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Ering, Timothy Basil

Ering, Timothy Basil

Personal

Born in Rochester, MI. Education: Grossmont Junior College, A.A., 1988; Art Center College of Design, B.F.A. (illustration), 1994.

Addresses

Home and office—Somerville, MA. E-mail—frogbellyratbone@comcast.net.

Career

Artist and illustrator. Has created art for magazines, newspapers, music video companies, and theater sets. Exhibitions: Works included in group exhibitions, in- cluding Provincetown Group Gallery, Provincetown, MA, 1996, and Society of Illustrators Gallery, New York, NY, 2001. Solo exhibition at Provincetown Group Gallery, Provincetown, MA. Military service: U.S. Navy, 1983-90, boatswain's mate aboard U.S.S. Kitty Hawk.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2003.

ILLUSTRATOR

Roscoe Cooper, The Diary of Victor Frankenstein, DK Ink (New York, NY), 1997.

Alice La Plante and Clare La Plante, Heaven Help Us: The Worrier's Guide to the Patron Saints, Dell (New York, NY, 1999.

Jennifer B. Lawrence, Sad Doggy, Piggy Toes Press (Santa Monica, CA), 2001.

Alice La Plante and Clare La Plante, Dear Saint Anne, Send Me a Man (and Other Time-honored Prayers for Love), Universe Publishing (New York, NY), 2002.

Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2003.

Adam Rapp, Thirty-three Snowfish, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2003.

Deborah Blumenthal, Don't Let the Peas Touch!, and Other Stories, Arthur A. Levine Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Nancy Wood, Mr. and Mrs. God in the Creation Kitchen, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2006.

Contributor of illustrations to periodicals, including Los Angeles Times and Surfer.

Sidelights

Timothy Basil Ering, a painter who lives and works in Massachusetts, has illustrated a number of critically acclaimed books for children and young adults, including Deborah Blumenthal's Don't Let the Peas Touch!, and Other Stories and Nancy Wood's Mr. and Mrs. God in the Creation Kitchen. Ering, who spent several years as a boatswain's mate aboard the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk before graduating from the Art Center College of Design, began his career as a freelance illustrator, supplying artwork to magazines, newspapers, and music video companies. In 1996 he had his first exhibition at the Provincetown Group Gallery, and a year later he completed the illustrations for his first book project, The Diary of Victor Frankenstein by Roscoe Cooper.

Ering later served as illustrator for Kate DiCamillo's The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread, which received the 2004 Newbery Medal. The fantasy novel concerns a tiny, misfit mouse who would rather read a good book and listen to fine music than scurry about his castle home. When Despereaux learns that Princess Pea, the love of his life, has been kidnapped, the diminutive rodent mounts a heroic rescue effort. Both DiCamillo's text and Ering's artwork earned rave reviews. According to Peter D. Sieruta, writing in Horn Book, The Tale of Despereaux "makes good use of metaphor, with the major characters evoked in images of light and illumination; Ering's black-and-white illustrations also emphasize the interplay of light and shadow." "Ering brings an understated drama to the black-and-white illustrations that punctuate each chapter," a Publishers Weekly reviewer noted. "His artwork conveys a respect for the characters even as they emit the wry humor of the narrator's voice." Booklist critic Ilene Cooper wrote that the artist's "soft pencil illustrations reflect the story's charm," and Miriam Budin Lang, reviewing the work in School Library Journal, remarked that Despereaux, "as depicted in Ering's pencil drawings, is one of the most endearing of his ilk ever to appear in children's books."

A rambunctious preschooler and her older sister are the focus of Deborah Blumenthal's Don't Let the Peas Touch!, and Other Stories, called a "warm and wise picture book" by a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Ering's

paintings "illustrate the tales with enormous energy, abundant color, and a keen sense of drama," stated Booklist contributor Carolyn Phelan, and Carol Ann Wilson, writing in School Library Journal, noted that "the pencil, pen, and, acrylic illustrations are lively and winsome and the cheerful palette reflects the upbeat tone." Nancy Wood's Mr. and Mrs. God in the Creation Kitchen is a "folksy take on the Biblical creation story," according to a critic in Kirkus Reviews. "Ering's artwork captures the puckish spirit of Wood's telling," commented Booklist reviewer Jennifer Mattson. In School Library Journal Marie Orlando observed of the same book that the artist's "ink-and-acrylic illustrations are both soft and dynamic, with line drawings against a painted background that provide a good balance of the concrete and the amorphous."

In 2003 Ering published his first self-illustrated work, The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone. Set in dreary Cementland, the work follows a young boy who discovers a box of wonderful treasures. To protect his bounty, the boy constructs a living scarecrow from scraggly wire, smelly socks, and moldy underwear; he dubs his creation Frog Belly Rat Bone. "Ering's combination of hand-lettered text and scribbly, muddy, scratchy pictures looks like a collaboration between Tim Burton and Ralph Steadman," Michael Cart wrote in Booklist. A Publishers Weekly critic similarly noted that "Ering loads the pages with expressive smears, splatters, squiggles and kinky lines, and the book's matte, embossed cover emphasizes the tactile quality of his art."

"I always think of illustration as a form of acting," Ering stated on his home page. "Each time I approach a project I need to become the character I'm depicting. And then I have to choose the appropriate medium that will allow me to speak in that voice."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Book, November-December, 2003, review of The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread, p. 67.

Booklist, June, 2003, Michael Cart, review of The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone, p. 1785; July, 2003, Ilene Cooper, review of The Tale of Despereaux, p. 1886; December 15, 2004, Carolyn Phelan, review of Don't Let the Peas Touch!, and Other Stories, p. 746; April 15, 2006, Jennifer Mattson, review of Mr. and Mrs. God in the Creation Kitchen, p. 46.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, May, 2003, review of Thirty-three Snowfish, p. 375.

Horn Book, September-October, 2003, Peter D. Sieruta, review of The Tale of Despereaux, p. 609.

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2003, review of Thirty-three Snowfish, p. 237; April 1, 2003, review of The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone, p. 533; July 15, 2003, review of The Tale of Despereaux, p. 962; October 1, 2004, review of Don't Let the Peas Touch!, and Other Stories, p. 957; February 1, 2006, review of Mr. and Mrs. God in the Creation Kitchen, p. 139.

Kliatt, March, 2003, Paula Rohrlick, review of Thirty-three Snowfish, p. 16.

Magpies, March, 2006, review of Mr. and Mrs. God in the Creation Kitchen, p. 22.

New York Times Book Review, November 16, 2003, Jerry Griswold, "A World without Soup," review of The Tale of Despereaux, p. 47.

Publishers Weekly, January 13, 2003, review of Thirty-three Snowfish, p. 61; March 31, 2003, review of The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone, p. 66; June 16, 2003, review of The Tale of Despereaux, p. 71; November 1, 2004, review of Don't Let the Peas Touch!, and Other Stories, p. 60.

Reviewer's Bookwatch, December, 2004, JoAn W. Martin, review of The Tale of Despereaux.

School Library Journal, April, 2003, Joel Shoemaker, review of Thirty-three Snowfish, p. 166; August, 2003, Miriam Lang Budin, review of The Tale of Despereaux, p. 126; November, 2004, Carol Ann Wilson, review of Don't Let the Peas Touch!, and Other Stories, p. 91; June, 2006, Marie Orlando, review of Mr. and Mrs. God in the Creation Kitchen, p. 130.

Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2003, review of Thirty-three Snowfish, p. 55.

ONLINE

Timothy Basil Ering Home Page,http://www.timothybasilering.com (January 10, 2007).

Walker Books Web site,http://www.walkerbooks.co.uk/ (January 10, 2007), "Timothy Basil Ering."

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