Peter Taylor was born in Hitchin, in Hertfordshire, England.
When he was old enough to crawl he was introduced to the wonderful world of gardens, and spent many happy hours eating dirt and wriggly things. Soon he graduated to playing with dirt and every living thing he could find, making up stories and living in his own imaginary world.
Exploring the countryside and wild places, designing gardens, painting and photographing plants and animals, illuminating manuscripts and writing books and stories have all become lifelong passions.
Eventually training as an ecologist and educator, Peter has been employed in former lives as a natural history curator in a museum, nature reserve warden and high-school science and art teacher.
After exchanging jobs for a year with an Australian teacher, in 1979, Peter emigrated there in 1982 and lives in Stafford Heights, a suburb of Brisbane – Queensland’s capital city. There he met his wife, Heather, and they have two children, Jeremy and Emily.
Peter left his teaching post in 1987 to write ‘The Australian Manual of Calligraphy’ for Allen and Unwin. It was also published in 1988 by Unwin Hyman in the UK and New Zealand as ‘A Manual of Calligraphy’. At the same time he started his own book-arts business, Peter Taylor’s Calligraphics, specializing in calligraphy, illumination, papermaking, creative card and artist’s book construction, and in teaching the skills involved. One of his handmade and written books was presented to Her Majesty the Queen as part of her gift from World Expo. He has completed many other prestigious commissions and his work has been exhibited in several countries.
When his children were small, and he was making up stories for them, Peter realized that in all the jobs he has had he has always loved writing, so, in 1999, he studied for a Diploma of Professional Children’s Writing. After further developing his craft under the mentorship of Marg McAlister, he now spends most of his working life writing … but still plays with dirt, plants and bugs – landscaping gardens and escaping, whenever he can, to enjoy and photograph the great outdoors.
He has several other stories completed for young children, and many books in progress – including some for adults. Non-fiction titles include ‘How to Win Competitions’, ‘Greetings Cards for All Occasions’, ‘Passing Examinations is Easier Than You Think’, ‘Inspirational Stories and Sayings’, ‘Decorative Borders’, ‘Using the Landscape as Inspiration for Garden Design’, and ‘Lettering and Decorating Fun for Children (and improve your school projects)’.
Peter loves visiting schools, public speaking and teaching workshops.
He also writes articles for writers’ newsletters.
More of his work, books and stories, together with writing and illustration tips and fun stuff, will be found at his web-site www.writing-for-children.com. There you will also discover activities for children to accompany this book, ‘Kangaroo’s Visitor Gets a Surprise’, and background information on the Australian animals depicted in the story.