Jan Barger

Photo used with permission of Jan Barger.

Jan Barger is an American who lives in Plumpton, England, with her husband and cocker spaniel. Before she began writing and illustrating books she was a ballet dancer, a teacher, and a calligrapher. She has written and illustrated nine picture books and illustrated over twenty books for other authors. When she is not writing and illustrating books she enjoys singing and playing her flute and piccolo. She has a Masters Degree in Sequential Design and Illustration from Brighton University.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

I still remember visiting the local library after I learned to read and discovering the Little House on the Prairie books. I read them avidly. I also liked books by Lois Lenski.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

This is a line from the first book I can remember my mother reading to me. I think it was a Little Golden Book about kittens: “She tucked up their paws, and she tucked up their toes, and she pulled the blue blanket way up to their nose.”

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

I have lots of temporary top favorites—but I always put books by Karen Cushman and illustrations by Ben Shahn or Quentin Blake at the top of my list.

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

I’ve always loved making up stories and drawing and coloring.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Don’t be afraid to try something new.