Stephanie Thatcher, born 1972, is a writer and illustrator of picture books. She lives in Huia, West Auckland. Thatcher fits making picture books around her graphic design work and looking after her three young boys, which she says often involves working in the evenings at the dinner table.
From a young age, Thatcher always had a love for the illustrations in her favourite picture books and remembers spending hours lying around reading. She discovered that the illustrations in the children’s books were more than just decorative; they had the ability to stimulate the imagination of the young reader and add another layer of meaning and understanding to a story. Children who are not yet reading can invent a story of their own by looking at the illustrations. For Thatcher, the words and illustrations in a picture book are equally important.
Thatcher worked in libraries for a number of years before completing a Bachelor of Visual Arts at AUT University in 1999. She then went on to work in Auckland and Dublin as a graphic designer, all the while dreaming of someday creating children’s picture books.
She has always been passionate about drawing and painting, especially sketching people and drawing caricatures of those around her. Thatcher attended children’s book illustration night classes and soon after wrote and illustrated her first picture book, Great Galloping Galoot (Scholastic, 2012) about a clumsy giraffe, inspired by her 'gangly' brother. She has since had nine more picture book titles published.
Thatcher thinks that picture books are a fantastic opportunity to expose children to a huge variety of words, images and ideas in an entertaining way. Her favourite books to read to her own children, which she will happily come back to again and again, are funny, clever, with fantastic art and are a joy to read. Thatcher aspires to evoke these same feelings in her own work.
Picture books written and illustrated by Stephanie Thatcher include: Great Galloping Galoot, 2012 (Scholastic); The Quiet Pirate, 2013 (Duck Creek Press), The Toy Fairy, 2014 (Duck Creek Press); Little Hoiho, 2015 (Scholastic); Hoiho Paku, 2015 (Scholastic - te reo edition); The Other Brother, 2016 (Scholastic); Ko Tērā Atu o Ngā Tama, 2016, (Scholastic - te reo edition); Pūtangitangi Walks, 2017 (Scholastic); Ka Hīkoi a Pūtangitangi, 2017 (Scholastic - te reo edition); Kiwi One and Kiwi Two, 2018 (Scholastic); Kiwi Tahi rāua ko Kiwi Rua, 2018 (Scholastic - te reo edition); Polly does not want a cracker, 2019 (Upstart Press).
Titles illustrated by Stephanie Thatcher include Jungle Bells, 2015 (Scholastic) and Why do cats have tails? (written by David Ling), 2015 (Duck Creek Press).