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Jill Murphy (1949-2021)

Jill Murphy was born and grew up, in London and attended a convent school in Wimbledon which provided inspiration The Worst Witch, which she started writing when she was fifteen and was published when she was twenty four. Jill attended Art College at both Chelsea and Croydon but only devoted herself to full time writing and illustrating after the success of The Worst Witch Strikes Again. Her illustrating career took off at once with the success of Peace at Last, her first illustrated book which was commended for The Kate Greenaway Award in 1980. A Quiet Night In was short listed for the same award in 1994. Jill is also known for her series of books about the Large family of elephants which has been televised as a series of TV shorts in 2007.


Five Minute's Peace won the 1987 Parents Magazine Best Books for Babies Award, as well as being short listed for the 1986 Children's Book Award. All in One Piece was highly commended for The Kate Greenaway Award in 1987 and short listed for The Children's Book Award in 1987. The Last Noo-noo won the 0-5 category of The  Smarties Book Prize in 1995 and was shortlisted for the English 4-11 Outstanding Children's Book of the Year. It went on to win The Sheffield Children's Book Award in 1996, and also won the 1996 Gateshead Gold Award. It was subsequently adapted as a play and performed at the Polka Theatre, London. Leaving London, she lived for much of her later years in the small village of St Mabyn, near Padstow in Cornwall.

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