"Author and illustrator Maxine Sylvester has created an
endearing character in Ronaldo - a top flying cadet at
the prestigious Reindeer Flying Academy - who loves
carrots dipped in hot chocolate." - Bjonsmom
About the Author
Thank you for visiting Ronaldo’s website … although this page isn’t about Ronny, it’s about me, Maxine, the author.
I was born in Hounslow, Middlesex in the south of England. As a child, I loved drawing and took private art classes with a wonderful teacher called, Pearl Lee. She had an abundance of Disney magazines, and I would paint the characters on wood, card, canvas or anything else I was allowed to use, including walls.
When I was nine, my mum took me on holiday to Majorca. I clearly remember being fascinated by how other people lived outside of England. Travelling became my new obsession.
After Sixth Form College, I intended to go to art school, but my travel bug got the better of me and chose to work as a holiday representative in Greece instead. This was followed by seven years working on cruise ships, two years in Israel and Palestine, and six years in Russia and Armenia. Although I lapped up the different cultures, I found my work over the years very unfulfilling. I decided to dig out my Caran d’Arche pencils, and do something about it!
I enrolled in The College of Cartoon Art and was mentored by the renowned caricaturist, Steve Chadburn. I created a character called Ronaldo and decided to write a short story about him. Before I knew it, my head was spinning with ideas and the first book, The Reindeer Flying Academy, went from a small picture book into a fully blown chapter book … but more importantly, I loved every minute of the writing and illustrating process.
Nowadays, I live in Bali, Indonesia, with my amazing partner, Mark, (Bristol born and bred) and am currently illustrating the third book for the Ronaldo series, Rudi’s Birthday Extravaganza.
I am still a self-confessed Disney geek and get excited as a five-year-old whenever a new Disney animated film comes out. I love the Disney theme parks and have visited Orlando, Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo – California and Shanghai are next on my bucket list.
I have an unhealthy fondness for pizza and chocolate but a healthy love of Pilates - I like to think they balance each other out.
And finally, I am a lifelong Arsenal supporter … although sometimes I wish I wasn’t!
I would like to thank talented photographer, Sarah Wilburn, for the images of Lily and Jamie used throughout this website. To see more of her work - http://www.angelsavenuephotography.com/
For up to date news and information on Ronaldo and his friends, check
out The Reindeer Express
Read the first chapter from any of the Ronaldo the Flying Reindeer children's books