Catherine and Laurence Anholt
Catherine and Laurence Anholt are one of the world’s leading author illustrator teams. Their books have won lots of prizes including the Nestlé Smarties Gold Award on two occasions.
They live in a house with a wild garden on top of a hill, overlooking the sea in Devon, south west England. From their home studios they have created more than 200 children’s books, which are published in 30 languages around the world, including Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, Icelandic and Welsh.
Laurence does most of the writing and Catherine has illustrated about half of their books. The Anholt’s Artists series are illustrated and written by Laurence and he also writes for other artists like Arthur Robins, who does the Seriously Silly Stories.
They both went to Falmouth School of Art, then Catherine took a Master’s Degree at the Royal College of Art in London and Laurence went to the Royal Academy of Art.
Catherine was born in January 1958.
“I come from an Irish family and I am one of eight brothers and sisters. Our family lived in a community where my father was the potter. Even when I was tiny I loved to draw and paint but I trained originally as a nurse, before finding my true vocation at art school and that’s where I met Laurence too.
Laurence Anholt was born in August 1959.
“My father was Dutch and I grew up in Holland. One of my earliest memories is of being taken to the Vincent van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, where I first fell in love with painting. My mother was an English teacher, so I enjoyed reading and writing too. I just love books in all shapes and sizes and I can’t imagine a day without reading.”
(Pictured) Korean musical stage production of the book ‘Camille and the Sunflowers’.
“Most of our ideas came from family life with our own children. We would often note funny things they said and we would say, That sounds like a children’s book!”
“We also enjoy painting in our studios and most of all we love to travel to lovely places like India, Korea and Indonesia. When the children were small we used to take them on adventures like riding camels in the Sahara Desert on Christmas Day!”
“We used to own a bookshop in Lyme Regis called Chimp and Zee, Bookshop by the Sea. It was a wonderful children’s space and we loved it. However it took up so much time that we found we couldn’t write and illustrate too. We sold the shop a few years ago but sadly it isn’t a bookshop any longer.”
Laurence is very interested in Buddhism and believes that meditation brings health, happiness and well being. They both love nature and enjoy going on walks and spend a lot of time in their garden.
Catherine and Laurence Anholt have three grown up children and a cat called Harrods.