ella bella

James Mayhew is author and illustrator. He is famous for the Katie books and the Ella Bella books, both series introducing young readers to fine art, ballet, and museums. His list on amazon runs to three pages of interesting reads for the young.

How he describes himself:

He is well-known for his unique work presenting family concerts with orchestras (with live illustration!), as a story-teller, educator and set-designer. As you can tell, he rarely sleeps, draws and writes constantly, neglects the garden, but still finds time to bake a lot of cake.

james mayhew

Look at this amazing painting done in front of a live audience to illustrate 4 minutes of music at a recent concert to celebrate Benjamin Britten’s birthday.

James is also an ardent campaigner for local independent book sellers and libraries – so although you can find his books on Amazon,  James would prefer you to buy books through your local small bookseller. Read his blog post on that subject here.

This year James was invited to be Guest Director of the Cheltenham Music Festival’s children’s events, which he pulled off brilliantly. He also gives lectures on Operatic set design.

Phew! It’s quite a list!


  • buy James’ books for any of your aspiring artists and musicians
  • support your local independent book seller
  • In the UK watch Mouse & Mole at Christmas Time. An Animated film based on books written by Joyce Dunbar and illustrated by James. (scheduled for Monday December 16th at 4.45  on the CBeebies channel. A repeat showing is scheduled for Boxing Day on BBC 1 at 9.25 am. )

Next Year:

  • Sign up to get James’s blog here so you can find out when his next performance illustration event is
  • Katie’s London Christmas will be ready for Christmas 2014 – don’t miss out.



Advent Challenge 10 – James Mayhew
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2 thoughts on “Advent Challenge 10 – James Mayhew

  • December 10, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Love these images from James. So free and full of life.

    • December 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      And he is sooooo modest about them… If I had to do that it would look like a blob on some scribbles

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