Zehra Hicks

Zehra Hicks

Children's author, Illustrator

Booking enquiry
Zehra Hicks - author tools

Available for

Workshop, Talk, Reading, Interview, Commission a book


Age 1 to 3, Age 3 to 5, Age 5 to 7, Age 7 to 11, Age 16 to 18+, Further Education, University, Adult

Book types

Picture book


  • 'Read it Again!' Cambridgeshire Children's Picture Book Award 2012 - Shortlist
  • Heart of Hawick Children's Picture Book Award 2012 - Winner
  • Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2012 - Longlist
  • Kate Greenaway Medal 2016 - Nominated
  • Teach Primary Book Awards 2018 (Shortlist)
  • Nottingham Children's Book Award 2018 (Shortlist)


I'm fully booked for World Book Day 2024 but I'm free other days that week. I also have days available the week before and after.

I love visiting schools, it’s one of the best parts of my job - to inspire children and encourage creativity through drawing and writing. As well as being very active doing talks and workshops in schools, I run creative after-school Illustration Clubs for KS1 and KS2 to help children gain confidence in drawing, developing characters and developing engaging stories and comics which gives them an essential creative outlet outside the school curriculum. 

I can run workshops from Nursery up to Y6, but I can also visit secondary schools, 6th Form colleges, libraries and literary festivals. I am a part-time illustration tutor at Chelsea College of Arts and Putney School of Art and Design on their Book Illustration courses. I'm very happy to do assemblies and talks too. I've even been on Channel 5 news to talk about the importance of reading at bedtime, so I'm certainly not phased by speaking to a crowd!

Workshops can be catered to individual class needs, usually in class-sized groups. For Reception and Y1, after reading some of my books and Q&As, we usually do a creative drawing session which helps them explore their imagination. From Y2-Y6 we can look more into character creation, planning a story using methods I use, or making a mini comic, all of which can be developed into longer stories using words and pictures if time allows. For the older classes I can also show how a book dummy is made and bring in my first sketches and show how they developed into published stories so they can see and understand the process.

"A HUGE thank you for coming to PGP. You were amazing and pitched each workshop perfectly for the year groups. You’ve received lots of wonderful feedback from other staff members and the books are fab!"
Hannah Patton, Head of English, Parsons Green Prep, London

"Zehra came to Horsham to work with a group of thirty able writers from local schools. The children were fascinated by the process of producing a picture book story for younger children. Zehra’s ideas and drawings were an inspiration to them. They planned, and started to create, their own picture books, which they were keen to take home to finish. I would thoroughly recommend a visit from Zehra."
Vee Willis, North Heath School, Horsham, Sussex

“Our children enjoyed planning stories with Zehra and it lead to the children enthusiastically writing their own stories. Some of our reluctant boy writers were most inspired as they were enthused by the idea of planning their work through drawings.”
Maureen Basford, Abbots Ripton Primary School, Cambridgeshire

“Zehra delighted the pupils in Reception, Year 1 and 2 with her wonderful illustrations, fantastic stories and inspirational ideas to get them started on writing their own stories.”
Anisa Lewis, Surbiton High Boys’ Preparatory School, London

"Year 1 loved Zehra's books and the classes had lots of questions to ask her about how she wrote and illustrated her stories. Her enthusiastic manner inspired the children to develop their own ideas and they learnt about the importance of drafting in the process of authorship. An exciting and valuable learning experience!"
Helen Vidal, Stamford Green Primary School, Surrey

I live just outside London in Epsom in Surrey, and I'd be happy to do events within 100 miles. I am also very happy to do signings either over lunch or after the event. For further information including my fees, please email me above.

Event feedback

Zehra led a series of absolutely wonderful workshops and assemblies. The kids hugely enjoyed themselves and told us it was their favourite part of our World Book week celebrations. I would highly recommend Zehra to any school. Thank you!

Rebecca Bedding (James Wolfe Primary)

It was a pleasure welcoming Zehra to our school. She worked with each class and the children really enjoyed her visit. The work shops were at exactly the right level (Zehra and I worked to together to plan the sessions) and the Year 2 were able to carry on with the work for the rest of the week. Zehra did book signing after school as well. I would recommend a visit from Zehra for Key Stage 1 children.

Ruth Gooch (St Nicholas CEVC Infant School)

Books by Zehra Hicks

I've written and illustrated eight books and I've illustrated five with different authors. I'm currently working on my fourteenth book. Most of my books are character-based about animals, dinosaurs, monsters, and humans and their emotions. I like to make fun books, but I like to talk about different emotions too, and to help children navigate through them.
‎ 978-1839132797
Panda And Penguin Find A Thing

Panda And Penguin Find A Thing

When mystery device comes between two best friends, will they learn to share, or decide they're better off without it at all . . . ? Panda and Penguin are best friends . . . until they find the Thing. The Thing is exciting – it has a flashing screen and makes funny ringing noises – but only one of them can play with it at a time. The Thing comes between them, but is anything worth losing their friendship? A funny and lighthearted tale that cautions against letting technology cause problems between friends, for the very youngest children. 
When Dinosaurs Walked The Earth

When Dinosaurs Walked The Earth

Laugh and learn with this picture book set in the days WHEN DINOSAURS WALKED THE EARTH! Dinosaurs chase each other in this hilarious explanation of the food chain. 
Watch Out! There's A Monster Coming!

Watch Out! There's A Monster Coming!

Monster is HUNGRY, and he's coming to find... YOU! He creeps through the streets, hunting for his favourite snack. You’d better hide, because you know what he likes to eat. Something tasty, something sweet. It’s… CAKE, of course! This is a true thrill-a-minute for the very littlest ones in your life, from picture book favourites Karl Newson and Zehra Hicks. 
Cheeky Monkey

Cheeky Monkey

Cheeky Monkey is ready to play! But oh dear - Monkey's games are a bit too boisterous for the other animals. Maybe Lion will play with Monkey . . . but is it a good idea to wake Lion up during nap time? A sweet and funny tale about learning to play nicely. 
Pug Hug

Pug Hug

Pug is desperate for a hug. But however hard he tries to hug the other animals, he can't get a hug from anyone! Cat doesn't like hugs, Rabbit is too busy munching carrots and hamster is just too quick! Maybe Croc will give Pug a hug . . . or does he have other ideas?! A sweet and funny tale about finding the perfect hug for Pug! 
The Problem With Problems

The Problem With Problems

Have you ever met a Problem? They come in all shapes and sizes, and can pop up at the most inconvenient times. But you should know some things about them that will help you make them disappear... This one-of-a-kind picture book will help little ones and grown-ups alike deal with their pesky problems, from award-winning children's poet Rachel Rooney and Macmillan Prize commended illustrator Zehra Hicks. For fans of Ed Vere and Kes Gray. 
The Worrying Worries

The Worrying Worries

What happens when you get a Worry? They can follow you around everywhere, and they are HUNGRY. They feed on your fears and put sad thoughts in your head until they’ve grown so big, it can be hard to get anything done! Luckily, the Worry Expert knows exactly what to do. 
The Fears You Fear

The Fears You Fear

What happens if you meet a Fear? It's a frightening thing, and it's different for us all. Some are helpful and keep us safe, others cannot be explained. You can fight them and tame them, but sometimes, you might find you were mistaken, and the Fear was really excitement all along! One thing's for sure... often the things you fear are more afraid of you. 
Giraffe and Frog

Giraffe and Frog

A bold, funny book about friendship and (not) listening. Giraffe and Frog are going to the beach . . . but where is it, again? Giraffe is convinced of the route and sets off confidently, striding ahead of Frog . . . but when they arrive, Frog knows that's not the beach! Where's the water? Where's the sand? Can they EVER find the right way? Giraffe and Frog is a hilarious summertime caper that children will love, complete with Zehra Hicks' trademark fresh, fizzing, carefree illustrations. It will strike a particular chord with anyone who's ever argued with a friend - especially about directions! 
Flying Lemurs

Flying Lemurs

A funny, reassuring story about overcoming fears and discovering hidden talents. Everyone in the lemur family is good at jumping - even Grandma, whose speciality is being shot from a cannon. Everyone, that is, except the littlest lemur. He just can't do it, no matter how hard he tries. But there are so many jumps to choose from, surely he will manage one, and be able to take his rightful place on stage with the rest of the troupe? Flying Lemurs is a charming, comic story for would-be acrobats everywhere. Colourful, bold, and bursting with energy, this is visual storytelling at its best from the talented author/illustrator Zehra Hicks. You'll be rooting for the little lemur from the start as he gradually overcomes his fears and finds his true calling in style. 
All Mine!

All Mine!

In this bold, anarchic story, poor Mouse is just about to tuck into a sandwich, when in swoops Seagull and gobbles it up. Mouse's crisps aren't safe either . . . what a greedy and ill-mannered bird he is! But Mouse has a fiendish trick up his sleeve, which just might cure Seagull of his thieving ways. A brilliantly funny cautionary tale; the strong visual narrative and energetic dialogue will make it a sure-fire hit at story time. With striking, brightly coloured artwork and hilarious slapstick humour, this delicious comic caper is a delight.