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Rose Impey (1947-) Biography - Personal, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Sidelights

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Born 1947, in Northwich, England; Education: Attended Northumberland College of Education.

Career

Writer. Has worked as a bank clerk, primary school teacher in Leicester, England, and reader for a publishing company.

Honors Awards

National Book League Children's Books of the Year designation, 1986, for Who's a Clever Girl, Then?, 1987, for The Girls' Gang, 1989, for A Letter to Father Christmas, Desperate for a Dog, and Scare Yourself to Sleep, and 1990, for The Ankle Grabber; Who's a Clever Girl, Then? named to Public Lending Right list of one hundred most-borrowed books, 1987; Sheffield Children's Book Award, Sheffield Library Services, 1991, for Joe's Café; Prix Versele de litterature enfantine, Belgian League of Families, 1991, for French version of Scare Yourself to Sleep; Desperate for a Dog shorlisted for Smarties Prize, British Book Trust.

Writings

Who's a Clever Girl, Then?, illustrated by Andre Amstutz, Heinemann (London, England), 1985, published as Who's a Bright Girl?, Barron's (Hauppauge, NY), 1989.

The Girls' Gang, illustrated by Glenys Ambrus, Heinemann (London, England), 1986.

The Not-So-Clever Genie, illustrated by Andre Amstutz, Heinemann (London, England), 1987.

A Letter to Father Christmas, illustrated by Sue Porter, Orchard (London, England), 1988, published as A Letter to Santa Claus, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1989.

Desperate for a Dog, illustrated by Jolyne Knox, Dutton (New York, NY), 1988.

Houdini Dog, illustrated by Jolyne Knox, A. & C. Black (London, England), 1988.

Teddy's Story, illustrated by Sue Porter, Heinemann (London, England), 1988.

Rabbit's Story, illustrated by Sue Porter, Little Mammoth (London, England), 1988.

You Herman, Me Mary!, illustrated by Andre Amstutz, Heinemann (London, England), 1989.

Instant Sisters, Orchard (London, England), 1989.

Revenge of the Rabbit, illustrated by Andre Amstutz, Orchard (London, England), 1990.

(With Maureen Galvani) My Mom and Our Dad, Viking Kestrel (New York, NY), 1990.

(With Jolyne Knox) No-Name Dog, Dutton (New York, NY), 1990.

Trouble with the Tucker Twins, Viking (New York, NY), 1990.

Who's Afraid Now?, Longman/British Broadcasting Corporation Books (London, England), 1991.

Joe's Café, illustrated by Sue Porter, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 1991.

Magical Tales from Toyland, illustrated by Sue Porter, Treasure (Los Angeles, CA), 1991.

First Class, illustrated by Sue Porter, Orchard (London, England), 1992, published as Our Class, 2001.

Precious Potter, Orchard (London, England), 1994.

More Dog Trouble, illustrated by Jolyne Knox, 1994.

Fireballs from Hell, HarperCollins (London, England), 1996.

Sir Billy Bear and Other Friends, illustrated by Ian Beck, Collins (London, England), 1996.

Feather Pillows, illustrated by Robin Bell Corfield, Picture Lions (London, England), 1997.

Holly's Puppies, illustrated by Jolyne Knox, Collins (London, England), 1998.

Stella's Staying Put, illustrated by Shoo Rayner, Orchard (London, England), 1998.

(Adapter) J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan and Wendy, illustrated by Ian Beck, Orchard (London, England), 1998.

The Animal Crackers Joke Book, illustrated by Shoo Rainer, Orchard (London, England), 2001.

RETELLER

The Ladybird Book of Fairy Tales, illustrated by John Dyke and others, Ladybird (London, England), 1980.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin, illustrated by Richard Hook, Ladybird (London, England), 1985.

Orchard Book of Fairy Tales, illustrated by Peter Bailey, Orchard (London, England), 1992, portions published separately as Cinderella and The Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel and Gretel and The Princess and the Pea, and Jack and the Beanstalk and The Three Wishes, all 2001, and Hansel and Gretel, 2002.

Read Me a Fairy Tale: A Child's Book of Classic Fairy Tales, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1993.

"TWICE UPON A TIME" SERIES

Bad Boys and Naughty Girls, illustrated by Peter Bailey, Orchard (London, England), 1999.

Greedy Guts and Belly Busters, illustrated by Anthony Lewis, Orchard (London, England), 1999.

If Wishes Were Fishes, illustrated by John Eastwood, Orchard (London, England), 1999.

Silly Sons and Dozy Daughters, illustrated by Peter Bailey, Orchard (London, England), 1999.

Ugly Dogs and Slimy Frogs, illustrated by Peter Bailey, Orchard (London, England), 1999.

Bad Bears and Good Bears, illustrated by Priscilla Lamont, Orchard (London, England), 2000.

Hairy Toes and Scary Bones, illustrated by Hilda Offen, Orchard (London, England), 2000.

I-Spy, Pancakes and Pie, illustrated by Anthony Lewis, Orchard (London, England), 2000.

Knock, Knock! Who's There?, illustrated by Louise Voce, Orchard (London, England), 2000.

Over the Stile and into the Sack, illustrated by Hilda Offen, Orchard (London, England), 2000.

Runaway Cakes and Skipalong Pots, illustrated by Priscilla Lamont, Orchard (London, England), 2000.

Sneaky Deals and Tricky Tricks, illustrated by Louise Voce, Orchard (London, England), 2000.

"BADDIES" SERIES; ILLUSTRATED BY SUE PORTER

Baked Bean Queen, Heinemann (London, England), 1986.

The Demon Kevin, Heinemann (London, England), 1986.

Tough Teddy, Heinemann (London, England), 1986.

The Bedtime Beast, Heinemann (London, England), 1987.

The Little Smasher, Heinemann (London, England), 1987.

The Toothbrush Monster, Heinemann (London, England), 1987.

"CREEPIES" SERIES; ILLUSTRATED BY MOIRA KEMP

The Flat Man, Barron's (Hauppauge, NY), 1988.

Scare Yourself to Sleep, Barron's (Hauppauge, NY), 1988.

Jumble Joan, Barron's (Hauppauge, NY), 1989.

The Ankle Grabber, Barron's (Hauppauge, NY), 1989.

The Midnight Ship, Mathew Price (Sherborne, Dorset, England), 2004.

The Flying Vampire, Mathew Price (Sherborne, Dorset, England), 2004.

"BEST IN THE WORLD" SERIES

A Birthday for Bluebell, the Oldest Cow in the World, illustrated by Shoo Rayner, Orchard (London, England), 1993.

Tiny Tim, the Longest Jumping Frog in the World, illustrated by Shoo Rayner, Orchard (London, England), 1993.

Hot Dog Harris, the Smallest Dog in the World, illustrated by Shoo Rayner, Orchard (London, England), 1993.

Too Many Babies, the Largest Litter in the World, illustrated by Shoo Rayner, Orchard (London, England), 1993.

Phew, Sydney! the Sweetest Smelling Skunk in the World, illustrated by Shoo Rayner, Orchard (London, England), 1994.

A Fortune for Yo-Yo, the Richest Dog in the World, illustrated by Shoo Rayner, Orchard (London, England), 1994.

Sleep Sammy, the Sleepiest Sloth in the World, illustrated by Shoo Rayner, Orchard (London, England), 1994.

Rhode Island Roy, the Roughest Rooster in the World, illustrated by Shoo Rayner, Orchard (London, England), 1995.

Welcome Home, Barney, the Loneliest Bat in the World, illustrated by Shoo Rayner, Orchard (London, England), 1995.

Pipe down Prudle!, illustrated by Shoo Rayner, Orchard (London, England), 1995.

We Want William, Wisest Worm in the World, illustrated by Shoo Rayner, Orchard (London, England), 1995.

Long Live Roberto, the Most Royal Rabbit in the World, illustrated by Shoo Rayner, Orchard (London, England), 1997.

A Medal for Poppy, the Pluckiest Pig in the World, illustrated by Shoo Rayner, Orchard (London, England), 1998.

Open Wide Wilbur! the Most Welcoming Whale in the World, illustrated by Shoo Rayner, Orchard (London, England), 2003.

"MONSTER AND FROG" SERIES

Monster and Frog at Sea, illustrated by Jonathan Allen, Collins (London, England), 1994.

Monster and Frog Mind the Baby, illustrated by Jonathan Allen, Collins (London, England), 1994.

Monster's Terrible Toothache, illustrated by Jonathan Allen, Collins (London, England), 1994.

Monster and Frog Get Fit, illustrated by Jonathan Allen, Collins (London, England), 1994.

"POTBELLY" SERIES

Potbelly and the Haunted House, illustrated by Keith Brumpton, Orchard (London, England), 1996.

Potbelly Needs a Job, illustrated by Keith Brumpton, Orchard (London, England), 1996.

Potbelly in Love, illustrated by Keith Brumpton, Orchard (London, England), 1996.

Potbelly's Lost His Bike, illustrated by Keith Brumpton, Orchard (London, England), 1996.

"SLEEPOVER CLUB" SERIES

The Sleepover Club at Frankie's, Collins (London, England), 1997, published as The Sleepover Club at Laura's.

The Sleepover Club at Lindsey's, Collins (London, England), 1997, also published as The Sleepover Club at Lyndz's.

The Sleepover Club at Rosie's, Collins (London, England), 1997.

The Sleepover Club at Fliss's, Collins (London, England), 1997, also published as The Sleepover Club at Felicity's.

The Sleepover Club at Kenny's, Collins (London, England), 1997.

"TJ" SERIES; FOR BEGINNING READERS

TJ's Sunflower Race, illustrated by Anna Currey, Hodder (London, England), 1999.

TJ and the Baby Bird, illustrated by Anna Currey, Hodder (London, England), 1999.

TJ's Accident, illustrated by Anna Currey, Hodder (London, England), 1999.

TJ and the Great Snail Show, illustrated by Anna Currey, Hodder (London, England), 1999.

"TITCHY WITCH" SERIES

Titchy Witch and the Disappearing Baby, illustrated by Katharine McEwen, Orchard (London, England), 2003.

Titchy Witch and the Birthday Broomstick, illustrated by Katharine McEwen, Orchard (London, England), 2003.

Titchy Witch and the Stray Dragon, illustrated by Katharine McEwen, Orchard (London, England), 2003.

Titchy Witch and the Frog Fiasco, illustrated by Katharine McEwen, Orchard (London, England), 2003.

Titchy Witch and the Bully Boggarts, illustrated by Katharine McEwen, Orchard (London, England), 2003.

Titchy Witch and the Wobbly Fang, illustrated by Katharine McEwen, Orchard (London, England), 2003.

Titchy Witch and the Get-better Spell, illustrated by Katharine McEwen, Orchard (London, England), 2003.

Titchy Witch and the Magic Party, illustrated by Katharine McEwen, Orchard (London, England), 2003.

Impey's books have been translated into Welsh and Gaelic.

Adaptations

Who's Afraid Now? has been recorded on cassette. "The Sleepover Club" series has been adapted as a television series in Australia.

Sidelights

Rose Impey never expected to be a writer, and it wasn't until after the birth of her first child that she started to set pen to paper in earnest. She began as the reteller of fairy tales, and in order to tell the stories, she took her research very seriously. "Rose has a deep love and extensive knowledge of fairy and folk tales," wrote a profiler on the Orchard Books Web site. Though fairy tales are not Impey's focus, she has continued to write them, and has earned praise for her titles, such as the "Twice Upon a Time" series and the Orchard Book of Fairy Tales. Janice Del Negro of Booklist complimented Impey for developing a "conversational style that lends itself to reading aloud."

Impey's first original title, Who's a Clever Girl, Then? was very well received, and was named to the British National Book League's list of children's books of the year. Impey once told SATA how she got the idea for the book: It "was contrived when one of my daughters asked for help on a story for a school assignment. I outlined a plot to her: A little girl, on her way to school, gets kidnapped by a gang of pirates. They want her to do the housework while they go off having adventures. But because she's a clever little girl she tricks the pirates and ends up captain of the ship. 'What do you think of that?' I asked triumphant. 'Rubbish,' she replied. 'Honestly, Mum. That wouldn't make a story.' I could hardly ignore the challenge so I wrote it to prove her wrong. The story was accepted immediately and I've just kept on writing ever since."

Impey is also the author of the "Creepies" series—tales designed to cause shivers up and down the spines of her readers. Her first book in this series is The Flat Man, in which a young boy imagines a monster known as the Flat Man is trying to crawl into his bed. Each noise he hears he attributes to the Flat Man. Two cousins are featured in Scare Yourself to Sleep, and the pair camp out in the back yard. Their imaginations begin to run away with them, especially when one of their little brothers decides to "help" in the scaring. In The Ankle Grabber a father must convince his daughter that there is no invisible swamp under her bed, but she refuses to leave her bed until he scares the monster away.

Impey once told SATA about adult reactions to her series: "I've written a number of scary stories which are very popular with children but have met with some resistance from adults. My view is that those adults who are made uncomfortable by scary stories are the ones who as children were either unable to or prevented from working through their own childhood fears. Unfortunately, because of this they go on to make it hard for their own children to work on theirs. I'm a great believer in working through things. I think that may well be why I'm a writer."

Other series of Impey's are not so scary. "The Sleepover Club," a multi-author series for which Impey wrote the first several volumes, focuses on five girls who spend their sleep-overs dealing with issues such as friendship, boys, and teenage life. The series became the basis for a much-watched television show of the same title, which airs in Australia as well as the UK. Impey has also written series for beginning readers, featuring such characters as Monster and Frog, Potbelly the pig, and Titchy Witch.

Impey once told SATA how she became a writer: "I left grammar school at sixteen feeling I had no talent for anything other than enjoying myself and having a good time. After some pretty dreadful career advice I ended up working in a bank! Banks are not places where people generally enjoy themselves and have a good time. I was soon terribly depressed and knew I had to get out—even if that meant going back to school for a while. I then trained as a primary teacher which suited me better than banking but still wasn't entirely right for me.

"I loved reading to classes and would have been happy spending the whole day doing that (in fact I sometimes did) and this is clearly where the desire to write began. I still spend a lot of time visiting schools, reading my work to children, and when I am writing I have a strong sense of audience. I identify far more easily with storytellers than authors and I think this is evident in the way I write.

"I'm frequently asked why I write so much about girls, don't I like boys? Well, of course I do. But the fact is I am a girl, or I was; I have two sisters, two daughters, and most of my friends are female. Girls are what I know about; it isn't surprising I choose to write about what I know best, most of the time.

"Although I don't always write realistic stories, much of my material comes from real life, either from my time as a teacher or from my own family life. What I think I do well is to see the humour potential in a seemingly small event or anecdote and exaggerate it and elaborate on it until it makes a story. One of the most familiar cries in my household is, 'Oh mum, you do exaggerate.' And I do, but that's okay. If it makes a good story anything goes."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, January 15, 1994, Janice Del Negro, review of Read Me a Fairy Tale: A Child's Book of Classic Fairy Tales, p. 926.

School Library Journal, January, 1992, Lauralyn Persson, review of My Mom and Our Dad, p. 92; February, 1994, Donna L. Scanlon, review of Read Me a Fairy Tale, p. 94.

Times Educational Supplement, October 30, 1992, Nicholas Tucker, review of Orchard Book of Fairy Tales, p. 7B.

ONLINE

Orchard Books Web site, http://www.orchardbooks.co.uk/ (March 30, 2004).

Emilio "El Indio" Fernández: 1904-1986: Film Director Biography [next]

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