Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Interested in artistic pursuits from a formative age, Ms. Lewin always loved drawing and could be found with a pencil in her hand at all times. Growing up, her mother would often read children’s books to her, particularly “Winnie the Pooh,” and she became an admirer of the book’s artist, Ernest Shepard. Equally influenced by the work of Beatrix Potter, James Stevenson and Quentin Blake, Ms. Lewin eventually attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, where she studied illustration.
Subsequent to graduating from the prestigious art school, Ms. Lewin began working for Hawthorne and Summerfield, a greeting card company. During this time, she expanded her portfolio and wrote and illustrated stories for children’s magazines. Thereafter, an editor at Dodd, Mead & Company inquired into Ms. Lewin’s talent and helped her expand one of her stories into her first picture book, which became “Cat Count” in 1981. She has been writing and illustrating children’s books ever since.
Using pen or brush with watercolor washes, Ms. Lewin’s artistic style is unique and often humorous. She most recently illustrated “Click, Clack, Quack to School!” in 2018 and “Click, Clack, I Love You!” in 2017. She often incorporates her traveling experiences into her illustrations. She has visited six continents over a 40-year span with her husband in search of stories to transform into children’s books, and she has written myriad books based on her experiences. “Gorilla Walk” was the first collaboration with her husband about the mountain gorillas in Uganda, which was followed by five more collaborations: “Elephant Quest” influenced by the Okavango Delta, “Top to Bottom Down Under” about their adventures in Australia, “Horse Song: A Story of the Naadam” set in Mongolia, “Balarama: A Royal Elephant:” set in India, and “Puffling Patrol” about the puffins of Iceland.
Ms. Lewin has been honored multiple times for her success in the industry, having recently received the Kerlan Award in 2016 and inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 2015. Her work has appeared on The New York Times’ Best Seller List, including “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type” in 2000, which also garnered a Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show. In addition, “Cowgirl Kate & Cocoa” was honored with the first Ted Geisel Award from the American Library Association, and “Duck for President” and “Dumpy La Rue” were recognized by The New York Times as one of the Ten Best Illustrated Books. However, the highlight of her career was receiving the Caldecott Honor for her illustrations in “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type” in 2001.
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