Tony Ross biography
‘As soon as you see the name Tony Ross on the cover of a book, you know you are in for a treat’ Books for your Children

‘I haven’t come across a child yet who isn’t enchanted by his work.’ Tony Bradman, Parents Magazine

‘Tony Ross is prolific and his zany imagination never seems to stall.’ Observer



Tony Ross was born on August 10th, 1938 in London. He trained at the Liverpool School of Art and has worked as a cartoonist, a graphic designer, as the Art Director of an advertising agency, and as Senior Lecturer in Art at Manchester Polytechnic. He lives in Cheshire.

Over the past few years, Tony Ross has become one of the best known creators of original and traditional picture books and his work has been sold all over the world. In 1991 the Children’s Book Trust chose him to be the subject of one of their Authorbank videos.

His first title for Andersen Press in 1976 was GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS, which was voted one of the best books of the year by the Federation of Children’s Books Groups. Since then he has produced a whole series of highly popular traditional fairy tales, re-told and updated in his own inimitable style, which combines humourous text with flamboyant use of line and colour. He has now produced over 50 picture books for Andersen Press, including 6 in the DR XARGLE series and 6 in the much-loved TOWSER series. Towser is a scruffy, unheroic dog who is also the star of 26 5-minute animated films, which have been shown by television stations all over the world. TOWSER AND THE MONSTER EGG, published in Spring 1995, was chosen by the Dutch Book Council for the Dutch Children’s Book Week 1994.

Tony’s books have the kind of universal appeal which allows them to be published in countries as far apart as the USA, Japan, and Greenland. Tony Ross has won the Silver Paintbrush Award for the best illustrations by a foreign artist three times. First, for his version of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, then for TOWSER AND SADIE’S BIRTHDAY, and THE SECOND PRINCESS won the award for him again in 1995. I WANT MY POTTY won the Dutch Silver Pencil Award for the best text by a foreign author in 1987 and became a number one children’s bestseller in the UK. In 1986 I’M COMING TO GET YOU won the German Children’s Book Prize, and in 1991 DR XARGLE’S BOOK OF EARTH TIGGERS was shortlisted and highly commended for the Kate Greenaway Medal and A FAIRY TALE was shortlisted for the Smarties Award. THE SECOND PRINCESS was shortlisted for the Smarties Award in 1994.

Many of Tony’s books have been read and partially animated on television, and King Rollo Films and Abbey Home Entertainment have produced several videos featuring Tony’s work, including I WANT A CAT which consists of five of Tony’s stories, narrated by Victoria Wood. The video has been shown on BBC Television and sold in translation around the world.

Tony Ross has also illustrated juvenile fiction titles for several publishers in the UK, France, and the USA. In the Andersen Young Readers’ Library his illustrations for the popular MR BROWSER series by Philip Curtis have delighted its many readers, and he has collaborated with Hazel Townson to produce three highly acclaimed beginner readers in Andersen’s Tiger series: AMOS SHRIKE THE SCHOOL GHOST, THROUGH THE WITCHES WINDOW, and SNAKES ALIVE.