Jackie Morris

Jackie Morris is a prize winning, internationally best-selling illustrator, artist and author of over forty children’s books. In 2016 she was shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for Something about a Bear and she won the prize in 2019 for the modern classic, The Lost Words. She also won the CILIP Greenaway Shadowers Choice Sward that year, chosen by children and The Books are My Bag Readers Award. The book was voted the most beautiful book of 2017 by UK booksellers. It was shortlisted in 2017 as one of the nations’ favorite books of all time on the natural world (alongside The Wind in the Willows). She is twice the recipient of the Tir na n-Og Award for Seal Children in 2005 and Cities in the Sea in 1997.

Morris has had a number of long term collaborations during her career, with, Ted Hughes, Robin Hobb, Barbara Newhall Follett as well as Robert Macfarlane. With Robert she created the phenomenally successful ‘spellbook’ for all ages, The Lost Words, for readers both young and old, that seeks to bring back an experience of nature as astonishing, strange, beautiful, eerie, and magical

In her own words; “Aged six I wanted to be an artist. I endured school. I was part of the first year of the experiment in ‘Comprehensive Education’. Fortunately I ignored all those who advised me that art was a hobby, not a profession. On leaving college I headed to London, began working as a freelance illustrator for magazines and newspapers, living in a small flat with too many people. I had part time jobs, including selling cheese in the Guildhall Market, washing up in the Circus restaurant ( fav job), while illustrating front covers for New Statesman, radio pieces for Radio Times, working for magazines like New Socialist, New Internationalist, Country Living, doing book jackets ( very badly). I began working for card companies, and clients like Amnesty, Greenpeace, Oxfam ( I guess by now you know where my politics lie) and from these I was offered my first children book contract and mastered the art of balancing a sketchbook on a breast feeding child. I’d bought a house, a little stone cottage by the sea near St Davids, moved into it, and over 28 years filled it with memories, cats, dogs, laughter, children, friends, a lot of books, stuffed animals and tears.

Shortlisted for an award or two, and illustrating a book by Ted Hughes How the Whale Became. Two children now. The next eighteen years went by raising children, painting, writing. I began working on a book called The Lost Words with a new publisher. This was a big book of art and poetry. The words are by Robert Macfarlane, the publisher is Hamish Hamilton, and the experience renewed my love of working in publishing. Through this book I met Jessica Woollard who is now my agent.

For the last eighteen years I’ve had a wonderful partner beside me, Robin. Whenever I try to read him anything I have written he falls asleep. I love to write, usually on the cliff above my house. I’ve illustrated many books, written some too, been published in about 14 languages and this year, 2019 I won the Greenaway Award, for The Lost Words. and painted on stage at the Albert Hall for the Lost Words prom ( Prom 49) on my daughters birthday.

Some of Jackie Morris’s key titles:-

• Cities in the Sea (1996) with Siân Lewis
• The Seal Children (2004) Frances Lincoln – in three languages
• Can You See a Little Bear (2005) with James Mayhew – in five languages
• Compilation and Illustration of The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems (2006)
• The Snow Leopard (2007) now Graffeg – in 10 languages
• Tell Me a Dragon (2009) 2018 Graffeg – in 8 languages
• The Ice Bear (2010) – now Graffeg- translated into eight languages
• The Cat and the Fiddle: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes (2011)
• Queen of the Sky (2011)
• I am Cat (2012) – translated in ten languages
• Song of the Golden Hare (2013) 2020 Unbound
• East of the Sun, West of the Moon (2013) – also in Korean and Romanian
• Words of Little Evie in the Wild Wood (2013) illustrated by Catherine Hyde
• Something About a Bear (2014) – in 3 languages
• The Wild Swans (2015) – Barrington Stoke – also in Korean
• Cat Walk (2015) – Graffeg
• The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow (2016) Graffeg
• The While Fox (2016) – Barrington Stoke
• The Lost Words (2017) with Robert Macfarlane
• Words of Mrs Noah’s Pockets (2018) illustrated by James Mayhew – Otter Barry Books
• The Secret of the Tattered Shoes (2019) with Ehsan Abdollahi – Tiny Owl
• The House Without Windows (2019) with Barbara Newhall Follett – Hamish Hamilton

She has illustrated the following titles:-

• The Snow Whale (1996) by Caroline Pitcher
• Out of the Ark: Stories from the World’s Religions (1996) by Anita Ganeri
• The Time of the Lion (1998) by Caroline Pitcher – in 3 languages
• The Fourth Wise Man (1998) by Susan Summers
• Stories from the Stars: Greek Myths of the Zodiac (1998) by Juliet Sharman-Burke
• Lord of the Dance (1998) by Sydney Carter
• Grandmother’s Song by Barbara Soros
• How the Whale Became (1963) by Ted Hughes (2000)
• Marianna and the Merchild (2000) by Caroline Pitcher – in four languages
• Parables: Stories Jesus Told (2000) by Mary Hoffman- in 8 languages
• Animals of the Bible (2003) by Mary Hoffman- in three languages
• Lord of the Forest (2004) by Caroline Pitcher – in eight languages
• Little One, We Knew You’d Come (2006) by Sally Lloyd-Jones
• Singing to the Sun (2008) by Vivian French
• Starlight Sailor (2013) by James Mayhew
• Walking on Water: Miracles Jesus Worked (2017) by Mary Hoffman- 6 languages
• Lost and Found: Parables Jesus Told (2017) by Mary Hoffman