Teckentrup, Britta 1969–

views updated

Teckentrup, Britta 1969–


Born 1969, in Hamburg, Germany; moved to London, England, 1988; married Ian Stenhouse (an artist); children: one son. Education: Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, B.A. (with honors), 1992; Royal College of Art, M.A., 1996; also served as artist in residence, Cite International des Arts, Paris, France, 1994.


Home— Berlin, Germany. Agent— Rosemary Canter, United Agents, 130 Shaftesbury Ave., London W1D 5EU, England. E-mail— [email protected].


Illustrator, writer. Illustrator of advertisements and book covers for clients including Vogue, Elle, Habitat, Marie Claire, New Scientist, Elle Decoration, BBC Worldwide, Waitrose, The Artgroup, Waterstones, Habitat, Southbank Centre,Ragdoll/Teletubbies/In the Night Garden, Hasbro, Ravensburger, Tweenies, Boxerbooks, Orchard Books, Frances Lincoln, Simon & Schuster, Walker Books, Penguin Books, Korea Dewey, Hyronsha Japan, Dorling Kindersley, Ladybird, Candlewick Press, Sjostrads forlag Stockholm, Koala Books, Audio Verlag, Regenerate Magazine, Ebury Press,Popi magazine —Bayard Press.


Daler Rowney Award; World Book Day selection, 2005, for Bumposaurus.


(Illustrator) Natascha Biebow,Eleonora, Scientific American Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 1995.

(Illustrator) James Sage,Coyote Makes Man, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 1995.

(Illustrator) Natascha Biebow,Elephants Never Forget, Freeman (New York, NY), 1995.

(Illustrator) Noreha Yussof Day,Kancil and the Crocodiles, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 1996.

(And illustrator)Rumble in the Jungle, Viking (New York, NY), 1997.

(Illustrator) Malachy Doyle,Well, a Crocodile Can! Flip-Up Flaps and Pop-Up Tricks, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2000.

Plum Pudding, Margarete Mayo, Orchard Books (London, England), 2000.

(Illustrator) Malachy Doyle,Babies Like Me!, Frances Lincoln (London, England), 2001.

Teletubbies Animal Parade, BBC (London, England), 2001.

(Illustrator) Malachy Doyle,Baby See, Baby Do!, Putnam (New York, NY), 2002.

(Illustrator) Penny McKinlay,Bumposaurus, Phyllis Fogelman Books (New York, NY), 2003.

(Illustrator) Penny McKinlay,Flabby Tabby, Frances Lincoln (London, England), 2005.

(And illustrator)Ten Steps to Bedtime, Walker Books (London, England), 2005.

(And illustrator)Big Smelly Bear, Boxer Books (New York, NY), 2007.

(And illustrator)How Big Is the World?, Boxer Books (New York, NY), 2007.

(Illustrator) Bernette Ford,A Starfish, Boxer Books (New York, NY), 2008.

(Illustrator) Bernette Ford,A Red Train, Boxer Books (New York, NY), 2008.

(Illustrator) Bernette Ford,A Black Cat, Boxer Books (New York, NY), 2008.

(Illustrator) Bernette Ford,A Happy Home, Boxer Books (New York, NY), 2008.

(And illustrator)Big Noisy Book of Vehicles, Boxer Books (New York, NY), 2008.

(And illustrator)Grumpy Cat, Boxer Books (New York, NY), 2008.


Britta Teckentrup was born in Hamburg, Germany, then grew up in the town of Wuppertal. Even as a child, she was interested in the connection between story and art, spending much of her time reading and then attempting to draw her own illustrations for the stories she loved. Following graduation, Teckentrup moved to London, England, in order to further her education. There she enrolled at St. Martin's College of Art and Design, where she studied illustration, earning her undergraduate degree in 1992. She continued on at the Royal College of Art, and graduated in 1996 with her master's degree in fine art and printmaking. She has worked in a variety of jobs, including as a teacher in art schools and creating illustrations for advertising and television programming, but her primary love remains the illustration of books for young readers, harkening back to her own experiences as a child just becoming interested in the medium.

Teckentrup got her start as an illustrator of children's books shortly after completing her course work at St. Martin's College, working on the book Coyote Makes Man, by John Sage. The book conveys Sage's version of the creation myth as depicted in Native American folklore, in which the Coyote goes from animal to animal to get input regarding what qualities should go into the first man. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly praised Teckentrup's illustrations, stating that "in a stunning debut, Teckentrup melds primitivism with a bold graphic style." The reviewer went on to call Teckentrup "the true star" of the work, concluding that "Teckentrup makes magic."

Kancil and the Crocodiles is a Malaysian folktale written by Noreha Yussof Day, and for which Teckentrup provided the colorful illustrations. The book tells the story of a mouse deer named Kancil and his friend, Kura-Kura, a tortoise, and how they attempt to get past a group of crocodiles in order to reach the far side of the river where a rambutan tree offers a selection of delectable fruit. Teckentrup's warm tones and leafy greens depict the jungle in all of its wildness and danger. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly observed that she "contributes intensely colorful cut-paper illustrations, thereby enlivening this conventional tale of trickery."

As many children's book illustrators do, Teckentrup has paired up with a number of authors, illustrating several of their books. She has served as illustrator for several books by Malachy Doyle, including Well, a Crocodile Can! Flip-Up Flaps and Pop-Up Tricks; Babies Like Me!; and Baby See, Baby Do! A simple book for young children,Well, a Crocodile Can! stresses repetition and makes comparisons between different animals by posing questions to the reader, asking if they are able to perform various tasks, and then responding by stating which animals can actually complete them. Christine A. Moesch, in a review for School Library Journal, praised the clever pop-up style and remarked of Teckentrup's work that "the cartoon illustrations are funny and full of life." Baby See, Baby Do! is another book for very young readers in the form of an oversized board book with flaps that the baby can lift to make discoveries: pictures of human babies engaging in whatever activities baby animals perform on the facing page. The animals themselves include a wide range of exotic creatures, contrasting with the typical tame animals illustrated in most children's books. A contributor for Kirkus Reviews remarked that the "color-filled illustrations feature wide-eyed creatures in habitats that are more whimsical than reality-based," completing the sense of the exotic.

Teckentrup also illustrated a number of books for children's author Penny McKinlay. Bumposaurus is the story of a near-sighted baby dinosaur who is constantly bumping into things or mistaking things for anything but what they actually are. These mistakes run from the comical—thinking his sister's tail is actually some tasty leaves—to potentially disastrous, such as thinking a vicious Tyrannosaurus is his mother. Steven Engelfried, reviewing the book for School Library Journal, wrote: "With their large eyes and expressive faces, the cartoon characters are fairly appealing." McKinlay's Flabby Tabby tells the story of a slightly older, chubby feline who is distressed when the new kitten in the house turns out to be faster than she is, meaning the kitten makes it to the food bowl first at mealtime. Tabby determines to embark upon a fitness plan so she can beat out the newcomer, and is soon giving the kitten some serious competition. Booklist reviewer Ilene Cooper wrote that the "ink-and-watercolor pictures, with what seems to be a touch of collage, are full of energy."

After years of illustrating other people's stories, Teckentrup began to write her own books as well. One such effort,Big Smelly Bear, tells the story of a bear who sees no need to wash until a fluffy girl bear catches his eye and he determines to mend his ways. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly declared that "this is one handsome book."



Booklist, January 1, 2006, Ilene Cooper, review of Flabby Tabby, p. 118.

Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2002, review of Baby See, Baby Do!, p. 103; December 1, 2005, review of Flabby Tabby, p. 1277; September 15, 2007, review of How Big Is the World?..

Publishers Weekly, April 10, 1995, review of Coyote Makes Man, p. 62; November 4, 1996, review of Kancil and the Crocodiles, p. 74; March 5, 2007, review of Big Smelly Bear, p. 60.

School Library Journal, March, 2000, Christine A. Moesch, review of Well, a Crocodile Can! Flip-Up Flaps and Pop-Up Tricks, p. 194; July, 2003, Steven Engelfried, review of Bumposaurus, p. 101; February, 2006, Elaine Lesh Morgan, review of Flabby Tabby, p. 108.


Boxer Books Web site,http://www.boxerbooksltd.co.uk/ (January 25, 2008), author profile.

Britta Teckentrup Home Page,http://www.brittateckentrup.com (December 6, 2007).

PFD Web site,http://www.pfd.co.uk/ (December 6, 2007), author profile.

Walker Books Web site,http://www.walkerbooks.co.uk/ (December 6, 2007), author profile.