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Marks, Alan 1957–

Marks, Alan 1957–

Personal

Born October 19, 1957, in London, England; married Jenny Walker (a psychologist); children: Charlotte, Elisabeth. Education: Attended Medway College of Design, 1976-77; Bath Academy of Art, B.A. (first-class honors), 1980.

Addresses

Home—Canterbury, Kent, England. E-mail—Alan@marksonpaper.co.uk.

Career

Illustrator and educator. Illustrator for clients, including Simon & Schuster, Heinemann, Hamish Hamilton, Neugebauer Press, and Oxford University Press. Teacher of illustration at Bath Academy of Art and Southampton Art College.

Member

Music, opera, gardening.

Awards, Honors

Carnegie Medal (with Kevin Crossley-Holland), British Library Association, 1985, for Storm; UNICEF Illustrators of the Year Award, Bologna Children's Book Fair, 1992, for Ring-a-Ring o' Roses and a Ding, Dong, Bell; Smarties Prize shortlist, 1996, for Thomas and the Tinners; International Reading Association/Children's Book Council (CBC) Children's Choices selection, Best Children's Books of the Year inclusion, Bank Street College of Education, inclusion on John Burroughs List of Nature Books for Young Readers, Henry Bergh Children's Book Award finalist, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and Bronze Medal for children's picture books, Independent Publishers Book Awards, all for Little Lost Bat; inclusion on John Burroughs List of Nature Books for Young Readers, Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students selection, National Science Teacher's Association/CBC and Boston Globe/Horn Book Nonfiction Honor Book designation, all 2006, all for A Mother's Journey.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

(Adapter) Childe Roland: An English Folk Tale (part of "Folk Tales of the World" series), Bedrick (New York, NY), 1988.

Nowhere to Be Found, Picture Book Studio (Saxonville, MA), 1988.

(Compiler) Ring-a-Ring o' Roses and a Ding, Dong, Bell: A Book of Nursery Rhymes, Picture Book Studio (Saxonville, MA), 1991.

The Thief's Daughter, Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (New York, NY), 1993.

(Compiler) Over the Hills and Far Away (nursery rhymes), North-South Books (New York, NY), 1993.

ILLUSTRATOR

Kevin Crossley-Holland, Storm, Heinemann (London, England), 1985, Barron's (New York, NY), 1989.

Fiona Waters, Golden Apples, Heinemann (London, England), 1985.

Rosemary Sutcliffe, Roundabout Horse, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1986.

Susan Hill, Mother's Magic, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1986.

Mary Hoffman, King of the Castle, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1986.

Adèle Geras, Finding Annabel, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1987.

Eleanor Fargeon, Something I Remember (poems), Blackie (London, England), 1987.

Tony Bradman, compiler, The Magic Kiss, and Other Tales of Princes and Princesses, Blackie (London, England), 1987.

Elizabeth Laird, Sid and Sadie, Collins (London, England), 1988.

Barbara Holmes Ware, Charlotte the Starlet, Macdonald (London, England), 1988.

Gareth Owen, Salford Road, Young Lions (London, England), 1988.

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Fisherman and His Wife, Picture Book Studio (Saxonville, MA), 1989.

Jill Paton Walsh, Birdy and the Ghosties, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 1989.

David Scott, How Does It Feel?, Blackie (London, England), 1989.

Hans Christian Andersen, The Ugly Duckling, Picture Book Studio (Saxonville, MA), 1989.

Joan Aiken, The Shoemaker's Boy, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1991.

Andrew Clements, Temple Cat, Picture Book Studio (Saxonville, MA), 1991.

Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book, retold by D.K. Swan, Longman (London, England), 1991.

Jan Morrow, Where Is Tanita?, Longman (London, England), 1991.

Carys Brown, Holiday Adventures, Longman (London, England), 1991.

Elizabeth Cripps, Going Places, Longman (London, England), 1992.

Jill Paton Walsh, Matthew and the Sea Singer, Simon & Schuster (London, England), 1992, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 1993.

Chris Powling, It's That Dragon Again, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1993.

Chris Powling, A Razzle Dazzle Rainbow, Viking (London, England), 1993.

Sue Arengo, Two Boys and a Boat, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1993.

Anthony Hope, The Prisoner of Zenda, retold by Diane Mowat, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1993.

Kevin Crossley-Holland, The Green Children, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1994.

Chris Powling, Famous with Smokey Joe, Heinemann (London, England), 1995.

Jill Paton Walsh, Thomas and the Tinners, Macdonald (London, England), 1995.

Paul Stewart, Stage Fright, Usborne (London, England), 1995, revised edition, 2004.

Brigitte Weninger, Auf Wiedersehen, Papa!, Michael Neugebauer (Zurich, Switzerland), 1995, published as Good-bye, Daddy!, North-South Books (New York, NY), 1995.

Charles Dickens, David Copperfield, afterword by Anthea Bell, North-South Books (New York, NY), 1995.

Wolfram Hänel, Abby, translated by Rosemary Lanning, North-South Books (New York, NY), 1996.

Geraldine McCaughrean, reteller, King Arthur and the Round Table, Macdonald (Hove, England), 1996, reprinted, Hodder Children's Books (London, England), 2006.

Roderick Hunt, The Spell Shell, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1996.

Brigitte Weninger, Ragged Bear, translated by Marianne Martens, North-South Books (New York, NY), 1996.

Anthony Masters, The Haunted Lighthouse, Macdonald (Hove, England), 1997.

Andrew Langley, Alexander the Great: The Greatest Ruler of the Ancient World, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Andrew Langley, Amelia Earhart: The Pioneering Pilot, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Haydn Middleton, Captain Cook: The Great Ocean Explorer, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Andrea Shavick, Roald Dahl: The Champion Storyteller, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Elizabeth Dole, How Long?, Ragged Bears (Andover, England), Orchard (New York, NY), 1998.

Jane Goodall, With Love, North-South Books (London, England, and New York, NY), 1998.

Anthony Masters, Phantoms in the Fog, Macdonald (Hove, England), 1998.

Anthony Masters, The Beachcomber, Macdonald (Hove, England), 1998.

Roy Apps, The Saga of Leif Ericson, Macdonald (Hove, England), 1998.

Ann Turnbull, The Fairy Cow, Hodder (London, England), 1998.

Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham, Cloud Tea Monkeys, Ragged Bears (Sherborne, England), 1999.

Jenny Nimmo, The Dragon's Child, Hodder (London, England), 1999.

Barbara Leonie Picard, The Midsummer Bride, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Adele Sansone, The Little Green Goose, translated by J. Alison James, North-South Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Rosalind Kerven, The Enchanted Forest: A Scottish Fairy Tale, Frances Lincoln (London, England), 1999.

Anthony Masters, The Curse of the Ghost Horse, Macdonald (Hove, England), 1999.

Anthony Masters, The Curse of the Frozen Loch, Macdonald (Hove, England), 1999.

Ann Turnbull, The Serpent's Cave, Hodder (London, England), 2000.

Anthony Masters, Beware the Wicked Web, Hodder (London, England), 2000.

Simon Barnes, Planet Zoo: One Hundred Animals We Can't Afford to Lose, Orion (London, England), 2000.

Stewart Ross, The Diary of Anne Frank, Thameside Press (North Mankato, MN), 2001.

Up to the Stars (stories; child-selected in association with Federation of Children's Book Groups), Hodder (London, England), 2001.

Brigitte Weninger, It's Bedtime!, translated by Kathryn Grell, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Lynne Markham, CinderAlf, Barrington Stoke (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2002.

Ann Jungman, Resistance!, Barrington Stoke (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2002, Stone Arch Books (Mankato, MN), 2006.

Adèle Geras, The Taste of Winter, Hodder (London, England), 2002.

Stewart Ross, The Story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Belitha (London, England), 2002.

Eric Maddern and Helen East, retellers, Spirit of the Forest: Tree Tales from around the World, Frances Lincoln (London, England), 2002.

Kathleen Benner Duble, Pilot Mom, Charlesbridge (Watertown, MA), 2003.

Lesley Sims, reteller, A Christmas Carol, Usborne (London, England), 2003.

Saviour Pirotta, Guess My Name: A Celtic Fairy Tale and also Rumpelstiltskin, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2004, Sea to Sea Publications (North Mankato, MN, 2007.

Saviour Pirotta, The Glass Palace: An Arabian Fairy Tale and also Sleeping Beauty, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2004, Sea to Sea Publications (North Mankato, MN, 2007.

Saviour Pirotta, The Enchanted Gazelle: An African Fairy Tale and also Puss in Boots, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2004, Sea to Sea Publications (North Mankato, MN, 2007.

Saviour Pirotta, The Golden Slipper: An Ancient Egyptian Fairy Tale and also Cinderella, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2004, Sea to Sea Publications (North Mankato, MN, 2007.

Lesley Sims, reteller, The Snow Queen, Usborne (London, England), 2004.

Anna Sewell, Black Beauty, Usborne (London, England), 2005.

Ann Jungman, Siege!, Barrington Stoke (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2005.

Saviour Pirotta, The Giant Oak Tree: A Russian Fairy Tale and also Jack and the Beanstalk, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2005, Sea to Sea Publications (North Mankato, MN, 2007.

Saviour Pirotta, The Lonely Princess: An Indian Fairy Tale and also Rapunzel, Franklin Watts (London, England), 2005, Sea to Sea Publications (North Mankato, MN, 2007.

Chris Powling, Blade, Barrington Stoke (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2005.

Sandra Markle, A Mother's Journey, Charlesbridge (Watertown, MA), 2005.

Jane Goodall, Rickie and Henri: A True Story, Minedition/Penguin (New York, NY), 2005.

Chris Powling, Fight, Barrington Stoke (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2006.

Katie Daynes, reteller, The Little Mermaid, Usborne (London, England), 2006.

Anna Milbourne, Usborne Stories of Knights and Castles, Usborne (London, England), 2006.

Mary Sebag-Montefiore, reteller, The Story of Heidi, Usborne (London, England), 2006.

Sandra Markle, Little Lost Bat, Charlesbridge (Watertown, MA), 2006.

Mary Sebag-Montefiore, reteller, The Railway Children, Usborne (London, England), 2006.

Susanna Davidson, The Story of Heidi, Usborne (London, England), 2007.

Sandra Markle, Finding Home, Charlesbridge (Watertown, MA), 2007.

Jenny Nimmo, The Dragon's Child, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2008.

Also contributor of illustrations to Peace and War (poetry collection), Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1989.

Sidelights

Alan Marks is a prolific British illustrator of books for young readers. In addition to creating original self-illustrated books such as Nowhere to Be Found and Ring-a-Ring o' Roses and a Ding, Dong, Bell: A Book of Nursery Rhymes, he has worked with a number of noted authors, producing artwork for texts by Fiona Waters, Kevin Crossley Holland, Adèle Geras, Jill Paton Walsh, and Joan Aiken, among others. As Marks once told SATA: "I can't remember a time when I didn't draw. I guess there is still a part of me that loves to hold up a drawing and say, ‘Look what I've done.’ There is something very magical about drawing—starting with a blank page and filling it with movement, depth, colour, light, and atmosphere." According to Financial Times contributor Michael Glover, Marks has a talent for creating movement in his art. Reviewing Ring-a-Ring o' Roses and a Ding, Dong, Bell, Glover stressed that Marks's animal characters "leap, jump, fly, skedaddle off the edge of the page, leaving the eye breathless with excitement." Rachel Fox, in her School Library Journal review of the same book, dubbed Marks's images "refreshing" and "eye-catching."

[Image not available for copyright reasons]

Beginning with Nowhere to Be Found, published in 1988, Marks embarked upon his authorial career, "largely with the wish to make whole books, and perhaps to explore my own childhood," as he explained to SATA. Nowhere to Be Found is the story of a boy who loses his temper, then disobeys his mother's instructions by straying into "The Land of Nowhere," where everyone is continuously lost. In this imaginative world, many adults have lost their sense of smell and their memories; some are lost in thought, and one elderly woman has lost a stitch from her knitting. A Growing Point reviewer observed that in Marks's tale the young boy embarks on a "journey very familiar to children working their way through a tantrum." Writing in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Leigh Dean called Nowhere to Be Found "a charming, light-hearted cautionary tale."

Another of Marks's self-illustrated works is the folktale adaptation Childe Roland, which revolves around a courageous prince who embarks on a dangerous quest. Betsy Hearne, reviewing the book for the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, had special praise for Marks's illustrations, noting that the artist's watercolor paintings are "openly imagined and well composed, with good drafting and subtle color blends." A contributor to Publishers Weekly also commended the artwork, describing Marks's pictures as "well-executed and appropriately eerie."

Throughout his career Marks has illustrated numerous books for other authors, such as Waters's Golden Apples, Walsh's Birdy and the Ghosties, Aiken's Shoemaker's Boy, Andrew Clements's Temple Cat, and Kathleen Benner Duble's Pilot Mom. His illustrations for Pilot Mom, the story of a girl preparing for her mother's departure on an Air Force training mission, feature "many realistic renderings of the planes and the inside of a cockpit," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Enhancing his detailed images, Marks also incorporates subtle changes in his palette of pastel watercolors as a way to "reflect the girl's emotional roller coaster as she sees her mother off," in the opinion of Booklist contributor Connie Fletcher.

Marks's work on It's Bedtime!, featuring a text by Brigitte Weninger, has received particular praise. The story, a German import, focuses on a little boy named Ben

who does not want to go to bed. As he trudges toward his bedroom, Ben's "turned-down mouth and slumped posture [create] the very picture of reluctance," according to Booklist critic GraceAnne A. DeCandido. Ben's mom tries to entice him with the softest, most cuddly stuffed animals, but the boy refuses them all. Ultimately, he goes to bed armed with the scariest-looking, most gruesome stuffed animal he has, reasoning that the toy "will scare away the ghosts and monsters and keep me safe." Marks's "full-page watercolors are marvelously expressive" and "draw readers into Ben's world," wrote a Kirkus Reviews critic.

Rickie and Henri: A True Story, a work by famed British primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall, concerns the unlikely friendship between a wild animal and a house pet. After her mother is killed by a hunter, Rickie, a baby chimp, is taken from the rain forest and offered for sale in Brazzaville, Congo Republic. Marks's "illustrations masterfully capture terror and despair in Rickie's eyes without being maudlin," Linda M. Kenton observed in School Library Journal. Rickie is saved by a Congolese businessman who adopts the orphaned chimp and takes her to his home. While her owner is away at work, Rickie forms a strong attachment to Henri, the family dog. Hazel Rochman, writing in Booklist, also praised Marks's artwork, stating that "few children will be able to resist the images of the small black chimp with huge, sad eyes" who now lives in Goodall's Tchimpounga Sanctuary.

As an illustrator, Marks has enjoyed successful partnerships with authors such as Weninger, Anthony Masters, Saviour Pirotta, Chris Powling, and Sandra Markle. A Mother's Journey, a work by Markle, follows a female Emperor penguin as she lays her first egg in a nursery and then travels through icy Antarctic waters to reach the open sea and search for food. After braving hazardous weather conditions and predatory leopard seals, the penguin returns to the nesting grounds, her belly full of krill for her newly hatched chick. "Marks's softly colored art is a perfect compliment" to Markle's text, remarked Julie Cummins in a Booklist review of the work. Also appraising A Mother's Journey, a Horn Book contributor noted that the illustrator's "dramatic, light-infused watercolors capture the penguins' gravity and solid physique," and a Kirkus Reviews critic stated that Marks's "watercolor-on-wet-paper scenes … really bring out both the beauty and the harshness of the Antarctic winter."

Also with a text by Markle, Little Lost Bat focuses on Bracken Cave, a Texas landmark that houses more than twenty million Mexican free-tailed bats. In the story, a mother bat struggles to keep her newborn safe from predators, including snakes and beetles. One night the mother leaves the colony to feast on insects and falls prey to a barn owl, leaving the young bat helpless and starving. The animal is later rescued by another female bat that lost its own baby. "Marks's watercolor artwork is amazingly detailed," remarked a contributor in Kirkus Reviews, and Caitlin J. Berry similarly noted in Horn Book that the illustrator "renders the bats with accuracy—beautiful in their strange and intricate adaptations." In Publishers Weekly a critic also complimented Marks's paintings, stating that "their dusky blues and purples mirror some of the nocturnal subject's mystery." Loosely based on actual events, Markle's Finding Home concerns the dangerous journey of a koala mother and her joey after they are forced to leave their natural habitat and venture into human territory. "Punctuated by irresistible close-ups of the mother's face, Marks's impressionistic watercolors follow the two as they weather" a number of trials, including a dog attack and a highway crossing, a critic in Kirkus Reviews stated.

Discussing his career, Marks once told SATA: "I wouldn't go so far as to say that I couldn't do anything else, but I feel privileged to find work as an illustrator. Watching my own children with books has reinforced my belief that books and reading have a universal and instinctive appeal, and that writing and drawing are important to the human spirit."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 1, 1992, Carolyn Phelan, review of Ring-a-Ring o' Roses and a Ding, Dong, Bell: A Book of Nursery Rhymes, p. 1283; April 15, 1993, Emily Melton, review of Matthew and the Sea Singer, p. 1518; September 1, 1994, Hazel Rochman, review of Over the Hills and Far Away, p. 43; December 15, 1995, Hazel Rochman, review of David Copperfield, pp. 697-698; December 1, 1996, Carolyn Phelan, review of Abby, p. 652; April 15, 1998, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of With Love, p. 1438; October 1, 1998, Stephanie Zvirin, review of How Long?, p. 334; December 1, 1998, Sally Estes and Carolyn Phelan, review of With Love, p. 676; April 15, 1999, Hazel Rochman, review of The Little Green Goose, p. 1538; February 1, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of The Midsummer Bride, p. 1030; July, 2002, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of It's Bedtime!, p. 1861; July, 2003, Connie Fletcher, review of Pilot Mom, p. 1896; October 15, 2004, Hazel Rochman, review of Rickie and Henri: A True Story, p. 404; September 1, 2005, Julie Cummins, review of A Mother's Journey, p. 138; June 1, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of Little Lost Bat, p. 74.

Book Report, November-December, 1990, Richard K. Moore, review of Peace and War, p. 50.

Boston Herald, July 26, 1998, Karyn Miller-Medzon, review of With Love, p. 61.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July, 1988, Leigh Dean, review of Nowhere to Be Found, p. 143; June, 1989, Betsy Hearne, review of Childe Roland: An English Folk Tale, pp. 257-258.

Childhood Education, winter, 2002, Terre Sychterz, review of It's Bedtime!, p. 111.

Entertainment Weekly, November 25, 1994, Leonard S. Marcus, review of Over the Hills and Far Away, p. 100.

Financial Times, December, 1991, Michael Glover, review of Ring-a-Ring o' Roses and a Ding, Dong, Bell, p. 16.

Growing Point, September, 1988, review of Nowhere to Be Found, pp. 5045-5046.

Horn Book, September, 1989, Ethel R. Twichell, review of The Fisherman and His Wife, p. 647; March, 1990, Carolyn K. Jenks, review of Peace and War, pp. 214-215; May, 1992, Margaret A. Bush, review of Ring-a-Ring o' Roses and a Ding, Dong, Bell, pp. 350-351; July-August, 2005, Margaret A. Bush, review of A Mother's Journey, p. 487; July-August, 2006, Caitlin J. Berry, review of Little Lost Bat, p. 465; January-February, 2007, Mary Beth Dunhouse, review of A Mother's Journey, p. 24.

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2002, review of It's Bedtime!, p. 502; June 15, 2005, review of A Mother's Journey, p. 686; June 15, 2006, review of Little Lost Bat, p. 635; December 15, 2007, review of Finding Home.

New Yorker, November 27, 1989, Faith McNulty, review of Birdy and the Ghosties, pp. 142-143.

Publishers Weekly, April 8, 1988, review of Nowhere to Be Found, p. 93; May 12, 1989, review of Childe Roland, p. 291; March 9, 1998, review of With Love, p. 69; July 6, 1998, review of How Long?, p. 59; April 26, 1999, review of The Little Green Goose, p. 82; July 16, 2001, review of Planet Zoo: One Hundred Animals We Can't Afford to Lose, p. 183; July 7, 2003, review of Pilot Mom, p. 72; August 7, 2006, review of Little Lost Bat, p. 58.

School Library Journal, June-July, 1988, Maria B. Salvadore, review of Nowhere to Be Found, p. 93; July, 1989, Kenneth Marantz, review of The Fisherman and His Wife, p. 79; September, 1989, Linda Boyles, review of Childe Roland, p. 242; February, 1990, Susan L. Rogers, review of Birdy and the Ghosties, pp. 142-143; November, 1990, Regina Pauly, review of The Ugly Duckling, p. 74; February, 1991, Annette Curtis Klause, review of Peace and War, p. 94; March, 1992, Rachel Fox, review of Ring-a-Ring o' Roses and a Ding, Dong, Bell, p. 232; May, 1993, Virginia Opocensky, review of Matthew and the Sea Singer, p. 90; April, 1994, Mary Jo Drungil, review of The Thief's Daughter, p. 110; October, 1994, Sally R. Dow, review of Over the Hills and Far Away, p. 111; June, 1995, Tom S. Hurlburt, review of Good-Bye, Daddy!, p. 97; May, 1992; December, 1996, Maura Bresnahan, review of Ragged Bear, p. 109; September, 1998, Christine A. Moesch, review of Alexander the Great: The Greatest Ruler of the Ancient World, pp. 192-193; January, 1999, Esther C. Ball, review of Roald Dahl: The Champion Storyteller, p. 117; September, 1999, Linda Ludke, review of The Little Green Goose, p. 203; March, 2000, Miriam Lang Budin, review of The Midsummer Bride, p. 230; August, 2001, Kathy Piehl, review of Planet Zoo, p. 192; December, 2004, Linda M. Kenton, review of Rickie and Henri, p. 130; September, 2005, Patricia Manning, review of A Mother's Journey, p. 194; August, 2006, Susan E. Murray, review of Little Lost Bat, p. 107.

Science Activities, fall, 1998, Donald J. Nash, review of With Love, p. 44.

Times Literary Supplement, September 9, 1988, Julia Eccleshare, review of Nowhere to Be Found, p. 1000.

ONLINE

Alan Marks Home Page,http://www.marksonpaper.co.uk (February 1, 2008).

Charlesbridge Publishing Web Site,http://www.charlesbridge.com/ (February 1, 2008), "Illustrator: Alan Marks."

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Marks, Alan 1957-

MARKS, Alan 1957-

Personal

Born October 19, 1957, in London, England; married Jenny Walker (a psychologist); children: Charlotte, Elisabeth. Education: Attended Medway College of Design, 1976-77; Bath Academy of Art, B.A. (first-class honors), 1980. Hobbies and other interests: Music, opera, gardening.

Addresses

Home Padbrook, Mill Lane, Elmstone, Canterbury, Kent CT3 1HE, England.

Career

Freelance illustrator. Neugebauer Press, Salzburg, Austria, illustrator, 1988; has worked as an illustrator for Simon and Schuster, Heinemann, Hamish Hamilton, and Oxford University Press.

Awards, Honors

Carnegie Medal (with Kevin Crossley-Holland), British Library Association, 1985, for Storm; UNICEF Illustrators of the Year Award, Bologna Children's Book Fair, 1992.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

(Adapter) Childe Roland: An English Folk Tale (part of "Folk Tales of the World" series), Bedrick (New York, NY), 1988.

Nowhere to Be Found, Picture Book Studio (Saxonville, MA), 1988.

(Compiler) Ring-a-Ring O'Roses and a Ding, Dong, Bell: A Book of Nursery Rhymes, Picture Book Studio (London, England, and Saxonville, MA), 1991.

The Thief's Daughter, Simon & Schuster (London, England), Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (New York, NY), 1993.

(Compiler) Over the Hills and Far Away (nursery rhymes), North-South Books (New York, NY), 1993.

ILLUSTRATOR

Kevin Crossley-Holland, Storm, Heinemann (London, England), 1985, Barron's (New York, NY), 1989.

Fiona Waters, Golden Apples, Heinemann (London, England), 1985.

Rosemary Sutcliffe, Roundabout Horse, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1986.

Susan Hill, Mother's Magic, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1986.

Mary Hoffman, King of the Castle, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1986.

Adèle Geras, Finding Annabel, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1987.

Eleanor Fargeon, Something I Remember (poems), Blackie (London, England), 1987.

Tony Bradman, compiler, The Magic Kiss and Other Tales of Princes and Princesses, Blackie (London, England), 1987.

Elizabeth Laird, Sid & Sadie, Collins (London, England), 1988.

Barbara Holmes Ware, Charlotte the Starlet, Macdonald (London, England), 1988.

Gareth Owen, Salford Road, Young Lions (London, England), 1988.

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Fisherman and His Wife, Picture Book Studio (Saxonville, MA), 1989.

Jill Paton Walsh, Birdy and the Ghosties, Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (New York, NY), 1989.

David Scott, How Does It Feel?, Blackie (London, England), 1989.

Hans Christian Andersen, The Ugly Duckling, Picture Book Studio (Saxonville, MA), 1989.

Joan Aiken, The Shoemaker's Boy, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1991.

Andrew Clements, Temple Cat, Picture Book Studio (Saxonville, MA), 1991.

Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book, retold by D. K. Swan, Longman (London, England), 1991.

Jan Morrow, Where Is Tanita?, Longman (London, England), 1991.

Carys Brown, Holiday Adventures, Longman (London, England), 1991.

Elizabeth Cripps, Going Places, Longman (London, England), 1992.

Jill Paton Walsh, Matthew and the Sea Singer, Simon & Schuster (London, England), 1992, Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (New York, NY), 1993.

Chris Powling, It's That Dragon Again, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1993.

Chris Powling, A Razzle Dazzle Rainbow, Viking (London, England), 1993.

Sue Arengo, Two Boys and a Boat, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1993.

Anthony Hope, The Prisoner of Zenda, retold by Diane Mowat, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1993.

Kevin Crossley-Holland, The Green Children, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1994.

Chris Powling, Famous with Smokey Joe, Heinemann (London, England), 1995.

Jill Paton Walsh, Thomas and the Tinners, Macdonald (London, England), 1995.

Paul Stewart, Stage Fright, Usborne (London, England), 1995.

Brigitte Weninger, Auf Wiedersehen, Papa!, M. Neugebauer (Zurich, Switzerland), 1995, published as Goodbye, Daddy!, North-South Books (New York, NY), 1995.

Charles Dickens, David Copperfield, afterword by Anthea Bell, North-South Books (New York, NY), 1995.

Wolfram Hänel, Abby, translated by Rosemary Lanning, North-South Books (New York, NY), 1996.

Geraldine McCaughrean, reteller, King Arthur and the Round Table, Macdonald (Hove, England), 1996.

Roderick Hunt, The Spell Shell, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1996.

Brigitte Weninger, Ragged Bear, translated by Marianne Martens, North-South Books (New York, NY), 1996.

Anthony Masters, The Haunted Lighthouse, Macdonald (Hove, England), 1997.

Andrew Langley, Alexander the Great: The Greatest Ruler of the Ancient World, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Andrew Langley, Amelia Earhart: The Pioneering Pilot, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Haydn Middleton, Captain Cook: The Great Ocean Explorer, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Andrea Shavick, Roald Dahl: The Champion Storyteller, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Elizabeth Dole, How Long?, Ragged Bears (Andover, England), Orchard (New York, NY), 1998.

Jane Goodall, With Love, North-South Books (London, England, and New York, NY), 1998.

Anthony Masters, Phantoms in the Fog, Macdonald (Hove, England), 1998.

Anthony Masters, The Beachcomber, Macdonald (Hove, England), 1998.

Roy Apps, The Saga of Leif Ericson, Macdonald (Hove, England), 1998.

Ann Turnbull, The Fairy Cow, Hodder (London, England), 1998.

Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham, Cloud Tea Monkeys, Ragged Bears (Sherborne, England), 1999.

Jenny Nimmo, The Dragon's Child, Hodder (London, England), 1999.

Barbara Leonie Picard, The Midsummer Bride, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Adele Sansone, The Little Green Goose, translated by J. Alison James, North-South Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Rosalind Kerven, The Enchanted Forest: A Scottish Fairy Tale, F. Lincoln (London, England), 1999.

Anthony Masters, The Curse of the Ghost Horse, Macdonald (Hove, England), 1999.

Anthony Masters, The Curse of the Frozen Loch, Macdonald (Hove, England), 1999.

Ann Turnbull, The Serpent's Cave, Hodder (London, England), 2000.

Anthony Masters, Beware the Wicked Web, Hodder (London, England), 2000.

Simon Barnes, Planet Zoo: One Hundred Animals We Can't Afford to Lose, Orion (London, England), 2000.

Stewart Ross, The Diary of Anne Frank, Thameside Press (North Mankato, MN), 2001.

Up to the Stars (selected by children in association with the Federation of Children's Book Groups), Hodder (London, England), 2001.

Brigitte Weninger, It's Bedtime!, translated by Kathryn Grell, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Lynne Markham, CinderAlf, Barrington Stoke (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2002.

Ann Jungman, Resistance!, Barrington Stoke (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2002.

Adèle Geras, The Taste of Winter, Hodder (London, England), 2002.

Stewart Ross, The Story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Belitha (London, England), 2002.

Eric Maddern and Helen East, retellers, Spirit of the Forest: Tree Tales from around the World, Frances Lincoln (London, England), 2002.

Kathleen Benner Duble, Pilot Mom, Charlesbridge (Watertown, MA), 2003.

Also contributor to Peace and War (collection of poems), Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1989.

Sidelights

Alan Marks once told SATA: "Drawing was important to me as a child. I can't remember a time when I didn't draw. I guess there is still a part of me that loves to hold up a drawing and say, 'Look what I've done.' There is something very magical about drawingstarting with a blank page and filling it with movement, depth, colour, light, and atmosphere." And, according to Financial Times contributor Michael Glover, Marks does appear to create movement in his illustrations. In his review of Marks's Ring-a-Ring O'Roses and a Ding, Dong, Bell: A Book of Nursery Rhymes, Glover stressed that "animals leap, jump, fly, skedaddle off the edge of the page, leaving the eye breathless with excitement."

Marks acknowledged the latitude that he has been given with his work when he once told SATA: "Michael Neugebauer (from Picture Book Studio) has given me great scope to choose and illustrate texts, a freedom used to best effect in my first nursery rhyme book, Ring-a-Ring O'Roses and a Ding, Dong, Bell. I'm not sure that an English publisher would have allowed me such freedom. But, as Glover suggested in Financial Times, the result was a 'zestfulness and an edge of originality.'" Rachel Fox, in her School Library Journal review of the volume, called the drawings "refreshing" and "eye-catching."

"Largely with the wish to make whole books, and perhaps to explore my own childhood," Marks continued, "I have written my own texts on occasions. Nowhere to Be Found, published in 1988, was my first book with Neugebauer and a turning point in my career."

Nowhere to Be Found is the story of a boy who loses his temper, then disobeys his mother's instructions by straying into "The Land of Nowhere," where everyone is continuously lost. In this imaginative world, many adults have lost their sense of smell and their memories; some are lost in thought, and one elderly woman has lost a stitch from her knitting. A Growing Point reviewer noted that the young boy embarks on a "journey very familiar to children working their way through a tantrum." Writing in Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Leigh Dean called Nowhere to Be Found "a charming, light-hearted cautionary tale."

Marks also once told SATA: "I have written a story for seven-to nine-year-olds called The Thief's Daughter, which has been published by Simon and Schuster in England. I love to write, but it takes me a long time. Again, I'm inspired by other writers: Jill Paton Walsh, Kevin Crossley-Holland, Alan Garner, Lawrence Durrell, and J. D. Salinger, to name a few. My influences are wideAuguste Rodin to Arthur Rackham, you might saybut they can all draw. Others include Edgar Degas, Jim Dine, Ralph Steadman, Alan Lee, and Edmund Dulac. My work has also been coloured, I think, by my early childhood in the docklands of London and a very contrasting move to the Kent countryside."

Another of Marks's self-illustrated works is Childe Roland, a folktale he adapted which revolves around a courageous prince who embarks on a dangerous quest. Commentator Betsy Hearne, reviewing the title in Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, especially praised Marks's illustrations, noting that his watercolor paintings are "openly imagined and well composed, with good drafting and subtle color blends." A contributor to Publishers Weekly commended the artwork as well, calling the pictures "well-executed and appropriately eerie."

Throughout his career Marks has also illustrated several books for other authors, including Fiona Waters's Golden Apples, Jill Paton Walsh's Birdy and the Ghosties, Joan Aiken's Shoemaker's Boy, Andrew Clements's Temple Cat, and Kathleen Benner Duble's Pilot Mom. The illustrations for Pilot Mom, the story of a girl who is preparing for her mother's departure for an Air Force training mission, feature "many realistic renderings of the planes and the inside of a cockpit," a reviewer noted in Publishers Weekly. But in addition to displaying his skill in this area, Marks also used subtle changes of color in his pastel watercolors to "reflect the girl's emotional roller coaster as she sees her mother off," wrote Booklist contributor Connie Fletcher.

Marks's work on It's Bedtime!, written by Brigitte Weninger, has received particular praise. His "full-page watercolors are marvelously expressive" and "draw readers into Ben's world," wrote a Kirkus Reviews critic. The story, a German import, is about a little boy named Ben who does not want to go to bed. As he trudges towards his bedroom, "his turned-down mouth and slumped posture [are] the very picture of reluctance," thought Booklist 's GraceAnne A. DeCandido. His mother tries to entice him with the softest, most cuddly stuffed animals, but Ben refuses them all. He will only go to bed with the scariest-looking, most gruesome stuffed animal that he has, reasoning that "he will scare away the ghosts and monsters and keep me safe."

Marks once admitted to SATA: "I wouldn't go so far as to say that I couldn't do anything else, but I feel privileged to find work as an illustrator. Watching my own children with books has reinforced my belief that books and reading have a universal and instinctive appeal, and that writing and drawing are important to the human spirit."

Biographical and Critical Sources

BOOKS

Weninger, Brigitte, It's Bedtime!, translated by Kathryn Grell, North-South Books (London, England, and New York, NY), 2002.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 15, 1989, p. 1824; March 1, 1992, Carolyn Phelan, review of Ring-a-Ring o' Roses and a Ding, Dong, Bell, p. 1283; April 15, 1993, Emily Melton, review of Matthew and the Sea Singer, p. 1518; September 1, 1994, Hazel Rochman, review of Over the Hills and Far Away, p. 43; December 15, 1995, Hazel Rochman, review of David Cooperfield, pp. 697-698; December 1, 1996, Carolyn Phelan, review of Abby, p. 652; April 15, 1998, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of With Love, p. 1438; October 1, 1998, Stephanie Zvirin, review of How Long?, p. 334; December 1, 1998, Sally Estes and Carolyn Phelan, review of With Love, p. 676; April 15, 1999, Hazel Rochman, review of The Little Green Goose, p. 1538; February 1, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of The Midsummer Bride, p. 1030; July, 2002, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of It's Bedtime!, p. 1861; July, 2003, Connie Fletcher, review of Pilot Mom, p. 1896.

Book Report, November-December, 1990, Richard K. Moore, review of Peace and War, p. 50.

Boston Herald, July 26, 1998, Karyn Miller-Medzon, review of With Love, p. 61.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July, 1988, Leigh Dean, review of Nowhere to Be Found, p. 143; June, 1989, Betsy Hearne, review of Childe Roland: An English Folk Tale, pp. 257-258.

Childhood Education, winter, 2002, Terre Sychterz, review of It's Bedtime!, p. 111.

Entertainment Weekly, November 25, 1994, Leonard S. Marcus, review of Over the Hills and Far Away, p. 100.

Financial Times, December, 1991, Michael Glover, review of Ring-a-Ring O'Roses and A Ding, Dong, Bell: A Book of Nursery Rhymes, p. 16.

Growing Point, September, 1988, review of Nowhere to Be Found, pp. 5045-5046.

Horn Book, September, 1989, Ethel R. Twichell, review of The Fisherman and His Wife, p. 647; March, 1990, Carolyn K. Jenks, review of Peace and War, pp. 214-215; May, 1992, Margaret A. Bush, review of Ring-a-Ring o' Roses and a Ding, Dong, Bell, pp. 350-351.

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2002, review of It's Bedtime!, p. 502.

New Yorker, November 27, 1989, Faith McNulty, review of Birdy and the Ghosties, pp. 142-143.

Publishers Weekly, April 8, 1988, review of Nowhere to Be Found, p. 93; May 12, 1989, review of Childe Roland, p. 291; March 9, 1998, review of With Love, p. 69; July 6, 1998, review of How Long?, p. 59; April 26, 1999, review of The Little Green Goose, p. 82; July 16, 2001, review of Planet Zoo: One Hundred Animals We Can't Afford to Lose, p. 183; July 7, 2003, review of Pilot Mom, p. 72.

School Library Journal, June-July, 1988, Maria B. Salvadore, review of Nowhere to Be Found, p. 93; July, 1989, Kenneth Marantz, review of The Fisherman and His Wife, p. 79; September, 1989, Linda Boyles, review of Childe Roland, p. 242; February, 1990, Susan L. Rogers, review of Birdy and the Ghosties, pp. 142-143; November, 1990, Regina Pauly, review of The Ugly Duckling, p. 74; February, 1991, Annette Curtis Klause, review of Peace and War, p. 94; March, 1992, Rachel Fox, review of Ring-a-Ring O'Roses and A Ding, Dong, Bell, p. 232; May, 1993, Virginia Opocensky, review of Matthew and the Sea Singer, p. 90; April, 1994, Mary Jo Drungil, review of The Thief's Daughter, p. 110; October, 1994, Sally R. Dow, review of Over the Hills and Far Away, p. 111; June, 1995, Tom S. Hurlburt, review of Good-Bye, Daddy!, p. 97; May, 1992; December, 1996, Maura Bresnahan, review of Ragged Bear, p. 109; September, 1998, Christine A. Moesch, review of Alexander the Great: The Greatest Ruler of the Ancient World, pp. 192-193; January, 1999, Esther C. Ball, review of Roald Dahl: The Champion Storyteller, p. 117; September, 1999, Linda Ludke, review of The Little Green Goose, p. 203; March, 2000, Miriam Lang Budin, review of The Midsummer Bride, p. 230; August, 2001, Kathy Piehl, review of Planet Zoo, p. 192.

Science Activities, fall, 1998, Donald J. Nash, review of With Love, p. 44.

Times Literary Supplement, September 9, 1988, Julia Eccleshare, review of Nowhere to Be Found, p. 1000.

ONLINE

Charlesbridge Publishing Web Site, http://www.charlesbridge.com/ (November 11, 2003), "Illustrator: Alan Marks."*

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