I have over 25 years’ experience commissioning and editing pre-school novelty books, picture books, early readers, young fiction, and (pop-up) non-fiction at ABC, Dorling Kindersley and Random House Children’s Books in London. I currently edit for Five Quills, Penguin Random House, Thames & Hudson.
I have had the privilege to work with esteemed authors and illustrators including Kes Gray, Garry Parsons, Nick Sharratt, Jane Clarke, Loretta Schauer, Lindsey Gardiner, Kate Petty, Ben Blathwayt, Adrian Reynolds, Georgie Birkett, Sean Taylor, Jane Massey, Lizzie Finlay, Sara Fanelli, John Prater, Mary Murphy and many others.
Many of the books I have edited have won awards, including the Red House Children’s Book Award, Booktrust Best Book for Babies, Dundee Children’s Book Award, Junior Aventis Prize for Science Books, and Royal Mail Book Awards.
My favourite job is crafting books with writers and illustrators and shaping stories. I have a talent for visualizing books and encouraging authors and illustrators to find the heart of their stories. I love collaborating with people who are passionate about their work and understand that creating a great book is a journey, an organic process that evolves over time.
I am a published picture book author (Elephants Never Forget and Is this My Nose?) and have a new non-fiction picture book, The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2019. l always have other writing projects underway, including more picture books and a young fiction novel so I understand the creative journey. I know what’s it like to receive mystifying rejection letters, to wait endlessly for a reply from publishers, to struggle through a revision and to experience the elation of getting a book deal.
I am the Regional Advisor (Co-Chair) of the British Isles Region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), the largest professional children's writing organization in the world and provider of a variety of excellent professional development opportunities. In 2018, I was awarded as an honourary Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition for my services to children's writer and illustrators.
I was born in Johannesburg and grew up in Rio de Janeiro, where I attended the American school. I have lived in London since 1993, where I moved after completing my B.A. in Developmental Psychology from Smith College, MA. In 2013, I qualified as a Montessori pre-school teacher.
Now, I live just outside London with my family. I love reading, eating chocolate, spending time with kids and travelling to exciting new places. My favourite colour is blue and, ever since I was little, my favourite animals were elephants.