Award winning author and illustrator Catherine Rayner grew up in the countryside of West Yorkshire. She has drawn animals ever since she could hold a pencil and her first pictures usually featured their family dog; a very naughty miniature dachshund called Wilfred. Catherine’s love of drawing never faded and after school she moved up to Scotland to study Illustration at Edinburgh College of Art. She fell in love with the city and still lives there with her husband, two young sons and a handful of creatures including Shannon the horse, Ena the grey cat, two goldfish called Richard and Louise and a lovely guinea pig named Rocky.
She continues to finds huge inspiration in her pets and often uses them as models, frequently asking Ena to pose so that she can study her posture and movement. Then she translates sketches of Ena into characters such as dragons, hares, moose and bears! But it was creatures of a wilder kind that inspired her first picture book, Augustus and His Smile - Catherine spent hours and hours watching and sketching tigers (in freezing temperatures) at Edinburgh Zoo. The success of her first book has lead on to Catherine writing a further 15 books to date and illustrating stories for many other well known authors.
As well as writing and illustrating books for children, Catherine exhibits her artwork in galleries. She tends to work towards one large solo show and contribute to several group exhibitions each year. Her work is held in collections and archives worldwide. Catherine also has her own illustrated card range and often works on other exciting and unusual collaborations. She loves meeting little readers and can regularly be found visiting libraries, schools and book festivals to talk about children’s literature, and to encourage and inspire children to draw, read and write more. Catherine tours with The Children’s Book Show every autumn.