Ian Beck began his career in graphic design, successfully illustrating “for grown-ups” before turning his talents to picture books in 1982. He now has over fifty books for children to his credit (including his own stories as well as books written by others). He is especially known for his teddy bear stories and for illustrating fairy tales. His first novel for older children, The Secret History of Tom Trueheart, Boy Adventurer, will be published in June 2006. Originally from Brighton, Ian spent several years in London before settling with his family in St Margarets in 1988, in a small house “bursting with books and people”. Much of his work has been inspired by local places, such as Old Deer Park in Richmond, the Thames, and Ian’s own house and street.
The daughter of the best-loved children’s book author and illustrator Shirley Hughes, Clara Vulliamy was encouraged to draw and paint from an early age. Clara now illustrates children’s books by other writers, as well as her own. Her picture books tend to be realistic portrayals of the big moments in a young child’s life.
Living with her artist husband and two children in a large house in Twickenham, she is inspired by the things she sees around her. Many of her illustrations depict everyday places close to Clara’s home in Twickenham, such as neighbouring houses and the local school.