Born in Tokyo in 1956, from a young age Satoshi Kitamura enjoyed reading comics and illustrated novels. He started his career working in advertising as an artist, and soon made his way to London where he lived for around 30 years.
Satoshi’s books are familiar to children and teachers throughout the world. They're crowded with unforgettable drawings of sheep, rabbits, dinosaurs and cats, just to mention a few of his memorable characters. His work includes over 20 of his own books, including the wonderfully imaginative Millie’s Marvellous Hat, and he has contributed as an illustrator to countless more. He translates all of his own work into Japanese and has also translated other authors’ books including the well-known Elmer the Elephant series by David McKee.
Recent titles include The Story of the Snail who Discovered the Importance of Being Slow by Luis Sepúlveda and two books by John Agard, A View from Beyond and The Rainmaker Danced, which are illustrated by Satoshi. Scallywag Press has recently published The Smile Shop, a picture book packed with wonderful detailed illustrations, full of humour and observation.
Have a look at Satoshi's fabulous contributions to our Letters from Lockdown and What Makes You Smile? projects. Millie's Marvellous Hat was our Book of the Week - look here for a video and lots of activities.
- Mother Goose Award
- New York Times Notable Book of the Year
- Smarties Silver Award
Kitamura is one of the world’s most original and stylish children’s illustrators.
Did you know…
Satoshi drew constantly from an early age. He says,
"Like all Japanese children I drew all over the pavement — and on the road when there weren't so many cars. At school I drew caricatures of the teachers."
He draws with ink, but instead of a springy, steel nib he uses a Japanese glass pen, with tiny grooves to accommodate the ink . This creates a distinctive line that blobs now and then as it glides, giving an unmistakable character to everything he draws.
Satoshi lives in Japan and studies Spanish in his spare time.
Satoshi Kitamura is performing!
Book tickets for your class to see Satoshi Kitamura perform:
Autumn performances 2023
What's been happening with Satoshi Kitamura?
What Makes You Smile?
We have invited 10 illustrators from around the world to draw a picture of what makes them smile, and will be sharing one a day to get you smiling too!
Letters from Lockdown
We have invited our artists to write a short letter to inspire children to write their own lockdown letters. Take a look at the whole collection and find out about our competition to win great prizes!