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 Picture Books Author of the Month
Pat Hutchins
Pat Hutchins
18 June 1942 -- ???

Pat Hutchins was born Patricia Goundry on June 18, 1942 in Catterick Camp, an army training camp in the North Riding of Yorkshire, England. Her parents were Edward and Lilian (Crawford) Goundry. Her father was serving at the camp. She had six brothers and sisters.

There was no shortage of fun for the Goundry children on the camp, particularly when they made their way into the commando training course. It was because of an incident when Pat and her brother had wandered on to a rifle range during target practice that Lilian Goundry decided that it might be better if they moved out of the camp.

The family moved to a quiet little village about five miles from the camp. Their new home was surrounded by fields and woods, which provided the children with a place where they could spend hours safely exploring. The new country environment was filled with animals of all types, allowing for the Goundry children to bring home all sorts of pets including a crow named Sooty, five pigeons, a kitten, several white mice, a hedgehog, and a dog.

Besides being a place to play, the countryside provided Pat with scenes she could sketch. She was particularly interested in the old Norman churches and stone cottages that filled the landscape surrounding her home. In 1958 at the age sixteen, she won a scholarship to attend the Darlington School of Art. She studied there for two years and earned a scholarship to Leeds College of Art, where she earned a National Diploma in Design two years later.

When she finished school in 1962, Pat decided to move to London. It was the best place to get a job as an artist. She spent her first six months in London as a part-time shop assistant. In 1963, Pat got a job at J. Walter Thompson, an advertising agency in London, as an assistant art director. It was there that she met her future husband, Laurence Hutchins. They were married on July 21, 1965 just two weeks before Laurence was transferred by the advertising company to head up its New York office. The couple lived in New York's Greenwich Village until 1968.

Pat continued to try to get work as an illustrator when she arrived in New York. The Macmillan Company was particularly interested in her work and encouraged her to start writing her own stories. Her first book, Rosie's Walk, was published in 1968 and was very successful.

The Hutchins also returned to London in 1968. Their first son, Morgan, was born there. He became one of the biggest sources of ideas for stories. Sam, their second son, was born in 1973. The Hutchins family now lives in the Hampstead area of London. Laurence is no longer in advertising, but is a successful film director.

Speaking of her work, Pat says, "The basic idea is the most difficult part, to try and do something original. When I have an idea, I sit down and work out the best way of putting the idea across in book form; then I write the story and design the layout. It is very satisfying to know it's all your own work, from the original idea to the finished artwork." [2]

That formula has proved to be quite successful. her books have received critical accolades and have appeared on lists of outstanding books ever since the publication of Rosie's Walk in 1968. Her success has also brought her work onto the television screen. Her popular Titch books are being made into television shows, and Hutchins now works on screenplays and set design.

Besides her literature, Hutchins favorite pastimes include painting, collecting Victoriana, and watching birds. One of her dreams is to have a cottage and some land in her native Yorkshire.

Information for this biography was taken from:
1) Tracy Chevalier (ed.). Twentieth Century Children Writers; St. James Press: New York, 1989.
2) Anne Commire (ed.).  Something About the Author, #15; Gale Research Company: Detroit, Mich., 1979.
4) "Hutchins, Pat" Educational Paperback Association; http://www.edupaperback.org/authorbios/hutchins.html.

E-HUT Don't Forget the Bacon (1976) -- A little boy goes grocery shopping for his mother and tries hard to remember her instructions.

E-Hutchins The Doorbell Rang (1986) -- No one makes cookies like Victoria and Sam's grandmother so they want to share them with all of their friends.

E-Hutchins Good Night, Owl! (1972) -- Because all the other animals' noises keep him from sleeping, Owl watches for a chance to take his revenge.

E-Hutchins Happy Birthday, Sam (1978) -- Sam's birthday brings a solution to several of his problems.

E-Hutchins Little Pink Pig (1994) -- When it is time for bed, a little pink pig lags behind as his mother asks the horse, cow, sheep, and hens to help her find her child.

E-Hutchins My Best Friend (1993) -- Despite differences in abilities, two girls appreciate each other and are "best friends."

E-Hutchins One-Eyed Jake (1979) -- A greedy pirate plunders one ship too many and helps some people find another profession.

E-Hutchins/E-P-HUT Rosie's Walk (1972) --The Fox is after Rosie, but since she doesn't know it, she unwittingly leads him into one disaster after another.

E-Hutchins Silly Billy! (1992) -- Little brother Billy ruins all his sister's attempts to play and is excused by grown-ups because he is "only little."

E-HUT The Silver Christmas Tree (1972) --Squirrel wonders what happened to the beautiful star that had appeared at the top of his Christmas tree.

E-Hutchins The Surprise Party (1969) -- Rabbit tells Owl that he is going to be having a party, but as word spreads, the message changes. So, what is Rabbit doing tomorrow?

E-P-HUT The Tale of Thomas Mead (1980) -- Thomas refuses to read and gets into trouble when he fails to read signs like "Exit," "Danger," and "Ladies."

E-Hutchins Ten Red Apples (2000) -- In rhyming verse, one animal after another makes appropriate sounds as each eats an apple from the farmer's tree.

E-Hutchins Tidy Titch (1991) -- Titch helps his older brother and sister clean their rooms.

E-Hutchins Titch (1971) -- Nothing Titch owned amounted to very much except for the smallest thing of all -- a seed.

E- Hutchins Titch and Daisy (1994) -- Because he can't find Daisy at the party, Titch hides in one place after another until finally he discovers she is hiding because she can't find him.

E-HUT Tom and Sam (1968) -- Tom and Sam are best friends until they start trying to outdo each other because they are envious of each other. Can they get over their problem and be friends again?

E-HUT The Very Worst Monster (1985) -- When Billy was born, his father said he would be the worst monster in the world. Billy's sister Hazel thought that she was already the worst monster in the world, but she has to prove that she is because no one notices her anymore.

E-HUT Where's the Baby? (1988) -- When Grandma, Ma, and Hazel Monster want to find Baby Monster they follow the messy trail he has left.

E-HUT Which Witch Is Which? (1989) --Although, Ella and Emily look alike, their choices of food, games, and colors at a birthday party help in telling them apart.

E-HUT The Wind Blew (1974) --The wind has snatched objects everywhere to join its aerial parade while down below the frantic owners of the airborne objects race.

E-HUT You'll Soon Grow Into Them, Titch (1983) -- The tables turn at last for Titch, who has been inheriting his older siblings' outgrown clothes.

"Hutchins, Pat" Educational Paperback Association (http://www.paperback.org/authorbios/hutchins.html) -- This site gives a biography written by the author as well as a list of her works and citations for resources to learn more about Pat Hutchins and her books.

Titch by Pat Hutchins (http://www.titch.net) -- Check out this site for the new television series based on the Titch books by Pat Hutchins. 

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