Chantelle and Burgen Thorne

People often ask us why – why art? Why work together? Why did you move to the country? Why so many animals? Why did you do things the long way? The last one’s easy – because we didn’t know any better!

Why? Because art is in everything – cooking, gardening, moving, breathing. Because illustrating as a duo is more fun and the end result is always more satisfying. Because we love the shared experience. Because the magic of children’s books is that they’re not just for kids – adult and child expand their view of the world together. Because the thrill is in the show-and-tell, art and story pairing together. Because with picture books, every word and every image is important.

Because we are Chantelle and Burgen, living on a beautiful smallholding in Africa, being inspired by the world around us – our menagerie of rescue animals, our garden and the food that comes from it, the sound of the river in the valley below the stone house we built, the sun sinking behind the magnificent Drakensberg mountains through our kitchen window.

Full-time illustrators for many years, we are new to picture books. Current titles: Wanda (Jacana) July 2019, The Real Farmer in the Dell (Spork) March 2019 and The Singing Stone (Jacana) August 2018.

Look out for our upcoming titles: Speedy Monkey (Stripes, award-winning author Jeanne Willis) September 2019, Mommy Loves You (Imagine That) TBA, Stan’s Frightful Halloween (Spork) TBA.

Clients include: Little Tiger Press, Jacana, Spork/Clear Fork, Imagine That, Pearson International, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Heinemann, Macmillan, PanMacmillan, BenchMark, Mitr, Hodder and Stoughton