I was born and raised in Zimbabwe, where I trained as a graphic designer and discovered illustration.
I learned by observing how similar people are, whether they are learning to read, or running large corporations.
After a decade of designing books for children and young adults, I became a children’s author and illustrator. I love working with children and teachers or parents. They help me improve everything about my work and keep it relevant. I also dreamt of publishing for a long time and finding ways to make previously unheard voices as loud as possible. I got my chance to do just that in 2017 when I became the owner of Alanna Max Books which specialises in telling stories about people from different backgrounds for young children.
Finally, in 2021, I was hired by Harper Collins Children’s Books UK to set up and run their first official imprint and the focus of their move to more inclusive books. That imprint is called Kumusha Books.
I believe it is worth celebrating how people are more similar than different. Children of all backgrounds should see or read themselves and their friends in books. Inclusion means everyone!
I am represented by Clare Wallace of Darley Anderson
Here is a list of my books for children:
- Nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. (ALMA)
- Made Patron of CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education)
- Illustrator of CLiPPA award winner, “Stars With Flaming Tales”
- Nominated for the Astrid Lingren Memorial Award (ALMA)
- Made Patron of the Jericho Prize
- Publisher of Kumusha Books, Harper Collins Children’s (UK) first imprint
- Astrid Lingren Memorial Award (ALMA) 2021 nomination
- Winner of STEAM AWARD for Early Years Picturebooks 2020
- World Book Day Steering Committee
- Judge, Wales Book of the Year 2020
- Bank Street College (USA) – 20 best books of the Year
- Launched 17Promises magazine in partnership with UN, Govt of Zimbabwe
- Nominated- Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Awards 2019 (UK)
- Mentor, Pathways into Publishing
- Included in Breaking New Ground as one of the most influential black authors/illustrators in the UK
- Honourable Mention, Moveable Books Society Meggendorfer Prize for Best Paper Engineering (US)
- Owner & publisher, Alanna Max
- Awarded one of the 50 best books on diversity in the last 50 years by the Guardian Newspaper
- Centre for Literature in Primary Education core list (Early Years) UK
- African American Literature Bookclub (AALB) Top 154 Recommended African-American Children’s Books
- Launched Chicken Newspaper for Children. A quarterly printed tabloid-sized publication for primary school children
1994 – present
- Over 75 books for children worldwide in more than 10 languages
1984– Silver Medal for illustration- Brno Biennale
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