New Zealand author and illustrator, Margaret Woodhouse, began writing professionally in 1985. She founded Magari Publishing and used the company as a spring board for her whimsical writings and illustrations, publishing in New Zealand and packaging the titles for a number of publishers internationally. Her initial titles were for children. The highly successful Knowing Science series included 17 titles and, in addition to Margaret's work, featured titles by Susan Buckland and Gilly Simpson, and illustrations by the talented John Bennett. The Living in the Past series for the British National Trust followed, as did The Rise and Fall of Weaseldomderry and the hilarious take on Westminster politics, Jim Bleat for Prime Minister. The subject of surprisingly earnest political debate on BBC 2's Newsnight, Jim Bleat was eventually recorded for children's charity BBC Children in Need by British MPs John Redwood, Teresa Gorman, Martin Bell, and Charles Kennedy.
In 1993 Margaret branched out into the non-fiction humour market. She and Burton Silver, of Why Cats Paint fame, together devised the cat titleThe Kama Sutra for Cats which had great success in Australasia, the UK, and the US. The best-selling Know Your Cat's Purr Points came next, attracting specially composed music by Miu Sakamoto to accompany the Japanese edition. The other cat titles include The 9-Life Habits of Highly Successful Cats, Cats' Tales from Shakespeare, and The Latex Cat, which she devised with husband, Jack Gower.
In 2005, under the CheekyBird Imprint Margaret published The Female Semaphore - a toast to all hardworking women - as a swan song to her publishing venture. She continues to package her own concepts and, through The Booksmiths, provides a full book production service, including editing.
Margaret Woodhouse lives with her family in Taupo, New Zealand, and is now writing fulltime.