"Jayne Fisher is the youngest every Ladybird author. She was only nine years old when she first started writing these charming stories about fruit and vegetable characters. Writing and drawing aren't Jayne's only interests. She has studied for the Ribbon awards of the Royal School of Church Music, and plays the classical guitar and the recorder. Jayne sews, bakes, reads avidly, plays chess and keeps two gerbils and breeds stick insects. But it is perhaps her own garden at home which gave her the ideas for these stories. Jayne's bold, colourful felt-tipped pen illustrations are bound to appeal to young children and we can all learn a few lessons from the characters in the Garden Gang."
.Her stories all feature charming little fruit & veg characters, most of which are refreshingly one-dimensional; Oliver Onion has a BO problem, Colin Cucumber was rude, Penelope Strawberry was snooty and vain and Roger Radish was "awfully, awfully, awfully shy". Her knowledge of vegetable types was clearly impressive. Needless to say, all ended happily and there wasn't a food processor in sight. Looking back at the artwork, it's easy to dismiss it, but adults rarely have the same tastes as children and the series was reprinted at least twice (later editions had a white cover compared to early green ones) so it must have sold well.
It's amazing that she found time to write these books with all her other hobbies, and a surprise that she never wrote "breeding stick insects", a title that would have undoubtedly found sympathy in China. The phrase "child prodigy" springs to mind and the Sunday School ethics that permeate the books indicate she may have had a religious background. The only mystery was why Jayne, with her evident thirst for power, never ended up as Prime Minister! Does anyone know what became of her? She'd be around 30 now….
The first series of the Garden Gang was issued under the series number 413, with green covers and a b/w photo of Jayne on the back. The same green covers were used when the series migrated to number 793 and the whole lot was then reissued in white covers!