TTLG Author/Illustrator Profiles

Lucy Cousins

Lucy Cousins

Lucy Cousins is one of today's most acclaimed young author-illustrators of children's books. Her unique titles instantly engage babies, toddlers, and preschoolers with their childlike simplicity, bold outlines, and crayon-bright colors. The winsome exploits of characters such as Maisy--star of her own animated television program--reflect the familiar adventures that young children have every day. "Maisy does things that children all over the world do," Lucy Cousins says of her superstar mouse. "The way she dresses, the way she acts, are typical of children all over the world."

Lucy Cousins finds that illustration comes more easily to her than writing, which tends to work around the drawings. "I draw by heart," she says. "I think of what children would like by going back to my own childlike instincts." And what instincts! Lucy Cousins now has more than 12 million books in print, including picture books, sticker books, cloth books, coloring books, shaped board books, pull-the-tab and lift-the-flap books, three-dimensional play sets, a clock book, and the innovative JAZZY IN THE JUNGLE, a big, lush picture book filled with die-cut surprises.

Where does the prolific Lucy Cousins--a mother of four young children--find the energy? "I'm quite disciplined," she says of her productivity. "If I'm having an 'ideas' day, I just sit at my desk and draw and write until I feel something is happening-though I admit that this is usually helped by a cup of tea, some lively music, and an abundance of sunshine." As for outside inspiration, she says she's sometimes influenced by the work of other artists, as long as those artists are children. Says the author-illustrator, "I get more pleasure and inspiration from walking around a primary school than from any art gallery."

While the character Maisy was born before any of her four children, Lucy Cousins says there is no doubt she can "create better books and stories now that I have the insight into children's minds that all parents have. It's like having a market research team in my own home!" During the creation of the My Cloth Books, for example, her daughter, Josie, who was seven months old, proved a helpful critic: "Josie looked at them and chewed them and did all the right things," the proud mother says. Lucy Cousins works from home in Hampshire, England.

Website: http://www.maisyfunclub.com/maisyframe.asp?section=lucy

css.php