Anna McQuinn was born and grew up in a small town in rural Ireland. She went to a small National School with only 29 pupils where her dad was one of the two teachers. Once she could read, Anna devoured everything in sight—even the back of the Corn Flakes box at breakfast! Her dad once wrote on her school report, “if Anna would take her nose out of her comics she could be very good at lots of things”.
Anna read English and History at university, then did a Higher Diploma in Education, specialising in Children’s Literature. She taught English to reluctant learners for a number of years before beginning a career in publishing. Anna worked as and editor and publisher of books for young children for 15 years, working for Child’s Play, Reader’s Digest, Frances Lincoln, DeAgostini and Zero to Ten. In 2003, Anna returned to working directly with children, running Sure Start Parent & Toddler/ Baby Book Clubs in a West London library. She combined this work with a renewed focus on her writing, publishing books with Little Tiger, Barefoot Books, Chicken House/Scholastic and O Brien Press.
Anna’s work with children and libraries inspired her to develop a little girl character who, like herself, loves books. Anna was quite contrary as a little girl and is just a bit chuffed that the word inspires Booky Girl's newest adventure!
Anna lives with her husband of 25 years – a childhood sweetheart who grew up in the same small town as herself – and a small black cat. Anna has written over 20 books for children including The Sleep Sheep, (Scholastic); If You’re Happy and you Know it! (Barefoot); Colm’s Lambs and A Rosette for Maeve (The O’Brien Press); and the very successful Lulu series (Alanna Books). Anna’s website is www.annamcquinn.com
Rosalind Beardshaw was born and grew up in Sheffield. “Thanks to creative parents I was encouraged to draw (and use fuzzy felt!),” she says, “and was taken to art galleries on rainy Saturday afternoons. My favourite subject at school was Art so it was an easy decision to become an artist.”
Rosalind gained a degree at Manchester Polytechnic and began work designing greetings cards and giftwrap, then slowly moved into book illustration. Her very first book was shortlisted for the Sheffield Book Prize 2000 and she has illustrated many more since then including Grandma’s Beach; The Fairiest Fairy and Warthog (Nosy Crow); Mole’s Babies (Egmont); Daddy’s Little Star (Scholastic) and of course, the very successful Lulu series (Alanna Books).
Rosalind spent sunny afternoons in her grandfather's garden blowing kisses at the flowers – something that comes out in the charm of Lulu Loves Flowers.
Rosalind lives in York with her partner Al, daughter Iris, and son Freddie, along with her shaggy lurcher Basil. Ros’s website is www.rosalindbeardshaw.com