The first thing I do to begin a new book is find a story that inspires pictures. It is like being a dancer and having to wait for the music to move my feet. Everything else follows from there.

I enjoy researching books like Hiawatha so much that I have trouble extricating myself from old photos and first person diaries, which are of course more stories.

For the most part I work in pen and ink and guache ( an opaque watercolor). I make thousands of little lines to describe the forms. this looks hard, but it is actually the easiest part and is very relaxing. The most difficult part is telling the story with the right relationship of compositions and characters hopefully conveying the emotion of the story. To accomplish this I draw many little drawings, called thumbnail sketches, over and over until the they say what I want them to. Sometimes I can't get them to do that.

My favorite things to these days are riding horses and studying dessage ( Hans is much the better student) and painting landscapes and portraits. Happily this is a lot like my work.

Biography:

Graduate of Pratt Institute 1964
Worked in publishing field for three years
Began freelance career in 1968
Published first childrens book 1970

Awards:

Caldecott Honor
Golden Apple Biennial Brataslava
The ABBY American Booksellers Best Book Award
Sosiety of Illustrators Awards of Merit
Golden Kite Society of Childrens Book Author Illustrators

Group Shows:

Metropolitan Museum of Art
National Women's Museum of Art
Brooklyn Museum
Norman Rockwell Museum
Montclair Museum New Jersey
Society of Illustrators Best Book Shows

Miscellaneous

New York Times Best Seller Brother Eagle Sister Sky