Catherine Rayner is an award-winning author and illustrator. She studied Illustration at Edinburgh College of Art where, for her final degree show, she created what would go on to be her debut picture book.
Originally from Yorkshire, Catherine fell in love with the city of Edinburgh and still lives there with her husband and young son, and a small menagerie of animals. Winner of the 2009 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for her second book, Harris Finds His Feet, Catherine has now been shortlisted for the prestigious award four times. 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. As well as producing award-winning picture books, she also exhibits her artwork in galleries all over the world and illustrates her own range of greeting cards.
She finds huge inspiration in her pets and often uses them as models, frequently asking Ena the cat 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.
And it must have paid off, because in 2006 Catherine won the Best New Illustrator Award at the Booktrust Early Years Awards and was also shortlisted for the V&A Illustration Awards 2006. Augustus and His Smile was then selected as one of five picture books to be recommended on Channel 4’s ‘Richard and Judy Christmas Party’ in December of that year. Since then, Augustus and His Smile has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal, the ‘Read it Again’ Cambridgeshire Picture Book Award, the English 4-11 Award 2007 and the Royal Mail Scottish Children’s Book awards (0-7 category) 2007.
In 2008 Catherine was selected as one of the ten best new illustrators for Booktrust’s ‘Big Picture Campaign’. This was the year her second picture book, Harris Finds His Feet was published, which went on to win the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal in 2009. In 2010, she was the inaugural illustrator in residence at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. As well as producing award-winning picture books, she also exhibits her artwork in galleries all over the world and illustrates her own range of greeting cards.