Award winning author and illustrator Catherine Rayner studied Illustration at Edinburgh College of art. She fell in love with the city and still lives there with her husband, young son and a handful of creatures: Shannon the horse, Ena the grey cat and a goldfish called Richard.
She finds huge inspiration in her pets and often uses them as models, frequently asking Ena to pose so that she can study her posture and movement. Then she translates sketches of Ena into characters such as dragons and hares, not to mention moose and bears! But it was creatures of a wilder kind that inspired her first picture book, Augustus and His Smile - Catherine spent hours and hours watching and sketching tigers (in freezing temperatures) at Edinburgh Zoo.
Winner of the 2009 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for her second book Harris Finds His Feet, Catherine has now been shortlisted four times for the award. She was also awarded the Best New Illustrator Award at the Booktrust Early Years Awards in 2006 and was named one of Booktrust's ten Best New Illustrators in 2008. In 2010, she was the inaugural illustrator in residence at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
Catherine is currently shortlisted for the 2012 Scottish Children's Book Award and has just won the UKLA Children's Book Award 2012.