Best-selling Australian author Penny Attiwill reaches out to all new mothers and fathers, bringing her acute observations and warm wit to those who may just be in need of some laughter. Penny is also a mother and happy owner of ‘La Brocante’ in Melbourne, which is a treasure trove of vintage and new decorative objects from around the globe.
Annette Elizabeth Clark was born in 1875, the eldest daughter of a vicar. With pioneering courage she left home for London, determined to make her gift for storytelling her life’s work. She narrated her stories to great acclaim at events and gatherings of children, and became a very successful, much published author. She was also sought after as a lecturer on the art of storytelling. In her lifetime she wrote over a hundred stories and broadcast on the BBC’s affectionately remembered ‘Children’s Hour’ in the 1920s.
Elizabeth Clark: ‘a forgotten star of storytelling’ The Observer, (October 2016)
Award winning Markus Majaluoma was born in 1961 in Pori, Finland. A graduate in art and design, he has created both his own children’s books, and illustrated many others. With his distinctive pallet of colours, emphasis on detail and gentle humour, his endearing books have been translated into several languages, including Chinese, French, Danish and Swedish.
Nicholas Oldland earned a degree in fine arts at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada, and is now the Creative Director at Hatley, the hugely successful children’s apparel company which he runs with his brothers. ‘Life in the Wild’s is a multi-award winning series, and Nicholas is one of very few authors whose characters appear on pyjamas! But Nicholas still spends his days creating drawings for children’s clothing. As he says himself, ‘ I spend my entire day drawing. It’s as simple as that: I draw, I draw, and I draw some more!’
Born into an artistic family in 1920, Kari started drawing daily political cartoons for the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat in 1951. His cartoons soon became universally popular and over a 40 year career with the paper, he drew some 7,500 cartoons for the leader page. He received many awards for his work, including a National Cartoonist Society (USA) award in 1959. He was an accomplished artist and author, and his legacy is celebrated, with that of his grandfather Emil Wikstrom, at the Visavuori museum in Finland.
Runner up for the Kate Greenaway Medals three times in the 1960s, and awarded six commendations, William Papas (1927-2000) was a renowned children’s author, cartoonist and illustrator. Born in South Africa, he ran away from home at the age of fifteen to join the Air Force, flying coastal missions as a tail gunner during the war. He studied at Johannesburg Art School, Beckenham School of Art and at St Martin’s in London, and worked for The Guardian newspaper as well as producing cartoons for the Sunday Times and Punch. As a children’s author and illustrator he preferred to work mostly in pen and ink, and his work is included in many collections around the world, including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Vorres Museum in Athens. Alan Coren, former editor of Punch, described Papas as ‘ a highly distinguished original artist, whose work, I firmly believe, is not only of significance of its time, but will make an important contribution to the journalistic history of that time’.
Jukka Laajarinne is a popular Finnish author and winner of the Nordic Picture Book Award. He enjoys success across several genres, including novels, science fiction and short stories. Born in Lahti, Finland in 1970, Laajarinne studied in Helsinki, and was a freelance writer before working for several years as a maths and philosophy teacher. SPY DAD is one of two titles by Laajarinne nominated for the Finlandia Junior Prize.
Timo Mänttäri is a Finnish illustrator and versatile graphic designer whose work includes children’s books, book jackets, film graphics, postcards and posters. He lives and works in Helsinki where he enjoys old films and bookshops, and playing Lego with his two daughters.