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I grew up in a small village in North Yorkshire, one of six children. Encouraged by my mother, and two elderly friends, Mr and Mrs Bruce, who gave me my first sketch book, I spent most of my time doing drawings.

About Pat Hutchins

At sixteen I won a scholarship, and studied illustration at Leeds college of Art. After my degree, I moved to London hoping to get work illustrating, I was told by the publishers to come back when I ‘d had something published.

I was offered a job as a junior art director at an advertising agency, where I met my future husband Laurence. Laurence was about to be transferred to the company’s New York office for two years, so we married, and set sail for America a week later.

This was an opportunity to show my work to New York publishers, and I was incredibly lucky to meet the editor, Susan Hirschman, who suggested I should write my own story to illustrate. With her help, I produced my first book ‘Rosie’s Walk’. 

When we returned to England I continued working with my American publisher, and have produced over forty books.

Writing and illustrating has given me the opportunity to visit schools and libraries all over the world, as my books are published in many languages.

My latest book ‘Where, oh Where, is Rosie’s chick ‘ was published in 2015.

Pat Hutchins

Pat passed away in November 2017

She will be greatly missed by friends, family and all her readers, but she will live on in her books. 

She had some wonderful obituaries published in lots of newspapers.

The Guardian | New York Times | The Times | Radio 4

2018 is Rosie’s 50th Birthday and it will be celebrated by special editions of Rose’s walk.

Happy 50th Birthday Rosie!

Welcome to my website


Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a small village in North Yorkshire, I loved the countryside and had a pet crow who used to come with me on long walks. He sat on my shoulder as he wasn’t very good at flying. He would dig around for grubs whenever I stopped to do a drawing.

What comes first pictures or words?

I really enjoyed writing stories when I was a child, even though my spelling wasn’t too good and as I loved drawing, I would draw pictures to go with the story. I still write the story first, then decide how to illustrate it.

Where do you work? 

It used to be on the kitchen table when my children where small, but now I am lucky enough to have my own workroom.

How do you paint your pictures?

It depends on the story. In ‘Rosie’s Walk’ my first book, I was only allowed to use three colours, as full colour books where very expensive to make then. So I used black yellow and red. That way I could mix the colours and get greens oranges and browns as well as black yellow and red. In the later books I could use full colour. In my Monster books, I painted the pictures in water colours, to soften the Monsters so they didn’t look too scary.

Where do you get your ideas from?

Ideas come in all sorts of ways. Sometimes it’s from something someone says. When my young niece told me her mother was having a baby, I asked her what she would do with it, she said she would give it away. So I decided to write a book about it.

How do you make a book?

When I have written a story, I spend a long time working out where the words should go, and make sure they fit into the pages of the book. Then I make a ‘pretend book ‘ which is called a mock - up, and send it to the people who will publish it, if they like it. Then I’ll do the final drawings, and they will turn it into a real book. I do a lot of rubbing out and starting again. But usually it takes about six months.

What is your favourite colour?

I love all the colours, but Yellow is my favourite as it makes me happy.

How many books have you written?

 I have written forty books, the longer ones for older children ‘The House that Sailed Away’, ‘The Curse of the Egyptian Mummy’, ‘Follow that Bus’ and ‘Rats’ were illustrated by my husband Laurence.

Have you done any plays for children?

 ‘The Curse of the Egyptian Mummy ‘ and ‘Follow that Bus’ were made into stage plays, and shown at the Regents Park Open Air theatre in London, which was very exciting and ‘Titch’ became a series on Childrens TV. 

Have you ever been on TV?

 I was asked to present the children’s program ‘Rosie and Jim’. I did drawings of the places we visited, it was great fun filming on a narrow boat on the canals, but I was dreadful at steering the boat, and sometimes crashed into the river bank. 

What is your newest book?

 My latest book is ‘Where, oh Where, is Rosie’s Chick?’ it was published this year.

In the story Rosie lays an egg,  but when the chick hatches, Rosie can’t find it. So she goes on another walk to look for it, she doesn’t know that its walking behind her all the time.

What is your favourite character from your books?

 It has to be ‘Titch’, as he is based on my two sons Morgan and Sam.

What are you working on now?

 I love writing songs so I am going to try to write a musical play, with Rosie and the Fox as the main characters and I am hoping that there will be a pop up ‘Rosie’s walk’. 

I would really like to write an opera and of course do some more picture books.


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Pat talks about her books

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Pat interview 2017

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