Jenny Cooper has been a full time illustrator for 25 years, working from home and raising her children Kenese and Kalia. She grew up in Wellington and lived for a time in Christchurch. After the Christchurch earthquakes she moved to Amberley in North Canterbury with her partner Chris, where she battles the nor’wester and nurses an acre of young trees.
After getting married, she lived in Western Samoa for three years, where she taught at Samoa High School and had two children. When she was 26 she returned to New Zealand and enrolled at the local design school, where she studied for four years.
Her first book was published while she was still a student, and she was winner of the 1998 New Zealand Post Student Stamp Design award and Telecom New Zealand White Pages Art Award.
Her first job was at the Canterbury Museum where she wove flax kete, rain capes and piu piu. She began freelance illustration at that time and it has been her full-time occupation since. In recent years Jenny has begun to focus more on illustrations for very young children and, in particular, Pacific Island children. She has continuing ties with the islands, which lend warmth and authenticity to her drawings of these children and their world. Jenny has a number of styles ranging from realistic through to cartoon, depending on the theme and genre of the book. She has illustrated so many books she has lost count.
- Skip to The Loo, The Topp Twins (Scholastic, 2018)
- My Old Man He Played Rugby, with Peter Millett and Jay Laga’aia, Scholastic 2018
- My Grandfather’s War, Glyn Harper, Exisle Publishing, 2018
- Oh So Many Kisses, Maura Finn, Scholastic, 2018
- Bobby the Littlest War Hero, Glyn Harper, Penguin Random House, 2018
- Gladys Goes to War, Glyn Harper, Penguin Random House, 2016
- Ranger the Kaimanawa Stallion, Kelly Wilson, Penguin Random House, 2016
- Rasmas, Elizabeth Pulford, Scholastic, 2016
- Wishes and Worries, Sarina Dickson, Kotuku Creative, 2015
- The Dingle Dangle Scarecrow The Topp Twins, Scholastic, 2015
- Roly the ANZAC Donkey, Glyn Harper, Puffin Books, 2015.
- The Farmer in The Dell, Topp Twins, Scholastic, 2015
- A Treasury of New Zealand Poems, edited by Paula Green, Random House, 2014
- Jim’s Letter’s, Glyn Harper, Penguin, 2014.
- The Moose and The Goose, Juliette MacIvor, Scholastic, 2014
- She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain, The Topp Twins, Scholastic, 2013
- Alphabet Squabble, Isaac Drought, Scholastic, 2013,
- Packing a Bag for Mars: Poems by James Norcliffe, Clerestory Press, 2013
- Le Quesnoy: The Story of the Town New Zealand Saved text by Glyn Harper (Puffin 2012)
- Do Your Ears Hang Low? (Scholastic 2012)
- There's a Hole In My Bucket (Scholastic 2011)
- Harry's Hair text by Jane Buxton (Scholastic 2011)
- Ria the Reckless Wrybill text by Jane Buxton (Penguin 2010)
- Stranger Madness text by Melanie Drewery (Scholastic 2010)
- Pick & Mix: Assorted Kiwi Stories text by various authors (Scholastic 2010)
- On a Rabbit Hunt text by Elizabeth Pulford (Scholastic 2009)
- The 12 Days of Holidays text by Yvonne Morrison (Scholastic 2009)
- Stories from Our Night Sky text by Melanie Drewery (Puffin 2009)
- ’ella and ’ob text by Sarah Johnson (Scholastic 2008)
- The Reluctant Little Flowergirl text by Melanie Koster (Mallinson Rendel 2008)
- Rugby for Rosie text by Frances Adlam (Mallinson Rendel 2008)
- Peter and the Pig text by Simon Grant (Scholastic 2008)
- The Mad Tadpole Adventure text by Melanie Drewery (Scholastic 2007)
- Better Together text by Yvonne Morrison (Random House 2007)
- Illustrated Myths and Legends of the Pacific text by AW Reed (Reed 2007)
- Shut the Gate text by Elizabeth Pulford (Scholastic 2006)
- The Littlest Llama text by Jane Buxton (Mallinson Rendel 2006)
- McGregor text by Rachel Hayward (Scholastic 2005)
- Down in the Forest text by Yvonne Morrison (Scholastic 2004)
- Shark Snacks text by Jill Eggleton (Reed 2003)
- When the Truck got Stuck! text by Joy Cowley (HarperCollins 2003)
- Duck Walk text by Joy Cowley (Scholastic 2002)
- The Fiddle Maker text by Catherine Harold (Macmillan 2002)
- Goodbye, Adios, Sayonara and Ciao text by Rita Golden Gelman (Scholastic 2001)
- The Great Pavlova Coverup: New Zealand Stories for Children edited by Jo Noble (Whitcoulls 2001)
- The Pipi and the Mussels text by Dot Meharry (Reed 2001)
- The Mean Octopus text by Janet Slater Bottin (Murdoch Books 2001)
- Jellylegs text by Elizabeth Pulford (Scholastic 2000)
- A Day with Emily Emeryboard text by Ben Smith (Macmillan 2000)
- The Wooden Fish text by Tim Tipene (Reed 1999)
- Storylines Notable Book Awards 2000 Picture Books List for The Wooden Fish.
- Storylines Notable Book Awards 2002 Junior Fiction List for The Great Pavlova Cover-up.
- Storylines Notable Book Awards 2003 Picture Books List for Duck Walk.
- Storylines Notable Book Awards 2008 Junior Fiction List for The Mad Tadpole Adventure.
- Storylines Notable Book Awards 2008 Picture Books List Special Mention for The Illustrated Myths & Legends of the Pacific.
- Storylines Notable Book Awards 2011 Picture Books List for Ria the Reckless Wrybill.
- Storylines Notable Book Awards 2015 for A Treasury of New Zealand Poems for Children (edited by Paula Green).
- Storylines Notable Book Awards 2015 for Jim’s Letters (written by Glyn Harper).
- New Zealand Book Awards 2015, winner of picture book category for Jim’s Letters, written by Glyn Harper (Penguin Books)
- New Zealand Arts Foundation 2015, recipient of the Mallinson Rendel Illustrator’s Award.
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Page checked and updated February 2013.