The Story of Max & Sally

Emily Sanders
25th November 2016

Emily and her dog


I’d like to tell you a little bit about the story behind Max & Sally. First let me introduce myself, my name is Emily Sanders and I’m the illustrator of Max & Sally. I began working as an illustrator when my little boy started school. Spending my days drawing characters and illustrations for various projects and publications.

Before I had my family I worked at a secondary school as an art teacher and had always had an interest in special needs education, particularly in terms of autism. And after I left teaching I volunteered for various autism charities.

One day I went out to look for some books, specifically to help support social and emotional skills and understanding for autistic children. I was surprised that I couldn’t find anything and very little aimed specifically at special needs children. I began thinking about creating something myself. And then, as if by magical coincidence, I received an email from Laura Bennett.

Laura had written a book specifically for Makaton users and was searching for an illustrator to help bring the characters of Max & Sally to life! Well, of course, I said yes and we got to work developing the characters and illustrations for the book; with some help from my little westie dog.

And to help you to draw your very own Max I’ve created a step-by-step guide. I’d love to see your creations, so feel free to share them with us. And as it’s nearly Christmas why not try adding some of your own Christmas additions to Max – maybe a Christmas hat, or a Christmas bell collar or even reindeer ears!

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas!

See also: Get Max & Sally

At work

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