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Colley, Jacqui
Writer's File

Jacqui Colley

Wellington - Te Whanganui-a-Tara
Colley, Jacqui
In brief

Jacqui Colley is a painter and illustrator. She first collaborated with Kate De Goldi on Clubs: A Lolly Leopold story, which won the 2005 New Zealand Post Children's and Young Adults' Awards for Best Picture Book, and Book of the Year. Margaret Mahy said that Clubs achieved, ‘a true marriage of text and image,’ and that, ‘this is a picture book in the truest sense of the word.’ Colley has gone on to publish several more books with De Goldi.



Colley, Jacqui (1965 – ) is a painter, and an illustrator of children’s books.

Jacqui Colley was born in Zambia, and lived in southern Africa for the first thirty years of her life. She moved to New Zealand in 1996 with her partner and two children, and in 2002 established her own design and communications business in Wellington, where she continues to work as creative director.

In 2004, Colley published her first children’s book in collaboration with Kate De Goldi. Clubs: A Lolly Leopold Story (Trapeze, 2004) won Best Picture Book and Book of the Year at the 2005 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. In the same year, Colley also won the Russell Clark Award, and the Spectrum Book Design award for Typographer of the Year. Clubs was also listed as a 2005 Storylines Notable Picture Book.

Margaret Mahy said of Clubs: 'both in terms of its text and illustration, this book is a breakthrough in New Zealand publishing. Original, funny, demanding to a degree, and achieving a true marriage of text and image… There are lots of wonderful stories with pictures, but this is a picture book in the truest sense of the word.'

De Goldi and Colley’s second book, Uncle Jack (Trapeze, 2005), departs from the Lolly Leopold series. It tells the tale of the wild and wonderful Uncle Jack, and takes you into the life of a rather unusual family. As David Larsen says in the New Zealand Listener, ‘De Goldi and Colley give you the exact feel of belonging to their very specific, very lively, entirely wonderful clan.’

Their third book, Billy: A Lolly Leopold Story (Trapeze, 2006), is a story of Billy, a regular little boy trapped in a class of over-achievers on Pet & Produce Day. The work was listed as a 2007 Storylines Notable Picture Book.

Little Nan, the final book in the Lolly Leopold series, was released in November 2007. Colley is also working with De Goldi on several other picture books, and with writers Neil Young and Ashleigh Young on two different projects.