Jenny Nimmo

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Jenny Nimmo
Born (1944-01-15) 15 January 1944 (age 76)[1]
Windsor, England, UK
GenreChildren's fantasy and adventure novels, picture books
Notable works
SpouseDavid Wynn Millward[2]
  • Myfanwy (born 1975)
  • Ianto (1976)
  • Gwenhwyfar (1980)

Jenny Nimmo (born 15 January 1944)[1][3] is a British author of children's books, including many fantasy and adventure novels, chapter books, and picture books. Born in England, she has lived mostly in Wales for forty years. She is probably best known for two series of fantasy novels: The Magician Trilogy (1986–1989), contemporary stories rooted in Welsh myth, and Children of the Red King (2002–2010), featuring schoolchildren endowed with magical powers. The Snow Spider, first of the Magician books, won the second annual Nestlé Smarties Book Prize[a] and the 1987 Tir na n-Og Award as the year's best originally English-language book with an authentic Welsh background. The Stone Mouse was highly commended for the 1993 Carnegie Medal.[4][b] Several others of her books have been shortlisted for children's book awards.


Jenny Nimmo was born in Windsor, England.[2][5] She was an only child, and her father died when she was five. She was a voracious reader as a child, which led her to write her own stories to share with friends.[6]

After working for a time in theatre, Nimmo spent several years with the BBC, partly on adapting other writers' stories for television, including 40 episodes (eight "stories") for Jackanory readings.[7] Her first book, The Bronze Trumpeter, began life as a television script.[6] It was published by Angus & Robertson in January 1975.[8]

That year, Nimmo married David Wynn Millward, a Welsh artist and illustrator. Their two daughters and one son were born between 1975 and 1980. She currently lives in Wales, sharing her time between writing and helping her husband with a summer art school.

Millward is the writer or illustrator of a few published books himself, including four collaborations with Nimmo (1994–2000, marked ‡ below).[9] Nimmo and their younger daughter Gwen Millward have collaborated on one picture book written by Jenny and illustrated by Gwen, The Beasties (Egmont UK, 2010).[10] Gwen's first published book as both writer and illustrator was Bear and Bird (Egmont, September 2012).[11][12]


Charlie Bone and the Red King[edit]

Her best-known work may be Children of the Red King, also known as the Charlie Bone series or Red King series, in which Charlie Bone's magical talent embroils him in the sinister intrigues of his new school. By 2006 Charlie Bone titles had been published in nine foreign-language editions. Translations into eleven other languages were in progress.[13][c] Originally it was the Red King Quintet after which Nimmo contracted for a new trilogy.[14] The story climaxes in the fifth book and again in the eighth. Recently there is a new Red King series.[15]


‡ Four 55- to 64-page books are illustrated by Nimmo's husband David Wynn Millward (1994 to 2000).[9]


The Snow Spider and its sequels were adapted for television by the screenwriter Julia Jones, as three miniseries that HTV aired 1989 to 1991. The series introduced Osian Roberts as Gwyn Griffiths with Siân Phillips as grandmother Nain Griffiths, Robert Blythe and Sharon Morgan as his parents, and Gareth Thomas as Mr. Llewellyn.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ For two years there was a single Nestlé Prize for children's books. Three age categories were introduced for 1987 publications and retained as long as the prize continued. Nimmo and The Owl Tree won the 1997 prize in category 6 to 8 years, the middle age group also called "younger readers". By that time there was no overall prize.
  2. ^ Today there are usually eight books on the Carnegie shortlist. According to CCSU some runners up through 2002 were Commended (from 1954) or Highly Commended (from 1966). The latter distinction became approximately annual in 1979; there were 29 highly commended books in 24 years including Nimmo and one other in 1993.
  3. ^ "Jenny's Books" (copyright date 2006) lists forthcoming languages of translation Greek, Portuguese, Dutch, Serbian, Croatian, Norwegian, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, Turkish and Romanian. Meanwhile it displays book covers for three to five volumes in each of nine foreign languages alongside those for the first six volumes in the British and American editions; the sixth was first published in 2007.


  1. ^ a b "Jenny Nimmo". The Wee Web authors & illustrators archive. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Jenny's Biography". Copyright 2006. Jenny Nimmo's Official Website. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  3. ^ "Jenny Nimmo Biography". [2004]. Encyclopedia of World Biography. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  4. ^ "Carnegie Medal Award". 2007(?). Curriculum Lab. Elihu Burritt Library. Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Jenny Nimmo". Contemporary Authors Online. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 23 February 2004. Retrieved 22 January 2006. (subscription required)
  6. ^ a b "Jenny Nimmo". Scholastic: Teachers. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  7. ^ a b Jenny Nimmo on IMDb. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  8. ^ a b c Jenny Nimmo at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Millward, David Wynn". WorldCat. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  10. ^ a b "The beasties" (first edition). WorldCat. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  11. ^ Gwen Millward: Welcome to my Website. Gwen Millward. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  12. ^ "Millward, Gwen". WorldCat. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  13. ^ "Welcome to the Charlie Bone Page". Jenny Nimmo's Official Website. Copyright 2006. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  14. ^ "New Charlie Bone trilogy for Egmont". The Bookseller 29 July 2005, p. 15. Retrieved 22 January 2006 via InfoTrac.
  15. ^ a b c d Charlie Bone Universe series listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 26 April 2012. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  16. ^ a b c d "Jenny's Books". Copyright 2006. Jenny Nimmo's Official Website. Retrieved 19 October 2012.

External links[edit]