Emily Gravett

Emily Gravett’s career as a successful illustrator began before she even finished studying illustration at Brighton School of Art. During her second year as a student, she entered one of her projects for the Macmillan Prize for Children’s Illustration, earned a ‘Highly Commended’ and then, the following year, won the prize by entering two books that the judges ranked in first and second place. The winning title, Wolves (Macmillan, 2016), was published by Macmillan Children’s Books and went on to win the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Boston Globe Horn Book Honor Award for Illustration and was also a runner up for the Smarties prize. Three years later, Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears (Macmillan, 2008) won her the Kate Greenaway Medal for a second time.

Emily Gravett has now published more than 20 picture books in more than 20 languages including Meerkat Mail (Two Hoots, 2016), Orange Pear Apple Bear (Macmillan, 2016), (a Quills Award finalist, a Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist title, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, and a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year), Tidy (Macmillan, 2017) and Cyril and Pat (Macmillan, 2019)which won the first ever BookTrust StoryTime Prize in 2019. She is one of a small world-class team of illustration talent chosen to create colour illustrated editions of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and Hogwarts Library books. Quidditch Through the Ages (Bloomsbury, 2020) publishes autumn 2020. Emily’s global sales to date sit at around 5 million copies and the number of languages into which her books have been translated is 38.

A natural innovator and with a great sense of comedy, Emily Gravett has also become renowned for her creative and interactive approach to the bookmaking medium. She wanted Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears to look genuinely chewed, so she painted yoghurt on plain white paper and laid it in the cage of the two pet rats. Of Tidy, Kirkus said: ‘Artistic virtuoso Gravett wields her pencils, watercolors, and wax crayons (and a nifty, layered cover die cut) to create detail that’s tender and sharp, with backgrounds both lush and quirky.’

Emily Gravett has also collaborated with some of the most creative writers working today including Julia Donaldson on Cave Baby (Macmillan, 2011), with A F Harold on The Imaginary (Bloomsbury, 2015), with Matt Haig on Evie and the Animals (Canongate, 2019), and Michael Morpurgo on A Song of Gladness (Macmillan, 2022). The Imaginary won the UKLA Book Award 2016 with the judges commenting that their 7-11 winner ‘reflects once again the importance of illustration to this age group.‘ The New York Times Book Review said: ‘Emily Gravett’s delicate illustrations (and dazzling cover art), with soft lines in mostly black and white, capture the motion of Amanda and Rudger’s adventures, but the tranquility of play too.’

Emily Gravett lives and works in Brighton with her family.

See also illustrators.