Authors & Illustrators

Here are some authors and illustrators of Starfish Bay books.


Birch, Josephine

Author-illustrator of Selkie

Josephine Birch studied a Bachelor of Arts in Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art and on the ‘Drawing Year’ scholarship at The Royal Drawing School, London. Her Master of Arts in Children’s Book Illustration was obtained from the Cambridge School of Art. Josephine grew up in the South West of England, in a tiny terraced house with a garden. The garden was full of flowers, vegetables, and home to chickens, two tortoises, a naughty dog and an old bath full of goldfish and lilies. Her mother, a dress maker and teacher, and her older sister, a painter, made the house a colourful and creative place to live. Josephine always knew she wanted to work as an artist and with animals. Through her studies, Josephine discovered that she could combine the two by illustrating stories inspired by the natural world and her favourite animals.

Buckley, Celina

Author-illustrator of The Salmon of Knowledge

Celina Buckley grew up on a farm in the middle of the countryside in County Cork, Ireland. She earned her Bachelor of Education (Hons) degree from Mary Immaculate College, Limerick in 2011. For the following four years she enjoyed working as a primary school teacher and reading lots of children’s books with the children in St. Joseph’s Primary School, Macroom, County Cork. She then decidedto take a break from primary school teaching to pursue her life-long passion for drawing and children’s literature, and embarked upon the MA in Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art.Celina loves using collage and playing with colour and pattern when creating her artwork, and is always looking forward to the exciting projects the future may bring.

Cai, Yijun

Author-illustrator of Brown Bear Can’t Sleep

Yijun Cai, from Hangzhou, China, is a freelance illustrator and recipient of the Golden Dragon Award at the Original Animation & Comic Competition.

Casella, Laura

Author-illustrator of The Croc Who Rocked

Laura Casella obtained a BA in Illustration from the Institute of European Design. In 1995, her nonfiction project Middle Ages was selected at the Children’s Book Fair in Bologna. She has recently graduated from Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge with a MA in Children’s Book Illustration.

Durham, Ali

Author-illustrator of Wacko!

Ali Durham is an author/illustrator and qualified art and early childhood teacher. Her passion for children’s books has taken her to faraway places, including London and Italy, where she studied children’s book illustration. Ali loves spending time with her two children, bush walking, reading, playing in a band, and creating books in her messy studio in the Adelaide Hills.

Hay, Gay

Author of Watch Out, Snail! and Go, Green Gecko!

Gay Hay is a New Zealand environmental enthusiast. Over the many years of her primary school teaching she has helped children plant and nurture thousands of native trees. She has been involved in many environmental initiatives on the Kapiti Coast and is currently leading the lizard investigation as part of the Kapiti Biodiversity Project.

McKinnon, Natalie

Author of Seed Magic and Bizz Buzz Boss

Natalie McKinnon is an early childhood educator with over twenty years’ teaching experience in Australia. Natalie also presents environmental workshops for pre-school and elementary audiences. Her workshops encourage children to understand where real food comes from and to develop an understanding of the relationship between their health and the environment.

Muià, Federica

Author-illustrator of I Need a Plan! and Mine

Federica Muià is an illustrator from the small village of Ivrea in Northern Italy. She studied archaeology and anthropology at the University of Turin, where she participated in various research excavations. Federica has always been curious about everyone and everything. She moved to Cambridge in 2014 to follow her dream of becoming an illustrator and and she completed her MA in children’s book illustration in 2017. Travelling, drawing, and animals are her passions, which she combines into her stories.

Quarry, Rachel

Author-illustrator of Colin the Chameleon

Rachel Quarry is an illustrator and artist based in the UK. She studied at Cambridge University and the Cambridge School of Art. In her illustration work she uses ink, monoprint and collage. For inspiration she likes to travel and visit parks and gardens.

Robbins, Rose

Author-illustrator of Elena’s Shells

Rose Robbins is a children’s book author and illustrator currently residing in Nottingham, United Kingdom. She has been making books since the age of 6 when she received a stapler for her birthday. As well as books, Rose makes ceramics, puppets, felt and soft toys. She can be found either stuck in a story, or thinking about a new story – anything to get out of doing the dishes or putting out the laundry.

Margaret Tolland

Tolland, Margaret

Illustrator of  Seed Magic, Bizz Buzz Boss, Watch Out, Snail! and Go, Green Gecko!.

Margaret Tolland is an artist from New Zealand, whose illustrations are packed with detail. Through her work, get closer to the habitats and lifestyles of the many species, both flora and fauna, that she explores with an eye on environmental education. With twenty years’ experience in visual arts education and working in a gallery, Margaret now illustrates full-time. Although she had a fear of spiders, after painting them in detail, she now appreciates how amazing they are.

Walker, Coral

Author-illustrator of Little Boy George Wants to Be a Bird and The Girl That Never Said “Please”

Coral Walker, who now resides in a picturesque village near the River Taff in Cardiff, Wales, was raised in southern China. Writing and drawing have been two constant loves in her life. For many years, she juggled being a mother, a full-time academic teaching computer science, and an artist. She first ventured into children’s illustration to keep her own children entertained. Once she started, she couldn’t stop. Throughout the years, she has tried various mediums, including watercolour, acrylic and oil painting.

Xing, Zhiwei

Author-illustrator of Footprints in the Clouds

Zhiwei Xing graduated from the Xiamen University of Technology specialising in animation. He came to love illustrating, especially children’s picture books, during his exchange program to the Ming Chuan University in Taiwan. Having grown up playing in the forest and catching fish in the river each summer, as an adult he still appreciates everything related to nature.

Yang, Yuanhao

Author-illustrator of The Flying Light

Yuanhao Yang graduated from the Department of Illustration at Nanjing University of the Arts and now resides in Nanjing, China, where he illustrates children’s books. It is his belief that everyone views the world differently, and he enjoys transforming these worlds into interesting forms using pen and paper. Yuanhao Yang likes drawing elves, as well as his dog.

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