New Zealand author and illustrator,
Margaret Woodhouse, began writing professionally in 1985. She founded Magari
Publishing and used the company as a spring board for her whimsical writings
and illustrations, publishing in New Zealand and packaging the titles for
a number of publishers internationally. Her initial titles were for children.
The highly successful Knowing Science series included 17 titles and, in
addition to Margaret's work, featured titles by Susan Buckland and Gilly
Simpson, and illustrations by the talented John Bennett. The Living in the
Past series for the British National Trust followed, as did The Rise
and Fall of Weaseldomderry and the hilarious take on Westminster politics,
Jim Bleat for Prime Minister. The subject of surprisingly earnest political
debate on BBC 2's Newsnight, Jim Bleat was eventually recorded
for children's charity BBC Children in Need by British MPs John Redwood,
Teresa Gorman, Martin Bell, and Charles Kennedy.
In 1993 Margaret branched
out into the non-fiction humour market. She and Burton Silver, of Why
Cats Paint fame, together devised the cat titleThe Kama Sutra for
Cats which had great success in Australasia, the UK, and the US. The
best-selling Know Your Cat's Purr Points came next, attracting
specially composed music by Miu Sakamoto to accompany the Japanese edition.
The other cat titles include The 9-Life Habits of Highly Successful
Cats, Cats' Tales from Shakespeare, and The Latex Cat, which
she devised with husband, Jack Gower.
In 2005, under the CheekyBird
Imprint Margaret published The Female Semaphore - a toast to all
hardworking women - as a swan song to her publishing venture.
Margaret Woodhouse lives
with her family in Taupo, New Zealand, and is now writing fulltime.