Children’s book illustrator Penny Dann has died at the age of 50. She had been suffering from cancer.
Dann, who died on Saturday 20th December, illustrated anthologies, early readers, fairytales and poetry collections, and most recently illustrated Polly Parrot Picks a Pirate (Macmillan Children’s Books), authored by Peter Bently and released in September. She also created The Secret Fairy series, published by Orchard Books in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Dann studied illustration at Brighton art college, and was encouraged to develop her character sketches, found in the back of her sketch books, by her tutor Raymond Briggs, said Dann’s husband Tom Sanderson. Her end of college project about the history of tea was picked up by agent Allan Manham, and the Artworks Agency and became her first published book in 1985.
Sanderson said: “Her wry sense of humour and enthusiasm was very much a part of her illustrations and a major ingredient in the success that she achieved. Her most recent book... showcased a new and polished approach to her illustrations and suggested a wealth of new images that will sadly no longer be realised.”
Dann was a member of the Brighton Illustration Group.
She is survived by her mother and father, sister and husband.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday 14th January at 1pm at The Downs Crematorium, Brighton. The family has asked for donations to be made to Cancer Research and Saucoma Research in lieu of flowers.