Featured Author: Danny Parker
At first, Danny Parker only knew how to make books with pictures in them; he didn’t know how to create a true picture book. It wasn’t until he teamed up with friend and well-known illustrator Matt Ottley that things changed.
Parker, mourning the death of his father, wrote a story to help himself express and understand his grief. He asked Ottley for help arranging the text and images — and he got more help than he expected. Ottley showed him how words and pictures work together, creating a third story between the two elements. Their collaboration turned into a published picture book, Tree, and that book led to another — Parachute, published in the US by EBYR this spring, the first of Parker’s books to appear in North America.
Like Parker’s first book, Parachute was also inspired by his family life. It tells the heartwarming story of Toby, a boy learning to overcome his fears. Parker created it as he watched his own children finding their feet in the world.
Parker lives with his wife and two children in Perth, Australia, where they moved from the UK in 2004. He teaches drama and writing at a boys school, and he also teaches a course for the Australian Writers’ Centre on how to write picture books.