Inkpen was born in Romford, Essex, England in 1952, and educated at Royal Liberty School in Gidea Park. He is a friend of Nick Butterworth, who also grew up in Romford, and they collaborated on the 1990 "Wonderful Earth".
Mick has won numerous awards worldwide including The British Book Award for Lullabyhullabaloo and Penguin Small, The Children's Book Award for Threadbear, The Parents and Munch Bunch Play and Learn Award and The Right Start Petit Filous Best Toy Award for Where, Oh Where is Kipper's Bear?. He received the Children's Book Award for the 1991 work Threadbear . Kipper won a BAFTA for best animated children's film in 1998, and Kipper's A to Z won the silver medal in the 2001 Smarties Prize.