I was born and raised in Zimbabwe, where I trained to be a graphic designer with a strong focus on critical thinking. My approach to graphic design and communication problem-solving has not changed much. I learned by observing how similar people are, whether they are learning to read, or running large corporations, and I put those observations into my work.
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 and keep my work relevant.
I have always believed that it is worth celebrating how people are more similar than different. I have also seen over the last few decades how much better it is for children of all backgrounds to see or read themselves in books.
In 2017 I started an independent publishing company creating and producing naturally inclusive books for very young children called Alanna Max.
Since 2021 I have been developing a new, naturally inclusive, commercial imprint for Harper Collins
I am represented by Clare Wallace of Darley Anderson
Here is a list of my books for children:
- Made Patron of CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education)
- Illustrator of CLiPPA award winner, “Stars With Flaming Tales”
- Astrid Lingren Memorial Award (ALMA) 2021 nomination
- Winner 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
- Honorable Mention, Moveable Books Society Meggendorfer Prize for Best Paper Engineering (US)
- Owner and 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 70 books for children worldwide in more than 10 languages
1984– Silver Medal for illustration- Brno Biennale
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