“I don’t know that I’m a funny person,” says author-illustrator Charlotte Voake. “But it seems when I begin to draw that the characters change, and they take on this amusing and amused look.” Indeed, her illustrations are widely loved for this very quality of gentle wit, not to mention their quiet observation, airy exuberance, and utter charm.
Born and raised in Wales, Charlotte Voake says that book illustration is “the only thing I ever wanted to do,” and she certainly has made a brilliant career of it. Skipping formal training in art, she studied art history at London University and worked at an art gallery before embarking on a freelance career in illustration. Among her most acclaimed picture books is Ginger, an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book that Kirkus Reviews called a “flawless tale of two cats . . . to be read and reread.”
Charlotte Voake was personally selected by the nephew of the esteemed children’s book writer Eleanor Farjeon to illustrate the delightful classic Elsie Piddock Skips in Her Sleep. She is also the author-illustrator of Pizza Kittens, a dinnertime comedy of errors that she says stems from personal experience. “Good manners are not acquired overnight,” she says with a sigh. “The secret is to keep trying!”
Charlotte Voake lives in Surrey, England.