When You Need Wings

When You Need Wings takes readers on a wonder-filled exploration of a child’s imagination, thoughtfully weaving in a gentle suggestion of how to explore that bountiful inner world and let it help them shine with courage in the real one.

When You Need Wings
is now available!

The Making of When You Need Wings

Homes In The Wild

Just like us, every baby animal has a home. Some live in complex burrows deep underground, others in simple nests high in the treetops. But all homes, regardless of where they are or how they’re built, serve the same purpose: providing shelter where a baby can eat, sleep, learn, and stay safe while growing up. Wild creatures―from beavers to bobcats, and sloths to squirrels―aren’t so different from us after all.

Creative Process Videos

Mary’s Monster

My debut young adult novel, Mary’s Monster: Love, Madness and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein was longlisted for the 2019 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal (the UK’s oldest and most prestigious children’s book award), selected as a book of Outstanding Merit on the Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year list, added to the Amelia Bloomer List, and was shortlisted for the 2019 UKLA Book Award by the UK Literacy Association. Pairing free verse with over three hundred pages of black-and-white illustrations, Mary’s Monster is a unique biography of Mary Shelley, the pregnant teenage runaway who became one of the greatest authors of all time.

Teachers: Share the revision process with students through the Mary’s Monster Timeline


I created a timeline of the milestones, research, writing, illustrating and revising activities that led to the creation of Mary’s Monster. The first stages of this book started over ten years ago and learning the true story of Mary Shelley and the creation of Frankenstein became my passionate pursuit.

Penguin Flies Home

Penguin soared with the eagles in Flight School. Now he’s heading home to teach his friends!

Penguin loves everything about flying: the wind beneath his wings, the song that rises from his belly, and the sight of new and wonderful places. Still, he misses his penguin friends in the South Pole. So, he flips and flaps back home, ready to teach them the magic of flight!

But when he arrives, his enthusiasm for flying doesn’t get quite the reaction he expected. Will Penguin’s friends still like him, even if they don’t share his soaring dreams?

My New Etsy Shop

A little part of me has always dreamed of living in the English countryside above a little shop where I could paint, and share creativity with whimsical pieces of art for sale. There’d be tea and cake, and shop kitties to greet everyone who entered! Alas, that will remain just a dream, but I’ve decided I can have an online shop. I can’t serve tea, but I can share creativity and art, and of course the kitties are here to greet everyone. So I’ve opened an Etsy shop. I invite you to check it out. Please bring your imagination, and a cup of tea (or coffee if that is your thing) and join me there.

Splitting and stacking wood is one of my favorite chores. Breathing in the crisp fall air and dreaming of my Wilder Farm Studio being cozy this winter.
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#woodpile #woodstacking #officefortheday #wanderlust #fallfun #autumn #getoutdoors #weekend #autumncolors #october #autumnleaves ⁠#LitaJudgeShop #kidlitart #kidlit #kidlitillustration #picturebookillustration #picturebook #illustrationforkids #watercolorpainting #illustratorsoninstagram #illustrationartists #booklover⁠ #creativespirit #creativesofinstagram #mommyblogger #homeschool #homeschoolmom #homeschooling #homeschoollife #kidsbookstagram
Wishing you all a good morning hug on this beautiful fall day!⁠
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#autumn #getoutdoors #autumncolors #october #autumnleaves ⁠#fallfun #LitaJudgeShop #kidlitart #kidlit #kidlitillustration #picturebookillustration #picturebook #illustrationforkids #watercolorpainting #illustratorsoninstagram #illustrationartists #characterdesign #characterart #booklover⁠ #creativespirit #creativesofinstagram #mommyblogger #homeschool #homeschoolmom #homeschooling #homeschoollife #kidsbookstagram #catmom #mainecoon #catlove
⁠The wonderful thing about being at a beginning of a book (the dream and sketch stage) is that my office for the day can be under a tree. ⁠
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#officefortheday #wanderlust #fallfun #autumn #getoutdoors #weekend #autumncolors #october #autumnleaves ⁠#LitaJudgeShop #kidlitart #kidlit #kidlitillustration #picturebookillustration #picturebook #illustrationforkids #watercolorpainting #illustratorsoninstagram #illustrationartists #characterdesign #characterart #booklover⁠ #creativespirit #creativesofinstagram #mommyblogger #homeschool #homeschoolmom #homeschooling #homeschoollife #kidsbookstagram
It's a gorgeous fall day outside. This season always holds a special magic for me. Sharing a detail from my book, When You Need Wings. @SimonKids⁠
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#WhenYouNeedWings #LitaJudgeShop #kidlitart #kidlit #kidlitillustration #picturebookillustration #picturebook #illustrationforkids #watercolorpainting #illustratorsoninstagram #illustrationartists #characterdesign #characterart #booklover⁠
#creativespirit #creativesofinstagram #kidsroom #mommyblogger #homeschool #homeschoolmom #homeschooling #homeschoollife #kidsbookstagram⁠
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It’s the time of my annual studio tour. Dave and I always say it's our favorite weekend of the year. So after all the cancelled school visits and book tour, and publishing slow down, gathering with fellow art lovers is the event we're missing most. Instead, I put a virtual tour together to invite you in the best way I know how. I'll post some painting videos and art in the next couple of days. And if you feel like stopping at my Etsy shop, link in my bio.
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@simonkids
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Just having some fun with some pups hitting the park. I have a really fun dog book in the works so I'm sketching a lot of dogs lately. This isn't in the book, but catching my puppy rythm. litajudge In preparation for working on my book about dogs, I'm giving myself the freedom to just play and paint with dogs! Their expressions - so much fun!⁠
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I haven't had a chance to draw Pantalaimon, my little mouse rescue baby - his little self needs a lot of feeding right now, but soon! So I'm sharing an early painting of a mouse! ⁠
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I took a couple of days off from posting art because I’m taking care of a rescue mouseling. Meet Pan! Short for Pantalaimon. He’s up to .15 ounces and eating his baby formula round the clock! I didn’t want to post till he was stronger, but this little fellow has spunk. .
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Walking through an ancient wood in search of a setting for my next picture book, I found these treasures in a forgotten orchard. I love dreaming and thinking about what next to create.⁠
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Sometimes it feels like we are all just trying to keep our heads up and find our way through these times. I try to keep my head up by creating and hope it shares a little light with others. 
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I bet you can guess just how much I loved that Queen Anne's Lace finally decided to grow in my garden! 
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#childrenillustration #kidslitart #kidlit #kidlitillustration #Watercolor #characterdesign #Characterart #Creativespaces #creativesoul #creativespirit #creativesofinstagram #creativesshop #kidsroom #makersandthinkers #etsy #handmade #vintage #litajudgeshop #etsyseller #etsyfinds #etsygifts #kidsroom #illustration #illustrationartists #fairytale #animallovers #animalcreatives #animalsofinstagram #mouselove #cutemice
In preparation for working on my book about dogs, I'm giving myself the freedom to just play and paint with dogs! Their expressions - so much fun!⁠
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I've had a few people message me in the past week about whether I have any art available from my book, When You Need Wings. Yes! I have both originals and prints. Follow the link in my bio to my Etsy shop. I'll be loading more soon too😊⁠
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So many days this year, it feels like we are trapped, not able to be with people we love. But somedays, there are moments of complete contentment, when it feels like the music playing is just right, the warm tea is just right, the quiet aloneness is just right. That is how it felt painting this little hedgehog. I hope it makes someone feel the “just right” of their own day.⁠
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From my studio - I painted three wobbly, unispired paintings in a row because I was putting too much pressure on myself, and then I grabbed a stray piece of watercolor paper and this little guy popped onto my easel. Sometimes magic happens when you let go and relax. Hope this brings a smile to everyone on this Monday morning.
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#childrenbookillustration #picturebookillustration #kidslitart #kidlit  #Watercolor #characterdesign #Characterart #Creativespaces #creativesoul #creativespirit #creativesofinstagram #creativesshop #kidsroom #makersandthinkers #etsy #handmade #vintage #litajudgeshop #etsyseller #etsyfinds #etsygifts #kidsroom #makersandthinkers #illustration #illustrationartists #animallovers #animalcreatives #Wanderlustart #fairytale #froggyart
What's happening in my studio - I've been painting away, so it is always fun to turn back to porcelain. Here is a little wee character in progress. Even in tough times, sculpting really calms my mind and heart. I think you have to focus so much on bringing a little character to life, other things you are carrying around drop away. Plus, hands in mud, it's FUN!
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#childrenbookillustration #childrenillustration #picturebookillustration #kidslitart #kidlit #kidlitillustration #characterdesign #Characterart #Creativespaces #creativesoul #creativespirit #creativesofinstagram #creativesshop #kidsroom #makersandthinkers #etsy #handmade #vintage #litajudgeshop #etsyseller #etsyfinds #etsygifts #kidsroom #illustration #illustrationartists #ceramics #sculptureart #sculpt #mouse
I've got a bunch of to..do's that will keep me from my easel most of the day, so I painted this just to start my day in a loose and playful way. I find that trying to draw or paint, even if it's a little thing everyday, are really key to keeping my imagination flowing.⁠
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#childrenbookillustration #childrenillustration #picturebookillustration #kidslitart #kidlit #kidlitillustration #booklover #Watercolor #characterdesign #Characterart #Creativespaces #creativesoul #creativespirit #creativesofinstagram #creativesshop #kidsroom #makersandthinkers #etsy #handmade #litajudgeshop #etsyseller #etsyfinds #etsygifts #kidsroom #illustration #illustrationartists #badger #skunk #animallovers #animalcreatives
Dreaming of travel sketching again...someday! Dordogne, France, one of the best days ever!
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My Willow girl sits on the porch hour after hour with a far off expression, but I think this is where she is in her mind. I'm calling this "Willow Kitty Hits the Pond." Just put it up on my Etsy shop. You can follow a link in my bio 😊
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#childrenbookillustration #childrenillustration #picturebookillustration #kidslitart #kidlit #kidlitillustration #booklover #Watercolor #characterdesign #Characterart #creativesoul #creativespirit #creativesofinstagram #creativesshop #kidsroom #makersandthinkers #etsy #handmade #litajudgeshop #etsyseller #etsyfinds #etsygifts #kidsroom #illustration #illustrationartists #maincooncat #loveyourpet #catlover #lovepets #petlovers