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Paula Martyr

I’m Paula and I’m an illustrator. I live just outside London, in England, in a small town by the River Thames. It is just opposite Hampton Court Palace, which probably makes our town sound much grander than it really is.

I’ve been lucky enough to have worked for over 30 years drawing pictures for children’s books. I started drawing as a little girl and have never stopped. My dad used to tell me off for drawing on his newspapers. Even now, if there’s a blank sheet of paper anywhere near me, I still have to cover it in doodles.

I thought my dream had come true when I was accepted for Art School as a teenager – five whole years of fun. It was only after I left that I had my first book published, a story about a walrus with toothache co-written with my husband, Andrew. Since then we’ve had a number of other books published together, and I’ve worked on many more..

When I started out, two of my favourite illustrators were Babette Cole, for the sheer exuberance, fun and quirkiness of her illustrations, and Janet Ahlberg for the beautiful drawings that also conveyed such a great sense of humour.

This is why I love the fun stories that Sunshine Books produce. They provide a great source of inspiration. I hope all the readers of the books enjoy them as much as I like illustrating them.

As well as our three children, two boys and a girl, we’ve also always had cats in our family. They’re great to draw, so I usually try and slip a cat or two into the pictures! At the moment we’ve got three kittens that like to come and help with the drawings, so I apologise for any wobbly lines or little footprints on the next set of drawings!

Look out for Artie and the Neighbourhood Party and Juliet’s Scarf in the next batch of Sunshine Starters, in schools mid-year! That’s my work!

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