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Ray, Jane 1960-

Ray, Jane 1960-

Personal

Born June 10, 1960, in London, England; daughter of Donald Edwin (a teacher and musician) and Barbara May (a teacher and musician) Ray; married David Anthony Temple (a conductor), April 8, 1988; children: Clara Jane, Ellen May, Joe. Education: Middlesex Polytechnic, B.A. (with honors), 1982. Politics: "Left/green/feminist." Hobbies and other interests: Music, gardening, green politics, reading writing.

Addresses

Home—North London, England.

Career

Illustrator. Formerly teacher of art to students with learning difficulties. Creator of poster art for theatres and schools; creator of art for greeting cards; creator of book-jacket illustrations. Exhibitions: Ray's work has been exhibited in galleries in both the United Kingdom and the United States, including Primavera, Cambridge, England; Illustration Cupboard, London, England; and Every Picture Tells a Story, Los Angeles, CA.

Member

Association of Illustrators.

Awards, Honors

Mother Goose Award shortlist, 1989, for A Balloon for Grandad; Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist, 1991, for Noah's Ark, 1992, for The Story of Christmas, and 2001, for Fairy Tales and Jinnie Ghost by Berlie Doherty; Smarties Award, 1992, for The Story of the Creation; Kurt Maschler Award shortlist, 1996, for The Song of the Earth.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

The Story of Christmas (based on text from King James Bible), Orchard (London, England), 1991, pop-up version published as The Nativity, 1999.

The Creation (based on text from King James Bible), Orchard (London, England), 1992, Dutton (New York, NY), 1993.

In the Beginning: Bible Stories, Orchard (London, England), 1992.

(Reteller) The Brothers Grimm, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Dutton (New York, NY), 1996.

Let There Be Light: Bible Stories, Dutton (New York, NY), 1997.

(Reteller) Hansel and Gretel, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 1997.

Can You Catch a Mermaid?, Orchard (London, England), 2002.

Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, Orchard (London, England), 2004, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 2005.

The Apple-Pip Princess, Orchard Books (London, England), 2007, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2008.

ILLUSTRATOR

Angela Huth, compiler, Island of the Children, Orchard (London, England), 1988.

Nigel Gray, A Balloon for Grandad, Orchard (London, England), 1988.

Suzanna Steele and Morag Styles, compilers, Mother Gave a Shout, A. & C. Black, 1989.

Noah's Ark: Words from the Book of Genesis, Dutton (New York, NY), 1990, pop-up version, Orchard (London, England), 2001.

Angela Huth, compiler, Casting a Spell, Orchard (London, England), 1991.

Margaret Mayo, Magical Tales from Many Lands, Dutton (New York, NY), 1993, published as The Orchard Book of Magical Tales, Orchard (London, England), 1993.

Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince, Orchard (London, England), 1994, Dutton (New York, NY), 1995.

Nancy Spiegelberg, I'd Like to Ask God, Harvest House (Eugene, OR), 1995.

Vikram Seth, Arion and the Dolphin (based on the libretto by Seth), Orion (London, England), 1994, Dutton (New York, NY), 1995.

Mary Hoffman, Earth, Fire, Water, Air, Dutton (New York, NY), 1995.

Mary Hoffman, Song of the Earth, Orion (London, England), 1995.

Margaret Mayo, The Orchard Book of Mythical Birds and Beasts, Orchard (London, England), 1996, published as Mythical Birds and Beasts from Many Lands, Dutton (New York, NY), 1997, published as The Orchard Book of the Unicorn and Other Magical Animals, 2001.

Mary Hoffman, Sun, Moon, and Stars, Dutton (New York, NY), 1998.

Julie Gold, From a Distance (song lyrics), Dutton (New York, NY), 1999.

Geraldine McCaughrean, The Orchard Book of Love and Friendship, Orchard (London, England), 2000.

Berlie Doherty, reteller, Fairy Tales, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2000.

Malachy Doyle, The Bold Boy, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2001.

Carol Ann Duffy, The Stolen Childhood, and Other Dark Fairy Tales, Puffin (London, England), 2003.

Jeanette Winterson, The King of Capri, Bloomsbury Children's Book (New York, NY), 2003.

Berlie Doherty, reteller, Cinderella, Walker (London, England), 2003.

Michael Rosen, reteller, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2004.

The Orchard Book of Bible Stories, Orchard (London, England), 2004.

Berlie Doherty, Jinnie Ghost, Frances Lincoln (London, England), 2005.

Kathy Henderson, reteller, Lugalbanda: The Boy Who Got Caught up in a War, Candlewick Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Joyce Dunbar, Moonbird, Corgi Children's (London, England), 2006.

Rachel Anderson, Big Ben, Barn Owl (London, England), 2007.

Sidelights

With a body of work that has been compared by several critics to that of noted nineteenth-century children's book illustrator Arthur Rackham, British illustrator Jane Ray was praised as "one of the most luminous illustrators at work today" by an Economist reviewer describing Ray's work for Vikram Seth's Arion and the Dolphin. In addition to Seth, Ray has contributed illustrations to text by authors ranging from Oscar Wilde and the Brothers Grimm to Jeanette Winterson, Malachy Doyle, Margaret Mayo, and Berlie Doherty. She has also produced detailed illustrations to accompany her own renditions of classic fairy tales and favorite Biblical passages. Commenting on Ray's contributions to Winterson's whimsical tale about a gluttonous king in The King of Capri, a Publishers Weekly reviewer maintained that the illustrator's "by turns magical and exotic" collage paintings mesh perfectly with "the story's overall distinctive tone," and that "the Isle of Capri and bay of Naples have rarely looked so inviting."

In enhancing Mary Hoffman's 1995 picture book Earth, Fire, Water, Air, Ray creates folk-art-inspired paintings to enhance Hoffman's text about the way cultures identify people based on similarities with the four natural elements. "Ray's paintings magnificently enhance Hoffman's message with delicate details" and "intense colors," noted Booklist contributor Susan Dove Lempke, the reviewer adding that the artist's use of metallic gold adds drama to her work. Ray and Hoffman have also teamed up for a companion volume, Sun, Moon, and Stars, in which the illustrator "offers a varied tapestry of dreamlike images that combine elements of fantasy with intricate folk art borders and motifs," according to a Publishers Weekly critic. Ilene Cooper cited Sun, Moon, and Stars in Booklist as "a particularly handsome piece of bookmaking that will spark imaginations." Also reflecting a variety of cultural origins, Ray's work for Mayo's Mythical Birds and Beasts from Many Lands consists of "imaginative full-page paintings" that "glow with rich colors and gold highlights," and contribute to a book that Booklist contributor Carolyn Phelan praised as "lively and well crafted."

Ray contributes "haunting" collage images to Doherty's picture book Jinni Ghost, contrasting "deep, vibrant colors … with Jinnie's ghostly white, translucent body," according to School Library Journal contributor Suzanne Myers Harold. Another magical story, Joyce Dunbar's text for Moonbird, is brought to life by Ray in "luminous art" that is "heavy with symbolism," according to a Kirkus Reviews writer.

Working with writer Kathy Henderson, Ray reaches back into the elemental past to illustrate one of the oldest stories known to man in Lugalbanda: The Boy Who Got Caught up in a War. A legend in Iran, "Lugalbanda" dates to the Sumerian civilization and tells a tale about a boy who attains the power of a mythical bird in order to avenge his brother's death in wartime. According to School Library Journal contributor Miriam Lang Budin, Ray's "Sumerian-inspired watercolor, ink, and collage illustrations bring immediacy to" to Henderson's tale, while in Horn Book Joanna Rudge Long wrote that "Ray's angular forms and sloe-eyed figures recall ancient Mesopotamian art" and contribute to a "sumptuous volume."

Ray taps the beauty of Biblical stories in picture books such as The Story of Christmas, The Creation, and In the Beginning, all which feature excerpts from the King James version. She also draws from the creation stories of many cultures in her original text for Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, a book that recalls the illuminated texts of the middle ages due to Ray's use of metallic gold touches. Here her art "combines simplicity of shape with intricate detail and produces something vital," according to Cooper in Booklist, and a Publishers Weekly writer observed that "Ray's intricate and elegant paintings," which incorporate intricate borders and collage maps, combines with her text to "embrace … a sense of discovery and the lessons learned from disobeying God's word."

In a more fanciful vein, Ray retells the classic story The Twelve Dancing Princesses, a tale first collected by the Brothers Grimm in the nineteenth century. Praising the author/illustrator's "lavish, richly hued" paintings as "the grand stuff of fairy tale fantasy," a Publishers Weekly reviewer added that Ray's unique take on the traditional tale "reads well as a timeless story of chil-

dren's rebellion against strict parental rule." Also appreciative of Ray's "excellent retelling," Phelan added in Booklist that The Twelve Dancing Princesses is "a radiant edition of an old favorite."

In The Apple-Pip Princess Ray tells an original story that takes place in a barren kingdom that has suffered from drought and cold since the death of its queen. Hoping to rekindle life within his lands, the king asks his three daughters to do something to give him joy, and he plans to pass his crown to whichever princess is successful. The oldest sister builds a lofty tower, the middle sister focuses on her own beauty, and the youngest uses the treasured objects beloved of her late mother—apple seeds and raindrops—to once again bring life to the land. Dubbing Ray's story "well-written," Anne Parker wrote in School Library Journal that The Apple-Pip Princess "encourages … readers to consider the true value of things and people's actions." In Kirkus Reviews a reviewer also enjoyed the large-format picture book, noting of the work that the author/illustrator's "trademark … vibrant scenes and delicate details enlivens this satisfying, original fairy tale." "Ray's rich language and sure pacing create a winning read-aloud," maintained Booklist contributor Gillian Engberg of the work, and a Publishers Weekly critic cited the book for containing multicultural characters and "echoes of King Lear and the Bible." "Ray's extensive experience is apparent in her well-balanced use of text and art," the critic added of The Apple-Pip Princess.

"Drawing and painting have always been my lifeblood," Ray once told SATA. Believing that the role of a picture book is to "be worthwhile" and "add something to the ‘sum of human knowledge,’" Ray works to create volumes that "make you want to go back and look again, to keep seeing something different and new every time you look. I want them to inspire, to be remembered in adult life," she explained. Creating several of her picture books while her own children were young was helpful to Ray; as she noted, "In the end, what appeals to the imagination, memory, fears, and pleasures of one child will leave another totally unmoved." Acknowledging the influence books can have on young, impressionable minds, she added: "I'm just very, very glad to be in the privileged position of being able to earn my living at the thing I love most of all!"

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, January 1, 1996, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Earth, Fire, Water, Air, p. 829; October 1, 1996, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, p. 351; May 1, 1997, Carolyn Phelan, review of Mythical Birds and Beasts from Many Lands, p. 1496; November 1, 1998, Ilene Cooper, review of Sun, Moon, and Stars, p. 486; November 15, 1999, Marta Segal, review of From a Distance, p. 630; April 1, 2005, Ilene Cooper, review of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, p. 1362; May 1, 2006, Gillian Engberg, review of Lugalbanda: The Boy Who Got Caught up in a War, p. 85; September 1, 2007, Janice Del Negro, review of Moonbird, p. 128; March 15, 2008, Gillian Engberg, review of The Apple-Pip Princess, p. 52.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, February, 2005, Elizabeth Bush, review of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, p. 263; September, 2006, Maggie Hommel, review of Lugalbanda, p. 17; May, 2008, Jeannette Hulick, review of The Apple-Pip Princess, p. 398.

Economist, November 26, 1994, review of Arion and the Dolphin, p. 101.

Horn Book, September, 2001, review of The Bold Boy, p. 572; July-August, 2006, Joanna Rudge Long, review of Lugalbanda, p. 455.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2003, review of The King of Capri, p. 1081; January 1, 2005, review of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, p. 55; April 15, 2006, review of Lugalbanda, p. 407; July 15, 2007, review of Moonbird; February 1, 2008, review of The Apple-Pip Princess.

Publishers Weekly, June 26, 1995, review of Arion and the Dolphin, p. 106; December 18, 1995, review of Earth, Fire, Water, Air, p. 54; September 23, 1996, review of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, p. 75; April 14, 1997, review of Mythical Birds and Beasts from Many Lands, p. 73; November 16, 1998, review of Sun, Moon, Stars, p. 73; November 1, 1999, review of From a Distance, p. 82; October 22, 2001, review of The Bold Boy, p. 75; August 11, 2003, review of The King of Capri, p. 279; February 14, 2005, review of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, p. 78; July 10, 2006, review of Lugalbanda, p. 81; February 18, 2008, review of The Apple-Pip Princess, p. 152.

School Library Journal, October, 2000, Nina Lindsay, review of Fairy Tales, p. 182; January, 2002, Debbie Stewart, review of The Bold Boy, p. 97; May, 2005, Linda L. Walkins, review of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, p. 114; February, 2006, Suzanne Myers Harold, review of Jinnie Ghost, p. 95; April, 2006, Miriam Lang Budin, review of Lugalbanda, p. 156; April, 2008, Anne Parker, review of The Apple-Pip Princess, p. 120.

ONLINE

Jane Ray Home Page,http://www.janeray.com (January 5, 2009).

OTHER

The World of Jane Ray: Mermaids and Other Friends (video recording), 2007.

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"Ray, Jane 1960-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Ray, Jane 1960-." Something About the Author. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/ray-jane-1960-0

Ray, Jane 1960-

RAY, Jane 1960-

Personal

Born June 10, 1960, in London, England; daughter of Donald Edwin (a teacher and musician) and Barbara May (a teacher and musician; maiden name, Rowley) Ray; married David Anthony Temple (a conductor), April 8, 1988; children: Clara Jane, Ellen May. Education: Middlesex Polytechnic, B.A. (with honors), 1982. Politics: "Left/green/feminist." Hobbies and other interests: Music, gardening, green politics, reading writing.

Addresses

Home 41 Greenham Rd., London N10 1LN, England.

Career

Illustrator. Formerly teacher of art to students with learning difficulties.

Member

Association of Illustrators.

Awards, Honors

Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist, 1992, for The Story of Christmas.

Writings

self-illustrated

(Reteller) The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Dutton (New York, NY), 1996.

Let There Be Light: Bible Stories, Dutton (New York, NY), 1997.

(Reteller) Hansel and Gretel, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 1997.

illustrator

Angela Huth, compiler, Island of the Children, Orchard (London, England), 1988.

Nigel Gray, A Balloon for Grandad, Orchard (London, England), 1988.

Suzanna Steele and Morag Styles, compilers, Mother Gave a Shout, A. & C. Black, 1989.

Noah's Ar: Words from the Book of Genesis, Dutton (New York, NY), 1990.

Angela Huth, compiler, Casting a Spell, Orchard (London, England), 1991.

The Story of Christmas (based on text from King James Bible), Orchard (London, England), 1991.

The Creation (based on text from King James Bible), Orchard (London, England), 1992, Dutton (New York, NY), 1993.

Margaret Mayo, Magical Tales from Many Lands, Dutton (New York, NY), 1993, published as The Orchard Book of Magical Tales, Orchard (London, England), 1993.

Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince, Orchard (London, England), 1994, Dutton (New York, NY), 1995.

Nancy Spiegelberg, I'd Like to Ask God, Harvest House (Eugene, OR), 1995.

Vikram Seth, Arion and the Dolphin (based on the libretto by Seth), Orion (London, England), 1994, Dutton (New York, NY), 1995.

Mary Hoffman, Earth, Fire, Water, Air, Dutton (New York, NY), 1995.

Margaret Mayo, The Orchard Book of Mythical Birds and Beasts, Orchard (London, England), 1996, published as Mythical Birds and Beasts from Many Lands, Dutton (New York, NY), 1997.

Mary Hoffman, Sun, Moon, and Stars, Dutton (New York, NY), 1998.

Julie Gold, From a Distance (song lyrics), Dutton (New York, NY), 1999.

Berlie Doherty, reteller, Fairy Tales, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2000.

Malachy Doyle, The Bold Boy, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2001.

Jeanette Winterson, The King of Capri, Bloomsbury Children's Book (New York, NY), 2003.

Michael Rosen, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2004.

Sidelights

Compared by knowledgeable critics to nineteenth-century children's book illustrator Arthur Rackham and praised as "one of the most luminous illustrators at work today" by an Economist reviewer describing her work for Vikram Seth's Arion and the Dolphin, Jane Ray has contributed illustrations to the work of authors such as Oscar Wilde, Jeanette Winterson, Margaret Mayo, and Berlie Doherty, while also producing detailed illustrations for her own renditions of classic fairy tales and favorite Biblical passages. Commenting on Ray's contributions to Winterson's whimsical tale about a gluttonous king in The King of Capri, a Publishers Weekly reviewer maintained that Ray's "by turns magical and exotic" collage paintings mesh perfectly with "the story's overall distinctive tone," and that "the Isle of Capri and bay of Naples have rarely looked so inviting."

In enhancing Mary Hoffman's 1995 picture book Earth, Fire, Water, Air, Ray creates folk-art-inspired paintings to enhance Hoffman's text about the way cultures identify people based on similarities with the four natural elements. "Ray's paintings magnificently enhance Hoffman's message with delicate details" and "intense colors," noted Booklist contributor Susan Dove Lempke, adding that the illustrator's use of metallic gold adds drama to her work. Ray and Hoffman also teamed up for a companion volume, Sun, Moon, and Stars, in which the illustrator "offers a varied tapestry of dreamlike images that combine elements of fantasy with intricate folk art borders and motifs," according to a Publishers Weekly critic. Ilene Cooper cited Sun, Moon, and Stars in Booklist as "a particularly handsome piece of bookmaking that will spark imaginations." Also reflecting a variety of cultural origins, Ray's work for Margaret Mayo's Mythical Birds and Beasts from Many Lands consists of "imaginative full-page paintings" that "glow with rich colors and gold highlights," contributing to a book that Booklist contributor Carolyn Phelan praised as "lively and well crafted."

In a more fanciful vein, Ray retells the classic story The Twelve Dancing Princesses first collected by the Brothers Grimm in the nineteenth century. Praising the author/illustrator's "lavish, richly hued" paintings as "the grand stuff of fairy tale fantasy," a Publishers Weekly reviewer added that Ray's unique take on the traditional tale "reads well as a timeless story of children's rebellion against strict parental rule." Also appreciative of Ray's "excellent retelling," Phelan added in Booklist that The Twelve Dancing Princesses is "a radiant edition of an old favorite."

"Drawing and painting have always been my lifeblood," Ray once told SATA. Believing that the role of a picture book is to "be worthwhile" and "add something to the 'sum of human knowledge,'" Ray works to create volumes that "make you want to go back and look again, to keep seeing something different and new every time you look. I want them to inspire, to be remembered in adult life," she explained. Creating several of her picture books while her own children were young was helpful to Ray; as she noted, "In the end, what appeals to the imagination, memory, fears, and pleasures of one child will leave another totally unmoved." Acknowledging the influence books can have on young, impressionable minds, she added: "I'm just very, very glad to be in the privileged position of being able to earn my living at the thing I love most of all!"

Biographical and Critical Sources

periodicals

Booklist, January 1, 1996, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Earth, Fire, Water, Air, p. 829; October 1, 1996, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, p. 351; May 1, 1997, Carolyn Phelan, review of Mythical Birds and Beasts from Many Lands, p. 1496; November 1, 1998, Ilene Cooper, review of Sun, Moon, and Stars, p. 486; November 15, 1999, Marta Segal, review of From a Distance, p. 630.

Economist, November 26, 1994, review of Arion and the Dolphin, p. 101.

Horn Book, September, 2001, review of The Bold Boy, p. 572.

Publishers Weekly, June 26, 1995, review of Arion and the Dolphin, p. 106; December 18, 1995, review of Earth, Fire, Water, Air, p. 54; September 23, 1996, review of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, p. 75; April 14, 1997, review of Mythical Birds and Beasts from Many Lands, p. 73; November 16, 1998, review of Sun, Moon, Stars, p. 73; November 1, 1999, review of From a Distance, p. 82; October 22, 2001, review of The Bold Boy, p. 75; August 11, 2003, review of The King of Capri, p. 279.

School Library Journal, October, 2000, Nina Lindsay, review of Fairy Tales, p. 182; January, 2002, Debbie Stewart, review of The Bold Boy, p. 97.*

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

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Ray, Jane 1960-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Ray, Jane 1960-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/ray-jane-1960

"Ray, Jane 1960-." Something About the Author. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/ray-jane-1960