Richard Monte was born in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey and went to school in Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. He studied History at the University of London, specialising in Eastern Europe. His first job was in journalism, but realising he wanted to be an author, he left to take up freelance writing and bookselling. He lives in St Albans, Hertfordshire, with his Polish wife and two young children.
He is a regular reviewer for Carousel Magazine and has also contributed articles and book reviews to the TES, Scholastic Education Plus, History Today and the BBC History Magazine.
His first children's book was The Flood Tales, an environmental fable based on the Noah's Ark Story. The Dragon of Krakow, a collection of Polish folk tales was published by Frances Lincoln in 2008 and The Mermaid of Warsaw followed in 2011. His latest book is The Salt Krasnals, the story of three dwarves who set out on a perilous journey to rescue their sister from a witch's forest, published as an eBook in 2013.
Map-making, quizzes and lively Q&A sessions about his writing and experiences in Poland, have proved to be popular with children aged 7-12. Richard's books get children thinking about other cultures. His folk tales have been used successfully in the classroom, to encourage children to explore the history and geography of another country:
'I bought The Dragon of Krakow and other Polish stories to help me create some literacy work/international coverage for my year 4 class. The stories are fantastic. They captured my classes' imaginations. The blurb has also been very useful in the Geography elements. It plots the cities where many of the stories come from. We used this for some map work. The children and I have all enjoyed the international week, which was made all the more interesting through using this book'. - D Norman, teacher
The tales are also perfect for reading aloud:
'Start with the story of the Dragon of Krakow in which the threatening dragon is tricked by a shoemaker, and your class will call out for more.' - Scholastic Best Books of 2008
A visit to William Ransom School, Hitchin:
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