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Helen Haywood was an English writer and illustrator of children's books. She was born in England in 1908 but was taken as a child to Chile, where her father, an engineer, worked on the trans-Andean railway. She remained in Chile until she was approximately 15 years old. Her experiences were recounted in an unpublished novel,"Childhood in Chile." Her books were published by Thomas Nelson Ltd through the 1950s and 1960s. She created a series of books based around the character Peter Tiggywig and friends. Books written and illustrated by Helen Haywood in the Tiggywig series: - Peter Tiggywig Goes Camping; Peter Tiggywig Runs Away; Peter Tiggywig's Wonderful Train; Peter Tiggywig At School; Peter Tiggywig's Birthday Party; Peter Tiggywig At The Picnic; Peter Tiggywig's Toy-shop; Peter Tiggywig At Sea Other work includes Master Mouse the Madcap (1958), and Animal Playtime and Animal Worktime which appeared in the Look with Mother series, and a paperback series for children published by Nelson including 'Aesop's Fables'(1965) 'Brer Rabbit' and the 'Water Babies' (abridged)
Miss Haywood was a keen student of science and an amateur naturalist and anthropologist. Many of the books she illustrated for the publisher Hutchinson & Co., London, were keenly observed and scrupulously accurate depictions of plants, birds and animals. When commissioned to do illustrations for a children's book on dinosaurs, her research into the skin colors she subsequently chose for her dinosaur illustrations was cited by the Royal Academy of Sciences.
Haywood was also a practitioner of the art of fore-edge painting. She became acquainted with the art form through an uncle who was associated with the Bayntun-Riviere Bindery of Bath. She did several fore-edge and double fore-edge paintings on commission every year from the 1930s to the 1970s for Inman's Books, an antiquarian book dealer in New York City.
She died in Bournemouth, England in 1995.
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