Catherine Barr

Children's Author

Add to shortlist


Catherine writes books to spark questions, inspire curiosity and provoke action to protect the natural world. After campaigning with Greenpeace for years, she trained as a journalist and became Editor at the Natural History Museum, writing exhibitions. She wrote her first book The Story of Life (in collaboration with the Museum) after searching in vain for a simple science book about evolution for her children. It was shortlisted for The English Association Picture Book Award and long listed for the School Library Association Information Book Awards in 2016.

She has now written over 25 nonfiction picture books and is a proud Patron of Reading of a local school on the Welsh borders. Catherine visits schools around the UK to run workshops on evolution, endangered species and many other issues that have inspired her books.

Upcoming Publications:

WATER: Protect freshwater to save life on Earth (3 March 2022, Otter-Barry Books)

Freshwater bubbles and flow with the most wonderful life on Earth – all of us rely on it to stay alive. BUT today, because of pollution and climate change, it is becoming more and more difficult for people and animals to find the clean freshwater they need to survive. It’s time to act! Discover the story of freshwater around the world – then use the ideas in this book to help protect the precious freshwater on our planet.

A percentage of the royalties will be donated to the charity FRANK WATER.


Latest Publications:

WHAT JOBS COULD YOU DO? (2021, Farshore)

Turn what you love into what you do! Officially aimed at 3-6 years… but Ana Gomez’s illustrations are so wonderful I think they’ll inspire and amuse anyone looking for a career change. Do you love to get messy? Do you want to solve mysteries? Do you enjoy helping people? Or do you just love to be in charge? Follow your imagination to discover lots of exciting jobs you could do – from spy to astronaut and guide dog trainer to prime minister.


LET'S SAVE THE AMAZON (2021, Walker Books)

Fearsome jaguars, sleepy sloths, delicious food and life-saving medicine make the Amazon rainforest one of the most incredible places on Earth Discover how it helps in the fight against climate change and why we must save it from destruction. The second in an exciting new climate change series.


LET'S SAVE ANTARCTICA (2021, Walker Books)

Antarctica is our last great wilderness: home to millions of penguins, giant whales and ancient dinosaur fossils. Discover why we must save this incredible place from climate change and plastic pollution. The first  in an exciting new climate change series publishing this autumn by Walker Books and developed with expert advice from scientists at the British Antarctic Survey.


A TURTLE'S VIEW OF THE OCEAN BLUE (2021, Laurence King Publishing)

Dive into this stunning guide that explores the underwater world, its wildlife, the challenges it's facing and how you can help to protect it.

Join your sea turtle guide as you navigate every inch of our oceans, from the sunlit surface to the deepest, darkest depths.

This beautiful book will help you explore the five oceans on our planet, meeting the creatures who live there and finding out just how their incredible surroundings work. From tides and currents, to migrations and conservation, see our oceans in action and learn how you can help to save them. This is a great follow-up to the very successful A Cat's Guide to the Night Sky, as it introduces young readers to our oceans, the underwater wildlife and the natural phenomena that take place as well as discussing the challenges we're currently facing and what we can do to help save our big blue world. The book contains a glossary and is suitable for children aged 6+.

FOURTEEN WOLVES (2021, Bloomsbury)

In fairy tales, the wolf's cry makes people shudder. They've been hunted, captured. But the wolf carries a wild magic - a magic that once restored a barren land.

When wolves disappeared from Yellowstone Park in the 1930s, the ecosystem started to collapse. Enormous herds of elk swarmed the plains, bears starved, rabbit families shrunk and birds flew away to new homes. Plants vanished, trees withered and rivers meandered.

Until in 1995, wolves returned to the park and everything began to change for the better. This is the story of their homecoming.

With atmospheric storytelling from Catherine Barr and breathtakingly beautiful artwork by Jenni Desmond, this inspiring true story shows that every species plays an important part in protecting our planet.

THE STORY OF CLIMATE CHANGE ( 2021, Frances Lincoln)

Combining history with science, this book charts the changes in our Earth’s climate, from the beginnings of the planet and its atmosphere, to the Industrial revolution and the dawn of machinery. You'll learn all about the causes of climate change, such as factory farming and pollution, and the effects that climate change has on humans and animals across the world. As well as discovering the effects of global warming, you'll discover practical ways we can work together to solve it, from using renewable energy to swapping meat for vegetables in our diet.


Catherine is also co-author of the STORY OF... series (Lincoln Children's Books)


The Story Of series by Catherine Barr and Steve Williams is ideal for introducing primary school children to some big topics. So far, the series includes The Story of People, The Story of Life, The Story of Inventions,The Story of Space and The Story of Climate Change. Click here for online STORY OF... resources