Angela Barrett studied at Thurrock Technical College, Maidstone School of Art and at the Royal College of Art in London. Her first book, The King, the Cat and the Fiddle (1983), was written by Sir Yehudi Menuhin and Christopher Hope. Since then she has illustrated numerous books for adults and children. She was a category winner of the 1988 Nestlé Smarties Book Prize for Can It Be True? Her book The Hidden House won the 1991 WH Smith Illustration Award. Her books are exquisitely drawn and painted in an almost Pre-Raphaelite style.

Of her own work the artist has said: "I’ve got two sorts of drawing. I draw passionately all over paper tablecloths, napkins and backs of envelopes. But drawings like that are difficult to convert into anything useful. Sketch books are different, important to me. So I can jot down ideas on the spur of the moment that probably wouldn’t come back to me otherwise - dreams, and other things that pass fleetingly through my mind."

Magic Pencil, The British Council and The British Library, London, 2002

Magic Pencil exhibition site