Jill Murphy, the author of the popular Worst Witch series, was born in London and attended both Chelsea Art School and Croydon Art School. While she has had a number of jobs, including working in a children’s home and as a nanny, she has also written and illustrated children’s books ever since she could first hold a pencil.
The Worst Witch, which Jill Murphy wrote when she was just eighteen years old, found immediate success when it was published six years later. At the age of twenty-seven, Jill Murphy decided to give up her other work to devote her time to writing and illustrating children’s books. Three other Worst Witch books followed, as well as a highly rated HBO cable-television show based on them.
Jill Murphy is also well known for her very popular Mr. and Mrs. Large picture books, which detail the domestic chaos of an elephant family—an ebulliant and down-to-earth clan that families around the world seem to relate to. Five Minutes’ Peace, described by the New York Times Book Review as “painfully funny,” won a Parents Best Books for Babies Award, and All In One Piece was highly commended for a Kate Greenaway Award in England.
Jill Murphy, who lives in North London with her son, says, “I write as I speak, which is the best way to tell a story.”