Cindy Derby is an illustrator and author based in San Francisco.  Her debut picture book as an author/illustrator is How to Walk an Ant (Roaring Brook Press, March 2019)

She is also illustrating Shannon Bramer's Climbing Shadows: Poems for Children (Groundwood Books, 2019); New York Times best selling author Deborah Underwood's Outside (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020); and Jackie Azua Kramer's The Boy and the 800-Pound Gorilla (Candlewick Press, 2020).

Cindy's journey began as a puppeteer creating one-woman shows and building puppets all over the world.  She has performed in spaces such as the REDCAT, The Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, an underground railway station in Glasgow, The Traverse Theater in Edinburgh, and living rooms on the outskirts of London.  While living in Glasgow, she received her Master of Arts from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and studied with The London School of Puppetry.  She was awarded grants from The Jim Henson Foundation, as well as Puppet Animation Scotland to help create her work. 

For her illustrations she uses watercolor, india ink, and gouache- and depending on the piece, she completes the work digitally.  Click here to view her process.

Her picture book work is represented by Jennifer Laughran at The Andrea Brown Literary Agency.   


Roaring Brook Press, Enchanted Lion, Lucky Spool Media, 826 Valencia, Groundwood Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Candlewick Press


Grand Jury Prize at the international 2014 Los Angeles SCBWI Conference

First Place Award at the San Francisco South & East Bay SCBWI Conference.


IDEO - Why this Illustrator Makes Her Own Tools

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators -  Summer Bulletin

KidLit Artist Blog - Puppeteer to Award Winning Illustrator

Top Drawer - Her children's book illustrations win praise for their whimsy and sophistication, putting the career of Cindy Derby on an artful upswing.