Born: Established: 26 Jul 1950 Melbourne ;
Born in 1950 in Melbourne, the youngest of five boys, Terry Denton studied architecture before pursuing an artistic career. He tried painting, sculpture theatre and animation before taking up book illustration at the age of twenty-five. Denton has illustrated more than twenty books for children, some of which he also has written. In 1984 he wrote and illustrated Felix and Alexander which won the CBC Picture Book of the Year in 1986. Other award winning books include, his third book At the Cafe Splendid (1987), which depicts ice palaces and huge waves in a fairy-tale city, Mr Plunkett's Pool (1993), The Paw (1994), which features cat-burgling adventures for younger readers, and the 1998 YABBA double Zapt! and Gasp!.
Denton visits scores of schools every year, working with students to develop their own writing and drawing, assisting them to design and paint murals and finishing up with watercolour demonstrations. His cheeky sense of humour and quirky drawing style are instantly recognised by children all around Australia.
Denton's stories are based on human problems - growing up and friendship - working on a simple emotional level. His drawings are developed in the imagination and he has said that he loves drawing faces and the emotions behind them.
In 1991-1992, Denton worked for the Australian Children's Television Foundation on Lift Off, acknowledged as one of the most creative children's television shows in Australia. He spent a year helping devise the program and another year designing the puppets and the visual concepts for the program. Lift Off won many awards.
Denton has illustrated books for children's authors such as Mem Fox, Paul Jennings and Morris Lurie (qq.v.). In 2011, with writer Alison Lloyd, he was shortlisted for the 2011 Eve Pownall Award for their book Wicked Warriors & Evil Emperors: The True Story of the Fight for Ancient China (2010).