About me

Hello! I am a picture book author and illustrator, I run courses and masterclasses on all aspects of creating picture books and I also mentor students professionally. Picture books are my passion!

As a child I pored over illustrations in picture books and I loved drawing from an early age. I remember being asked by my friends to draw rabbits for them, but I found reading very difficult. I only learned I was dyslexic much later on in life. That explained my frustration and humiliation in the class room and on the scrabble board. I wrote Back to Front and Upside Down based on my experiences to help children overcome the shame of asking for help.

After school I earned a degree in Fine Art at the Kent Institute of Art and Design in Canterbury where I achieved a BA degree in Painting. I moved to London in 1995 and had many different jobs, until I met a trainee life coach called Dawn Winder. She asked me what I really wanted to do. I said ‘Illustrate picture books’. Dawn helped me take small steps towards this goal and began studying children’s illustration at Putney School of Art. Here I produced my first dummy book Small Florence, which was published and started my dream career as an author illustrator.

In 2007 I wrote my own courses on how to create picture books, addressing  the lack of short courses which covered how to write and illustrate for children. I continue to run my courses in person and online at the House of Illustration. I also regularly visit schools where I love teaching children how to draw my characters to encourage confidence and promote literacy.

I am represented professionally by The Catchpole Agency

CA029smAwards and Shortlists

‘Monkey and the Little One’
2015 Shortlisted for the Junior Design Awards

‘Back to Front and Upside Down’
2013 US Schneider Family Book Award for the depiction of disability in a picture book
2013 US Paterson Prize for continued excellence

‘Small Florence’
2010 Shortlisted for Mad About Books Stockport Schools’ Book Award

‘Lucy and the Bully’
2009 US Paterson Prize for Books for Young People

Photograph by Amanda Eatwell