"Once upon a time there was a huge family of children; and they were terribly, terribly naughty." So begins "Nurse Matilda", the first of three books about the no-nonsense nanny who uses magic to rein in the mischievous children in her charge - and changes their lives for ever.
Christianna Brand was born in 1909. As a child she lived with the family of her cousin, Edward Ardizzone. Christianna had many jobs until finally, in 1941, her first crime novel Death in High Heels was published, which was followed by successful crime novels and historical romance as well as children's books. She died in 1988. Edward Ardizzone was born in 1900. He illustrated for the Radio Times, exhibited his art in prestigious galleries and, in 1936, Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain was published - the first of the books. In 1956 Tim All Alone was the first book to win the Kate Greenaway Award. In 1962 Christianna and Edward collaborated on an anthology of stories called Naughty Children, which featured a tale about Nurse Matilda, followed by Nurse Matilda Goes to Town (in 1966) and Nurse Matilda Goes to Hospital (in 1973).