Showcasing gifted illustrator, Hannah Sommerville


I first saw Hannah Sommerville’s artwork when Paul Collins, Publisher at Ford Street Publishing, suggested she was the perfect illustrator for my picture book Chasing Shadows.

Hannah’s illustration style is delicate and light, imbued with feeling and sensitivity.

Hannah lives in rural New South Wales so we haven’t actually met, which is unusual for me as I’ve been fortunate enough to meet most of the illustrators I’ve worked with.

So the roughs and then coloured illustrations for Chasing Shadows, I saw online and Hannah and I never got to meet. Maybe one day.

This story began for me with only the title, which bounced about in my mind for a couple of years. Then one day, while I was puppy-sitting Maverick, the golden retriever puppy, the whole story came to me. Beginning, middle and end.

I didn’t have paper, pen or even a lipstick with me, so, I’m a little ashamed to say, this story began on my iphone.

We launched the book at the Kew Library on a Sunday afternoon in March 2014 and afterwards we all spilled out into the nearby rotunda in the gardens to celebrate with the guest of honour, a fully-grown Maverick (who sadly wasn’t allowed in the library.)



I’ve lifted the following from Hannah’s website in Teacher’s Notes:

Hannah creates enchanting watercolour, pen and pencil drawings in her studio on the South Coast of NSW. The daughter of a ceramicist, Hannah earned a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts and Graphic Design) at the University of Wollongong in 2006. Hannah began illustrating after the arrival of her young children from whom she draws inspiration. Hannah is a storyteller, who enjoys creating picture books that capture the imagination, tenderness and playfulness that surround children and family life. Her picture book Digby & Claude, written by Emma Allen, made the CBCA 2019 notables list. Website:


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