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Debon, Nicolas 1968–

Debon, Nicolas 1968–

Personal

Born 1968, in Lorraine, France. Education: Attended École Nationale des Beaux-Arts (Nancy, France).

Addresses

Office—21 rue des Prés aux Bois, 78000 Versailles, France. E-mail—ndebon@yahoo.com.

Career

Author and illustrator. French Ministry of Culture, worked in contemporary visual arts department; French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, worked at French consulate, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; freelance illustrator, 1998—. Draftsman for a stained glass company in Toronto.

Awards, Honors

Governor General's Literary Award finalist, Canada Council, 2003, for Four Pictures by Emily Carr; Boston Globe/Horn Book Award, 2007, for The Strongest Man in the World.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

A Brave Soldier, Groundwood Books/Douglas & McIntyre (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2002.

Four Pictures by Emily Carr, Groundwood Books/Douglas & McIntyre (Berkeley, CA), 2003.

The Strongest Man in the World: Louis Cyr, Groundwood Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2007.

Also author of L'art contemporain en Ontario (cultural guidebook).

ILLUSTRATOR

Virginia Walton Pilegard, The Warlord's Puzzle, Pelican (Gretna, LA), 2000.

Virginia Walton Pilegard, The Warlord's Beads, Pelican (Gretna, LA), 2001.

Virginia Walton Pilegard, The Warlord's Fish, Pelican (Gretna, LA), 2002.

Kris Hemphill, Ambush in the Wilderness, Silver Moon Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Stephanie Sammartino McPherson, Liberty or Death: A Story about Patrick Henry, Carolrhoda Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.

Shannon Zemlicka, Florence Nightingale, Carolrhoda Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.

Laura Scandiffio, The Martial Arts Book, Annick Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003.

Jean E. Pendziwol, Dawn Watch, Groundwood Books/Douglas & McIntyre (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003.

Virginia Walton Pilegard, The Warlord's Puppeteers, Pelican (Gretna, LA), 2003.

Virginia Walton Pilegard, The Warlord's Kites, Pelican (Gretna, LA), 2004.

Virginia Walton Pilegard, The Warlord's Messengers, Pelican (Gretna, LA), 2005.

Jean E. Pendziwol, The Red Sash, Groundwood Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

Virginia Walton Pilegard, The Warlord's Alarm, Pelican (Gretna, LA), 2006.

Dominique Demers, Every Single Night, English translation by Sarah Quinn. Groundwood Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2006.

Contributor of illustrations to textbooks.

Sidelights

French-born writer and illustrator Nicolas Debon began his career in children's books while working in the French consulate in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Employed in the visual arts branch of the French Ministry of Culture, Debon was transferred to the French consulate in Toronto. After some time, he sought Canadian citizenship, left his government position, and found a job as a draughtsman for a stained glass company. At the same time, he began submitting work to Canadian publishers of children's books. Debon moved back to France in 2004, with plans to continue his illustration career with French publishers.

Debon's first work as an illustrator was creating art for Virginia Walton Pilegard's "Warlord" series, which includes such tales as The Warlord's Puzzle, The Warlord's Beads, and The Warlord's Fish. In these books, Pilegard relates legends about the inventors of various ancient Chinese innovations, including the compass and the abacus. Debon's illustrations for The Warlord's Fish, which discusses the invention of the compass, "convincingly visualize the historical setting and display a fine sense of color and composition," according to Booklist contributor Carolyn Phelan. In School Library Journal Laurie Edwards deemed the pictures "stunning" and complimented their "subtle shading and engaging design." Reviewing The Warlord's Kites for School Library Journal, Susan Scheps wrote that the illustrations feature "detailed scenes and stylized characters that bring the tale to life." Phelan noted that in The Warlord's Alarm "Debon's expressive paintings make dramatic use of the story, the characters, and the landscape."

Several other authors have had their texts paired with illustrations by Debon. In Jean E. Pendziwol's Dawn Watch, his art brings to life the seascape of the far north, with its Northern Lights, as well as the imaginary dragons introduced in the story. Gillian Engberg, writing in Booklist, felt that Debon's depiction of "the scenes' deep, shadowy blues and skewed angles, reminiscent of the sailboat's tilt, bring close the chilly wind, [and] the startling sky" of the polar setting. Of his work on Pendziwol's The Red Sash, a picture book set along the Great Lakes during the early nineteenth century, Victoria Pennell wrote in Resource Links that Debon's "bold illustrations add an authentic view of the landscape and the day-to-day life of the period." In Dominique Demers' bedtime tale Every Single Night, "Debon's handsome spreads of creatures wending their way to rest nicely counterpoint quieter scenes," according to Joanna Rudge Long in Horn Book.

In addition to his illustration work, Debon is also the author of three self-illustrated picture books dealing with Canadian history: A Brave Soldier, Four Pictures by Emily Carr, and The Strongest Man in the World: Louis Cyr. Described as a "well told, powerfully illustrated, and timely" anti-war tale by School Library Journal contributor Louise L. Sherman, A Brave Soldier is about a Canadian soldier named Frank who enlists to fight in France during World War I. He and his friend arrive at the front in high spirits, but they quickly become disillusioned. Before long, Frank's friend is killed, and in the same attack, Frank is wounded so badly that he is sent home. "While Debon does not gloss over the

brutal conditions experienced in World War I," Pennell wrote in Resource Links that "he does not dwell on the horror or glorify the fighting" either.

A finalist for Canada's Governor General's Literary Award, Four Pictures by Emily Carr offers a unique biography of the pioneering Canadian painter. Showing talent as a child, Carr abandoned her art as a young woman, not returning to the canvas until the age of fifty-six, when some of her early works finally received much-deserved critical attention. Debon drew on Carr's detailed journals in writing the book, and the words he gives Carr are drawn directly from the artist's own writings. Told in a format reminiscent of a comic book, Four Pictures by Emily Carr "distill[s] four periods in the Canadian artist's life … into enticing vignettes," Sophie R. Brookover wrote in School Library Journal. Finding Debon's approach "innovative," Horn Book critic Lolly Robinson recommended "this unusual and highly successful homage to Carr … for late bloomers of any age and vocation."

The Strongest Man in the World is a biography of the legendary Canadian circus performer who lived during the late nineteenth century. Told in illustrated panels from Louis Cyr's imagined perspective, the book recounts Cyr's early feats of strength, his business sensibility, and his eventual leadership of his own circus. "Through both artwork and text, Debon re-creates the world of the circus in the early 1900s," wrote School Library Journal contributor Alana Abbott. Martha V. Parravano, reviewing the work for Horn Book, felt that "Debon's approach is simultaneously unconventional and expert," and added that the paneled style of storytelling provided "immediacy and intimacy." A Kirkus Reviews contributor dubbed the book "a memorable glimpse into the life of a different sort of athlete," and a Publishers Weekly critic called The Strongest Man in the World "a thoroughly absorbing tale about a turn-of-the-20th-century celebrity." Karen Loch, in Resource Links, noted that Debon's book serves as "an excellent read for the struggling reader who is intimidated with books that contain a lot of text."

On the Groundwood Books Web site, Debon revealed his perspective on illustrating children's books. "I'm always amazed by the number of different ways a story can be illustrated," he noted. "Illustrating a story allows a considerable amount of freedom and this is probably what I like most about it. I believe there are still vast areas to explore in the creation of children's books."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Biography, summer, 2007, Susan Perren, review of The Strongest Man in the World: Louis Cyr, p. 421.

Booklist, November 1, 2002, Hazel Rochman, review of A Brave Soldier, p. 491; February 1, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Warlord's Fish, p. 1002; April 15, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Martial Arts Book, pp. 1468-1469; December 1, 2003, Hazel Rochman, review of Four Pictures by Emily Carr, p. 658; December 15, 2003, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of The Warlord's Puppeteers, p. 754; November 1, 2004, Gillian Engberg, review of Dawn Watch, p. 493; November 15, 2004, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Warlord's Kites, p. 591; June 1, 2005, Gillian Engberg, "A Day with Dad," p. 1819; November 15, 2005, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Warlord's Messengers, p. 52; December 1, 2005, Hazel Rochman, review of The Red Sash, p. 55; March 15, 2006, Carolyn Phelan, review of Every Single Night, p. 53; November 1, 2006, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Warlord's Alarm, p. 61; April 1, 2007, Ian Chipman, review of The Strongest Man in the World, p. 53.

Books in Canada, November, 2002, Deborah Wandal, review of A Brave Soldier, pp. 39-40.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, May, 2007, Elizabeth Bush, review of The Strongest Man in the World, p. 365.

Children's Bookwatch, November, 2006, review of The Warlord's Alarm.

Horn Book, January-February, 2004, Lolly Robinson, review of Four Pictures by Emily Carr, p. 100; January- February, 2006, Joanna Rudge Long, review of The Red Sash, p. 69; May-June, 2006, Joanna Rudge Long, review of Every Single Night, p. 293; May-June, 2007, Martha V. Parravano, review of The Strongest Man in the World, p. 299.

Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2004, review of Dawn Watch, p. 966; September 1, 2005, review of The Red Sash, p. 980; March 1, 2006, review of Every Single Night, p. 228; March 15, 2007, review of The Strongest Man in the World.

Publishers Weekly, April 24, 2000, review of The Warlord's Puzzle, p. 90; April 10, 2006, review of Every Single Night, p. 71; May 7, 2007, review of The Strongest Man in the World, p. 59.

Resource Links, December, 2002, Victoria Pennell, review of A Brave Soldier, pp. 4-5; December, 2003, John Dryden, review of Four Pictures of Emily Carr, p. 24; December, 2005, Victoria Pennell, review of The Red Sash, p. 7; October, 2007, Karen Loch, review of The Strongest Man in the World, p. 23.

School Arts, April, 2004, Ken Marantz, review of Four Pictures by Emily Carr, p. 60.

School Library Journal, June, 2000, Margaret A. Chang, review of The Warlord's Puzzle, p. 124; February, 2002, Karen Land, review of The Warlord's Beads, p. 110; February, 2003, Louise L. Sherman, review of A Brave Soldier, p. 104, Laurie Edwards, review of The Warlord's Fish, p. 120; August, 2003, Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, review of Florence Nightingale, p. 153; September, 2003, Donna Cardon, review of Liberty or Death: A Story about Patrick Henry, p. 203; November, 2003, Sophie R. Brookover, review of Four Pictures by Emily Carr, pp. 154-155; January, 2004, Lynda Ritterman, review of The Warlord's Puppeteers, p. 103; February, 2004, Edith Ching, review of Ambush in the Wilderness, p. 148; December, 2004, Shawn Brommer, review of Dawn Watch, p. 117; February, 2005, Susan Scheps, review of The Warlord's Kites, p. 108; December, 2005, Barbara Auerbach, review of The Warlord's Messengers, p. 120; January, 2006, Robyn Walker, review of The Red Sash, p. 111; May, 2006, Shelley B. Sutherland, review of Every Single Night, p. 86; November, 2006, Erlene Bishop Killeen, review of The Warlord's Alarm, p. 108; July, 2007, Alana Abbott, review of The Strongest Man in the World, p. 123.

Teaching Children Mathematics, February, 2003, Alison S. Claus, review of The Warlord's Beads, pp. 365-366; November, 2004, Carol Robitschek, review of The Warlord's Puppeteers, p. 239.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), June 23, 2007, Mary Harris Russell, review of The Strongest Man in the World, p. 7.

ONLINE

Annick Press Web site,http://www.annickpress.com/ (December 19, 2007), "Nicholas Debon."

Children's Literature Web site,http://www.childrenslit.com/ (February 29, 2006), "Nicholas Debon."

Groundwood Books Web site,http://www.groundwoodbooks.com/ (December 19, 2007), "Nicholas Debon."

Nicolas Debon Home Page,http://ndebon.tripod.com (December 19, 2007).

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"Debon, Nicolas 1968–." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Debon, Nicolas 1968–." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/debon-nicolas-1968

"Debon, Nicolas 1968–." Something About the Author. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/debon-nicolas-1968

Debon, Nicolas

DEBON, Nicolas

Personal

Born in Nancy, France. Education: Studied at the Nancy School of Arts.

Addresses

Office 21 rue des Prés aux Bois, 78000 Versailles, France. E-mail ndebon@yahoo.com.

Career

Author and illustrator. French Ministry of Culture, worked in the contemporary visual arts department; French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, worked at the French Consulate in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; freelance illustrator, 1998. Draftsman for a stained glass company in Toronto.

Awards, Honors

Governor General's Literary Award finalist, Canada Council, 2003, for Four Pictures by Emily Carr.

Writings

A Brave Soldier, Groundwood Books/Douglas & McIntyre (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2002.

Four Pictures by Emily Carr, Groundwood Books/Douglas & McIntyre (Berkeley, CA), 2003.

Also author of a guide to contemporary visual art in Ontario, Canada, L'art contemporain en Ontario.

ILLUSTRATOR

Virginia Walton Pilegard, The Warlord's Puzzle, Pelican (Gretna, LA), 2000.

Virginia Walton Pilegard, The Warlord's Beads, Pelican (Gretna, LA), 2001.

Virginia Walton Pilegard, The Warlord's Fish, Pelican (Gretna, LA), 2002.

Kris Hemphill, Ambush in the Wilderness, Silver Moon Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Stephanie Sammartino McPherson, Liberty or Death: A Story about Patrick Henry, Carolrhoda Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.

Shannon Zemlicka, Florence Nightingale, Carolrhoda Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.

Laura Scandiffio, The Martial Arts Book, Annick Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003.

Jean E. Pendziwol, Dawn Watch, Groundwood Books/Douglas & McIntyre (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003.

Virginia Walton Pilegard, The Warlord's Puppeteers, Pelican (Gretna, LA), 2003.

Virginia Walton Pilegard, The Warlord's Kites, Pelican (Gretna, LA), 2004.

Contributor of illustrations to textbooks.

Sidelights

Although freelance author and illustrator Nicolas Debon now makes his home in France, he began his career in children's books while living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Some of his first illustrations were for Virginia Walton Pilegard's "Warlord" series, which includes such tales as The Warlord's Puzzle, The Warlord's Beads, and The Warlord's Fish. In these books, Pilegard relates legends about the inventors of various ancient Chinese innovations, including the compass and the abacus. Debon's illustrations for The Warlord's Fish, explaining the invention of the compass, were particularly praised by reviewers. They "convincingly visualize the historical setting and display a fine sense of color and composition," commented Carolyn Phelan in Booklist, while School Library Journal contributor Laurie Edwards deemed the pictures "stunning" and commented favorably on their "subtle shading and engaging design."

Debon is also the author of two self-illustrated works, A Brave Soldier and Four Pictures by Emily Carr, both picture books dealing with Canadian history. The former, described as a "well told, powerfully illustrated, and timely" anti-war tale by School Library Journal contributor Louise L. Sherman, is about a Canadian soldier named Frank who enlists to fight in France during World War I. He and his friend arrive at the front in high spirits, but they quickly become disillusioned. Before long, Frank's friend is killed, and in the same attack, Frank is wounded so badly that he is sent home. "While Debon does not gloss over the brutal conditions experienced in World War I," Victoria Pennell wrote in Resource Links, "he does not dwell on the horror or glorify the fighting" either.

A finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award, Four Pictures by Emily Carr offers a unique biography of the pioneering Canadian painter. Showing talent as a child, Carr eventually abandoned her art while still young, not returning to the canvas until the age of fiftysix, when some of her early works finally received much deserved critical attention. Debon drew on Carr's detailed journals in writing the book, and often the words which he places in Carr's mouth are drawn directly from her own writings. Told in a format reminiscent of a comic book, Four Pictures by Emily Carr "distill[s] four periods in the Canadian artist's life into enticing vignettes," Sophie R. Brookover wrote in School Library Journal. Finding Debon's approach "innovative," Horn Book 's Lolly Robinson recommended "this unusual and highly successful homage to Carr for late bloomers of any age and vocation."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 1, 2002, Hazel Rochman, review of A Brave Soldier, p. 491; February 1, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Warlord's Fish, p. 1002; April 15, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Martial Arts Book, pp. 1468-1469; December 1, 2003, Hazel Rochman, review of Four Pictures by Emily Carr, p. 658.

Books in Canada, November, 2002, Deborah Wandal, review of A Brave Soldier, pp. 39-40.

Horn Book, January-February, 2004, Lolly Robinson, review of Four Pictures by Emily Carr, p. 100.

Publishers Weekly, April 24, 2000, review of The Warlord's Puzzle, p. 90.

Resource Links, December, 2002, Victoria Pennell, review of A Brave Soldier, pp. 4-5.

School Library Journal, June, 2000, Margaret A. Chang, review of The Warlord's Puzzle, p. 124; February, 2002, Karen Land, review of The Warlord's Beads, p. 110; February, 2003, Louise L. Sherman, review of A Brave Soldier, p. 104, Laurie Edwards, review of The Warlord's Fish, p. 120; August, 2003, Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, review of Florence Nightingale, p. 153; September, 2003, Donna Cardon, review of Liberty or Death: A Story about Patrick Henry, p. 203; October, 2003, review of A Brave Soldier, p. S23; November, 2003, Sophie R. Brookover, review of Four Pictures by Emily Carr, pp. 154-155.

Teaching Children Mathematics, February, 2003, Alison S. Claus, review of The Warlord's Beads, pp. 365-366.

ONLINE

Annick Press Web site, http://www.annickpress.com/ (January 12, 2004), "Nicolas Debon."

Nicolas Debon Home Page, http://ndebon.tripod.com/ (January 12, 2004).*

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

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Debon, Nicolas." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Debon, Nicolas." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/debon-nicolas

"Debon, Nicolas." Something About the Author. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/debon-nicolas