Once upon a time a group of friends were seeking a place to call home. The desert was too hot, the valley was too wet and the mountain was too windy.
Then they found the forest. It was perfect. The leaves gave shelter from the sun and rain, and a gentle breeze wound through the branches.
But the friends soon wanted to build shelters. The shelters became houses, then the houses got bigger. All too soon they wanted to control the environment and built a huge wooden wall around the community.
As they cut down the trees, the forest becomes thinner, until there is just one last tree standing.
It is down to the children to find a solution.
Emily is an award-winning author-illustrator who makes picture books for children and comics for grown-ups. She also teaches courses on graphic novels and illustration at the Royal Drawing School in London.
Her short comics have appeared in print in the Observer and Vogue. Alongside her children’s books she is currently working on a long-form graphic memoir for adults. Emily gained an MA with Distinction in Children’s Book Illustration in 2017 from Cambridge School of Art (Anglia Ruskin) and her first degree was a BA in English Literature from Cambridge University. She loves picture books and graphic novels because they’re a place where she doesn’t have to choose between writing and drawing.
Emily won the Jonathan Cape/Observer/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize in 2013, the Picture This! illustration award in 2017, and the Young National Poetry Competition in 1998 (when she was just starting out as a writer aged 18). Her first book for children, The King Who Banned the Dark, was shortlisted for a number of prizes including the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, Klaus Flugge Prize and Little Rebels Award, and was longlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Her second picture book The Last Tree has been nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2021. Her next book for children, titled Protest!, will be an illustrated history of peaceful protest through the ages and is publishing in June 2021.
When Emily isn’t hunched over a drawing board, she likes making up songs on her ukulele and watching romantic comedies. She is a passionate believer in the power of grassroots activism and is an activist with Extinction Rebellion.
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