Hello! I’m Momoko (and surname is Abe, pronounced as “Ah-beh”). I am a London-based author-illustrator from Japan. I absolutely adore children’s books. My first self-penned picture book Avocado Asks (Orchard Books 2020) won Spark Kingston & Richmond Children’s Book Awards in 2021.
I am represented by Eunice McMullen.
MY STORY SO FAR…
I came from a family of bookworms and I grew up in a house made of book shelves (my grandpa was a poet, my dad was a writer and my mum was a school teacher), where I was allowed to doodle on the walls (or I thought I was). As a child, I made up stories and doodled all the time – on notebooks, furniture, walls and even back of exam papers! As a grownup, I am pretty much the same although I don’t draw on furniture that much any more.
My interest in visual storytelling brought me to the UK to study filmmaking when I was 20. Although I still work in the TV/film industry, I decided to pursue my true passion for children’s book illustration. Since then, I’ve attended workshops and short evening courses and mainly taught myself how to make picture books by reading lots of books and meeting many picture book makers. 6 years later, my first book, Avocado Ask (Orchard Books) was published.
I like dynamic compositions and beautiful colour combinations, and animals and food are my favourite subjects to draw. Although I mostly create my artwork on computer these days, I still enjoy using both traditional media such as gouache paints and colour pencils.
London is now my second home. I enjoy living here with my cat, Clementine. And here I am. This is my story so far. (I did classic ballet for 15+ years and I have applied for the Great British Bake Off once but these are stories for another time.)
The Pet Potato written by Josh Lacey (Andersen Press) – out June 2022
Little People, Big Dreams: Yoko Ono written by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (Frances Lincoln) – out on 5th October 2021
Everything Under the Sun: a curious question for every day of the year by Molly Oldfield (Penguin Random House) – out on 9th September 2021
Our Beautiful Game written by Lou Kuenzier (Faber & Faber) – cover design, out on 1st July 2021
Papa Penguin written by Lindsay Camp (Andersen Press) – out on 6th May 2021
When the Sun Goes Home (Orchard Books) – out on 15th April 2021
The Awfully Bad Guide to Monster Travel – Africa, a charity project (Ministry of Stories 2020)
Books Make Good Pets written by John Agard (Orchard Books 2020)
Avocado Asks (Orchard Books 2020)
AWARDS, EXHIBITIONS & EVENTS:
Teach Primary Book Awards 2021 – When the Sun Goes Home has been shortlisted for the Early Years category
North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award 2021 – When the Sun Goes Home has been longlisted for the Picture Book category
English 4-11 Picture Book Awards 2021 – Avocado Asks has been shortlisted
Iris Award 2021 – Avocado Asks has been shortlisted for the Picture Books category
Spark! Kingston & Richmond Children’s Book Awards 2021 – Avocado Asks won the Ages 4-7 category
Not Now Barnard Charity Auction for Action For Children – online until 2nd November 2020
World Illustration Award (shortlisted for the Children’s Book category) @ Somerset House, London, July 2019
AOI Come Together @ The PrintSpace Gallery, London, December 2019