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Hugh (Shoo Rayner) Rayner Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Sidelights

england london oxford orchard

Born in Kingston upon Thames, England; Education: Attended Cambridge Art School.

Agent—c/o Author Mail, Hodder and Stoughton, 338 Euston Rd., London NW1 3BH, England.

Author and illustrator; previous jobs include painting signs and silk screening, and working as a mapmaker for the Land Registry, Peterborough, England.

SELF-ILLUSTRATED PICTURE BOOKS; AS SHOO RAYNER

Lamb Drover Jim: The Champion Sheepdog, Bedrick/Blackie (New York, NY), 1988.

Victoria: The Wednesday Market Bus, Bedrick/Blackie (New York, NY), 1988.

Gruesome Games, Blackie (London, England), 1988.

The Hardacres of Hardacre Farm, Blackie (London, England), 1989.

Harvest at Hardacre Farm, Blackie (London, England), 1989.

Santa's Diary, Puffin (London, England), 1990.

Games from the Twenty-First Century, Blackie (London, England), 1990.

Noah's ABC, Viking (London, England), 1992.

Cat in a Flap, Blackie (London, England), 1992.

Hey Diddle Diddle and Other Mother Goose Rhymes (sequel to Cat in a Flap), Dutton (London, England), 1995.

Super Dad the Super Hero, Macdonald Young Books (Hove, England), 1999.

Super Dad, Macdonald Young Books (Hove, England), 1999.

Rock-a-Doodle-Do! ("Orchard Crunchies" series), Orchard (London, England), 2000.

Treacle, Treacle, Little Tart ("Orchard Crunchies" series), Orchard (London, England), 2001.

Craig M'Nure, Barrington Stoke (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2002.

Cash Crazy! ("Millie and Bombassa" series), Scholastic (London, England), 2002.

Dizzy DIY! ("Millie and Bombassa" series), Scholastic (London, England), 2002.

SELF-ILLUSTRATED JOKE BOOKS; AS SHOO RAYNER

The Christmas Stocking Joke Book, Puffin (London, England), 1989.

My First Picture Joke Book, Viking (New York, NY), 1989.

Ready Teddy Go!, Puffin (London, England), 1991.

The Fairy-Tale Joke Book, Puffin (London, England), 1992.

The Midnight Feast Joke Book, Puffin (London, England), 1993.

The Little Book of New Year's Resolutions, Puffin (London, England), 1993.

Shaggy Ghost Stories, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 1997.

The Little Book of Millennium Resolutions, Puffin (London, England), 1999.

The Pirate's Secret Joke Book, Puffin (London, England), 1999.

"LYDIA" SERIES; SELF-ILLUSTRATED; AS SHOO RAYNER

Lydia and Her Cat, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1988.

Lydia at Home, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1988.

Lydia Out and About, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1988.

Lydia and Her Garden, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1994.

Lydia at the Shops, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1994.

Lydia and the Present, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1994.

Lydia and the Letters, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1994.

Lydia and the Ducks, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1994.

"VICTOR" SERIES; SELF-ILLUSTRATED; AS SHOO RAYNER

Victor and the Sail-Kart, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1989.

Victor and the Kite, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1989.

Victor the Hero, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1989.

Victor and the Martian, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1989.

Victor and the Computer Cat, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1989.

Victor the Champion, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1989.

"CYRIL'S CAT" SERIES; SELF-ILLUSTRATED; AS SHOO RAYNER

Cyril's Cat, Puffin (London, England), 1993.

Charlie's Night Out, Puffin (London, England), 1993.

Cyril's Cat and the Big Surprise, Puffin (London, England), 1993.

Mouse Practice, Puffin (London, England), 1996.

"JETS" SERIES; SELF-ILLUSTRATED; AS SHOO RAYNER

Grandad's Concrete Garden, A & C Black (London, England), 1994.

We Won the Lottery, A & C Black (London, England), 1996.

Aunt Jinksie's Miracle Seeds, A & C Black (London, England), 1996.

Boys Are Us, A & C Black (London, England), 1998.

"GINGER NINJA" SERIES; SELF-ILLUSTRATED; AS SHOO RAYNER

The Ginger Ninja, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 1995.

Return of Tiddles, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 1995.

Tiddle Strikes Back, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 1995.

Dance of the Apple Dumplings, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 1996.

St. Felix for the Cup!, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 1996.

World Cup Winners, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 1997.

Three's a Crowd, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 1997.

"REX FILES" SERIES; SELF-ILLUSTRATED; AS SHOO RAYNER

The Life-Snatcher, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 1999.

The Phantom Bantam, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 1999.

The Bermuda Triangle, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 1999.

The Shredder, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 1999.

The Frightened Forest, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 1999.

The Baa-Baa Club, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 1999.

"ORCHARD CRUNCHIES: LITTLE HORRORS" SERIES; SELF-ILLUSTRATED; AS SHOO RAYNER

The Pumpkin Man, Orchard (London, England), 2001.

The Swamp Man, Orchard (London, England), 2001.

The Spider Man, Orchard (London, England), 2002.

The Sand Man, Orchard (London, England), 2002.

The Shadow Man, Orchard (London, England), 2003.

The Snow Man, Orchard (London, England), 2003.

The Bone Man, Orchard (London, England), 2003.

"DARK CLAW" SERIES; SELF-ILLUSTRATED; AS SHOO RAYNER

Tunnel Mazers, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 2002.

Road Rage, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 2002.

Rat Trap, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 2002.

Breakout!, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 2002.

The Guiding Paw, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 2002.

The Black Hole, Hodder and Stoughton (London, England), 2002.

ILLUSTRATOR; AS SHOO RAYNER

Terry Deary, The Ghosts of Batwing Castle, A&CBlack (London, England), 1988.

Sheila Greenwald, All the Way to Wits' End, Puffin (London, England), 1988.

Helen Cresswell, Whatever Happened in Winklesea?, Lutterworth (Cambridge, England), 1989.

Sonia Devons, Shut the Gate!, Bedrick/Blackie (New York, NY), 1991.

Eric Emmet, The Christmas Stocking Book of Brainteasers, Puffin (London, England), 1994.

Michael Rosen, editor, Pilly Soems, A & C Black (London, England), 1994.

Michael Rosen, You Wait Till I'm Older Than You!, Viking (London, England), 1996.

ILLUSTRATOR; WRITTEN BY MICHAEL MORPURGO; AS SHOO RAYNER

Mossop's Last Chance (see also below), A & C Black (London, England), 1988.

Albertine, Goose Queen (see also below), A & C Black (London, England), 1989.

Jigger's Day Off (see also below), A & C Black (London, England), 1990.

And Pigs Might Fly!, A & C Black (London, England), 1992.

Martians at Mudpuddle Farm, A & C Black (London, England), 1992.

Stories from Mudpuddle Farm (contains Mossop's Last Chance; Albertine, Goose Queen; and Jigger's Day Off), A & C Black (London, England), 1994.

Mum's the Word, A & Black (London, England), 1995.

ILLUSTRATOR; "ANIMAL CRACKERS" SERIES; WRITTEN BY ROSE IMPEY; AS SHOO RAYNER

Too Many Babies: The Largest Litter in the World, Orchard (London, England), 1993.

Tiny Tim: The Longest Jumping Frog in the World, Orchard (London, England), 1993.

A Birthday for Bluebell: The Oldest Cow in the World, Orchard (London, England), 1993.

Hot Dog Harris: The Smallest Dog in the World, Orchard (London, England), 1993.

Precious Potter: The Heaviest Cat in the World, Orchard (London, England), 1994.

Phew, Sidney!: The Sweetest-Smelling Skunk in the World, Orchard (London, England), 1994.

A Fortune for Yo-Yo: The Richest Dog in the World, Orchard (London, England), 1994.

Sleepy Sammy: The Sleepiest Sloth in the World, Orchard (London, England), 1994.

Rhode Island Roy: The Roughest Rooster in the World, Orchard (London, England), 1995.

Welcome Home, Barney: The Loneliest Bat in the World, Orchard (London, England), 1995.

Pipe Down, Prudie!, Orchard (London, England), 1995.

We Want William: The Wisest Worm in the World, Orchard (London, England), 1995.

Long Live Roberto: The Most Royal Rabbit in the World, Orchard (London, England), 1997.

A Medal for Poppy: The Pluckiest Pig in the World, Orchard (London, England), 1998.

Stella's Staying Put: The Most Stubborn Swan in the World, Orchard (London, England), 1999.

The Animal Crackers Joke Book, Orchard (London, England), 2001.

Open Wide, Wilbur: The Most Welcoming Whale in the World, Orchard (London, England), 2003.

Also author of The Bear That Wouldn't Growl, The Elephant That Forgot, The Snake That Couldn't Hiss, and The Shark with No Teeth, available as a pack of four from Heinemann (Oxford, England). Contributor of stories to anthologies, including "Victoria at the County Show" in The Martian and the Supermarket; and "The Trifle Tower" in Stories for Six-Year-Olds (book and tape set). Works have been translated into Welsh and Gaelic.

Prolific British author and illustrator Hugh Rayner, who writes under the first name of Shoo, has had a hand in several popular series for early readers. He is the illustrator for Rose Impey's long-running "Animal Crackers" books, and as both author and illustrator, he created the "Dark Claw," "Rex Files," and "Ginger Ninja" series. These series have very different themes—the "Dark Claw" books are a spoof of Star Wars and other such science-fiction stories, starring cats and rodents; the "Rex Files" (a take-off on the television series The X-Files) feature a duo of canine sleuths named Rex and Franky who investigate various terrifying paranormal happenings; and the "Ginger Ninja" books are about a pawball-mad kitten named Ginger who faces typical elementary-school problems such as bullies. Rayner has said that The Ginger Ninja is his favorite book, both because the Ginger Ninja is the character most like him (Rayner himself had bright red hair as a child) and "because that was the book where I looked deepest into the darkesty regions of my character and managed to come up almost sane at the end," he said in an interview with Word Pool.

Despite their different subject matter, all of Rayner's books were designed to be both easy to comprehend and entertaining for children who are just learning to read on their own. They feature short sentences, short chapters, and almost comic-book-like illustrations. Explaining what he finds most rewarding about his work, Rayner said in the Word Pool interview, "My readers are at the most important stage of reading development, where they can be put off or enthused for life." While he admits that the early-reader genre is often overlooked by critics, "children find it for themselves and read my books by the bucket load. That's my reward."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Guardian (London, England), September 10, 2002, review of The Dark Claw Saga, p. 65; February 25, 2003, Lindsey Fraser, review of A Medal for Poppy: The Pluckiest Pig in the World, p. 61.

Herald (Glasgow, Scotland), March 3, 2001, Michael Thorn, review of Shoo Rayner Web Site, p. 19.

School Library Journal, March, 1991, JoAnn Rees, review of Shut the Gate!, p. 170, and Jeanne Mary Clancy, review of My First Picture Joke Book, pp. 189-190.

ONLINE

Buckinghamshire County Council, http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/ (January 14, 2004), "Author of the Month: December: Shoo Rayner."

Penguin Putnam Web Site, http://www.penguinputnam.com/ (April 13, 2004), "Shoo Rayner."

Shoo Rayner Web Site, http://www.shoo-rayner.co.uk/ (March 31, 2004).

Word Pool, http://www.wordpool.co.uk/ (January 14, 2004), "Author Profile of Shoo Rayner."*

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