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Eileen Browne

Monday, 07 January 2013

Eileen Browne was born and bought up in Birmingham but lived in London for over twenty years before moving to Wiltshire in 1995. She worked as a school teacher and a youth worker before becoming as author and illustrator, her first book was published in 1977.

Eileen BrowneEileen believes that “Certain groups of people are not well represented in books. For example, females only feature as main characters in around a third of children’s books. Because of this I give them priority. Where’s that Bus? was one of the first animal picture books published with all female characters.” Indeed Through My Window, published in 1986, was the first ever picture book in Britain to feature a child with a black mother and white father.

Eileen has written and/or illustrated many books, probably her best known book to date is Handa’s Surprise, it is also available as a Big Book. She has also written and illustrated books in collaboration with, amongst others, Kit Wright, Tony Bradman and Floella Benjamin. Through My Window, written in collaboration with Tony Bradman, was shortlisted for the 1986 Smarties Book Prize. No Problem was shortlisted for the 1994 Nottinghamshire Children’s Book Award and Handa’s Surprise was shortlisted for the 1995 Sheffield Children’s Book Award.

School and Author Visits

Eileen loves doing author visits between March and October each year. Her aims are to inspire, enthuse and give confidence to the children.
She'll visit anywhere she can reach by train.  (West/central London, Reading, Newbury and Westbury are particularly good.)
She's happy to stay overnight in B&Bs, Travel Lodge etc, preferably with breakfast.
Eileen has four different options for schools:-
1   Class Visits: 40-45 minutes: 3-7 year olds: max 30 children
How a Picture Book is Made - from first ideas to finished item: all the different stages - showing rough sketches, dummy books, colour separations, printing errors: rewriting and reworking the text and illustrations.
 2    Handa Event45-50 mins: 3-7 year olds: max 100 children
Eileen reads stories, including Handa's Surprise and Handa's Hen.
Everyone joins in 'music and movement' using the Handa's Surprise CD - which she'll bring.
Eileen will show various (paper) visuals and she'll draw for the children.
 3   Handa Fruit Event:  allow 1 hour: 3-7 year olds: max 100 children
This involves listening to stories, looking at (paper) visuals, joining in 'music and movement' and tasting the fruits from Handa's Surprise.
4   Boo Boo Baby and the Girafffe - drawing event40 mins: 3-5 year olds: max 30 children.
Listening to stories, movement and drawing.
Eileen reads stories and the children join in lolloping, running and galloping (on the spot). She shows them how to draw their own (very simple) Boo Boo Baby.
Eileen always does a sale and signing of books, which the school advertises and promotes, preferably pre-selling in the weeks leading up to the visit.     tel: 01672 564156