Latest Work

How The World Works

“I remember my childhood poring over magazines, books and encyclopaedias trying to understand how everything from gravity and volcanoes to hibernation, fossils and the Industrial Revolution worked. Often, I didn’t think, “ah, that’s history or that’s physics,” I was just extremely keen to understand how the different aspects of the world around me worked now and how they operated in the past.”

How The World Works is an attempt to provide a single place curious young minds can go to investigate how things happen. Contained within its 160 pages are answers to questions as varied as how mammals reproduce, how earthquakes happen and how computer games are made. This book isn’t encyclopaedic; no single book can be, but its aim is to provide a broad range of explanation and knowledge on different aspects of the natural and human world, the history and technology found on the planet, how dinosaurs really lived and the challenges facing the world today.

“A handsome and rangy selection of the world’s great systems and phenomena and their workings…the many topics addressed get first-class treatment.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Stuffed full of facts and detail, this amazing book has all the information of an encyclopaedia but with a fresh, exciting look.” – Driffield Times & Post

“How the World Works by Clive Gifford provides a resource to feed children’s boundless curiosity.” – National Science Teachers Association

View a spread on how Captain Cook explored Australia.

View a spread on how submarines dive.

10 People Who Changed The World

“An inspiration to all adventurers!” - Sir Ranulph Fiennes, world-renowned polar explorer.

Too many biographies for children today skim the surface and summarise in 100 words or less. We wanted to do better, to shine a light on the wonder and power of famous people's backgrounds and work and to convey what it took to achieve and what impact their endeavours had on others.

Each title in the 10 People series tells the stories of ten famous and not quite so well-known pioneers in a field. Each person's life is detailed fast-paced yet accurate and carefully-researched text, avoiding myths and coarse value judgements in favour of detailed insight into what made them tick and the background of their own historical era. The text is interwoven with truly stunning original illustration from highly-talented graphic artists David and Sarah Cousens, creating a graphic novel-like feel with text and illustrations together designed to entertain and excite as well as educate.

Life links boxes chart the influences some had on others in their field whilst extended captions offer additional information into their life, motivations and achievements. A detailed glossary and a handful of shorter biographies complete these 64 page, large format titles, helping turn them into must have works. Simply put, these are gripping stories, innovately told.

* 10 Explorers - From Roald Amundsen to Lewis & Clark.

* 10 Leaders - From Franklin Roosevelt and Mao Tse Tung to Nelson Mandela.

* 10 Kings and Queens - from Queen Hatshepsut to Suleiman the Magnificent.

* 10 Inventors - From Archimedes and Marie Curie to Tesla and Edison.

“Gifford’s balance is admirable in that he presents the bad as well as the good in each life.” – Jeffrey A. French

“Cousens infuses his sharply drawn gallery of inventors at work with attention-grabbing intensity.” – BookList

“They really do present a lot of good information in a very accessible way.” – Colleen Mondor, Eclectica Magazine

10 Kings and Queens “This addition to the series provides succinct and captivating biographies of 10 sovereigns, primarily men from Western culture, from early times through the end of the 18th century. This book is refreshing in that multiple biographies and a historical context are provided in one volume.” – School Library Journal.

10 Inventors “Each section offers a succinct yet thorough biography of the inventors. Striking graphic-novel-style art is a visual aid to draw readers into each setting and era. Life-link boxes connect the inventors to one another. In this way Gifford demonstrates how they influenced, or were influenced by, other great thinkers, via the appeal of a graphic novel with clear language.” – School Library Journal.

Download the start of explorer, Roald Amundsen's story.

Download the story of Ancient Egyptian leader, Queen Hatshepsut.

Crimebusters (Oxford University Press)

Cover of OUP book, Crimebusters Crimebusters is an exciting, full-colour guide to the science behind fighting crime. The book looks not just at the many branches of forensic science – from ballistics matching and forensic botany to blood serology, toxicology and DNA fingerprinting – but at the whole investigative process including crime scene callouts, forgery and fake detection and witness interviewing. The book shows how the smallest clue, a flake of paint, a sample of pollen, a lip print or bite mark or some animal or clothing fibres can form the basis of an investigation.
Arson and how fire investigators map blazes The crimes covered range from high-tech data theft, art fraud and currency forgery to kidnappings, animal smuggling, assaults and murders. Topical and infamous case studies detail how scientific techniques provided a conviction or major lead in a notorious crime. Investigate! practical panels give readers the chance for some hands-on crime fighting and detection experience, learning the underlying science principles as a result.

Download a PDF double page on high-tech crimebusting.

Download a PDF double page on how crimes can be solved by studying marks, tears and breaks.

"A great way to catch the interest of children in both science and the new compulsory discipline of citizenship. I certainly can't retrieve it from my sons (currently fingerprinting themselves in the kitchen whilst using up all my cocoa powder) to write this review. The narrative itself is clear and concise and treads a fairly difficult path between over-simplification and over-complication very nicely." - BookBag, March 2007.

Kingfisher Knowledge: Spies

Cover of Kingfisher book, Spies
Spies is a comprehensive look at the world’s secret services, their history, actions and personnel. Using cutting edge digital artwork and design the book charts the techniques used to uncover and collect vital intelligence and to protect data and agents from discovery by rival agencies. In-depth research reveals and explains the techniques used out in the field from concealment and disguise to surveillance and cryptology.

Industrial Espionage

Spies features profiles of leading field agents and spymasters, looks at industrial espionage and sheds light on the murky realms of sabotage, spy swaps and assassination.


Dame Stella Rimington
Foreword by Dame
Stella Rimington,
ex-head of MI5.

"From getting Dame Stella Rimington to agree to provide a foreword to practising concealments, message swaps and disguises and checking out bugging equipment at a secret address in Sheffield, every moment of working on Spies was a blast. Myself, Chief Editor, Melissa Fairley and top designer, Carol Evans had particular fun at the photo shoot for the pages on disguise. Guess who got the job as the model?"

Clive Gifford.

Clive in disguise as an old man

"This slim book provides a history of the trade, includes memorable spy stories, and discusses the future of espionage. The facts come fast and furiously, interspersed with attractive color photographs...Numerous high-interest archival photos, film stills, cartoons, and pictures of equipment fill the pages…An eye-catching introduction."

School Library Journal, May 2005

A look at Secret Services

"Packed with information and superb images – a great weapon to have in your homework-busting armoury."

Sunday Times

Clive in disguise as a courier

"Despite not being much of a non-fiction person, I'm loving the vibrant, fascinating, and informative SPIES by Clive Gifford. Great for suspense fans; this photo-illustrated book features a design as exciting as its subject matter. Recommended for kids and grown-ups."

Cynthia Leitich Smith