Jane Simmons lives the sort of life many of us dream about but hardly ever make a reality. She travelled a lot in her childhood with her parents who clearly had restless spirits. They moved to Australia when Jane was three years old, stayed a while, returned to England, travelled around Britain and then went further afield to Uganda, Malta, Zambia and Kuwait. All the while, boats were never far from the picture and so when Jane decided to leave her parents and return to England, it was a boat she moved to, first in Leeds and then in the Fens.
She went to Anglia University in Cambridge and studied under Martin Salisbury. It was while painting in the Fens that Daisy the inquisitive and disobedient duckling was born. Her talent was soon recognised and the book was quickly snapped up by a publisher. Critical and commercial success was immediate. In 1998 Come on, Daisy! was shortlisted for the Mother Goose Award and the Best British Book Award. It also won the 1998 Smarties Silver Award. Further books about Daisy followed and then a new series about her dog Ebb and Flo which was brought to life on television. Jane turned her hand to young fiction, with Beryl Goes Wild and Ship's Cat Doris but more recently has returned to picture books with Where the Fairies Fly and It's Great to Be Small! amongst many others.
Jane now lives in France with her husband, but a boat is never far away.
‘And soon the fairies were all around them…’
‘So they all set off far away across the ocean…’
‘and they all lay in the sun’
‘Come on, let's find the fairies’
‘They all stood absolutely still ...’
‘But best of all were the stories she told to Bear.’
‘He'd toss and turn with Floppy Rabbit’
‘We need to find the Dreamtime Fairies’