HELENCOOPER
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Artwork © Helen Cooper
BIOGRAPHY
Helen Cooper was born in 1963, and grew up in Cumbria in a very rural area where milk came from the farm in a can, bears lived under the stairs, and children had freedom to roam. There was very little homework, no study of phonemes, and the TV was tiny, black and white, and only worked when the clouds were the right shape. This meant that she had lots of time to pursue her own hobbies which were writing, reading, drawing and playing the piano. And still are.

She saw no reason why she should ever stop, so after qualifying as a music teacher, she wrote and illustrated her first picture book Kit and the magic Kite. It was published by Hamish Hamilton in 1987. It was not very good. Her second one was even worse.

Luckily she improved a bit. Since then she has written and illustrated another sixteen picture books and one for older readers. They have been translated into over 26 languages and won various awards. Notably among these The Bear Under The Stairs winner of the Smarties Young judges prize, The Baby Who Wouldn't Go To Bed, and Pumpkin Soup both winners of the Library Association Kate Greenaway medal.

Her multi-layered artwork is executed in mixed water based media. She lives in Oxford with her husband, the author/illustrator Ted Dewan, their daughter Pandora, lots of books, and a piano, in a house with no under the stairs cupboard.