Helen Cooper was born in London in 1963. When she was two, she moved to a country town in Cumbria, in the north of England, where people collected their milk in cans from the farm, and fairies seemed to lurk in the wildflowers outside. It rained a lot and there weren’t enough kids to play with, but there were compensations: beautiful countryside, horses, and lots of time to write stories, draw pictures, play the piano, and read. When she grew up, Helen trained as a music teacher because that seemed sensible. Then she played in a band, and got a day job painting posh china animals to make ends meet. In the evenings, she taught herself to illustrate.
Her first book was published in 1987, and since then she has written and illustrated many books for children, including The Bear Under the Stairs, A Pipkin of Pepper, Delicious! and Pumpkin Soup, winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and short-listed for the Kurt Maschler Award. Helen lives with her husband, Ted Dewan, who also writes and illustrates books. They live in Oxford, England, with their daughter, Pandora.