I once heard someone say that the first priority when making a children’s book should be to bring pleasure to the child… and despite having been a teacher, it was only as a young mum (of five) that I really became aware of the influence of books on tender hearts and minds.
As we sprawled on the sofa enjoying the tales of Jane Hissey, Shirley Hughes, Kim
Lewis, Jill Murphy or Beatrix Potter (writers who also illustrated), I began to understand the power of linking even a few words with a picture, and found myself praying fervently for that opportunity!
Making a children’s book is probably the most exciting and satisfying adventure I can imagine. I’ve loved drawing for as long as I can remember but I also enjoy words
(especially rhyming ones). During school and college I drew only in black line (bic biro specifically) but later discovered that the vibrant colour along with the textural/ layering capability of coloured pencil brings a whole new dimension to drawing.
In the early days I illustrated for Immanuel Studios (Ballyclare, N.I.); for CEF (N.I.) and later for several children’s books by Dr Sinclair Ferguson.
It’s a thrill to have my own titles published by The Banner of Truth Trust and also more recently by Day One and I am deeply grateful to both! Each page is designed, simply and prayerfully, to teach biblical truth, using text, illustration and carefully considered activities.
I came to personal faith in Jesus Christ at an early age, but a fuller appreciation of thebook of Genesis, during my teens, deepened my confidence, and my joy, in the wonderful message from heaven called the Bible. Knowing that many of today’s children would trust in Jesus too if thy actually knew how, when, where and why he came to earth inspires me to keep going, for ‘How…shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?’ (Romans 10:14)
My husband David and I praise the Lord for our children… and are amused now to see those treasured picture books reappearing for the benefit of our little grand-daughter. My other interests include crochet, painting, photography and wood-work (farm buildings, dolls’ houses and more castles than I can remember!) but illustration is the most precious.
What a privilege it is to speak to children on a page and to try to do it in a way that might bring them pleasure!