I’m an author and illustrator of children’s books from Western Australia (WA).
I grew wanting to be a train driver, a detective or a children’s book illustrator.
Choosing the third option, I became an illustrator working with some of Australia’s most loved publishers including Penguin Australia, Hardie Grant Egmont, Scholastic and Walker Books.
In 2018 I wrote and illustrated my first picture book, Ollie and Augustus (Walker Books 2019), it was about my two favourite subjects; dogs and friendship. It 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.
My recent book, Norton and the Bear (Berbay 2020) was shortlisted in the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Picture Book of the Year 2021. The sequel, Norton and the Borrowing Bear, is released in October 2021.
My latest book, A Human for Kingsley (Hardie Grant Egmont 2021) follows the journey of a dog trying to find the perfect human to adopt. The story was conceived in 2019 while sitting in a café and commissioned before I’d even finalised the ending!
My illustrations are made with a mixture of watercolour, gouache, pencil and ink on paper. My ideas are developed in a small, portable sketchbook that I take with me on trips to cafés, shops and on walks – you never know when inspiration will hit!
In 2021 I was the inaugural recipient of the SCBWI ANZ Established Illustrator Award.
I run workshops and talks in schools and libraries around Australia and have visited numerous locations – from the busy streets of Sydney (NSW) and Melbourne (VIC), to remote communities in the Australian Kimberley and Pilbara regions.
I spend the rest of my time working from a small, messy studio on a hill where I drink tea, grow trees and make books.
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. Did I mention she’s crazy?
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 once built a boat from an old kitchen sink. Its maiden voyage lasted five glorious minutes before the plug was dislodged. Like a good captain I went down with my ship.
5) I have a large collection of woolly beanies, but most of them are lost. I suspect they were eaten by a fiercely-hungry-beanie-eating monster.
6) My favourite breed of chicken is a frizzle. Their feathers look like my hair in the morning.