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June Crebbin

As a child

June grew up in a village in Leicestershire. From an early age, she wrote poems and stories in red notebooks that she bought at the post office. She recited poems to her father, who typed them out in black ink, and her name beneath in red ink. Reading was a passion: her own books, her brother’s and the Victorian novels she found in the attic. Her favourite book was The Thirteenth Orphan by Christine Chandler, which she rediscovered to her delight in a second-hand bookshop recently. She counts herself fortunate that one of the mainline railways, LNER, ran along the bottom of her garden. She enjoyed playing cricket, playing "two-ball" against the side wall of her house, and cycling/picnic trips with her family.

As an adult

June trained as a primary school teacher at Dudley Training College, in the West Midlands. She has taught in Leicestershire, Yorkshire and for a year in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in the USA. In 1990, she took early retirement in order to concentrate full-time on writing. She enjoys writing poetry, stories and picture book texts. “When I write a picture book story, it is always fascinating to see how the illustration interprets my text, often with the addition of a new dimension, such as Katharine McEwen’s mouse in Cows in the Kitchen." June lives in Leicestershire in a Victorian villa with her husband, and has two grown-up sons and two grandsons.

As an artist

June has written over forty books that have been published in the UK and abroad. Many of her ideas come from her family, the children she’s taught and the children she knows now at a riding stable! In poetry, she enjoys the challenge of writing in different styles – shape poems, rondelets, acrostics and all kinds of word play. Her first drafts are always written with pencil and lots of sheets of paper. In winter she writes wrapped up in a blanket in the east wing of her house. In summer she prefers to be outside under an ancient apple tree, in the company of her rabbit, Smudge.

Things you didn't know about June Crebbin

  1. When she was thirteen, June wrote a book about a chestnut pony which was illustrated by her art teacher.
  2. She would like to live in Florence for at least two weeks every year.
  3. She rides a beautiful bay horse called Fresco and is learning to piaffe.
  4. She can beat her husband at table tennis.
  5. She likes singing: in a choir, with her grandsons, or to Fresco.
  6. When she was nine, she learnt the poem The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes off by heart and still finds the words haunting.
  7. Although she doesn’t drive a car, she has learnt to drive a steam engine, and a pony and trap.
  8. She loves entering competitions and word games.
  9. When she plays the piano, sometimes she can play all the notes.
  10. She thinks "out is better than in" in any season, but particularly in spring.

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