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Holly Sterling

Holly is a children’s author and illustrator based in the North East of England. She graduated from the University of Sunderland with a First Class Honours Degree in Illustration and Design in 2009 and from Edinburgh College of Art with a Master of Fine Art (MFA) with Distinction in 2013. In the same year she was Highly Commended for the ‘Macmillan Illustration Prize’ and the winner of the National Illustration Competition ‘Over the Hills and Away’ run by Seven Stories National Centre for Children’s Books and Frances Lincoln.

Her debut picture book ‘15 Things Not to do with a Baby’ written by Margi McAllister, was nominated for The Kate Greenaway Medal in 2016, and listed as one of The Independent on Sunday’s ‘Top 15 Books of 2015’. She has now illustrated 15 picture book titles including her most recent publication ‘Karate Kids’, published by Walker Books. This is her second author-illustrated title and brings together her passion for karate and illustration.

Diversity in all its forms is something that is extremely important to Holly. This feeds into the stories that she tells and the characters that she creates. Her desire is for every child to see themselves in the books that they read.

Holly Sterling is represented by Arabella Stein — to work with Holly please email Arabella

Reviews

‘Sterling runs her own dojos in the north of England as well as being a retired karate Grand Champion, and her passion for karate and the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing it confers is obvious in this delightful book. A perfect read for little ones who might be starting a karate or other martial arts class, it’s reassuring, kind and will dispel any potential nervousness.’ Review by BookTrust

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“Frances Lincoln ensures cultural diversity is represented so these illustrations present a mixed race family. The style is fresh and young with beautiful colours and some lovely silly scenes” - Booktrust

Awards

Shortlisted for The Telegraph Sports Book of the Year 2021: Children’s Book of the Year with ‘Karate Kids’ (Walker Picture Books)

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Selected for the EmpathyLab’s Read for Empathy list 2018 with ‘15 Things Not to do with a Granny’, written by Margaret McAllister, published by Lincoln Children’s Books.

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Nominated for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Award 2016 for ‘15 Things NOT to do with a Baby’, published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.

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Selected for the Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge 2015 with ‘15 Things Not to Do with a Baby’, written by Margaret McAllister, published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.

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Selected as one of the 12 best Children’s books of 2015 with ‘15 Things Not to Do with a Baby’ written by Margaret McAllister, published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books. “A humorous take on the conflicting emotions that younger siblings can inspire.”

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One of the winners of the Seven Stories Nursery Rhyme illustration competition, to be included in ‘Over the Hills and Far Away: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes’, compiled by Elizabeth Hammill, published by Candlewick Press.

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Highly commended for the Macmillan Prize 2013 for ‘Hiccups!’, published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.

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