I have been illustrating and writing books for children since 1985. After attending the Maryland Institute of Art briefly in 1973-74, I tried various trades including veterinary assistant, activities director for a nursing home, and production/advertising artist. In 1984 I quit my last paying job and began a career as a full-time artist and writer, creating mostly spot illustrations, greeting cards and logo designs and otherwise taking on freelance print production jobs.
I carted my portfolio to New York in 1985 and landed my first picture book project with Dodd, Mead and Company. My editors there moved to Putnam, and then to Cobblehill Books, an imprint of E.P. Dutton, and until August of 1997 when the imprint was squashed, I published all of my trade books with them. I also created activity book illustrations, flash cards and posters for School Zone, McGraw Hill, and other educational publishers.
These days I write and/or illustrate a variety of books and articles, both fiction and nonfiction. Currently I have lots of projects circulating including three middle-grade novels and a huge nonfiction project I just completed. I have also been writing lots of work-for-hire projects about things like fossils, light, family trees, and indigenous people.
The new books for 2012 are Amazing Animal Skills, a series of five nonfiction books (Benchmark/Cavendish) which I wrote, and a series of four early readers which I wrote and illustrated: Robin Hood, Paul Bunyan, Rumpelstiltskin, and Run...It's a Bee! (Rourke Educational Media). I'm really excited about all of these new books, and really enjoyed working on them. You can view sample illustrations and other news on my blog. All of my books are easy to find online via the publisher's catalogs and bookseller sites.
I also released three books from my vintage 1990s early reader series, Chicago and the Cat, as e-books. You can find them via just about any device and for just a mere 99 cents! I also revised and published a POD version of The Complete Backyard Nature Activity Book in 2012 which is available on Amazon.com.
Marvin and I share our lives with a border collie rescue named Jeep and a brand new rescue, a calculating cat named Bonita. Who needs TV when you have a border collie with a cat to manage?