Isabel Thomas

Isabel Thomas

Science writer, award-winning children's author, journalist
Booking enquiry
Isabel Thomas - author tools

Available for

Workshop, Talk, Reading, Interview, Commission a book


Age 5 to 7, Age 7 to 11, Age 11 to 14, Age 14 to 16, Adult


Art, Biography, History, Non-Fiction, Picture book, Science

Book types

Alphabet, Non-fiction for children, Picture book


  • Shortlisted ASE Book of the Year 2021
  • Shortlisted Royal Society Young People's Book Prize 2016
  • Shortlisted Blue Peter Book Awards 2011
  • Shortlisted English 4-11 Picture Book Award 2019
  • Winner Dapeng Children's Nature Book Award 2023
  • Shortlisted ASE Book of the Year 2023
  • Shortlisted The Week Junior Book Awards 2023
  • Shortlisted ASE Book of the Year 2017
  • Winner AAAS Subaru Prize for Excellence in Science Books 2020
  • Winner AAAS Subaru Picture Book Prize 2023


  • Association of British Science Writers
  • Secondary School Governor
  • The Association for Science Education
  • Society of Authors


About me

I am a science writer, children's book author and journalist for children's science magazines Whizz Pop Bang and The Week Junior Science+Nature. I also write for organizations such as BBC Bitesize and Wellcome Trust Explorify, inspiring children from diverse backgrounds to pursue science careers.

With more than 200 published titles, there is a book in my repertoire to delight every child, from the lyrical and atmospheric picture books Moth: An Evolution Story and Fox: A Circle of Life Story, to the quirky Bedtime Book of Impossible Questions. Older children and teenagers will love Exploring the Elements and Full of Life, and for young conservationists and eco-activitists, I've created This Book is Not Rubbish and This Book Will (Help) Cool the Climate

In-person and digital talks and workshops

I love bringing science to the stage and screen, in live events for schools and festivals. In the last few years I have appeared at the Royal Institution, Cheltenham Literature Festival, Isle of Wight Literary Festival, Cheltenham Science Festival, Bradford Literary Festival, Oxford Literary Festival, Bourneville LitFest, Wealden Literary Festival, Linton Bookfest, the AAAS Annual Conference and on BBC Woman’s Hour. I've also spoke to hundreds of children in dozens of school visits.

I have also run virtual events for Donegal Co Libraries, Waterstones, and Greenlight Bookstore NYC, for the Emirates Festival of Literature and for dozens of schools and classes!

I offer full-day or half day visits, starting with a 30-minute assembly and moving on to interactive workshops that integrate science and literacy learning.

Moth / Fox workshops
If you are using Moth or Fox as part of your curriculum, this is the workshop for you! Students will learn how I go about researching and writing a lyrical non-fiction book, meet some real-life moth caterpillars with superpowers, and craft their own science-based art or poetry.

Impossible Questions assembly / talk
Learn why silly questions lead to the BEST science (and non-fiction writing) in a brand-new workshop based on bestselling The Bedtime Book of Impossible Questions.

One Million Insects workshop
This workshop grew out of my recent work with the outreach team at the Darwin Tree of Life project, and my book One Million Insects. Students will learn all about the mindboggling insect multiverse and hone their non-fiction writing skills by borrowing tricks from scientists and artists.

Exploring the Elements talk
A fun introduction to chemistry and the building blocks of matter, asking – how can we write about things we can’t even see? Based on my New York Times book of the year, Exploring the Elements.

Science Writing Bootcamp
A fun, fast-paced workshop designed to inject energy into students’ non-fiction writing, based on a wide range of my books and science writing. Students develop their own ideas for attention-grabbing non-fiction, and learn how to overcome the dreaded blank page.

I also run an online, low-cost course for writers, illustrators, teachers and scientists who would like to turn a great idea into a non-fiction book proposal. Find out more here.

What schools say

" Thank you for the most engaging, stimulating and informative forty minutes via Zoom and for providing brilliant answers to our children's three impossible questions! You have inspired our Y5 children no end!"
–Levendale Primary School, Yarm

"We cannot thank you enough for a thoroughly inspirational afternoon! You were amazing! The children gone home raving about liquid cats and dogs swimming in ice-cream! Thank you so much!"
– Oasis Academy Henderson Avenue, Scunthorpe

"Award winning author, Isabel Thomas, visited on Tuesday 22nd November 2022 and did a wonderful workshop about her books and how science has inspired all of her work. She then did a book signing and officially opened our library. Our Head Boy, Head Girl and Junior Librarians joined in the ceremony. The children all thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and were inspired by this AMAZING author."
– St Adrian's Catholic Primary School, St Albans

"I just wanted to to say, thank you again for taking time out of your day to talk to us. The kids absolutely loved it and certainly felt inspired to hear how you became a writer (one of our SEND boys created his own book right away about space after hearing you talk). We were also impressed by your knowledge about science with all our silly science questions."
– Mosborough Primary School, Sheffield

"Yesterday, children in Year 3 and Year 4 spent the morning meeting children's author, Isabel Thomas, via zoom. Isabel Thomas is a science author who has written many books, including her new book, 'The Bedtime Book of Impossible Questions'. As you can imagine, the children were so excited to combine two of our favourites at Badger Hill: Science and reading.
'We had the opportunity to ask Isabel some 'impossible' science questions ourselves, such as 'Why are bubbles round?'. We really enjoyed our morning learning about being an author and a scientist too!' 
Sebastian said, "It inspired me to read more science books so I can become a scientist."
Pippa added,  " I really want to read The Bedtime book of impossible questions because it makes me think about what I can achieve, and hopefully become an author and write my own book."  Olivia loved the webinar and said. ‘’I enjoyed listening to the impossible questions and also listening to how she answered them.’’
– Badger Hill Academy, Tyne and Wear

“Pupils enjoyed a VIP visit from author Ms Isabel Thomas, on World Book Day, who ran inspirational workshops and activities with the girls. Pre-prep pupils were captivated with story-telling.”
– St Mary’s School, Cambridge

"Thank you so much for your amazing hard work and preparation for the fantastic three events today. It was so lovely to see all the children and teachers enjoying it."
– Little Ealing Primary School, London

“We thoroughly enjoyed having you, and the children (and teachers) had a great time.”
– Kingshott School, Hitchin

“Even some of my reluctant writers have shown renewed enthusiasm for writing since.”
– St Peter’s School, St Albans



Event feedback

We had a great author visit with Isabel Thomas. She inspired our children and they are still talking about it.

Tanya Fuller (The Galfrid School)

Books by Isabel Thomas

Auhtor of more than 280 books including Moth: An Evolution Story, Fox: A Circle of Life Story, The Bedtime Book of Impossible Questions, Exploring the Elements, This Book is Not Rubbish, Full of Life and dozens more for readers of all ages. Features writer for The Week Junior Science + Nature and Whizz Pop Bang magazines.
Thirty Trillion Cells

Thirty Trillion Cells

Do you know what you're made of? The answer is CELLS – about thirty TRILLION of them – all working together to form one awesome human being: YOU. The tiniest building blocks of life are crammed amongst the pages of this book, waiting to be discovered. From individual cells to complex systems, discover how your body moves, grows, breathes, senses, thinks and feels. Find out why you get butterflies in your stomach, how your brain is more complex than the most powerful computer, and that you are home to more bacteria cells than there are stars in the Milky Way. Featuring expansive, artistic illustration that is as beautiful to look at as it is educational, your intricate, incredible cells are worth a closer look.  
Moth: An Evolution Story

Moth: An Evolution Story

Winner AAAS/Subaru Excellence in Science Books 2020 This remarkable retelling of the story of the peppered moth is the perfect introduction to natural selection and evolution for children. 
The Bedtime Book of Impossible Questions

The Bedtime Book of Impossible Questions

Why are bubbles always round? Could I ever touch a rainbow? Why can't I remember being a baby? Have you ever not been able to concentrate because there are SO many questions buzzing round your brain? The Bedtime Book of Impossible Questions will offer answers to the most bamboozling questions and curious queries that you can think of. How many stars are in the night sky? Why don't animals wear clothes? Do plants have feelings? This book will define, debunk and demystify the trickiest of questions and even open your eyes to questions you have never even thought of! With engaging and accessible text and accompanied by exciting, inviting illustrations, The Bedtime Book of Impossible Questions is the perfect bedside companion to delve into when you are wondering if there really is an answer to everything.  
Fox: A Circle of Life Story

Fox: A Circle of Life Story

In the frost-covered forest of early spring, fox is on a mission to find food for her three cubs. As they grow, she teaches them how to survive in the wild. Until one day, fox dies. Her body goes back to earth and grass and air, nourishing the world around her and bringing the forest to life. Death is not just an end, it's also a beginning. Fox: A Circle of Life Story unites story and science to explain this big concept to children who have lost a pet or a loved one, or who simply are curious about death and what happens after we die.  
Exploring the Elements

Exploring the Elements

This artful and accessible guide to the periodic table ― the ultimate reference tool for scientists worldwide ― names all 118 chemical elements and helps young readers understand the remarkable ways we have learned to use them. Graphically stunning layouts feature each element's letter symbol and atomic number, exploring its attributes, characteristics, uses, and interesting stories behind its discovery. Complete with a comprehensive introduction, conclusion, and glossary, this is the perfect introduction to chemistry for inquisitive minds. 
This Book is Not Rubbish

This Book is Not Rubbish

A BookTrust pick for 2020 Discover how YOU can ditch plastic, reduce rubbish and become an eco-warrior, not an eco-worrier, with 50 practical tips to really make a difference! Our planet is in peril and it needs your help! But the good news is that there are loads of easy ways that you can make a difference. From throwing a planet party and ditching straws, to banning glitter and becoming an art-activist, helping to save the planet is not as difficult as you think. Covering issues like plastics, pollution, global warming and endangered animals, this book is full of top tips for kids and families. Discover how to ditch the plastic, reduce your rubbish and start making everyday steps that will make all the difference. It's time to take control of your future and help clear the world of all this rubbish!