Freya Blackwood, born in the UK while her parents were travelling, grew up in Orange, New South Wales. After completing her secondary school education, Blackwood studied Visual Communications at the University of Technology Sydney. When she finished her degree she worked in a special effects workshop before going to New Zealand and working at Weta Workshop on The Lord of the Rings. Blackwood later returned to Australia and took up book illustration. She acknowledges the assistance of John Winch (q.v.) in kick-starting her career in children's book illustration and names Shaun Tan and Armin Greder (qq.v.) among her favourite Australian illustrators.
Source: the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards website, http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/ Sighted: 28 June 2010
'In this delightful companion to The Cleo Stories: The Necklace and the Present, Cleo comes up with ingenious ways to make a new friend and find a pet.
'Cleo's best friend is away, her parents are busy, and there's nothing to do but count raindrops - or tidy her room. Just when she thinks she'll never cheer up, Cleo has an idea. In the next story, Cleo longs for a pet but her mum and dad say no. Perhaps the answer is hidden somewhere unexpected.
'Two more endearing stories about Cleo, the little girl with a big imagination who always finds a way to have fun, from the creators of The Cleo Stories: The Necklace and the Present.' (Publication summary)