On a picture book's thirty-two pages anything can happen. Working with something so physically limiting as a certain number of pages in a book, is a framed freedom that suits me very well. There I can throw myself into a world of fantasy that I have created. I can play with colors, fonts, page turning and perspective. I get to create moods and give the characters in the story lives and environments to live in. I love making picture books. It's a wonderfully fun way to play - but deadly serious."
Maria Jönsson was born in 1958 in Gävle and lives in Höganäs.
She has worked as a freelance newspaper and children's book illustrator since the early nineties. Maria has illustrated more than thirty children's books, including those about the puppy Morris. The first book that she has both written and illustrated came in 2007, Spyflugan Astrid (Astrid the Fly) which has had four sequels. Maria was awarded the Ottilia Adelborg Prize in 2010 and was among the 31 Swedish illustrators who exhibited at the Children's Book Fair in Bologna in 2013. In 2015, her illustrations for the picture book Flickan från långt borta (The girl from far away, written by Annika Thor) were selected for the prestigious Illustrators exhibition in Bologna and the book was awarded the Elsa Beskow Plaque.
Photo © Jenny Mark Ketter