Mitchell Sharmat, a graduate of Harvard University, has written numerous picture books, easy readers, and novels, and is a contributor to many textbook reading programs. He is best known for the classic Gregory, the Terrible Eater, a Reading Rainbow Feature Selection and a New York Times Critics’ Pick. In Mitchell Sharmat’s honor, The Sharmat Collection, displaying the books he has written, was established at the Harvard Graduate School of Education by the Munroe C. Gutman Library.
Mrs. Udry’s first book, A Tree Is Nice, illustrated by Marc Simont, won the 1957 Caldecott Award for the most distinguished American picture book. Mrs. Udry is also the author of Glenda, Let’s Be Enemies (also illustrated by Maurice Sendak), Mary Ann’s Mud Day, The Mean Mouse and Other Mean Stories, and Thump and Plunk.
My greater-than-average fascination with children’s books developed when I was quite young. The major cause of this fascination was my great aunt Opal Wheeler, a prolific writer of mid-century children’s books. Every year, Aunt Opal would gift the Wheeler kids with stacks of children’s books from her publisher, Dutton Books. That was it… I was hooked. I must have inherited some of Opal’s creativity because no matter what I studied in school, I simply couldn’t help, but gravitate to art. After graduating from Elmira College with my B.A. in Studio Art and Art Education, I did the starry-eyed thing that all artists imagine doing and moved to New York. For a couple of years, I worked and learned the ropes in the juvenile books division of The Dial Press. Then it was time to establish my own freelance illustration business. That was a while (and more than 75 illustrated books) ago. Along the way, I took advantage of some great opportunities to work on a variety of projects for many clients in many, diverse markets. Loving New York but still longing for a touch of home now and again, I am currently dividing my time between Manhattan and my hometown of Ballston Spa, New York State’s first Free Trade town. Since then she has enjoyed working on a variety of projects ranging from picture books to educational texts, magazines, greeting cards and licensed characters. She has illustrated over 60 books, and her client list includes Penguin USA, Random House, UNICEF, Kimberly Clark, Scholastic, and Universal Studios. Today, Ms. Wheeler divides her time between Manhattan and Ballston Spa, NY working in the very portable medium of watercolor.
Olga and Aleksey Ivanov are renowned children’s book illustrators and classically trained commercial artists from Russia. This talented husband-and-wife team immigrated to the United States in 2002 and have been in high demand ever since. In all, the two have illustrated over 70 children’s books, three of which have sold more than 100,000 copies each.