Anita grew up in Portsmouth (England). Her brother and sisters were all much older than her and she was a shy little girl who didn't talk much. Her mum (Mrs Rogers) worked in a curtain store, and her dad (Mr. Rogers) mended ambulances.

She didn't have many picture books when she was little, but she really loved the ones she did have. Most of all she liked drawing, animals, and drawing animals. She drew in books (OOPS), and on comics, and on any odd scraps of paper she could find.

Of course she wasn't very good at drawing when she was little, it's something you have to learn gradually and practice a lot.
At school, Anita was good at art and reading and writing, but really didn't like any of the other subjects. She wanted to be a vet or a zoo keeper, or something to do with animals, but you have to get the right qualifications don't you, and Anita didn't.

She remembers bunking off school quite a lot, and one time when her maths teacher put a pile of paper on her desk and told her to forget about maths and to just draw for the rest of the lesson.
Bubble Gum
After school, Anita went to Art College in Portsmouth for a while, but she didn't enjoy it very much and decided to leave and get a job.

She did all sorts of jobs. She worked in a talcum powder factory, she picked the burned crisps off a conveyor belt in a crisp factory, and she worked in shops. Her favourite job was as a kennel assistant because she got to meet so many interesting cats and dogs.
King of the Castle
In 1986 Anita married Andy Jeram, and they moved to Manchester so that Andy could study fossil scorpions at the university there.

Pretty soon Anita got fed up with working in a shop again, so she decided to go back to art college. She did a year-long foundation course in visual studies at Manchester Polytechnic which was great fun, and enabled her to get onto a degree course in illustration.

One of Anita's tutors, David Hughes, introduced her to the nice people at Walker books, and even before she graduated they had signed her up for her first picture book. From then on, Walker Books and their American subsidiary, Candlewick Press, have kept Anita fairly busy working on picture books.
Flying is Overrated
Anita has also established a reputation as a greetings card artist with the range she has produced for Two Bad Mice Publishers, and she is now working on a variety of new projects, including ceramic designs and figurines.

In 1990 Anita and Andy moved to Northern Ireland, where they now live by the sea with their three children and a mixed menagerie of animals.

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