Skip to main content
Select Source:

Cabrera, Jane 1968-

Cabrera, Jane 1968-

Personal

Born July 30, 1968, in Berkhamsted, England; daughter of Bernard and Jill Johnson; married Julian Cabrera (a writer and disc jockey), August 29, 1995. Education: Watford College of Art, higher national diploma (in graphic design; with distinction). Politics: "Green." Hobbies and other interests: Environmental activism, travel, nature crafts, mural painting, cooking, country walks, socializing with friends.

Addresses

Home—London, England. Office—The Drawing Room, Panther House, 38 Mount Pleasant, London WCIX 40P, England.

Career

Illustrator and author. Apollo Arts and Antiques (magazine), art director, 1989-91; freelance graphic designer, with clients including British Broadcasting Corporation Children's Books, Reed Children's Books, Dorling Kindersley, HarperCollins, Tiger Print (design group), and HIT Entertainment PLC, 1991-98; freelance illustrator, beginning 1997. Speaker on children's book design and illustration at schools in England.

Member

Amnesty International, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED; FICTION FOR CHILDREN

Cat's Colors, Dial (New York, NY), 1997.

Dog's Day, Reed (London, England), 1998, Orchard Books (New York), 2000.

Panda Big and Panda Small, DK Publishing (New York, NY), 1998.

Rory and the Lion, DK Publishing (New York, NY), 1999.

Over in the Meadow, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2000.

Old Mother Hubbard, Holiday House (New York), 2001.

Bear's Good Night, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2002.

Monkey's Playtime (pop-up book), Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2002.

The Polar Bear and the Snow Cloud, Macmillan (London, England), 2002, published as The Lonesome Polar Bear, Random House (New York, NY), 2003.

If You're Happy and You Know It!: A Sing-along Action Book, Gullane Children's (London, England), 2003, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2005.

The Pram Race, Macmillan (London, England), 2004.

The Creaky Noise, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2004.

Mummy Carry Me Please!, Gullane Children's (London, England), 2004, published as Mommy, Carry Me Please!, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2006.

(Adaptor) Ten in the Bed, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2006.

Cat's Cuddles, Gullane (London, England), 2006, published as Kitten's Cuddles, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2007.

Buttercup's Baby Bird ("Fairy Folk of Leafy Wood" series), Scholastic (London, England), 2007.

Fern's Holiday ("Fairy Folk of Leafy Wood" series), Scholastic (London, England), 2007.

ILLUSTRATOR; FICTION FOR CHILDREN

Joyce Dunbar, Eggday, David & Charles (London, England), 1999.

Sally Crabtree and Roberta Mathieson, My Sister's Hair, Random House (New York, NY), 2001.

OTHER

Reader's Digest Complete Drawing Course, David & Charles (London, England), 2003.

Contributor of illustrations to travel magazine.

Sidelights

Environmentally conscious children's book author and illustrator Jane Cabrera left behind a career in graphic design to pursue her love of writing and illustration. At age twenty-nine she was credited by Books magazine with "breaking the mould" when it comes to illustrating picture books for preschoolers. In addition to illustrating books like Eggday by Joyce Dunbar, Cabrera has also written and illustrated many original children's stories, among them Cat's Colors, The Lonesome Polar Bear, and Mommy, Carry Me Please! She has also created as well as updated art for picture-book versions of the childhood songs Over in the Meadow, Ten in the Bed, and If You're Happy and You Know It!: A Sing-along Action Book. Praising Cabrera's easy-to-read story about a small polar bear cub looking for a new friend, School Library Journal contributor Genevieve Gallagher noted that The Lonesome Polar Bear is a "charming picture book" enhanced by colorful illustrations full of "depth and texture."

Animals figure prominently in many of Cabrera's books, and these engaging creatures lead children into learning. Cat's Colors finds a finicky feline perusing ten different colors in order to select a favorite; in this brightly colored book children not only count along with the likeable

[Image not available for copyright reasons]

kitten, but also learn color names. Cabrera's song adaptation in Over in the Meadow similarly helps children by presenting finger-paint-style illustrations of bunnies, goldfish, and turtles clustered together for easy counting. The last two pages provide a chance for learning to be reinforced as readers locate and count the correct groups of animals as they are lined up. Cabrera's large, clear illustrations for Over in the Meadow depict an open field bathed in warm sunlight, and a reviewer for Publishers Weekly stated that her fresh variation on the popular nursery rhyme format "offers an appealing and energetic landscape of boldly applied colors." In School Library Journal Jean Gaffney commented of Cabrera's work that the "movement and energy conveyed in her illustrations enhance the rhyme, and listeners may be inspired to act out the animals or chime in."

Eggday provides readers with a useful lesson about animals and competition, as main character Dora the duck declares the following day to be Eggday: All barnyard animals will compete to see who can lay the best egg. Giving egg-laying a sincere try, with a series of effortful oinks, neighs, and bleats many of the animals acknowledge that they do not have the ability to lay an egg. Finally, Hetty the hen steps in to put an end to these futile efforts. She explains that not every animal is capable of laying eggs and gives each animal an egg to decorate instead. Excited about their creations, the farm animals race back to show Dora what they have done, and are ultimately greeted with a wonderful surprise. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly complimented Cabrera's "eye-catching artwork," as well as her knack for covering the pages from top to bottom with "vibrant colors that seem infused with the spring sunshine." Ilene Cooper noted in Booklist that Cabrera's style artfully resembles children's finger paints and added that her "bright pictures exude playfulness and good cheer."

Cabrera's nursery-rhyme adaptation of If You're Happy and You Know It! was praised by Booklist critic Hazel Rochman as "perfect for the lap-sit crowd" on the strength of its "bright, exuberant" animal characters. Marge Loch-Wouters also praised the artistic adaptation, writing in School Library Journal that Cabrera's use of "brush strokes gives texture" to the monkey, elephant, giraffe, and other characters.

An original story by Cabrera, Kitty Cuddles finds Kitty deciding which among her many friends is the best partner for hugging. Noting the illustrator's "trademark" use of "eye-catching" bold color, Loch-Wouters added that the book's "animal friends are rendered with a verve" that energizes the simple text. In Booklist Cooper dubbed the book "awfully cute" due to its "charming" naive-styled art. Another original story by Cabrera contains an oft-heard plea. Mommy, Carry Me Please! focuses on the many ways animal young are portaged by their parents, from arms to teeth to comfy pouch. The artist's "breezy, blocky, and bold animals" carry the show, according to Loch-Wouters, while a Kirkus

Reviews writer concluded of Mommy, Carry Me Please! that the book's "vibrant" colors and "kid-appealing artwork … will keep the focus on the Mommy-child interaction."

Cabrera, who works in a studio in London, continues to take on new creative projects, all with a central purpose. As she once told SATA: "My main passion is the environment. I am very concerned for the future of our planet and that of the children on it. I'm involved in a lot of green groups and … feel it's time to put people and nature before profits, before it's too late. My husband and I try to live a low-impact lifestyle as much as it's possible within a big city.

"My ambition is to produce children's environmental books. Not only would the stories be environmental, but the production would be too—from recycled/sustainable paper, to non-toxic inks, and the production workers would be treated ethically.

"My other hobbies include mural painting for toddlers' bedrooms, life drawing, long country walks, and cooking and eating. (I'm a vegetarian of fourteen years and a big fan of organic food.) I also enjoy reading; collecting children's books; making mobiles, picture frames, blinds, etc., from collected nature finds (driftwood, leaves, and even broken pottery and nineteenth-century clay pipes from the River Thames); but my main hobby is socializing with my friends!"

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 1, 1999, Ilene Cooper, review of Eggday, p. 1420; February 1, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of Over in the Meadow, p. 1026, and Ilene Cooper, review of Dog's Day, p. 1028; September 1, 2001, Hazel Rochman, review of Old Mother Hubbard, p. 111; February 15, 2005, Hazel Rochman, review of If You're Happy and You Know It!: A Sing-along Action Book, p. 1081; October 1, 2006, Julie Cummins, review of Ten in the Bed, p. 56; February 15, 2007, Ilene Cooper, review of Kitty's Cuddles, p. 83.

Books, June, 1997, review of Cat's Colors, p. 21.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July, 1997, Elizabeth Bush, review of Cat's Colors, pp. 388-389; May, 2000, review of Over in the Meadow, p. 310; November, 2001, review of Old Mother Hubbard, p. 96.

Children's Book Review, August, 1997, review of Cat's Colors, p. 158.

Horn Book, May 1999, review of Eggday, p. 313.

Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 1997, review of Cat's Colors, p. 138; September 1, 2001, review of Old Mother Hubbard, p. 1287; February 1, 2005, review of If You're Happy and You Know It!, p. 174; February 15, 2006, review of Mommy, Carry Me Please!, p. 179; September 15, 2006, review of Ten in the Bed, p. 948.

Publishers Weekly, April 21, 1997, review of Cat's Colors, p. 70; February 22, 1999, review of Eggday, p. 93; January 31, 2000, review of Over in the Meadow, p. 105; March 20, 2000, review of Top Dog, p. 94; June 3, 2002, review of Bear's Good Night, p. 91.

School Librarian, August, 1997, review of Cat's Colors, p. 130.

School Library Journal, May, 1997, Melissa Hudak, review of Cat's Colors, p. 93; December, 1999, Janet M. Bair, review of Rory and the Lion, p. 88; March, 2000, Linda Ludke, review of Dog's Day, p. 189; April, 2000, Jean Gaffney, review of Over in the Meadow, p. 92; January, 2002, Linda M. Kenton, review of Old Mother Hubbard, p. 116; February, 2002, Jane Marino, review of My Sister's Hair, p. 97; January, 2004, Genevieve Gallagher, review of The Lonesome Polar Bear, p. 95; March, 2005, Blair Christolon, review of If You're Happy and You Know It!, p. 191; February, 2006, Marge Loch-Wouters, review of Mommy, Carry Me Please!, p. 94; September, 2006, Martha Simpson, review of Ten in the Bed, p. 161; March, 2007, Marge Loch-Wouters, review of Kitty Cuddles, p. 152.

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

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Cabrera, Jane 1968-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Cabrera, Jane 1968-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/cabrera-jane-1968-0

"Cabrera, Jane 1968-." Something About the Author. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/cabrera-jane-1968-0

Cabrera, Jane 1968-

CABRERA, Jane 1968-

Personal

Born July 30, 1968, in Berkhamsted, England; daughter of Bernard and Jill Johnson; married Julian Cabrera (a writer and disc jockey), August 29, 1995. Education: Watford College of Art, higher national diploma (in graphic design; with distinction). Politics: "Green." Hobbies and other interests: Environmental activism, travel, nature crafts, mural painting, cooking, country walks, and socializing with friends.

Addresses

Home 7 Saint Marks Mansions, Balderton St., London WIY ITG, England. Office The Drawing Room, Panther House, 38 Mount Pleasant, London WCIX 40P, England.

Career

Apollo Arts and Antiques (magazine), art director, 1989-91; freelance graphic designer for clients, including British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Children's Books, Reed Children's Books, Dorling Kindersley, HarperCollins, Tiger Print (design group), and HIT Entertainment PLC, 1991-98; illustrator, 1997. Speaker on children's book design and illustration at schools in England.

Member

Amnesty International, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth.

Writings

self-illustrated; fiction for children

Cat's Colors, Dial (New York, NY), 1997.

Dog's Day, Reed (London, England), 1998, Orchard Books (New York), 2000.

Panda Big and Panda Small, DK Publishing (New York, NY), 1998.

Rory and the Lion, DK Publishing (New York, NY), 1999.

Over in the Meadow, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2000.

Old Mother Hubbard, Holiday House (New York), 2001.

Bear's Good Night, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2002.

Monkey's Play Time, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2002.

The Lonesome Polar Bear, Random House (New York, NY), 2003.

illustrator; fiction for children

Joyce Dunbar, Eggday, David & Charles (London, England), 1999.

Sally Crabtree and Roberta Mathieson, My Sister's Hair, Random House (New York, NY), 2001.

other

Reader's Digest Complete Drawing Course, David & Charles (London, England), 2003.

Contributor of illustrations to travel magazine.

Sidelights

Environmentally conscious children's book author and illustrator Jane Cabrera left behind a career in graphic design to pursue her love of writing and illustration. At age twenty-nine she was credited by Books magazine with "breaking the mould" when it comes to illustrating picture books for preschoolers. Not only has she illustrated books like Eggday by Joyce Dunbar, but she has written and self-illustrated many of her own children's books, including Cat's Colors, The Lonesome Polar Bear, and an updated version of the childhood classic Over in the Meadow. Praising Cabrera's easy-to read story about a small polar bear cub looking for a new friend, School Library Journal contributor Genevieve Gallagher noted that The Lonesome Polar Bear is a "charming picture book" enhanced by colorful illustrations full of "depth and texture."

Animals figure prominently in many of Cabrera's books, and they lead children into learning. Cat's Colors finds a finicky feline perusing ten different colors and deciding which one is its favorite; in this brightly colored book children not only count along with the likeable kitten, but also learn color names. Cabrera's Over in the Meadow similarly helps children by presenting finger-paint-style illustrations of bunnies, goldfish, and turtles clustered together for counting. The last two pages provide a chance for learning to be reinforced as readers locate and count the correct groups of animals as they are lined up. Cabrera's large, clear illustrations for Over in the Meadow depict an open field bathed in warm sunlight, and a reviewer for Publishers Weekly stated that her fresh variation on the popular nursery rhyme format "offers an appealing and energetic landscape of boldly applied colors." In School Library Journal Jean Gaffney commented that the "movement and energy conveyed in her illustrations enhance the rhyme, and listeners may be inspired to act out the animals or chime in."

Eggday provides readers with a useful lesson about animals and competition, as main character Dora the duck declares the following day to be Eggday: All barnyard animals will compete to see who can lay the best egg. However, after giving it a sincere try, with a series of effortful oinks, neighs, and bleats, many of the animals quickly realize that they do not have the ability to lay an egg. Finally, Hetty the hen steps in to put an end to these futile efforts, and explains that not every animal is capable of laying eggs, and gives each of the animals an egg to decorate instead. Excited about their creations, they race back to show Dora what they have done, but are instead greeted with a wonderful surprise. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly complimented Cabrera's "eye-catching artwork" with its ability to cover the pages from top to bottom with "vibrant colors that seem infused with the spring sunshine." Ilene Cooper agreed in Booklist, noting that Cabrera's style artfully resembles children's finger paints and the "bright pictures exude playfulness and good cheer."

Cabrera, who works in a studio in London, continued her writing and illustration work, and has many projects underway. She once told SATA: "My main passion is the environment. I am very concerned for the future of our planet and that of the children on it. I'm involved in a lot of green groups and feel it's time to put people and nature before profits, before it's too late. My husband and I try to live a low-impact lifestyle as much as it's possible within a big city.

"My ambition is to produce children's environmental books. Not only would the stories be environmental, but the production would be toofrom recycled/sustainable paper, to non-toxic inks, and the production workers would be treated ethically.

"My other hobbies include mural painting for toddlers' bedrooms, life drawing, long country walks, and cooking and eating. (I'm a vegetarian of fourteen years and a big fan of organic food.) I also enjoy reading; collecting children's books; making mobiles, picture frames, blinds, etc., from collected nature finds (driftwood, leaves, and even broken pottery and nineteenth-century clay pipes from the River Thames); but my main hobby is socializing with my friends!"

Biographical and Critical Sources

periodicals

Booklist, April 1, 1999, Ilene Cooper, review of Eggday, p. 1420; February 1, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of Over in the Meadow, p. 1026, and Ilene Cooper, review of Dog's Day, p. 1028; September 1, 2001, Hazel Rochman, review of Old Mother Hubbard, p. 111.

Books, June, 1997, review of Cat's Colors, p. 21.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July, 1997, Elizabeth Bush, review of Cat's Colors, pp. 388-389.

Children's Book Review, August, 1997, p. 158.

Horn Book, May 1999, review of Eggday, p. 313.

Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 1997, p. 138.

Publishers Weekly, April 21, 1997, review of Cat's Colors, p. 70; February 22, 1999, review of Eggday, p. 93; January 31, 2000, review of Over in the Meadow, p. 105; March 20, 2000, review of Top Dog, p. 94; June 3, 2002, p. 91.

School Librarian, August, 1997, p. 130.

School Library Journal, May, 1997, Melissa Hudak, review of Cat's Colors, p. 93; December, 1999, Janet M. Bair, review of Rory and the Lion, p. 88; March, 2000, Linda Ludke, review of Dog's Day, p. 189; April, 2000, Jean Gaffney, review of Over in the Meadow, p. 92; January, 2002, Linda M. Kenton, review of Old Mother Hubbard, p. 116; February, 2002, Jane Marino, review of My Sister's Hair, p. 97; January, 2004, Genevieve Gallagher, review of The Lonesome Polar Bear, p. 95.*

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

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Cabrera, Jane 1968-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Cabrera, Jane 1968-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/cabrera-jane-1968

"Cabrera, Jane 1968-." Something About the Author. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/cabrera-jane-1968