contagious creativity

Meet the Artist

Just for Kids

May 03, 1999|By Janis Campbell

Children's book illustrator Wendy Anderson Halperin says creativity is contagious.

When she was a kid, her mom always insisted that she and her sisters and brother make cards. In summer, her cousins would visit and all the kids would put on circuses and shows. As a child, Wendy made clothes for a crawfish and won a 4-H contest for the best-dressed pet. When Wendy was in fifth grade, she and her sisters painted rocks and sold them at summer art fairs. Her daughters, Kale and Lane, and son, Joel, make crafts -- from candles and sand art to holiday wreaths -- and sell them to make money for college. Wendy studied art and advertising in college and worked with a big ad agency in New York City. After a few years, she decided she wanted to draw people and create the kind of art that is sold in galleries.

She went back to art school. A friend asked her to draw illustrations for a children's book. While she didn't get the job, she was inspired by it. So, in her mid-30s, she decided she wanted to illustrate children's books.

So far, she's illustrated 12 books -- including "The Full-Belly Bowl" by Jim Aylesworth and two new books for "The Cobble Street Cousins" series. All three will be published later this year. Her new book, "Sophie and Rose," is about a little girl discovering a doll that belonged to her mother and grandmother. She's also the author and illustrator of two books.

Check out Wendy's Web site:

for more about her and her books.

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