“When I was offered Amy Hest’s delightful story about a grumpy little duck who has a special relationship with her Grampa, I loved it,” says award-winning illustrator Jill Barton of In the Rain with Baby Duck, the first of what would become an acclaimed series of books about Baby Duck. “I could see immediately the great possibilities for visual humor.”
What Jill Barton did not realize at first is how much the illustrations for In the Rain with Baby Duck, and indeed all her other books, have been influenced by her own memories. “My illustrations are laden with pickles and fruit and jam in neatly labeled jars, with fields and farms, ducks and pigs and horses and cats and dogs, and with farmers in bowler hats and flowered waistcoats looking suspiciously like my Grandpa.”
Jill Barton’s charming visual humor has helped earn the Baby Duck books numerous awards, including a Boston Globe–Horn Book award, two Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book Awards, and two Booklist Editors’ Choice awards. Over the years, Jill Barton has lent her warm, whimsical style to a number of award-winning authors, including Phyllis Root (on Rattletrap Car), Martin Waddell, Sam McBratney, and Dick King-Smith (on Lady Lollipop and its sequel, Clever Lollipop).
Jill Barton left school at sixteen and worked a number of odd jobs, ranging from laboratory assistant to telephone salesperson, before her children were born. Later she went to night school and then completed a degree in illustration, “having loved every minute of being a mature student.” Since then she has illustrated many books for children. She lives in Manchester, England, and has three children.