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Tim Warnes (1971–) Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Sidelights

(Lily Moon, Timothy Warnes)


Born 1971, in London, England; Education: Kingston Polytechnic, diploma, 1990; Brighton University, B.A. (illustration; with honors), 1993. Religion: Christian. Hobbies and other interests: The natural world, photography, "walking, beachcombing, and going to the cinema, being a dad.


Agent—c/o Author Mail, Little Tiger Press/Magi Publications, 1 The Coda Centre, 189 Munster Rd., London SW6 6AW, England.


Freelance illustrator specializing in children's picture books, 1993–.


Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, National Trust.

Honors Awards

Nottinghamshire Children's Book Award, Benjamin Franklin award finalist, and Dutch Libraries Association's Children's Book Prize, all 1997, all for I Don't Want to Go to Bed!; Nottinghamshire Children's Book Award, 1998, for I Don't Want to Take a Bath!; Nottingham's Experian Big Three Book Award finalist, 2000, for It Could Have Been Worse; Sheffield Children's Book Award commended title, 2003, for Scaredy Mouse.



Ollie's 123, Walker (London, England), 1999.

Ollie's Colours, Walker (London, England), 1999.

Ollie's ABC, Walker (London, England), 2000.

Ollie's Opposites, Walker (London, England), 2000.

Can't You Sleep, Dotty?, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2001.

Happy Birthday, Dotty!, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2003.

Mommy Mine, illustrated by wife, Jane Chapman, Harper-Collins (New York, NY), 2005.

Daddy Hug, illustrated by Jane Chapman, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2007.


Linda Jennings, Tom's Tail, Little, Brown, 1995.

Ragnhild Scamell, Who Likes Wolfie? Little, Brown, 1995.

Jane Chapman, Peter and Pickle's Puzzling Presents, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 1995.

Julie Sykes, I Don't Want to Go to Bed! Little Tiger Press (London, England), 1996.

A.H. Benjamin, The Clumsy Elephant, Golden Press, 1996.

Julie Sykes, Sssh!, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 1996.

Hiawyn Oram, Counting Leopard's Spots: Animal Stories from Africa, Orchard (London, England), 1996.

Julie Sykes, I Don't Want to Take a Bath, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 1997.

Christine Leeson, Max and the Missing Mice, Golden Press, 1997.

Christine Leeson, Davy's Scary Journey, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 1997.

Hiawyn Oram, Not-so-Grizzly Bear Stories, Orchard (London, England), 1997, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 1998.

Julie Sykes, Hurry Santa!, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 1998.

We Love Preschool, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1998.

James Riordan, Little Bunny Bobkin, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 1998.

A.H. Benjamin, It Could Have Been Worse …, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 1998.

Julie Sykes, Little Tiger Goes to School, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 1999.

Julie Sykes, Santa's Busy Day!, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 1999.

Julie Sykes, Little Tiger's Big Surprise!, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 1999, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2001.

Judy West, Have You Got My Purr?, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 1999.

Dick King-Smith, Dinosaur School, Puffin (Harmondsworth, England), 1999.

Michael Coleman, You Noisy Monkey, Rigby (London, England), 2000.

Michael Coleman, George and Sylvia: A Tale of True Love, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 2000.

Julie Sykes, Wake up, Little Tiger, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 2000.

Julie Sykes, Time for Bed, Little Tiger, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 2000.

Isobel Gamble, Who's That?, Barron's (Hauppauge, NY), 2001.

Julie Sykes, Wait for Me, Little Tiger!, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2001.

Julie Sykes, That's Not Fair, Hare!, Barron's Educational (Hauppauge, NY), 2001.

Dick King-Smith, The Great Sloth Race, Puffin (London, England), 2001.

Judith Nicholls, Inky-Pinky Blot, Ladybird (London, England), 2001.

Julie Sykes, Careful, Santa!, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2002.

Alan MacDonald, Scaredy Mouse, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2002.

Hiawyn Oram, Pudge's Play, Puffin (London, England), 2002.

Hiawyn Oram, Pudge's House, Puffin (London, England), 2002.

Julie Sykes, Bless You, Santa!, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2004.

Nicola Grant, Don't Be So Nosy, Posy!, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2004.

Julia Rawlinson, A Surprise for Rosie, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2005, published as Rosie's Special Surprise, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 2005.

Jesus Loves Me!, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2005.

Ian Whybrow, Say Hello to the Animals!, Macmillan Children's (London, England), 2005.

David Bedford, I've Seen Santa, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2005.

Steve Smallman, Bumbletum, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2006.

Rise and Shine!, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2006.

Gillian Lobell, Little Honey Bear and the Smiley Moon,, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2006.

Books illustrated by Warnes have been translated into seventeen languages.


Kenneth Steven, The Bearer of Gifts, Dial (New York, NY), 1998.

Kenneth Steven, The Song of the Trees, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 2002.


The "Little Tiger" series by Julie Sykes, featuring Warnes' illustrations, has been adapted into other books.


British artist and author Tim Warnes brings to life the works of a number of children's book authors through his vibrant, cartoon-like drawings and his whimsical take on life. Working with writers such as Julie Sykes, Judy West, Dick King-Smith, and Hiawyn Oram, Warnes has collaborated on several award-winning picture-book efforts, among them Sykes's humorous I Don't Want to Go to Bed! and I Don't Want to Take a Bath!, which reverberate with the adamant stance taken by children everywhere. Describing Oram's Counting Leopard's Spots: Animal Stories from Africa as a "hand-some offering," School Library Journal contributor Tom S. Hurlburt noted that Warnes' "paintings … are expressive, nicely capturing the characters and their environs," and his "expressive, comical illustrations add even more whimsy" to Alan Macdonald's Scaredy Mouse, in the opinion of a Kirkus Reviews critic.

As his career has progressed, Warnes has taken on the role of author, creating texts for both self-illustrated books such as Happy Birthday Dotty, and stories such as Mommy Mine and Daddy Hug, which feature illustrations by Warnes' wife, artist Jane Chapman. Reviewing the couple's first collaboration, Mommy Mine, in School Library Journal, Linda M. Kenton praised the "creative wording and joyful imagery," while in Kirkus Reviews a contributor wrote that the "sing-song cadence" Warnes weaves into his rhyming text "is naturally suited for read-aloud sessions" and ranked the volume "high on the exuberance scale."

Born in London, England, in 1971, Warnes "used to spend hours drawing, making little illustrated books and cartoon strips," as he once revealed to SATA; consequently "my career is essentially a natural and happy progression of my main lifelong interest." Among his favorite illustrations were the cartoon characters featured in animated films, particularly those by Walt Disney, and his early training in drawing was gained by copying those characters. "I love reading 'The Making of … '-type books to major animated feature films; the process behind character and stylistic development is especially revealing and feeds my work probably more than any other one particular source."

For Warnes, developing well-defined characters is his favorite part of being a children's book illustrator. "When I come to a new project," he explained to SATA,
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"I really enjoy researching picture reference for it, and I'm very proud of my extensive collection of reference material gleaned over years from various magazines and newspapers, etc! Without a source of reference I feel very out of my depth; as it is, each new project is always daunting."

Warnes begins each of his book projects by sketching page after page of character drawings, sometimes using photographs, "sometimes taking inspiration from people that I know, especially children, even if it is an elephant that I'm drawing!" He then reviews these drawings, picking out the ones that best fit the author's text. "At this stage I may make minor suggestions to the original text if I have a particular idea in mind, which may or may not be incorporated, and add my own incidental characters or actions."

The Christmastime book Shhh! is one of many collaborations between Warnes and author Sykes; others include That's Not Fair, Hare!, Sykes's "Little Tiger" picture-book series, and the "Santa" books Hurry Santa, Bless You Santa!, and Santa's Busy Day. In Shhh! the artist/illustrator wanted to provide something in each of his drawings for young readers to hunt for, so he drew a small mouse into every two-page illustration. "The publisher and [Sykes] developed this idea and gave me a voice on the last spread—now Mouse is as much a part of our Santa books as Santa himself," he told SATA. Praising Warnes' use of "bright colors" in Shhh!, a School Library Journal contributor commented of the finished product: The "lively illustrations show a round-faced, button-eyed Santa,… [whose] constant state of surprise and confusion … will delight young readers." Praising the artwork in Hurry Santa!, Booklist reviewer Ilene Cooper noted that Warnes "mixes the right amount of frenetic energy and laughs," creating art work that "attracts attention with its bright colors and cute characterizations." That's Not Fair, Hare! "strikes a nice balance between expressive illustrations and a read-aloud text," concluded Piper L. Nyman in a School Library Journal review.

Containing ten stories based on tales from around the world, Oram's Not-so-Grizzly Bear Stories reflects a wealth of tales with universal themes, such as the trickster tale. Reflecting these themes, Warnes' color-filled cartoon-like illustrations "represent an endearing array of animals from pandas to polar bears," commented Shelley Woods in her School Library Journal review of the work. Animals also feature prominently in Ragnhild Scamell's Who Likes Wolfie?, as a wolf tries to become more popular with the animals around him. Warnes' illustrations for Scamell's book successfully mirror Wolfie's dreams of popularity, "maintain[ing] a certain naive playfulness," according to a Publishers Weekly contributor. Commenting on the illustrator's technique, Booklist reviewer Ilene Cooper called Warnes' artwork "eye-catching … thick paintings with elements so well defined that at first glance" they apper"to be collage."

Although while in college Warnes worked primarily in black-and-white media, such as pen and ink, his more recent artwork has exhibited an increasingly sophisticated use of color. "In my first books I used a limited palette of just one red, one yellow, one blue and white," Warnes explained to SATA, "but now I actively enjoy seeking out new combinations of process colors. I work in acrylic paint, with oil pastel and pencil details and Chinese ink outlines (my Dad gave me the solid ink stone when I was thirteen, and I'm still using it today).

"Over the last few years, my work has seen a definite progression. Now working with water-soluble crayons and using acrylic-like watercolour to give more fluid, painterly artwork (this move in style encouraged by UK publisher Little Tiger Press). With this new technique, I am beginning to tackle atmosphere, light, and shade."

In addition to working under his own name, Warnes also coined the pseudonym Lily Moon, under which he illustrated the picture book The Bearer of Gifts, a story written by Kenneth Steven that retells the story of Santa Claus. Using a pseudonym "gives me a new identity and the freedom to express ideas … that wouldn't be possible in my usual style," Warnes once explained to SATA. "It has also fed my other work: the technique of using oil pastel on top of acrylic that was a distinguishing feature of my Lily Moon work has now crept into some of 'my own' work." As Lily Moon, Warnes has designed a number of greeting cards and Christmas cards, as well as illustrating The Bearer of Gifts. "I was delighted to receive this commission," Warnes explained of the 1998 picture book, "since it gave me the opportunity to express my [Christian] faith in my work; I also happen to love wintry landscapes which always seem so magical to me." Warnes' inspiration for The Bearer of Gifts was "largely drawn from my imagination, textiles, and primitive art, and any source of color reference that grabbed me, [among them] … my rug and a painting by Paul Klee," he told SATA. Praising the folk art-style and "deep, rich hues" apparent in Warnes' work, Booklist reviewer Lauren Peterson noted that the illustrations, "in a variety of sizes and shapes and with patterned borders and intriguing compositions, add interest."

Considering his future as an illustrator, Warnes looks forward to expanding his skills as an artist. "As time goes on, I would like to get to grips with portraying light and atmosphere," he admitted to SATA. "So far I have illustrated over twenty-five children's books with many foreign editions, but I still cannot grasp perspective!" In addition to the technical aspects of his job, he also has dreams of expanding his work beyond the printed page. "I suppose my ideal dream would be for something of mine to be properly animated as a feature, or to be involved in the character designs for such a film."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, March 15, 1995, p. 1334; April 15, 1996, Ilene Cooper, review of Who Likes Wolfie?, p. 1447; December 1, 1997, p. 644; May 15, 1998, p. 1629; September 1, 1998, Ilene Cooper, review of Hurry Santa!, p. 134; October 15, 1998, Lauren Peterson, review of The Bearer of Gifts, p. 429.

Child Education, June, 1996.

Independent, March 30, 1996, p. 9.

Junior, May-June, 1999, p. 111.

Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2002, review of Scaredy Mouse, p. 261; February 15, 2005, review of Mommy Mine, p. 237.

Publishers Weekly, May 1, 1995, p. 58; April 8, 1996, review of Who Likes Wolfie?, p. 68; September 30, 1996, p. 89; August 17, 1998, p. 74; October 26, 1998, p. 65; December 21, 1998, p. 66; May 29, 2000, review of Have You Got My Purr?, p. 81; February 11, 2002, review of Scaredy Mouse, p. 186.

School Librarian, August, 1996.

School Library Journal, June, 1995, p. 88; April, 1996, Jacqueline Elsner, review of Who Likes Wolfie?, p. 117; October, 1996, review of Shhh!, p. 41; November, 1997, p. 91; December, 1998, Tom S. Hurlburt, review of Counting Leopard's Spots: Animal Stories from Africa, p. 112; April, 1999, Shelley Woods, review of Not-so-Grizzly Bear Stories, p. 106; February, 2002, Piper L. Nyman, review of That's Not Fair, Hare!, p. 114; April, 2003, Heather Miller, review of Happy Birthday, Dotty!, p. 142; June, 2002, Roxanne Burg, review of Scaredy Mouse, p. 102; July, 2005, Linda M. Kenton, review of Mommy Mine, p. 84.

Scotsman, November 28, 1998.

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