Simon James

Original picture book artwork by Simon James is available for purchase from Children’s Book Illustration.

Simon James grew up in Bristol and Exeter and was influenced from an early age by his father’s interest in cartoonists. His favourites were Ronald Searle and Gerard Hoffnung. He studied graphic design and art history at college. “Whilst working with words and images together I developed a greater understanding of the techniques used in creating picture books.” Simon’s first book, The Day Jake Vacuumed, was first published in 1989 and two more books about Jake soon followed. His first title for Walker Books, My Friend Whale, was the first of several concerned with a child’s relationship with the natural world – Dear GreenpeaceSally and the LimpetThe Wild Woods and The Birdwatchers have established Simon as one of the country’s leading author/illustrators. Leon and Bob won the Smarties Book Prize Silver Award and was the New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year. Days Like This, a collection of small poems, was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal.

Baby Brains was the 0 – 5 category winner and the overall winner of the 2005 Red House Children’s Book Award. It also won the Stockport Libraries Children’s Award 2005 and the Norfolk Libraries Children’s Book Award 2005. There are now three titles featuring the baby genius, the last one, Baby Brains and Robo Mum, published in 2007.

2003 saw the publication of Little One Step, a new departure for Simon in that all the characters are animals. Simon continues to be a much sought-after speaker in schools and at festivals and conferences both in the UK and in the USA.

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