children’s author & illustrator

It seems incredible, but I have written and illustrated over 200 books for children and illustrated nearly a hundred more for such great authors as Sir Michael Morpurgo, Michael Rosen and Rose Impey.

My books cover the primary age range from wordless and early phonics books for Collins Big Cat to series books for newly confident readers to middle-grade novels from Firefly Press

I’ve also created drawing books and over 2,000 how-to-draw videos on YouTube. You can see them on this page and also on this page. I’ve also made many of my stories available as read aloud story videos – you can enjoy them here.

Once children “get the trick” of decoding text and begin to read independently, they need to read lots of books. Every skill needs lots of practice to improve. Reading for pleasure, reading books that excite, entertain and inspire is the best way to practice.

Stories are how we learn best. Reading for pleasure, sharing books – reading aloud – and reading together at bedtime is the best investment of time and effort in any child’s life. Reading is the core skill in life that we so take for granted.

Lydia & her Cat – See my original artwork folder from 1986! My first books.

In this video I show you the original artwork for my book Lydia and her Cat, which was one of a set of six books which were published by Oxford University Press in 1987 as part of world famous, Oxford Reading Tree reading scheme.

They were also the first books that I had published. The books stayed in print for years but, recently, I’ve had the rights returned and have made the books available again in a larger picture book sized edition through Amazon.

There are six Lydia Stories available in two books of three. They are charming stories of pre-school, everyday life.

You can buy the Lydia at Home book here from Amazon in the UK: | Here from The USA: | and here in Canada:
And you can buy the Lydia Out and About book here in the UK: | here in the USA: | and here in Canada:

See the stories read by Shoo:

Lydia and the Ducks

Lydia and her Cat

Lydia and the Letters

Lydia and the Present

Lydia and her Garden

Lydia at the shops

Written, illustrated and told by award-winning British children’s author and illustrator, Shoo Rayner. © 1987/2022 Originally published in the Oxford Reading Tree by Oxford University PressAll material ©shoorayner

A story for Father’s Day

Super Dad is still one of the favourite books that I’ve written.

It came about because my son was mad about Superman and Batman when he was about 6 years old.

We were in the check-in line at London Heathrow. He was dressed in his superhero outfit which had various bits of homemade accessories, cobbled together from different superheroes.

As he patrolled the line, protecting us from evil villains, I spotted the smiles on the faces on of fellow passengers. in a moment, I saw him differently and a warm, fatherly glow descended on me.

“What would be the best thing that could ever happen to him?” I wondered.

The answer came to me in seconds – wouldn’t it be great is Batman came to visit? If he drove up in his Batmobile, knocked on the door and said, “Hi! I’ve come for tea!”

I thought I could dress up and pretend one day, but knew I probably wouldn’t. But that sounded like a good starting point for a story.

So, stating in the queue, I pulled out my sketchbook and noted down the idea.

Above is the story. It was bought by Macdonald books, who loved it and were about to really market it, but then they were bought by Hachette and, though the book came out, it was never given the marketing and love it nearly had.

Happy Father’s Day!

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