About me

I am an illustrator and writer of children’s books and have been for over thirty years. Through a long and varied career I have also produced work for advertising agencies, design companies, magazines, newspapers and many other clients.

In the late 1970’s I was working as a young artist in the north of England selling paintings. I received a commission to illustrate the cover of a satirical novel by Dylan Thomas and his friend John Davenport for Penguin Books. I moved to London to embark on what I hoped would be my new career. I received commissions to produce advertising posters, book covers and packaging illustrations in the UK and abroad.

Publishing, however, has provided most of my work and so far I have illustrated more than 60 books for children and written twelve of these. Many publishers including Orchard Books, Puffin and Templar in the UK and Simon and Schuster, Viking and Peachtree in the USA have commissioned me.

My books have been published in over 20 countries. Eight of my titles have recently been published in China, Russia and Ukraine.

It is extremely rewarding to work in children’s publishing with so many innovative and creative people who all have the same sole purpose of producing the best books they possibly can.

There have been many high points in my publishing career. I shall never forget meeting Sir David Attenborough and receiving an award from him, and nothing beats seeing your first book published. It is still a thrill to receive the first edition of a new title. A book I illustrated, (A Mummy for Owen, Simon and Schuster UK and USA), was part-animated for television in the UK, and read by Fern Brittan. It has been broadcast many times on CITV in the Bookaboo series, (and is available on DVD). The series went on to win a Bafta in 2009. Whose Baby Am I? (Puffin UK, Viking USA), which I wrote and illustrated, was chosen in 2009 by Dolly Parton’s charity, Imagination Library, to be on the list of books distributed to under-privileged children. In 2015 Imagination Library chose my book If You See a Kitten to be a Gold Medal selection in the UK.

I have enjoyed working for a very wide range of clients, which I could not have foreseen when I first started out. It has included satirical work for Time magazine, illustrations for Heinz and Crabtree and Evelyn, illustrating baby animals for Sesame Street and all the images for the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Amsterdam Zoo.

I am delighted to have received awards along the way but one of the most rewarding parts of my work is reading letters and emails from children, parents and grandparents telling me how much they have enjoyed my books.

Currently I am excited to be working on a new project alongside my book commissions. A website has recently been launched by my daughters: www.littlebluezebra.com. As young mothers they wanted to decorate their babies’ nurseries. I provided some artworks for them and this gave them the idea of sharing these pictures as prints. Little Blue Zebra was born. I am now enjoying producing new artwork for them, and we are planning to expand the range together.

Awards

  • If You See a Kitten chosen as a gold medal selection by Dolly Parton’s Imagination library in the UK - 2015
  • My Snuggle Bunny awarded the Gold Mom’s Choice Award for Children’s Picture Books: Bedtime Stories – 2013
  • When Anju Loved Being an Elephant selected as a Teachers’ Choice AwardsSM  for Children’s Books WINNER. This award is sponsored by Learning Magazine. Teacher teams from across the United States judged the entries – 2013
  • Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award List (a children’s choice award) – 2012-2013
  • Skipping Stones Honor Awards List, short-list 2012
  • Kansas National Education Association Reading Circle Catalog selection, 2012
  • Creative Child Magazine  My Snuggle Bunny granted “Book of the Year” and “Product of the Year” – 2012
  • Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book Award (Gold Book Award) (USA) – 2011
  • Booktrust Early Years Award for Best Baby Book (short-list) – 2005 and 2004
  • Southampton Best Books to Share – 2004
  • Bank Street College of Education New York included two of my books in the Best Children’s Books of the Year2004 and 2002
  • Florida Reading Association Children’s Book of the Year (Silver medal) – 2003 and 2002
  • Norfolk Libraries Children’s Book Award1998
  • The Federation of Children’s Book Groups Award (short-list) – 1997
  • The Sheffield Children’s Book Award (Highly commended) – 1997
  • BP Conservation Award – (Commended) – 1995
  • The Children’s Book Award (short-list) – 1994