John was born in Carlisle in 1941. As a child his favourite poem was Albert and the Lion about a boy who was eaten by a lion at Blackpool Zoo, and his favourite stories were about a superhero called Wilson in a comic called TheWizard.
He is the country's most prolific poetry anthologist having compiled over 100 anthologies of children's poetry including the best-selling Twinkle Twinkle Chocolate Bar.
John has also written twelve books of his own poems. He says that he writes poetry to make children laugh and to make them think about what happens to them and about the world they live in. His latest book, The Poetry Chest, contains over 250 of his own poems and a section giving guidance for children on how to write their own poems. John is also one of Britain's leading poetry performers for children, well-known for his performances as a dancing dinosaur and a rapping granny!
John has two grandchildren, Evie and Louis, and now lives with his wife in Oxfordshire, but he remains a fervent supporter of Carlisle United.
If you want to contact John you can e-mail him at email@example.com