Helen Ward trained as an illustrator at Brighton School of Art, under the direction of well-known children's illustrators such as Raymond Briggs, Justin Todd, Chris McEwan and John Vernon Lord. In 1985, her final year at Brighton, Helen was awarded the first Walker Prize for Children's Illustration.
Awards for Helen's work include The National Art Library Awards 1998 and 2001 for The Hare and the Tortoise and her version of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows in the Templar Classic series, and The National Art Library Award for The Tin Forest. She was shortlisted for the prestigious Kate Greenaway Award in 2003 for The Cockerel and the Fox. This book also won the award in the children's trade category at the British Book Design and Production Awards presented in November 2003.