Tincknell, Cathy

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Tincknell, Cathy


Married John Kelly (an author/illustrator).


Home—London, England.


Author and illustrator of picture books.

Awards, Honors

Blue Ribbon citation, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, 2004, for The Mystery of Eatum Hall.


(With husband, John Kelly) Guess Who's Coming for Dinner?, Templar Publishing (Dorking, Surrey, England), 2004, published as The Mystery of Eatum Hall, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2004.

(With husband, John Kelly) Scoop! An Exclusive by Monty Molenski, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2007.


Cathy Tincknell collaborates with her husband, John Kelly, to create picture books that use elaborate digital artwork to enhance the text. Tincknell's first collaboration with Kelly, The Mystery of Eatum Hall—published in England as Guess Who's Coming for Dinner?—introduces Horace and Glenda Pork-Fowler, a pig and a goose, respectively. When the Pork-Fowlers accept an invitation to a mysterious mansion for a weekend of gourmet dining, their host, Dr. Hunter, is nowhere to be seen. Happily, however, the food is plentiful and magnificent. Stuffing themselves, the Pork-Fowlers fail to notice clues in their surroundings that suggest they are being plumped for consumption themselves. School Library Journal contributor Lauralyn Persson liked the "look of unpolished spontaneity" in Tincknell and Kelly's book, concluding that the combination of witty puns and hidden messages hidden in the book's illustrations "will engage children on many levels." A Kirkus Reviews critic also cited the "digital art in an accomplished, painterly style," describing The Mystery of Eatum Hall "a confection, but a delicious one." According to a correspondent for Publishers Weekly, with "just the right mix of horror and delight," readers of The Mystery of Eatum Hall "will plead to visit this eating establishment again."

Monty the mole has a problem in Scoop! An Exclusive by Monty Molenski, another picture-book production of Tincknell and Kelly. Monty's colleagues at the newspaper have left for a party without him, and he wants to attend. Because he is a mole—and therefore troubled by bad eyesight—Monty cannot locate the party. Worse still, his camera keeps malfunctioning, taking pictures at whim. As the pages turn, readers can see what Monty misses: aliens, mythological beasts, and even dead celebrities lurk in the shadows surrounding the befuddled mole. Nevertheless, wrote Genevieve Gallagher in School Library Journal, readers "will be rooting for [Monty] through his bumbling pursuits." Calling Scoop! "a hilarious caper," a Kirkus Reviews writer predicted of the book that "children aren't the only ones who will ‘scoop’ this up."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Horn Book, January-February, 2005, Robin Smith, review of The Mystery of Eatum Hall, p. 80.

Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2004, review of The Mystery of Eatum Hall, p. 868; December 15, 2006, review of Scoop! An Exclusive by Monty Molenski, p. 1270.

Publishers Weekly, September 20, 2004, review of The Mystery of Eatum Hall, p. 62; February 12, 2007, review of Scoop!, p. 85.

School Library Journal, December, 2004, Lauralyn Persson, review of The Mystery of Eatum Hall, p. 112; May, 2007, Genevieve Gallagher, review of Scoop!, p. 100.


Candlewick Press Web site,http://www.candlewick.com/ (October 24, 2008), "Cathy Tincknell."