Helen Cooper is an author and illustrator whose work includes classic titles such as The Bear Under the Stairs, Pumpkin Soup, The Baby Who Wouldn’t Go to Bed and Tatty Ratty. Her books have been translated into 26 languages and won many awards including the Library Association Kate Greenaway Medal – twice.
Most recently she has written and illustrated The Hippo at the end of the Hall; a children’s novel published by David Fickling Books. She lives in Oxford with a very large grand piano and draws in Museums often.
Helen Cooper was born in 1963 and grew up in Cumbria in a very rural area where milk came from the farm in a can, bears lived under the stairs, and it rained a great deal. There was no wifi, no way of watching films, and the TV was tiny, and black and white, with only two channels, and even those only worked when the clouds were the right shape. Of course this meant there was more time to read and write and draw and play the piano.
After qualifying to teach the piano she wrote and illustrated her first picture book which was published by Hamish Hamilton in 1987. Since then she has written and illustrated a whole lot more which have been translated into over 26 languages and won many awards. Notably among these The Bear Under The Stairs winner of the Smarties Young judges prize, The Baby Who Wouldn’t Go To Bed, and Pumpkin Soup, both winners of the Library Association Kate Greenaway medal.
Nowadays she lives and works in Oxford. Her most recent work includes The Hippo at the end of the Hall: a children’s novel which she has she both written and illustrated. Other recent work includes contributions to a paper on Astrobiology with members of the Zoology department of Oxford University; and two exhibitions which she designed and co-curated at the Story Museum, Oxford. One of these was inspired by The Baby Who wouldn’t go to bed and included a Helen Cooper mural and a giant bed for reading stories on a rainbow patchwork quilt.