Born in England; son of a vicar; married; wife's name Rachel; children: Sammy. Education: Humberside University, B.A. (printmaking; with honors), 1995; Saint Martins College of Art, M.A. (communication design/illustration),
[Image not available for copyright reasons]
1999; Hastings College of Arts and Technology, teaching certification, 2005, PGCE, 2006.
Home and office—United Kingdom. E-mail—[email protected]
Author, illustrator, and artist. Hastings College of Arts and Technology, St. Leonards on Sea, East Sussex, England, teacher; Pearbox Press, Hastings, East Sussex, founder and publisher. Member and performer, Dab Community Arts Group, East Sussex; musician, performing with band Colonel Mustard.
Summer of Play, Hastings Borough Council (Hastings, East Sussex, England), 2001.
Francis the Scaredy Cat, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2002.
Your Place, Your Voice, Hastings Borough Council (Hastings, East Sussex, England), 2002.
The Lion and Unicorn Activity Book, Dab Arts Group (Hastings, East Sussex, England), 2003.
Playdays Activity Book, Hastings Borough Council (Hastings, East Sussex, England), 2003.
Scoot on Top of the World, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2004.
Hugo's Hullabaloo, Walker Books (London, England), 2004.
Vivian French, Bert and the Burglar, Walker Books (London, England), 2004.
Smudge's Activity Alphabet, Pearbox Press (Hastings, East Sussex, England), 2005.
A Line Can Take You Anywhere, Pearbox Press (Hastings, East Sussex, England), 2005.
The Birdwatchers, Pearbox Press (Hastings, East Sussex, England), 2006.
The Shell Collectors, Pearbox Press (Hastings, East Sussex, England), 2006.
The Gardener, Pearbox Press (Hastings, East Sussex, England), 2006.
The Railway Enthusiast, Pearbox Press (Hastings, East Sussex, England), 2006.
Illustrator Ed Boxall had a clear idea what his life's work would be even as a child. Growing up in an old vicarage where his father worked, Boxall knew that he would one day make drawing and writing his career. Working toward his goal by receiving a degree in illustration, he has established a career in writing and illustrating children's books that include Francis the Scaredy Cat and Scoot on Top of the World. Boxall also works at the Hastings College of Arts and Technology, where he teaches art and design to adults with learning disabilities, and has organized workshops and short courses for local schools and libraries. Several of his books have been published by Boxall's own Pearbox Press, a small-edition publishing company based in his home town of Hastings, East Sussex, England.
In Francis the Scaredy Cat Boxall introduces readers to a quirky kitty that displays decidedly un-kittylike behavior. While other cats enjoy hunting birds and mice and other small creatures, Francis would rather hunt for carrots and take bubble baths. When other cats are brave, Francis seems timid and afraid, and the most frightening thing of all is the sound of the mysterious creature he hears hissing loudly in the yard at night. Francis's fear is challenged one particular night, when his young human caretaker, Ben, goes missing and Francis is convinced the hissing monster has captured the boy. Determined to rescue Ben, the kitty bravely ventures outside and follows the noise up a tree to the monster's lair, where he has a big surprise. Told in what Booklist contributor Gillian Engberg described as "repetitive, lyrical sounds and rhythms and surprising word choices," Boxall's self-illustrated story "will instantly appeal to children," the critic concluded. The book's acrylic and mixed-media paintings hit "all the right visual notes with … bold shapes and vibrant colors," noted a Publishers Weekly contributor in praise of Boxall's art. A critic for Kirkus Reviews called Francis the Scaredy Cat "a perfect tale to assuage worries about things that go bump in the night.," and Shara Alpern wrote in School Library Journal that Boxall's "childlike … illustrations in bold colors will work well for story times, and the theme [about a cat that faces his fears] will resonate with young listeners."
Quite the opposite in theme from Francis the Scaredy Cat, Scoot on Top of the World focuses on a spunky pup that takes advantage of the freedom it gains after jumping its family's fence during a game of chase. While Scoot's owner, Sally, worries about her pet, the dog is having fun chasing everything in sight. Scoot stops, however, when he realizes that he has chased himself into being lost. In a Kirkus Reviews appraisal of the book, the critic called Scoot on Top of the World "fast-paced yet reassuring," and noted that the story's energy [is] fueled by Boxall's "rainbow-hued" paintings with their "flowing, swirly lines." Describing the inspiration for the book on the Walker Books Web site, Boxall explained that the adventurous Scoot is based on memories of his own childhood: "Scoot on Top of the World is a story about that wonderful feeling of running and leaping, and going just a little too far."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, December 15, 2002, Gillian Engberg, review of Francis the Scaredy Cat, p. 759.
Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2002, review of Francis the Scaredy Cat, p. 1122; June 1, 2004, review of Scoot on Top of the World, p. 534.
Publishers Weekly, July 8, 2002, review of Francis the Scaredy Cat, p. 48.
School Library Journal, September, 2002, Shara Alpern, review of Francis the Scaredy Cat, p. 181.
Ed Boxall Home Page,http://edboxall.com (April 9, 2007).
Walker Books Web site,http://www.walkerbooks.co.uk/ (April 9, 2007), "Ed Boxall."