James Mayhew was born in Stamford, England and graduated from the Maidstone College of Art in 1987, with first class honors. He is a prolific and renowned illustrator who hopes to peak young children's interest in music and art. He is enthusiastic about his subjects and this passion is apparent in his work.
Mayhew's first children's book was Katie's Picture Show. He developed this subject into a successful children's series about a young museumgoer who is able to step into paintings and learn about the artists and their eras. Other titles in this series are Katie and Mona Lisa, Katie and the Sunflowers, and Katie Meets the Impressionists. His other books include The Secret Garden, which Kirkus Reviews called "a breathtaking...masterful homage." He has also illustrated titles for several writers including Elisabeth Beresford and Joyce Dunbar.
In 1994, Mayhew received the New York Times Book Award for his illustrations in The Boy and the Cloth of Dreams. He has sold his artwork worldwide and exhibited it throughout Hertfordshire, in London, Cambridge, Paris and New York.