Northern Irish-born children's author best known for his Little Bear books. He is also known for a 1973 novel entitled In a Blue Velvet Dress.
His first successful literary work, an adult thriller novel called Otley, was adapted into a film.
He published several mystery and ghost stories under the pseudonym of Catherine Sefton.
During his childhood years in Northern Ireland, he dreamed of becoming a professional soccer (football) player.
He earned the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2004.