I’m an author and illustrator of children’s books from Western Australia (WA) creating humorous and heartfelt picture books.
I grew wanting to be a train driver, a detective or a picture book maker.
Choosing the third option, I became an illustrator working with some of Australia’s most loved publishers including Penguin Australia, Hardie Grant Egmont and Walker Books.
In 2018 I wrote and illustrated my first picture book, Ollie and Augustus (Walker Books), it was about my two favourite subjects; dogs and friendship. The book was acquired in 2020 by Candlewick Press where it received a starred review in the School Library Journal (SLJ). It was later released in Denmark and Russia.
In 2020 I wrote and illustrated Norton and the Bear (Berbay) that was shortlisted in the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s (CBCA) Picture Book of the Year 2021 and received a starred review in the American Library Association’s (ALA) Booklist.
In 2021 I wrote and illustrated two books Norton and the Borrowing Bear (Berbay) and A Human for Kingsley (Hardie Grant Egmont). Both books were notable titles in the CBCA Book of the Year 2022.
In 2021 I collaborated with award winning authors, Sonya Hartnett on Blue Flower (Penguin Australia), shortlisted in the CBCA Picture Book of the Year, and Jane Godwin on Little One (Affirm Press) a notable title in the CBCA Book of the Year 2022.
My next picture book is A Friend for George (Penguin Australia) followed by a collaboration with Raewyn Caisley on Count the Stars (Walker Books). Both books are released in 2023.
Since 2019 my books have been published in twelve countries and translated into ten languages, they’ve been read on ABC’s Play School Storytime and reviewed in the the New York Times.
My illustrations are made with a mixture of watercolour, gouache, pencil and ink on paper. My ideas are developed in a small sketchbook that I take with me on trips to cafés, shops and on walks – you never know when inspiration might strike!
I live with my wife on a hill surrounded by trees and work from a small studio space strewn with sketches, story ideas and half finished cups of tea and coffee.
SIX THINGS ABOUT ME
1) I love growing oak trees – I’ve planted over fifteen varieties on my hill.
2) I have a crazy Border Collie dog. She chases birds in trees.
3) My studio gets messy when I’m making books. I use acrobatic methods including jumping, skipping and swinging to reach my desk.
4) I love drinking coffee from a Cornishware mug. These mugs have white and blue stripes and often appear in my books.
5) My favourite breed of chicken is a frizzle. Their feathers look like my hair in the morning.
6) One of my books was presented to King Charles III as a gift by a city library. I’d like to think it’s now his favourite bedtime story.