Alex Falase-Koya

Marv and the Humongous Hamster
Alex Falase-Koya

About Author

Author of the Marv superhero books, Alex Falase-Koya has been writing since he was a teenager and in 2019 won the Spread the Word's London's Writers Awards for YA and Children's. He published his debut novels, Marv and the Mega Robot and Marv and the Dino Attack, with OUP and has been sharing their adventures ever since.



Marv and the Humongous Hamster  (OUP Children's Books)

June 2024

We catch up with one of this year's World Book Day authors, Alex Falase-Koya, to find out about his Marv superhero series - and why he believes every child has a superhero inside!

When Marv discovers he comes from a family of superheroes, he learns that their powers are driven by kindness and imagination, which helps him overcome villains and set his world to rights.  Read an extract from Marv and the Humongous Hamster.

Find out more in Alex's video and Q&A, where he tells us about his love of superheroes, his belief in kindness - and what Marv will face next!

Alex Falase-Koya tells us more about Marv, his young superhero!

"Kindness and imagination is something that we all have, and is something that I really believe
can change the world."

1.    How did you start writing for children, and what have been your author highlights to date - like having a World Book Day book?! Do you do other kinds of work?

I've always been a writer, but didn't really realise that I was a children's writer at first. I just wrote what I thought was fun, and it happened to be children's fiction. Maybe that's because I love children's stories so much.

Having a World Book Day book was amazing, a huge highlight. I think my other big highlight was the release of my debut book. Marv and the Mega Robot!

2.    What inspired the first Marv book, Marv and the Mega Robot, when Marv discovers he's from a family of superheroes?

I love superheroes! I think it's always been a little dream of mine to be like Marv and find out that I've come from a long line of superheroes. So why not write a book about that?!

Extract from Marv and the Mega Robot

3.    Were you a superhero fan as a child? Who would you dress up as?

I did that all the time! I would dress up as Spiderman and Batman.

4.    How did you decide what Marv the 'superhero' would look like? Do you enjoy seeing the illustrations by Paula Bowles?

I'm not a very visual person. Paula and all the lovely people at my publisher OUP really worked hard on coming up with Marv's design. I really love seeing Paula's illustrations, it's like magic seeing her draw something I've written about.

5.    In your latest book, Marv and the Humongous Hamster, Marv must confront supervillain Dr Boom and an oversized hamster. What other kinds of supervillains does Marv face?

Marv has faced all kinds of supervillains! He has a real rogues gallery now, including a supervillain that turns everyone into ice cubes, and another who hangs out with killer plants.


Extract from Marv and the Humongous Hamster

6.    Marv's superhero suit is powered by 'kindness and imagination', and in each of the books Marv learns other kinds of superpowers. What do you hope children will take from the challenges Marv overcomes?

Kindness and imagination is something that we all have, and is something that I really believe can change the world. I hope children take that from the books.

7.    In your events, how do you inspire children to each find the superhero inside themselves?

The events we have are so much fun! Everyone gets to create their own superhero and supersuit, which really helps everyone find the superhero inside themselves.

8.    Superheroes are going through a bit of a resurgence. What are your favourite current superhero series and, if you found your own superhero suit, who would you want to transform into and what powers would you have?

I think I love Spiderman the most. I really like the new Spider-Verse animated movies. If I could transform into anything, I guess it'd be cool to turn into a robot, and if I could have some robot powers that would be great.


Extract from Marv and the Humongous Hamster


9.    Do you have further adventures planned for Marv? What are you writing currently?

Yes, we have quite a few other Marv books in the works. Aliens may be appearing at some point. I'm writing a Marv book right now!!!!

10.    When you need to escape from being a 'writing superhero', where do you go and what do you do to relax and hopefully inspire more stories?

I love hanging out at home with my girlfriend and my two cats. I also love going to the cinema! That helps inspire me.

Author's Titles