Skip to main content
Select Source:

Pohrt, Tom 1953-

Pohrt, Tom 1953-

Personal

Born 1953, in Flint, MI; married; children: one daughter. Education: Attended University of Michigan, Flint.

Addresses

Home—Ann Arbor, MI.

Career

Illustrator and author of children's books. Formerly worked in automobile factories and in small-press publishing.

Awards, Honors

Lee Bennett Hopkins Award for Children's Poetry, 2004, for The Wishing Bone and Other Poems by Stephen Mitchell; American Library Association Notable Children's Book designation, 2004, for The Little Gentleman by Philippa Pearce.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

(Reteller) Coyote Goes Walking, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1995.

Having a Wonderful Time, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1999.

ILLUSTRATOR

Howard Norman, Who Met the Ice Lynx?, Grey Wolf Press, 1978.

Jim Henen, The Man Who Kept Cigars in His Cap, Grey Wolf Press, 1978.

Ted Kooser, The Blizzard Voices (poetry), Bieler Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1986.

Barry Lopez, Crow and Weasel, North Point Press, 1992.

Bruce Donehower, Miko, Little Hunter of the North, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1990.

Elizabeth Hauge and Victoria Glournoy McCarthy, editors, A Child's Anthology of Poetry, Ecco Press (Hopewell, NJ), 1995.

Tony Johnston, An Old Shell: Poems of the Galapagos, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1999.

Howard Norman, Trickster and the Fainting Birds, Harcourt Brace (San Diego, CA), 1999.

John Frank, The Tomb of the Boy King: A True Story in Verse, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 2000.

Jim Harrison, The Boy Who Ran to the Woods, Atlantic Monthly Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Stephen Mitchell, The Wishing Bone and Other Poems, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2003.

Philippa Pearce, The Little Gentleman, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Stephen Mitchell, reteller, Genies, Meanies, and Magic Rings: Three Tales from the Arabian Nights, Walker & Co. (New York, NY), 2007.

Julia Durango, The Walls of Cartagena, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2008.

Sidelights

Illustrator and children's author Tom Pohrt grew up in the automobile-manufacturing town of Flint, Michigan. A self-taught artist whose love of animals is evident in his artwork, Pohrt has been interested in writing and drawing ever since he was a little boy. Despite his lack of guidance as a youngster, Pohrt has become a well-established illustrator, working with texts by authors such as Philippa Pierce, Julia Durango, and Jim Harrison as well as penning the text for two self-illustrated books featuring his original stories. "The precise, delicate lines of his drawings, coupled with his slightly moody, sepia-toned palette, suggest antique etchings," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor in reviewing Pohrt's work for Howard Norman's Trickster and the Fainting Birds, the critic dubbing the picture book "beautifully designed and presented."

In Coyote Goes Walking Pohrt retells four Native-American trickster tales, bringing his animal characters to life in what a Publishers Weekly contributor described as "warm, earth-toned watercolors" that contain a "subtle humor." Described by a Publishers Weekly contributor as "one off-beat destination that's definitely worth a visit," Pohrt's quirky picture book Having a Wonderful Time finds a girl and a talking cat on a vacation where unexpected animal-sightings abound. The reviewer had special praise for the author/illustrator's "confidently deadpan" text with its "dry, understated humor," but also commended the author's characteristic detailed pen-and-ink drawings.

Praising Pohrt's contribution to John Frank's The Tomb of the Boy King: A True Story in Verse, School Library Journal contributor Barbara Buckley noted that the artist's "informative pen-and-watercolor paintings … will be a real draw" for young readers, and Ilene Cooper called them "expertly executed" in her Booklist review. Additional praise was accorded Pohrt's illustrations for Howard Norman's Trickster and the Fainting Birds, a Publishers Weekly reviewer praising the renderings of the story's animal characters as "meticulously executed" and "precise, delicate" pen drawings.

The award-winning anthology The Wishing Bone and Other Poems, one of several collaborations between Pohrt and author Stephen Mitchell, exemplifies Pohrt's skill as an illustrator. This collection of nine poems delves into the mysteries of life as seen through the eyes of a child, describing what might happen if you make a wish on a wishing bone, among other fanciful themes. Pohrt's illustrations allow readers to visualize childhood imaginings through his ability to balance attention to detail with the playfulness of Mitchell's verse. A second collaboration, Genies, Meanies, and Magic Rings: Three Tales from the Arabian Nights, also delves into the world of fantasy, pairing Mitchell's retelling of the famous 1,001 tales with "lively informal black-and-white drawings that add to the fun," according to Booklist critic Hazel Rochman. Cooper, reviewing The Wishing Bone and Other Poems for the same periodical, called that volume "a lovely piece of bookmaking that combines poems that are both whimsical and thought-provoking with delightful ink-and-watercolor pictures that spill across the pages." A Kirkus Reviews contributor agreed, deeming Mitchell's poetry collection "a handsomely packaged, nicely diverse gathering of words and art."

Other books featuring Pohrt's illustrations include the elementary-grade novels The Little Gentleman by Philippa Pearce and Julia Durango's The Walls of Cartagena, the latter an historical novel about a young teen's work to fight slavery in eighteenth-century Spain. The Little Gentleman relates a sophisticated story about the friendship between a young housekeeper and a talking mole that Cooper described as "walk[ing] … the line between pure fantasy and magic realism." Pohrt's illustrations for Pearce's text "contribute to the tale's feeling of a good old-fashioned storybook," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor, and a Kirkus Reviews critic dubbed The Little Gentleman "perfectly unusual, [and] perfectly lovely."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, December 15, 1995, Karen Hutt, review of Coyote Goes Walking, p. 706; December 1, 1999, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of An Old Shell: Poems of the Galapagos, p. 700; January 1, 2000, Karen Hutt, review of Trickster and the Fainting Birds, p. 916; March 1, 2001, Ilene Cooper, review of The Tomb of the Boy King, p. 1284; April 1, 2003, Ilene Cooper, review of The Wishing Bone and Other Poems, p. 1407; August, 2004, Ilene Cooper, review of The Little Gentleman, p. 1937; October 1, 2007, Hazel Rochman, review of Genies, Meanies, and Magic Rings: Three Tales from the Arabian Nights, p. 50.

Horn Book, November, 1999, Nancy Vasilakis, review of Trickster and the Fainting Birds, p. 749; March, 2001, review of The Tomb of the Boy King, p. 228; July-August, 2003, Susan P. Bloom, review of The Wishing Bone and Other Poems, p. 474; September-October, 2004, Sarah Ellis, review of The Little Gentleman, p. 594; September-October, 2007, Susan P. Bloom, review of Genies, Meanies, and Magic Rings, p. 83.

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2003, review of The Wishing Bone and Other Poems, p. 393; July 15, 2004, Philippa Pearce, review of The Little Gentleman, p. 692; July 1, 2007, review of Genies, Meanies, and Magic Rings.

New York Times Book Review, November 25, 1990, review of Crow and Weasel, p. 17.

Publishers Weekly, November 20, 1995, review of Coyote Goes Walking, p. 76; September 7, 1998, review of Crow and Weasel, p. 97; April 19, 1999, review of Having a Wonderful Time, p. 72; October 25, 1999, review of Trickster and the Fainting Birds, p. 81; November 8, 1999, review of An Old Shell, p. 67; October 2, 2000, review of The Boy Who Ran to the Woods, p. 82; March 12, 2001, review of The Tomb of the Boy King, p. 90; February 17, 2003, review of The Wishing Bone and Other Poems, p. 76; November 8, 2004, review of The Little Gentleman, p. 56.

School Library Journal, August, 1990, Denise Anton Wright, review of Miko, Little Hunter of the North, p. 146; December, 1995, Patricia Lothrop Green, review of Coyote Goes Walking, p. 89; April, 1999, Marianne Saccardi, review of Having a Wonderful Time, p. 107; May, 2001, Barbara Buckley, review of The Tomb of the Boy King, p. 164; May, 2003, Sally R. Dow, review of The Wishing Bone and Other Poems, p. 140; September, 2004, Eva Mitnick, review of The Little Gentleman, p. 177.

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

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Pohrt, Tom 1953-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 10 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Pohrt, Tom 1953-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 10, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/pohrt-tom-1953-0

"Pohrt, Tom 1953-." Something About the Author. . Retrieved December 10, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/pohrt-tom-1953-0

Pohrt, Tom 1953-

POHRT, Tom 1953-

Personal

Born 1953, in Flint, MI. Education: Attended University of Michigan, Flint.

Addresses

Home Ann Arbor, MI. Agent Candlewick Press, 2067 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02140.

Career

Illustrator and author of children's books. Formerly worked in automobile factories and in small-press publishing.

Writings

self-illustrated

(Reteller) Coyote Goes Walking, (retelling), Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1995.

Having a Wonderful Time, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1999.

illustrator

Howard Norman, Who Met the Ice Lynx?, Grey Wolf Press, 1978.

Jim Henen, The Man Who Kept Cigars in His Cap, Grey Wolf Press, 1978.

Barry Lopez, Crow and Weasel, North Point Press, 1992.

Bruce Donehower, Miko, Little Hunter of the North, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1990.

Elizabeth Hauge and Victoria Glournoy McCarthy, editors, A Child's Anthology of Poetry, Ecco Press (Hopewell, NJ), 1995.

Tony Johnston, An Old Shell: Poems of the Galapagos, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1999.

Howard Norman, Trickster and the Fainting Birds, Harcourt Brace (San Diego, CA), 1999.

John Frank, The Tomb of the Boy King: A True Story in Verse, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 2000.

Jim Harrison, The Boy Who Ran to the Woods, Atlantic Monthly Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Stephen Mitchell, The Wishing Bone and Other Poems, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2003.

Sidelights

Illustrator and children's author Tom Pohrt grew up in the automobile-manufacturing town of Flint, Michigan. A self-taught artist whose love of animals is evident in

his artwork, Pohrt has been interested in writing and drawing ever since he was a little boy. As he commented on PippinProperties.com, "When I look back, my grade school years could have been the most important time; I began developing my creative skills, though no one encouraged me to do so, and I was too young to know better." Despite his lack of guidance as a youngster, Pohrt went on to become a well-established illustrator, and has also penned the text for two books featuring his own illustrations.

In Coyote Goes Walking Pohrt retells four Native American trickster tales, bringing his animal characters to life in what a Publishers Weekly contributor described as "warm, earth-toned watercolors" that contain a "subtle humor." Described by a Publishers Weekly contributor as "one off-beat destination that's definitely worth a visit," Pohrt's quirky picture book Having a Wonderful Time finds a girl and a talking cat on a vacation where unexpected animal-sightings abound. The reviewer had special praise for Pohrt's "confidently deadpan" text with its "dry, understated humor," but also commended the author's characteristic detailed penand-ink drawings.

Praising Pohrt's contribution to John Frank's The Tomb of the Boy King: A True Story in Verse, School Library Journal contributor Barbara Buckley noted that "Pohrt's informative pen-and-watercolor paintings will be a real draw" for young readers. Additional praise was accorded Pohrt's illustrations for Howard Norman's Trickster and the Fainting Birds, a Publishers Weekly reviewer praising the artist's renderings of the book's animal characters as "meticulously executed" and "precise, delicate" pen drawings.

The Wishing Bone and Other Poems written by Stephen Mitchell, and published by Candlewick Press in 2003, exemplifies Pohrt' skill as an illustrator. This collection of nine poems delves into the mysteries of life as seen through the eyes of a child. The poems describe fantastical images of owls holding court and what could happen if you make a wish on a wishing bone, among other fanciful themes. Pohrt's illustrations allow readers to truly visualize the imaginings of the children in the poems through his ability to maintain a balance between thorough detail and a playfulness reflective of the poems themselves. Ilene Cooper, in Booklist, expressed her delight by stating "Here's a lovely piece of book-making that combines poems that are both whimsical and thought-provoking with delightful ink-andwatercolor pictures that spill across the pages." A Kirkus Reviews contributor agreed, calling The Wishing Bone and Other Poems "A handsomely packaged, nicely diverse gathering of words and art."

Biographical and Critical Sources

periodicals

Booklist, November 15, 1979; May 15, 1990; December 15, 1995, Karen Hutt, review of Coyote Goes Walking, p. 706; April 1, 2003, Ilene Cooper, review of The Wishing Bone and Other Poems, p. 1407.

Horn Book, March, 2001, review of The Tomb of the Boy King, p. 228; July-August, 2003, Susan P. Bloom, review of The Wishing Bone and Other Poems, p. 474.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 1990; March 1, 2003, review of The Wishing Bone and Other Poems, p. 393.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, November 25, 1990.

New Yorker, November 26, 1990.

New York Times Book Review, November 25, 1990, review of Crow and Weasel, p. 17.

Publishers Weekly, November 20, 1995, review of Coyote Goes Walking, p. 76; September 7, 1998, review of Crow and Weasel, p. 97; April 19, 1999, review of Having a Wonderful Time, p. 72; October 25, 1999, review of Trickster and the Fainting Birds, p. 81; November 8, 1999, review of An Old Shell, p. 67; March 12, 2001, review of The Tomb of the Boy King, p. 90; February 17, 2003, review of The Wishing Bone and Other Poems, p. 76.

School Library Journal, August, 1990, Denise Anton Wright, review of Miko, Little Hunter of the North, p. 146; December, 1995, Patricia Lothrop Green, review of Coyote Goes Walking, p. 89; April, 1999, Marianne Saccardi, review of Having a Wonderful Time, p. 107; May, 2001, Barbara Buckley, review of The Tomb of the Boy King, p. 164; May, 2003, Sally R. Dow, review of The Wishing Bone and Other Poems, p. 140.

Washington Post Book World, December 9, 1990; December 12, 1990.

online

PippinProperties.com, http://www.pippinproperties.com/ (March 15, 2004), "Tom Pohrt."*

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

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Pohrt, Tom 1953-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 10 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Pohrt, Tom 1953-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 10, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/pohrt-tom-1953

"Pohrt, Tom 1953-." Something About the Author. . Retrieved December 10, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/pohrt-tom-1953