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Roberts, David 1970–

Roberts, David 1970–

Personal

Born 1970, in Liverpool, England. Education: Studied fashion design with Dom Mansell and Gillian Tyler.

Addresses

Home and office—London, England.

Career

Illustrator. Worked as a fashion illustrator in Hong Kong and a couture milliner in England.

Awards, Honors

Mother Goose Award runner up for children's illustration, 1999; British Book Design and Production Awards shortlist, 2003, and Nottingham Library Children's Book Award, and Norfolk Libraries Children's Book Award, both 2004, all for Dirty Bertie; Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist, 2005, for Little Red; Nestlé Children's Book Prize Gold Award, 2006, for Mouse Noses on Toast.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

Dirty Bertie, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 2002.

Pooh! Is That You, Bertie?, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 2004, published as Pee-ew! Is That You, Bertie?, Harry Abrams (New York, NY),2004.

ILLUSTRATOR

Jacqueline Wilson, My Brother Bernadette, Heinemann (London, England), 1995, Crabtree Publishing (New York, NY), 2003.

Roy Apps, Frankie Stein's Robot, Macdonald Young (Hove, England), 1998.

Joan Poulson, Pictures in My Mind, Macdonald Young (Hove, England), 1999.

David O'Doherty, Ronan Long Gets It Wrong, Mammoth (London, England), 2000.

(With Corina Fletcher) Ghoul School, Harry Abrams (New York, NY), 2000.

Chris d'Lacey, Dexter's Journey, Mammoth (London, England), 2000, Crabtree Publishing (New York, NY), 2002.

Jenny Nimmo, The Bodigulpa, Macmillan (London, England), 2001.

Sylvia Plath, Collected Children's Stories, Faber (London, England), 2001.

Lynn Roberts, reteller, Cinderella: An Art Deco Love Story, Harry Abrams (New York, NY), 2001.

Beverley Birch, reteller, Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Hodder Wayland (London, England), 2002.

Jan Mark, Long Lost, Macmillan (London, England), 2002.

Lynn Roberts, reteller, Rapunzel: A Groovy Fairy Tale, Harry Abrams (New York, NY), 2003.

Kaye Umanksy, The Spellovision Song Contest, Puffin (London, England), 2003.

Susan Price, Olly Spellmaker and the Sulky Smudge, Macmillan (London, England), 2003.

Oscar Wilde, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, and Other Stories, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2003.

David Sutherland, Samantha Cardigan and the Ghastly Twirling Sickness, Egmont (London, England), 2003, Crabtree Publishing (New York, NY), 2005.

Michael Catchpool, Hopping Mad!, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 2004.

Susan Price, Olly Spellmaker and the Hairy Horror, Macmillan (London, England), 2004.

David Sutherland, Samantha Cardigan and the Genie's Revenge, Egmont (London, England), 2004, Crabtree Publishing (New York, NY), 2005.

Lynn Roberts, reteller, Little Red: A Fizzingly Good Yarn, Harry Abrams (New York, NY), 2005.

Anna Powell, Don't Say That, Willy Nilly!, Good Books (Intercourse, PA), 2005.

Jon Blake, Stinky Finger's House of Fun, Hodder (London, England), 2005.

Jon Blake, Crazy Party at the House of Fun, Hodder (London, England), 2005.

Stewart Ross, Pirates, Plants, and Plunder!, Eden Project (London, England), 2005.

Joanna Nadin, Jake Jellicoe and the Dread Pirate Redbeard, Walker (London, England), 2006.

Dodie Smith, The Hundred and One Dalmatians, Egmont (London, England), 2006.

Jon Blake, Mystery Guest at the House of Fun, Hodder (London, England), 2006.

Linda Smith, Mrs. Crump's Cat, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2006.

Alan MacDonald, Fleas, Stripes Publishing (London, England), 2006.

Daren King, Mouse Noses on Toast, Putnam (New York, NY), 2006.

Alan MacDonald, Burp!, Stripes Publishing (London, England), 2007.

Alan MacDonald, Pants!, Stripes Publishing (London, England), 2007.

Chris Priestley, Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2007.

Janet S. Wong, The Dumpster Diver, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2007.

Andrea Beaty, Iggy Peck, Architect, Harry Abrams (New York, NY), 2007.

Daren King, Sensible Hare and the Case of Carrots, Faber (London, England), 2007.

Julia Donaldson, Tyrannosaurus Drip, Macmillan (London, England), 2007, Feiwel & Friends (New York, NY), 2008.

Alex Williams, The Storm Maker: A Hair-raising Adventure for All Weathers, Macmillan (London, England), 2008.

ILLUSTRATOR; "EDDIE DICKENS" TRILOGY

Philip Ardagh, Awful End, Faber (London, England), 2000, published as A House Called Awful End, Holt (New York, NY), 2002.

Philip Ardagh, Dreadful Acts, Faber (London, England), 2001, Holt (New York, NY), 2003.

Philip Ardagh, Terrible Times, Faber (London, England), 2002, Holt (New York, NY), 2003.

ILLUSTRATOR; "THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF EDDIE DICKENS" TRILOGY

Philip Ardagh, Dubious Deeds, Faber (London, England), 2003.

Philip Ardagh, Final Curtain, Faber (London, England), 2006.

ILLUSTRATOR; "UNLIKELY EXPLOITS" TRILOGY

Philip Ardagh, The Fall of Fergal, Faber (London, England), 2002, Holt (New York, NY), 2004.

Philip Ardagh, Heir of Mystery, Faber (London, England), 2003, Holt (New York, NY), 2004.

Philip Ardagh, The Rise of the House of McNally, Holt (New York, NY), 2005.

Sidelights

A former fashion illustrator and couture milliner, David Roberts has provided the artwork for dozens of picture books, including Daren King's Mouse Noses on Toast and the works in Philip Ardagh's "Eddie Dickens" trilogy. Roberts, who lives and works in London, England, told an interviewer on the Dogmatika Web site that "drawing is my first love so to be able to interpret someone else's text and get it right is immensely satisfying." Additionally, Roberts has written a pair of self-illustrated titles, Dirty Bertie and Pee-ew! Is That You, Bertie?

Roberts is widely recognized for his pen-and-ink artwork. He remarked to a contributor in Books for Keeps: "As an illustrator I have many influences including Edward Gorey, Maurice Sendak, John Burningham,

[Image not available for copyright reasons]

Gustave Doré, David Hockney, Heath Robinson and Aubrey Beardsley." As Roberts added, "I do a lot of black and white work and over the years have studied artists such as Gorey and Doré to see how they use line to create tone."

Roberts has enjoyed a successful collaboration with his sister, author Lynn Roberts, on a number of retellings of classic fairy tales. In Cinderella: An Art Deco Love Story the pair sets the familiar tale during the 1920s and 1930s. "Every piece of furniture, household decoration, and artwork reflects the Art Deco period," noted School Library Journal contributor Susan Scheps. In Rapunzel: A Groovy Fairy Tale, which takes place during the late 1970s, a rock star rescues the long-haired maiden from her top-floor city apartment, where she has been imprisoned by her aunt. In a review of the latter work for Booklist critic Gillian Engberg praised Roberts's "wild, technically impressive ink-and-watercolor illustrations," and Eve Ortega wrote in School Library Journal that "children will likely focus on the cartoonish expressions of wide-eyed Rapunzel and devilish Aunt Esme." A young boy is the hero of Little Red: A Fizzingly Good Yarn, a version of "Little Red Riding Hood" that is set during America's colonial era. Roberts's "edgy illustrations complement the wry, understated text," remarked a contributor in Publishers Weekly, and Nina Lindsay stated in School Library Journal that the artist's pictures "use small detail and dramatic perspective to heighten the [book's] spooky, Tim Burtonesque effect."

Ardagh's "Eddie Dickens" trilogy centers on a young boy's often-macabre adventures. In A House Called Awful End Eddie shares a bizarre journey with his aunt and uncle. "Roberts's hilarious pen-and-ink drawings of wide-eyed Eddie and his insane family resemble a cross between Charles Addams and Edward Gorey," a reviewer in Publishers Weekly stated. Roberts and Ardagh have also teamed up on the "Unlikely Exploits" series, which recounts the comic misfortunes of the McNally siblings. Here the illustrator's "pen-and-ink line drawings are eerily sinister," School Library Journal critic Kit Vaughan remarked in a review of series installment The Fall of Fergal.

Roberts earned the 2006 Nestlé Children's Book Prize Gold Award for his work on King's Mouse Noses on Toast, in which a group of mice lead a protest against a popular restaurant item. "Roberts' delightful, black line drawings appear in every chapter," observed Booklist contributor Kay Weisman. In The Dumpster Diver, a work by Janet S. Wong, a group of friends help Steve, the neighborhood electrician, decorate his apartment with discarded objects. In Booklist Jennifer Mattson applauded the illustrator's "screwball watercolors, which capture the whimsy of the creations," and School Library Journal reviewer Gloria Koster wrote that "Roberts portrays [Steve] with a playful elasticity that perfectly matches Wong's playful story." Andrea Beaty's Iggy Peck, Architect, a work told in verse, follows a child prodigy with a gift for construction. According to Margaret R. Tassia in her review of Iggy Peck, Architect for School Library Journal, "the detailed pen-and-ink and watercolor spreads, evocative of architectural drawings, are crisp, clean, and expressive."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 15, 2002, Ilene Cooper, review of A House Called Awful End, p. 600; December 15, 2003, Gillian Engberg, review of Rapunzel: A Groovy Fairy Tale, p. 752; October 15, 2005, Diane Foote, review of Little Red: A Fizzingly Good Yarn, p. 59; February 15, 2007, Jennifer Mattson, review of The Dumpster Diver, p. 76; December 1, 2007, Kay Weisman, review of Mouse Noses on Toast, p. 42.

Books for Keeps, July, 2007, "Window into Illustration: David Roberts."

Horn Book, May-June, 2007, Barbara Bader, review of The Dumpster Diver, p. 276.

Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2003, review of Dirty Bertie, p. 477; September 15, 2003, review of Rapunzel, p. 1181; September 1, 2004, review of Heir of Mystery, p. 859; April 15, 2005, review of The Rise of the House of McNally, p. 467; September 1, 2005, review of Little Red, p. 981; October 1, 2005, review of Don't Say That, Willy Nilly!, p. 1086; April 1, 2006, review of Mrs. Crump's Cat, p. 357; January 15, 2007, review of The Dumpster Diver, p. 83; September 15, 2007, review of Iggy Peck, Architect.

Publishers Weekly, October 1, 2001, review of Cinderella: An Art Deco Love Story, p. 60; August 12, 2002, review of A House Called Awful End, p. 301; February 24, 2003, review of Dirty Bertie, p. 71; May 31, 2004, review of The Fall of Fergal, p. 75; October 31, 2005, review of Little Red, p. 56; November 26, 2007, review of Iggy Peck, Architect, p. 52.

School Library Journal, January, 2002, Susan Scheps, review of Cinderella, p. 123; May, 2003, Susan Pine, review of Dirty Bertie, p. 128, and Ashley Larsen, review of Dreadful Acts, p. 144; November, 2003, Eve Ortega, review of Rapunzel, p. 129; December, 2003, Sharon R. Pearce, review of Terrible Times, p. 144; July, 2004, Kit Vaughn, review of The Fall of Fergal, p. 98; September, 2004, Heather Ulesoo, review of Heir of Mystery, p. 198; November, 2004, Jane Barrer, review of Dirty Bertie, p. 117; October, 2005, Gay Lynn Van Vleck, review of Don't Say That, Willy Nilly!, p. 124; November, 2005, Nina Lindsay, review of Little Red, p. 120; April, 2006, Wanda Meyers-Hines, review of Mrs. Crump's Cat, p. 118; March, 2007, Gloria Koster, review of The Dumpster Diver, p. 191; November, 2007, Margaret R. Tassia, review of Iggy Peck, Architect, p. 86.

ONLINE

Dogmatika Web site,http://dogmatika.com/ (August 1, 2008), interview with Roberts.

Little Tiger Press Web site,http://www.littletigerpress.com/ (August 1, 2008), "David Roberts."

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