Denys Watkins-Pitchford, or 'BB' as he is known, was born in 1905. He grew up in Northamptonshire, where he spent many hours out in the open air as ill health prevented him from being sent to boarding school. He studied art in Paris and at The Royal College of Art in London, and for seventeen years was art master at Rugby School. He was already illustrating books before he began to write under his pseudonym, 'BB'. The Sportsman's Bedside Book (1937) was the first to carry these now famous initials, followed by Wild Lone, the Story of the Pytchley Fox (1939) and Manka, The Sky Gypsy, The Story of a Wild Goose (1939). He was awarded the Carnegie Medal for The Little Grey Men (1941), the tale of the last gnomes in England, which established him in the forefront of literature for children. Many titles followed for both adults and children, and his reputation as a naturalist was further enhanced by his contributions to The Field, Country Life and Shooting Times. He died in 1990.