Bruce Whatley

Bruce Whatley is a popular author, illustrator and artist who was born in the UK and immigrated to Australia as a child. He then moved back to the UK for a while to study and work, also working for a time in the USA. Bruce now lives in NSW with his wife Rosie Smith, who has co-authored several of his titles, including Whatley's Quest and Detective Donut and the Wild Goose Chase.

His first book, based on the family dog Skitty, was The Ugliest Dog in the World, and has been followed up by a number of award-winning titles, including Looking for Crabs, That Magnetic Dog, Detective Donut and Little White Dogs Can't Jump. Bruce is inspired by his family and has collaborated with his son, Ben Smith Whatley, to produce Zoobots and Tin Toys.

He uses a variety of illustration medium including oil paints, gouache, pen and ink and watercolour. Bruce's style is humorous and imaginative; with his aim to entertain and surprise the reader. "I like to make people laugh. I like to entertain but subtly take the reader somewhere unexpected. You can't beat a good twist at the end, and I strive to make those last few pages a total surprise."

Bruce has worked with some of Australia's best known authors. His collaboration with Jackie French has resulted in a myriad of wonderful picture books, including Diary of A Wombat (an Honour Book in the 2003 CBCA Picture Book of the Year Award) and Queen Victoria's Underpants

Bruce has also teamed up with well known comedian, Anh Do and his wife Suzanne, to produce The Little Refugee, a picture book based on Anh Do's autobiography, The Happiest Refugee. The Little Refugee has also been short-listed for the 2012 CBCA Eve Pownall Award for Information Books.

To find out more about Bruce, visit his new website at In particular, find out more about his fascinating PhD. As Bruce mentions on his website, "I completed my PhD, in 2008 Left Hand Right Hand: implications of ambidextrous image making looking at the image making of the non-dominant hand discovering that in most people the ability to draw lies in using the ‘other’ hand." Illustrating with his left, non-dominant hand has been a technique used for a number of his books including Flood written by Jackie French, and his book A Boy Like Me written by Libby Hathorn.

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