Thomas Docherty

When I was at school I never imagined I would end up writing stories. my spelling was terrible and I found reading really difficult, because I'm dyslexic. Luckily my mum and dad read to me and took me to the library where I spent hours looking at picture books. I had always liked drawing and so I began keeping a sketchbook diary, especially if I travelled anywhere new and it was these diaries that inspired my first picture books. Now whenever possible, I like going along to schools and libraries to talk to children about my work and help them write and draw their own stories.
My books have been selected for many awards including the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal. I live in Swansea with wife Helen and our two daughters. Helen is also a children's book author and together we created the award-winning picture book The Snatchabook.

Most Recent Book
The Storybook Knight book


Profile image courtesy of Thomas Docherty. "About" from


What are your favorite parts of the creative process, from starting a new story to holding a published book in your hands?

I love developing the rough drafts of the illustrations, sketching out the characters and inventing the world they live in. At this point it’s still possible to change things and new ideas come up all the time as I’m working, so it’s very exciting.

Thomas, you’ve mentioned that reading as a child was a real struggle for you because you are dyslexic. What have you learned from overcoming that challenge, and how has doing so impacted your work in children’s books?

The most important thing to say is that just because you might struggle with reading doesn’t mean you can’t create great stories. I got into reading by looking at comics, and it was the pictures that encouraged me to read the words. I guess it’s not surprising that I ended up being an author and illustrator because I’ve always loved the way you can put words and pictures together to tell a story.

Aside from creating wonderful books, what are your interests, pastimes, or hobbies?

I love going out sketching. My favourite place at the moment is Swansea bus station because of all the different people who are passing through.

picture Books

The Storybook Knight book
calming reads for bedtime · reading · 2019 Picture Book Summer Reading List · dragons · being nice · kindness · knights
The Storybook Knight
The Snatchabook book
Preschool · Age 5 · fixing mistakes · friendship · empathy · Best Children's Books by Age · 100 Hidden Gem · sharing · calming reads for bedtime · forgiveness · reading · 2019 Picture Book Summer Reading List
The Snatchabook


Helen Docherty
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