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Egan, Tim 1957–

Egan, Tim 1957–

Personal

Born September 24, 1957, in Teaneck, NJ; son of Thomas (a writer) and Joan (a librarian) Egan; married; wife's name Ann (a floral designer), November 19, 1983; children: Christopher, Brian. Education: Art Center College of Design, B.F.A., 1982. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Christian. Hobbies and other interests: Music, art, sports, the environment.

Addresses

Home and office—Canoga Park, CA. E-mail—EganStudio@sbcglobal.net.

Career

Author and illustrator. Egan Design, Canoga Park, CA, art director; Recycled Paper Greetings, Chicago, IL, writer and illustrator; also works as a freelance artist. Presenter at schools and libraries.

Awards, Honors

Elan Award for best logo design, 1994, and best billboard design, 1995; C.S. Lewis Award, 1995, for Chestnut Cove; Parent's Choice Gold Award, and Oradell Illustrator's Award, both 1996, both for Metropolitan Cow; Children's Book Council (CBC)/International Reading Association Children's Choice designation, 1997, for Burnt Toast on Davenport Street; Parent's Choice Book of the Year designation and Gold Medal, both 1999, both for The Blunder of the Rogues; Parent's Choice Silver Medal, 2001, for A Mile from Ellington Station; Irma Simonton Black Award Honor designation, and Parents' Choice Silver Medal, both 2006, both for Roasted Peanuts; Parent's Choice Silver Medal, 2007, for The Pink Refrigerator and Dodsworth in New York.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

Friday Night at Hodges' Café, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1994.

Chestnut Cove, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1995.

Metropolitan Cow, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1996.

Burnt Toast on Davenport Street, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1997.

Distant Feathers, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1998.

The Blunder of the Rogues, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1999.

A Mile from Ellington Station, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2001.

The Experiments of Doctor Vermin, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2002.

Serious Farm, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2003.

The Trial of Cardigan Jones, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2004.

Roasted Peanuts, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2006.

The Pink Refrigerator, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2007.

Dodsworth in New York, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2007.

Dodsworth in Paris, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2008.

Sidelights

Author and illustrator Tim Egan has been praised for creating unusual animal characters that appear in his offbeat, humorous stories for elementary-school-aged readers. His books have prompted praise from readers and reviewers alike. "Egan will crack up even the dourest of readers," commented a Kirkus Reviews critic, responding to the characteristically dry, deadpan humor of Serious Farm, while Ilene Cooper praised Egan in Booklist as "one of the most interesting author-illustrators around, always trying something new and quirky."

Egan's stories are peopled with animal characters that are not the stuff of traditional picture books. No cute kittens, rolly-polly puppies, or cuddly pigs here. Instead, Egan's menagerie includes a curmudgeonly dog who wishes that his crocodile neighbors would turn into squirrels in Burnt Toast on Davenport Street; a giant parrot that squashes town hall flat in Distant Feathers; a portly bear whose irritation over being trounced at checkers causes him to start a hurtful rumor in A Mile from Ellington Station; and a shy pig whose search for a job as a short-order cook winds him up at the door of a mad scientist in The Experiments of Doctor Vermin. While Egan's animal characters often act out feelings such as jealousy and frustration, or act from ignorance, there is little malice in them and as each story ends all wrongs are righted. In A Mile from Ellington Station, for example, Preston the bear eventually realizes the harm caused by the rumor he started. As Carey Ayres noted in School Library Journal, Egan's "offbeat tale light-heartedly reminds its readers to think of the consequences before they act."

Distant Feathers finds one Sedrick Van Pelt interrupted from his writing by a giant red parrot whose insistent pecking on Sedrick's window pane forces the distraught author into hiding. When Sedrick realizes that the giant bird is simply hungry for bread, he attempts to help. Ultimately, Sedrick is joined by his fellow townsfolk, but the clumsy and work-shirking Feathers and his lust for bread soon prove more than they can handle. Ultimately a truce is reached in a "zany" story that Cooper praised in Booklist for its "rich ink-and-watercolor art" and "a happy ending that will satisfy kids."

A coup led by Edna the cow causes all the barnyard animals on Farmer Fred's farm to high-tail it for the woods in Egan's 2003 book Serious Farm. Fred has little use for humor, and when his dourness begins to take its toll around the barnyard Edna hatches a plan to liven things up. Unfortunately, although the animals each try to make the farmer smile—the pigs try to bark like dogs, and all the animals dance around in the moonlight wearing Fred's clothes—they only succeed in amusing themselves. Finally, they leave in frustration, causing Fred to search them out and offer a truce—a sliver of a smile—while reminding them that the barnyard family needs to stick together. And besides, it's a ridiculous sight, "Cows and chickens runnin' wild in the woods," notes the ever-practical Fred. "Egan's offbeat, understated humor is used to good effect in the [book's] highly amusing text and art," noted Horn Book contributor Kitty Flynn, while in School Library Journal Carolyn Janssen praised the "humorous ink-and-watercolor illustrations" and a plot that "can't be taken too seriously." Dubbing Serious Farm "dryly funny," a Publishers Weekly reviewer added that the author captures "the awkward but heartfelt exchanges of affection that so often pass between family members, as his characters … reach a warm and realistic understanding."

In The Trial of Cardigan Jones, a sweater-clad moose is accused of pilfering a tasty treat. When a homemade apple pie disappears from Mrs. Brown's windowsill, suspicion immediately falls upon newcomer Cardigan Jones, who was spotted in the area. Though Cardigan insists that he was only drawn to the smell of the pie, he is arrested and hauled into court, where a host of animal witnesses testify against him. Fortunately for Cardigan, the wise judge notices how difficult it is for the antlered moose to navigate the courtroom, and he develops an alternative explanation for the "crime." Egan's "deadpan prose plus his tight, almost claustrophobic framings and grim-faced accusers add up to a taut courtroom drama," noted a contributor in Publishers Weekly, and a critic in Kirkus Reviews stated that the work "may have some potential as a discussion starter on the idea of ‘innocent until proven guilty.’" Harriet Fargnoli, writing in School Library Journal, offered praise for Egan's artwork, remarking that the "ink-and-watercolor illustrations, which feature simple lines and lots of white space, are embellished with raised eyebrows, shifty eyes, and deadpan expressions."

Roasted Peanuts centers on the relationship between Jackson the cat and Sam the horse, who share a love for the game of baseball. Sam is a gifted athlete, and he earns a spot on the Grazers, his local team, after a fantastic tryout. Jackson, despite his strong throwing arm, fails to make the club, and his unhappiness affects Sam's performance on the field. To support his pal, the feline takes a job as a peanut vendor at the stadium, which showcases his powerful arm, and he inspires Sam to fully use his talents. "Egan invents a starry-eyed baseball legend of an earlier era, in which gentlemanly hues of sepia, loamy brown, mossy green and burgundy set the scene," a Publishers Weekly reviewer observed, and in School Library Journal Robin L. Gibson stated that his "typically droll animal characters express emotions well." In Horn Book, Martha V. Parravano described Roasted Peanuts as "a rewarding story of friendship, fulfilling one's potential, and discovering one's best self."

The Pink Refrigerator introduces Dodsworth the mouse, the owner of a thrift shop who prefers relaxing, napping, and snacking on cheese to working. While making his daily visit to the junkyard, Dodsworth spies a battered pink fridge that contains art supplies and a note that says, "Make pictures," which encourages him to try his hand at painting. On each of his subsequent trips, Dodsworth finds a different message on the refrigerator door, and he soon develops a variety of useful skills. "Egan's masterful handling of the character's growth from lazy lump to a delighted self-starter will engage readers," Marge Loch-Wouters commented in School Library Journal, and Horn Book reviewer Kitty Flynn stated, "The book's worthy message, not at all subtle, is refreshingly delivered without pretense."

The intrepid mouse returns in Dodsworth in New York, "a typically tongue-in-cheek outing," observed a contributor in Kirkus Reviews. En route to Paris, Dodsworth stops in the Big Apple, only to discover that a sassy duck has stowed away in his suitcase. When Dodsworth attempts to return the duck to its rightful owner, the waterfowl escapes and leads him on an unanticipated tour of the city's most famous sites, including the Statue of Liberty, Yankee Stadium, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Egan keeps the hijinks low-key, preferring long pauses and slow burns to nutty slapstick," a Publishers Weekly critic wrote.

"I write and illustrate for children because few things I've found are as challenging or rewarding," Egan once commented. "The subjects I write about are always written with humor in mind. I find the work of William Steig, Maurice Sendak, Etienne Delessert, and James Marshall to be inspiring and interesting.

"My writing process consists of sitting in an overstuffed chair and staring at a notebook, hoping something will happen. When it doesn't, I go and do other things. When it does, I write."

Biographical and Critical Sources

BOOKS

Egan, Tim, Serious Farm, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2003.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 15, 1997, Ilene Cooper, review of Burnt Toast on Davenport Street, p. 1434; October 15, 1997, Donna Miller, review of Friday Night at Hodges Café, p. 422; March 15, 1998, Ilene Cooper, review of Distant Feathers, p. 1246; April 15, 2001, Ilene Cooper, review of A Mile from Ellington Station, p. 1563; September 1, 2002, Michael Cart, review of The Experiments of Doctor Vermin, p. 139; March 1, 2007, Gillian Engberg, review of The Pink Refrigerator, p. 88; October 15, 2007, Ilene Cooper, review of Dodsworth in New York, p. 51.

Horn Book, July-August, 1996, review of Metropolitan Cow, pp. 447-448; September-October, 2003, Kitty Flynn, review of Serious Farm, p. 595; May-June, 2006, Martha V. Parravano, review of Roasted Peanuts, p. 293; March-April, 2007, Kitty Flynn, review of The Pink Refrigerator, p. 179; September-October, 2007, Christine M. Heppermann, review of Dodsworth in New York, p. 572.

Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2003, review of Serious Farm, p. 1270; July 1, 2004, review of The Trial of Cardigan Jones, p. 628; March 15, 2007, review of The Pink Refrigerator; August 15, 2007, review of Dodsworth in New York.

Publishers Weekly, December 19, 1994, "Flying Starts," p. 32; March 2, 1998, review of Distant Feathers, p. 68; March 15, 1999, review of The Blunder of the Rogues, p. 58; April 2, 2001, review of A Mile from Ellington Station, p. 64; November 3, 2003, review of Serious Farm, p. 74; August 16, 2004, review of The Trial of Cardigan Jones, p. 62; April 17, 2006, review of Roasted Peanuts, p. 187; September 10, 2007, review of Dodsworth in New York, p. 60.

School Library Journal, May, 2001, Carey Ayres, review of A Mile from Ellington Station, p. 115; October, 2002, Lisa Gangemi Kropp, review of The Experiments of Doctor Vermin, p. 104; October, 2003, Carolyn Janssen, review of Serious Farm, p. 118; September, 2004, Harriett Fargnoli, review of The Trial of Cardigan Jones, p. 160; May, 2006, Robin L. Gibson, review of Roasted Peanuts, p. 86; March, 2007, Marge Loch-Wouters, review of The Pink Refrigerator, p. 160.

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"Egan, Tim 1957–." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Egan, Tim 1957–." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/egan-tim-1957-0

"Egan, Tim 1957–." Something About the Author. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/egan-tim-1957-0

Egan, Tim 1957-

EGAN, Tim 1957-

Personal

Born September 24, 1957, in Teaneck, NJ; son of Thomas (a writer) and Joan (a librarian) Egan; married; wife's name, Ann (a floral designer), November 19, 1983; children: Christopher, Brian. Education: Art Center College of Design, B.F.A., 1982. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Christian. Hobbies and other interests: Music, art, sports, the environment.

Addresses

Home 7453 Jordan Ave., Canoga Park, CA 91303. E-mail EganStudio@sbcglobal.net.

Career

Author and illustrator. Egan Design, Canoga Park, CA, art director; Recycled Paper Greetings, Chicago, IL, writer and illustrator; also works as a freelance artist. Presenter at schools and libraries.

Member

Graphic Artists Guild.

Awards, Honors

Elan Award for best logo design, 1994, and best billboard design, 1995.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED CHILDREN'S BOOKS

Friday Night at Hodges' Café, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1994.

Chestnut Cove, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1995.

Metropolitan Cow, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1996.

Burnt Toast on Davenport Street, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1997.

Distant Feathers, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1998.

The Blunder of the Rogues, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1999.

A Mile from Ellington Station, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2001.

The Experiments of Doctor Vermin, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2002.

Serious Farm, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2003.

The Trial of Cardigan Jones, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2004.

Sidelights

Author and illustrator Tim Egan has been praised for creating unusual animal characters that appear in his offbeat, humorous stories designed for elementary-aged readers. While writing and illustrating children's books is only a part-time job for Eganhe also works as an art director and designer at his California-based studiohis books Friday Night at Hodges' Café, Burnt Toast on Davenport Street, and Serious Farm have prompted praise from readers and reviewers alike. "Egan will crack up even the dourest of readers," commented a Kirkus Reviews critic on the characteristically dry, deadpan humor of Serious Farm, while Ilene Cooper praised Egan in Booklist as "one of the most interesting author-illustrators around, always trying something new and quirky."

Egan's stories are peopled with animal characters that are not the stuff of traditional picture books. No cute kittens, rolly-polly puppies, or cuddly pigs here. Instead, Egan's menagerie includes a curmudgeonly dog who wishes that his crocodile neighbors would turn into squirrels in Burnt Toast on Davenport Street; a giant parrot that squashes town hall flat in Distant Feathers; a portly bear whose irritation over being trounced at checkers causes him to start a hurtful rumor in A Mile from Ellington Station; and a shy pig whose search for a job as a short-order cook winds him up at the door of a mad scientist in The Experiments of Doctor Vermin. While Egan's animal characters often act out feelings such as jealousy and frustration, or act from ignorance, there is little malice in them and as each story ends all wrongs are righted. In A Mile from Ellington Station, for example, Preston the bear eventually realizes the harm caused by the rumor he started. As Carey Ayres noted in School Library Journal, Egan's "offbeat tale light-heartedly reminds its readers to think of the consequences before they act."

Distant Feathers finds one Sedrick Van Pelt interrupted from his writing by a giant red parrot whose insistent pecking on Sedrick's window pane forces the distraught author into hiding. When Sedrick realizes that the giant bird is simply hungry for bread, he attempts to help. Ultimately, Sedrick is joined by his fellow townsfolk, but the clumsy and work-shirking Feathers and his lust for bread soon prove more than they can handle. Ultimately a truce is reached in a "zany" story that Cooper praised in Booklist for its "rich ink-and-watercolor art" and "a happy ending that will satisfy kids."

A coup led by Edna the cow causes all the barnyard animals on Farmer Fred's farm to high-tail it for the woods in Egan's 2003 book Serious Farm. Fred has little use for humor, and when his dourness begins to take its toll around the barnyard Edna hatches a plan to liven things up. Unfortunately, although the animals each try to make the farmer smilethe pigs try to bark like dogs, and all the animals dance around in the moonlight wearing Fred's clothesthey only succeed in amusing themselves. Finally, they leave in frustration, causing Fred to search them out and offer a trucea sliver of a smilewhile reminding them that the barnyard family needs to stick together. And besides, it's a ridiculous sight, "Cows and chickens runnin' wild in the woods," notes the ever-practical Fred. "Egan's offbeat, understated humor is used to good effect in the [book's] highly amusing text and art," noted Horn Book contributor Kitty Flynn, while in School Library Journal Carolyn Janssen praised the "humorous ink-and-watercolor illustrations" and a plot that "can't be taken too seriously." Dubbing Serious Farm "dryly funny," a Publishers Weekly reviewer added that the author captures "the awkward but heartfelt exchanges of affection that so often pass between family members, as his characters reach a warm and realistic understanding."

"I write and illustrate for children because few things I've found are as challenging or rewarding," Egan once commented. "The subjects I write about are occasionally moralistic, but they are always written with humor in mind. I find the work of William Steig, Maurice Sendak, Etienne Delessert, and William Joyce to be inspiring and interesting.

"My writing process consists of sitting in an overstuffed chair and staring at a notebook, hoping something will happen. When it doesn't, I get more coffee. When it does, I write."

Biographical and Critical Sources

BOOKS

Egan, Tim, Serious Farm, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2003.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 15, 1997, Ilene Cooper, review of Burnt Toast on Davenport Street, p. 1434; October 15, 1997, Donna Miller, review of Friday Night at Hodges Café, p. 422; March 15, 1998, Ilene Cooper, review of Distant Feathers, p. 1246; April 15, 2001, Ilene Cooper, review of A Mile from Ellington Station, p. 1563; September 1, 2002, Michael Cart, review of The Experiments of Doctor Vermin, p. 139.

Horn Book, July-August, 1996, pp. 447-448; September-October, 2003, Kitty Flynn, review of Serious Farm, p. 595.

Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2003, review of Serious Farm, p. 1270; July 1, 2004, review of The Trial of Cardigan Jones, p. 628.

Publishers Weekly, March 2, 1998, review of Distant Feathers, p. 68; March 15, 1999, review of The Blunder of the Rogues, p. 58; April 2, 2001, review of A Mile from Ellington Station, p. 64; November 3, 2003, review of Serious Farm, p. 74; August 16, 2004, review of The Trial of Cardigan Jones, p. 62.

School Library Journal, May, 2001, Carey Ayers, review of A Mile from Ellington Station, p. 115; October, 2002, Lisa Gangemi Kropp, review of The Experiments of Doctor Vermin, p. 104; October, 2003, Carolyn Janssen, review of Serious Farm, p. 118; September, 2004, Harriett Fargnoli, review of The Trial of Cardigan Jones, p. 160.*

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Egan, Tim 1957-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Egan, Tim 1957-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/egan-tim-1957

"Egan, Tim 1957-." Something About the Author. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/egan-tim-1957