Shirley grew up in Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands between England
and France. Golden gorse and purple heather covered the cliffs, wild violets
and ferns grew in profusion and waterfalls tumbled into the sea. Shirley
was born into a family of artists. Her mother and grandmother were flower
and portrait painters, and her grandfather designed heraldic shields.
As a child, her favourite picture books were the ones with illustrations
in which she could lose herself. Today, as an author and illustrator,
she tries to create another reality for children, a world that really
seems to exist. She believes it is important to a child's development
to be invloved in fantasy. Shirley showed an early gift for painting,
and went on to study facric and wallpaper design. She worked in this field
while her children were growing up. She and her husband now live in a
beautiful part of rural Victoria, Australia.