UK doctor and author, for many years a psychotherapist, after 1963 a prolific author of journalism, much of her work was for younger children, at the start of their reading, notably the series of stories about Polly and the wolf, which were written for her daughter, Polly. The stories, starting with the collection Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf (coll1955), feature a wolf trying to catch a little girl: the wolf, himself a fairy tale figure, takes his always impractical subterfuges from fairy tales, but is outmatched by Polly every time. Next collections in the series are: Polly and the Wolf Again (coll 1957), Tales of Polly and the Hungry Wolf (coll 1980), and Last Stories of Polly and the Wolf (coll 1990, wt More Stories of Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf 2016). They were collected in one volume, The Complete Polly and the Wolf (om 2016).
Of her books for older children the most famous is Marianne Dreams (1958, wt The Magic Drawing Pencil 1960, rev 1964), in which physical and mental malaises are incarnated in a fantasy world. The sequel is Marianne and Mark (1960) and is not a fantasy, being a study of loneliness, friendships and of the problems of growing up.
Her other fantasy books for younger and older children are: Rufus (1969), Thursday (1971), The Chinese Egg (1975), The Mirror Image Ghost (1994), The If Game (2001) and Cold Marble and Other Ghost Stories (coll 1985).
She also wrote an sf novel for adults, Unnatural Fathers (1976), in which the success of an experiment to make men capable of child-bearing causes great upheavals in a near-future UK.