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Judy Horacek (born 12 November 1961) is an Australian cartoonist, artist, writer and children's book creator. She is best known for her award winning children's picture book Where is the Green Sheep? with Mem Fox, and her weekly cartoons in The Age newspaper. Horacek's latest book is Random Life (2017), her ninth cartoon collection. A new picture book with Mem Fox is due out in October 2018.

Judy Horacek
Melbourne, Australia
OccupationComic book/strip artist, illustrator,

In 2005, a selection of her work was acquired by the National Library of Australia for its collection. She said at the time that "I really like being recognised for having done work that is part of the social discourse. And it's always nice to see cartoons get another lease on life – now they represent a particular time and context and become part of the portrait of who we [Australians] are".[1]



Horacek graduated with a BA from the University of Melbourne in 1991, majoring in Fine Arts and English. She then studied for a Diploma in Museum Studies at Victoria University. In 2007, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Visual) in Printmedia and Drawing from Australian National University.

She lives in Melbourne.


Horacek started her career as a writer, and was a member of a community writing group in North Melbourne.[2] Words are an important part of her cartoons, and sometimes dominate the pictures.[2]

After illustrating a children's picture book for Mem Fox, she began to write and illustrate her own children's books, something she had always wanted to do.


"My life has been a quest to find new and better place to stick cartoons", Horacek has said.[3] Accordingly, her cartoons can be found in newspapers and magazines, online, on aprons and teatowels, on mugs, on fridge magnets and cards, and as limited edition prints.[3] Her cartoons have been described as whimsical and quirky. As she says, "I take every day situations and make them strange"[4]

It was her interest in feminism which "drove Horacek's early work and established her reputation as a cartoonist".[2] Since then, in addition to an ongoing interest in women's issues, her cartoons have covered a wide range of social and political issues such as the Australian Republican Movement, immigration, indigenous issues and FlyBuys. Cartoonist Peter Nicholson describes her work as follows:

Horacek's first commissioned work for The Age newspaper was published on International Women's Day 1995, next to the obituary of Senator Olive Zakharov. This was her cartoon, Woman with Altitude, a work which has since appeared on fridge magnets greeting cards, tea-towels and T-shirts.[5] In 2007, she said that "The woman with altitude ... represents who we could be".[4] At various times she has had regular spots in such newspapers and magazines as The Age, The Weekend Australian Magazine, The Canberra Times and the Australian Book Review.


She illustrated Mem Fox's non-fiction book, Reading Magic, and in 2004 she illustrated her first children's book, Mem Fox's Where Is the Green Sheep?.[6] It was shortlisted for several book awards, and in 2005 won the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year – Early Childhood Award. She has since started writing her own children's books, the first being The Story of GROWL (2007), followed by "These are My Hands" (2008), "These are My Feet" (2009) and "Yellow is my favourite colour"

Children's BooksEdit

  • Where Is the Green Sheep?, With Mem Fox (2004, ISBN 0-15-204907-X and ISBN 0-670-04149-1)
  • The Story of GROWL (2007, ISBN 978-0-670-07045-9)
  • These are My Feet (2007, ISBN 978-0-14-350224-1)
  • These are My Hands (2008, ISBN 9780143502593)
  • Yellow is my favourite colour (2010, ISBN 9780143504283)
  • Good Night, Sleep Tight, Mem Fox, Illustrated by Judy Horacek (2012, ISBN 978-1-74283-257-9)
  • Yellow is my colour star (2014, ISBN 9781743622728)
  • This & That, With Mem Fox (2015, ISBN 9781743622537)
  • Ducks Away! With Mem Fox (2016, ISBN 9781760158514)

Cartoon BooksEdit

Other WorksEdit


  1. ^ Favelle (2005) p. 10
  2. ^ a b c Favelle (2005) p. 8
  3. ^ a b Favelle (2005) p. 7
  4. ^ a b Horacek (2007)
  5. ^ Judith Marie Horacek (2003)
  6. ^ Favelle (2005) p. 9

External linksEdit