her direction, Metro Theatre Circus was one of the companies selected to pioneer the ‘Artist-in-the-Schools’ program funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. The company was invited to perform on numerous occasions at the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC as well as in many other Museums, Universities and Art Centers across America.

Zaro was on the adjunct faculty of both Webster University in St Louis, Missouri and Washington University teaching both dance for children and creative arts in the Masters of Arts of Teaching program. She has taught creative arts for children and adults  in schools and universities across America. She studied modern dance and poetry writing at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri.

She has been collecting antique American quilts for many years. Her extraordinary quilt collection has been featured in a variety of publications and has been displayed in special shows throughout America and the UK. She has written two books about the history of American women and quilting; “The American Quilt Story” (Harper Collins, Rodale Books), and, “Quilts, A Beautiful History” (MQ Publications)

After moving to London , she founded and was CEO and Publisher for 16 years of a publishing company there; MQ Publications, LTD. The company grew from publishing a few books on quilts the first year to publishing a wide range of non-fiction titles which sold throughout world.

Zaro wrote a book of children’s poetry, Mud, Moon and Me published by Orchard Books UK and Houghton Mifflin, USA. Her poetry for children has appeared in many anthologies.

Following are some reviews ofMud, Moon and Me.

“Zaro Weil’s evanescent and whimsical Mud, Moon and Me addresses the child alone more than the kid gregarious and o ers, as true poetry invariably does, the authentic experience which lies in wait for its reader. (Her) minimalist observations have a dandelion-clock appeal. They seem to blow you over as you read them, but the child that stops to think will discover that they are still hanging in the air.”

The Independent

“Zaro Weil offers vivaciously imaginative verse in Mud, Moon and Me , with big airy print and chirpy little drawings by Jo Burroughs.”

The Guardian

“Zaro Weil, an American in London, brings together 50 poems in her elegant collection, Mud, Moon and Me . Gentility and quietness pervade the poems. The subject matters are common place yet their treatment is refreshing and a mite surreal. An unusual and interesting collection for all ages.”

Junior Education

Mud, Moon and Me is sensitive and sometimes whimsical verse. The language is often deliciously impolite. It is the imaginative talk of mother to child, small and cosy; a delightful duet between word and image.”

The Times


Island of the Sun, ed. Angela Huth, Orchard Books, 1989

Random House Book for Young Readers, Random House, 1995

Casting a Spell and Other Poems: an Anthology of New Poems, ed.
Angela Huth, Orchard Books, 1996

A Year Full of Poems, Oxford University Press, 1996

A Pocket full of Stars, ed. Michael Martchenko, Scholastic Books, 1999

One Hundred Years of Poetry for Children, ed. Michael Harrison,
Oxford University Press, 2000, 2007

Peace Begins with Me: ed. Jill Bennett, A collection of Poems, Oxford
University Press, 2

Very Best (almost) Friends, 1991-2001, Candlewick Press

The Sun in Me: Poems About the Planet, ed. Judith Nicholls, Barefoot Books, 2003 and 2008

Nelson Language Arts 6, Going the Distance, Nelson Publishers 1997

Zen Poems, Bassano andManu Andre Sollier, MQ Publications, 2002

Read Me First: A Poem for Every Day of the Year, ed. Geogina Ripper, Macmillan Children’s Books, 2003

Reading the Sidewalk, Pearson Educational, 2015

The Children’s Book of Poems, Prayers and Meditations, Element Children’s Books, 1998

The Barefoot Book of Earth Poems, ed, Judith Nichols, Barefoot Books 2016

 Cup of Starshine: Poems and Pictures for Young Children, ed Jill Bennett, Houghton Mifflin 1991

I am the Seed that Grew the Tree-A Poem for Everday of the Year, 

selected by Fiona Waters, Nosy Crow and National Trust, 2018 





Jo Riddell has a studio in an old coach house at the bottom of her garden which she shares with her husband Chris. Jo also works at her studio which she shares with Heike Roesel at New England House, Brighton. After a B.A. degree at Brighton University she worked in children’s books, publishing twelve books over ten years. Since returning to printmaking and painting she has found a welcome freedom to express herself, inspiration coming from family, found objects, and the landscapes of Sussex and Norfolk.





Katy Riddell is a young and imaginative illustrator with a BA Hons in Illustration and Animation from Manchester Metropolitan University. She grew up in Brighton and was obsessed with drawing from a young age. Plenty of encouragement from her parents, both artists and illustrators, led her to spend hours writing and illustrating her own stories, which her father (award winning illustrator Chris Riddell) collected throughout the years.  Originally drawn to Fine Art, Katy rediscovered her love for illustrating children’s books in her gap year and decided to pursue it as a career. Since graduating, Katy has worked on a variety of commissions  as well as developing her own projects. She loves working with children, and currently runs an art club at her local school. She lives and works in Manchester.





 Junli Song is an artist and storyteller with a rather unusual background, having previously studied economics and international development at the University of Chicago and then the University of Oxford, respectively. However, her love of art and books led her back to the creative path, and she completed an MA in Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art in 2018.

During the course of her master’s program Junli was introduced to printmaking and she soon developed an obsession with screen print, colour palettes, pattern and beautiful paper. Following the completion of her MA, Junli won a fellowship at Spudnik Press, a printmaking collective in her hometown of Chicago. Cherry Moon is her first published book project.