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Long, Loren 1966(?)-

Long, Loren 1966(?)-

Personal

Born c. 1966, in Joplin, MO; son of Bill Long; married Tracy Maines, 1993; children: Griffith, Graham. Education: University of Kentucky, B.A., 1987; graduate study at American Academy of Art (Chicago, IL). Hobbies and other interests: Baseball, kayaking.

Addresses

Office—P.O. Box 8377, West Chester, OH 45069.

Career

Gibson Greeting Cards, Cincinnati, OH, illustrator, 1988-92; freelance illustrator, beginning 1993. Northern Kentucky University, instructor in illustration. Exhibitions: Participant in group shows, including Centro Cultura Recolata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2001, and solo shows at Thurber House, Columbus, OH, 2004. Works included in permanent collections at Cincinnati Art Museum, U.S. Golf Association's Museum and Archives, and Sports Illustrated.

Awards, Honors

Two gold medals, Society of Illustrators; One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing citation, New York Public Library, and Golden Kite Award for Illustration, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, both 2003, both for I Dream of Trains by Angela Johnson; Cuffies Award, Publishers Weekly, 2007, for Toy Boat by Randall de Sève.

Writings

ILLUSTRATOR; FOR CHILDREN

Betsy Byars, Betsy Duffy, and Laurie Myers, My Dog, My Hero, Holt (New York, NY), 2000.

Gary D. Schmidt, The Wonders of Donal O'Donnell: A Folktale of Ireland, Holt (New York, NY), 2002.

Angela Johnson, I Dream of Trains, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2003.

Frances Ward Weller, The Day the Animals Came: A Story of Saint Francis Day, Philomel Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Madonna, Mr. Peabody's Apples, Callaway (New York, NY), 2003.

Walt Whitman, When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2004.

Watty Piper, reteller, The Little Engine That Could (new edition), Philomel (New York, NY), 2005.

Angela Johnson, Wind Flyers, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2007.

Frank McCourt, Angela and the Baby Jesus, Scribner (New York, NY), 2007.

Randall de Sève, Toy Boat, Philomel (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor of illustrations to numerous periodicals, including Time, Reader's Digest, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Atlantic Monthly, and Sports Illustrated.

"BARNSTORMERS; TALES OF THE TRAVELIN' NINE" NOVEL SERIES

(With Phil Bildner; and illustrator) Game One: Three Kids, a Mystery, and a Magic Baseball, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2007.

(With Phil Bildner; and illustrator) Game Two: Three Kids, a Letter, and Lots of Horsing Around, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2007.

(With Phil Bildner; and illustrator) Game Three: Three Kids, a Villain, and Great Balls of Fire, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2008.

ILLUSTRATOR; "TRUCKTOWN" PICTURE BOOK SERIES

(With David Gordon and David Shannon) Jon Scieszka, Snow Trucking!, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2008.

(With David Gordon and David Shannon) Jon Scieszka, Pete's Party, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2008.

(With David Gordon and David Shannon) Jon Scieszka, Zoom! Boom! Bully, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2008.

(With David Gordon and David Shannon) Jon Scieszka, Smash! Crash!, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2008.

(With David Gordon and David Shannon) Jon Scieszka, The Spooky Tire, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2009.

(With David Gordon and David Shannon) Jon Scieszka, The Big Noisy Book of Truckery Rhymes, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2009.

Sidelights

Although Loren Long was catapulted to worldwide fame when pop star Madonna selected him to illustrate her picture book Mr. Peabody's Apples, the Ohio-based artist has built a strong line of steady successes in the picture-book field. After attending art school, he worked as an illustrator at a greeting-card company while also honing his distinctive style through freelance assignments. "I'm drawn to the work of the great WPA [Works Progress Administration] muralists and American regionalists [of the 1930s] because there is a narrative quality to all their paintings. They were story tellers. That's why I like doing children's books," Long told Cincinnati Post interviewer Peggy Kreimer. In addition to his work for Madonna, Long has created illustrations for a variety of picture-book authors, including Jon Scieszka, Randall de Sève, and Angela Johnson, and has even produced new art for a childhood classic, Watty Piper's retelling of The Little Engine That Could. In 2007 Long paired illustration with writing by serving as coauthor alongside author Phil Bildner on the popular "Barnstormers" baseball-themed fantasy novels.

In fact, baseball is a theme that weaves its way throughout Long's body of work. In Mr. Peabody's Apples, for instance, Madonna's title character is a teacher who also serves as a Little League coach. One of his players, Tommy, notices that every week after the game, Mr. Peabody takes an apple from the local market without paying for it. Not knowing that the man pays for each apple in advance, the boy spreads the rumor that Mr. Peabody is a thief. To teach Tommy a lesson about the damage rumor-mongering can do, the coach asks the boy to bring his pillow to the baseball field. Then Mr. Peabody cuts it open and feathers fly everywhere. Asked by his coach to gather all the feathers back up, Tommy protests that this is impossible, whereupon he learns that the damage caused by a rumor is equally hard to undo. "Readers may be less than charmed by Mr. Peabody's self-righteous streak but Long's art is worth watching," a reviewer wrote in Publishers Weekly. In Salon.com, Emily Jenkins praised the book's "muscular, rubbery paintings," writing that Long's art reveals both "beautiful plays of light and a still, detailed beauty."

Other picture books featuring Long's art include Frances Ward Weller's The Day the Animals Came: A Story of St. Francis Day, Gary D. Schmidt's The Wonders of Donal O'Donnell: A Folktale of Ireland, and Frank McCourt's Angela and the Baby Jesus. In Booklist Ilene Cooper praised Long's work for the first-named title, which describes the Blessing of the Animals ceremony held annually at St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City. The book's "acrylic paintings soar as Long looks at goings-on from many different perspectives," the critic noted.

Writing about The Wonders of Donal O'Donnell in School Library Journal, Marie Orlando noted that Long's "richly colored" images "successfully enhance the mood" of the story, which starts out dark as O'Donnell and his wife Sorcha cut themselves off from the community and mourn the death of their son. On one particularly brutal winter night, Sorcha relents and takes in three travelers who ask to come in and warm themselves by her home's fire. In return, Donal O'Sheary, Donal O'Neary, and Donal O'Leary each tell a story (adapted by Schmidt from traditional Irish folklore) about a boy who goes to Fairy Land but then returns. As the night progresses, the O'Donnells realize that, while their son is gone, the stories they can tell about him will allow him to live on in their memories. Long's "somber" illustrations reflect the uplifting mood of the tale and "remind the reader of the darkened, candlelit atmosphere of the cottage," a critic commented in Kirkus Reviews.

Ireland is also the setting for Angela and the Baby Jesus, which takes place in Limerick, Ireland, in 1912. Although McCourt's story was intended for children, two illustrated versions of the book were published. Raul Colón created color illustrations for the children's version, while Long's interpretation of the story is more somber and his art more shadowed and suitable for general readers. In the story, a six-year-old girl sees the baby Jesus in a local parish church manger scene and decides that the Jesus figurine needs to be taken home and nestled up in a warm blanket.

In his artwork for Toy Boat by de Sève, Long inspires young readers while bringing to life the adventures of a homemade boat as it attempts to reunite with the young boy who made it. "Long's crisp acrylic illustrations … capture the drama" of the boat's adventure, wrote a Kirkus Reviews writer, while in Booklist Julie Cummins concluded that Toy Boat benefits from both "buoyant charm and imaginative artwork." In a story that takes to the air, Wind Flyers focuses on the Tuskegee Airmen and their bravery during World War II. "Long's acrylics beautifully extend the evocative words" of award-winning author Angela Johnson, noted Gillian Engberg in her Booklist review of Wind Flyers. Reviewing the same book for School Library Journal, John Peters wrote that Long's paintings, with their "misty look," "artfully evoke … that sense of remembered times" that is conjured up in Johnson's "lyrical … monologue." Long and Johnson also team up for I Dream of Trains, which finds a young farmer's son dreaming of riding the rails with the legendary engineer Casey Jones.

Working with fellow illustrators David Gordon and David Shannon, Long has also helped bring to life Scieszka's boy-friendly "Trucktown" beginning-readers series, which includes the books Snow Trucking!, Smash! Crash!, Zoom! Boom! Bully, and The Spooky Tire. Reviewing series installment Smash! Crash!, which finds an group of anthropomorphized big rigs staging their own demolition derby, School Library Journal contributor Lynn K. Vanca noted that the illustrators' "digital artwork adds plenty of personality" to Scieszka's diesel-powered protagonists "and perfectly suits the text." Dump Truck Dan and Jack Truck, the series' main characters, possess an "energy and zest [that] are perfectly captured by the trio of illustrators," concluded a Kirkus Reviews writer in reviewing another high-energy "Trucktown" installment.

In his first inning as coauthor, Long joined veteran writer Bildner to create the "Barnstormers" series of middle-grade novels. Planned as a sequence of six

books, the series takes place in 1899 as the three Payne siblings join a group of traveling baseball players in the wake of their father's death. When their Uncle Owen Payne gives the boys a damaged baseball that their father once made, the children realize that this is no ordinary memento. In Game One: Three Kids, a Mystery, and a Magic Baseball Griffith, Graham, and Ruby Payne discover the baseball's magic power, while a mystery surrounding the Travelin' Nine Baseball Team continues to deepen in Game Two: Three Kids, a Letter, and Lots of Horsing Around. "There is no question that both Long and Bildner love baseball," wrote Kim Dare in a School Library Journal review of the series opener, the critic going on to call Long's pencil illustrations "breathtaking." While noting that the novel's plot is somewhat confusing, a Kirkus Reviews writer commented of Game One that the book features "an interesting cast of characters and lots of action." The score improves in Game Two, wrote another reviewer for the same periodical while praising the second installment as "better organized, with more fully developed structure and characters." Game Three: Three Kids, a Villain, and Great Balls of Fire also benefits from Long's artistic contribution, "unique pen-and-ink illustrations [that] are at once detailed, exaggerated and compelling," according to yet another Kirkus Reviews writer.

Although he has provided illustrations for many adult publications, Long prefers to work in the picture-book field. "The process of making a children's book from start to finish is very fulfilling," he told Cincinnati Enquirer interviewer Marilyn Bauer. "It's a way to touch children and to have an impact on American culture in general."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Black Issues Book Review, July-August, 2003, Suzanne Rust, review of I Dream of Trains, p. 65.

Booklist, October 1, 2003, Ilene Cooper, review of The Day the Animals Came: A Story of Saint Francis Day, p. 335; November 15, 2003, Ilene Cooper, review of Mr. Peabody's Apples, p. 601; November 15, 2004, Jennifer Mattson, review of When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer, p. 585; September 1, 2005, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Little Engine That Could, p. 145; December 1, 2006, Gillian Engberg, review of Wind Flyers, p. 52; August, 2007, Julie Cummins, review of Toy Boat, p. 71; November 15, 2007, Hazel Rochman, review of Smash! Crash!, p. 51.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, November, 2003, Janice Del Negro, review of I Dream of Trains, p. 108; January, 2007, Elizabeth Bush, review of Wind Flyers, p. 219; April, 2007, Elizabeth Bush, review of Game One, p. 335.

Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, OH), November 9, 2003, Marilyn Bauer, interview with Long.

Cincinnati Post (Cincinnati, OH), November 8, 2003, Peggy Kreimer, interview with Long.

Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2002, review of The Wonders of Donal O'Donnell: A Folktale of Ireland, p. 1702; July 1, 2003, review of The Day the Animals Came, p. 916; September 1, 2003, review of I Dream of Trains, p. 1125; November 1, 2004, review of When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer, p. 1047; August 15, 2005, review of The Little Engine That Could, p. 920; December 15, 2006, review of Wind Flyers, p. 1269; February 1, 2007, review of Game One, p. 125; August 1, 2007, review of Toy Boat; December 15, 2007, review of "Trucktown" series; February 15, 2008, review of Three Kids, a Villain, and Great Balls of Fire.

Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, KY), February 7, 2004, Mary Meehan, interview with Long.

New York Times Book Review, November 16, 2003, Tony Hiss, review of I Dream of Trains, p. 24.

Publishers Weekly, November 4, 2002, review of The Wonders of Donal O'Donnell, p. 84; September 29, 2003, review of The Day the Animals Came, p. 62; November 17, 2003, John F. Baker, "Madonna Artist in Big Kids' Deal," p. 12; December 15, 2003, review of Mr. Peabody's Apples, p. 73.

School Library Journal, January, 2001, Pat Leach, review of My Dog, My Hero, p. 92; December, 2002, Marie Orlando, review of The Wonders of Donal O'Donnell, p. 129; November, 2003, Susan Scheps, review of The Day the Animals Came, p. 118; September, 2005, Roxanne Burg, review of The Little Engine That Could, p. 184; January, 2007, John Peters, review of Wind Flyers, p. 98; April, 2007, Kim Dare, review of Game One, p. 110; September, 2007, Susan Moorhead, review of Toy Boat, p. 161; January, 2008, Lynn K. Vanca, review of Smash! Crash!, p. 97.

ONLINE

Loren Long Home Page,http://www.lorenlong.com (March 21, 2008).

Salon.com,http://www.salon.com/ (November 14, 2003), Emily Jenkins, review of Mr. Peabody's Apples.

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"Long, Loren 1966(?)-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Long, Loren 1966(?)-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 11, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/long-loren-1966-0

"Long, Loren 1966(?)-." Something About the Author. . Retrieved December 11, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/long-loren-1966-0

Long, Loren 1966(?)-

LONG, Loren 1966(?)-

Personal

Born c. 1966, in Joplin, MO; son of Bill Long; married Tracy Maines, 1993; children: Griffith, Graham. Education: University of Kentucky, B.A., 1987; graduate study at the American Academy of Art (Chicago, IL). Hobbies and other interests: Baseball, kayaking.

Addresses

Home West Chester, OH. Agent Richard Solomon, 305 East 50th St., New York, NY 10022. E-mail loren@lorenlong.com.

Career

Gibson Greeting Cards, Cincinnati, OH, illustrator, 1988-92; freelance illustrator, 1993. Northern Kentucky University, instructor in illustration. Exhibitions: Participant in group shows, including Centro Cultura Recolata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2001, and solo shows, including Heading Home: Picture Books by Loren Long, Thurber House, Columbus, OH, 2004. Long's works are also held in the permanent collections of the Cincinnati Art Museum, U.S. Golf Association's Museum and Archives, and Sports Illustrated.

Awards, Honors

Recipient of two gold medals from the Society of Illustrators; One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing citation, New York Public Library, and Golden Kite Award for Illustration, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, both 2003, for I Dream of Trains.

Illustrator

Betsy Byars, Betsy Duffy, and Laurie Myers, My Dog, My Hero, Holt (New York, NY), 2000.

Gary D. Schmidt, The Wonders of Donal O'Donnell: A Folktale of Ireland, Holt (New York, NY), 2002.

Angela Johnson, I Dream of Trains, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2003.

Frances Ward Weller, The Day the Animals Came: A Story of Saint Francis Day, Philomel Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Madonna, Mr. Peabody's Apples, Callaway (New York, NY), 2003.

Walt Whitman, When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), in press.

Illustrations have appeared in numerous periodicals, including Time, Reader's Digest, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Atlantic Monthly, and Sports Illustrated.

Sidelights

Illustrator Loren Long was catapulted to worldwide fame when pop star Madonna selected him to illustrate a picture book she had written, but Long had been laying the foundation for that opportunity for many years. After attending art school, Long took a job as an illustrator at a greeting card company, and in the evenings, he worked on freelance illustrating jobs and continued to hone his distinctive style. "I'm drawn to the work of the great WPA [Works Progress Administration, a Depression-era program] muralists and American regionalists because there is a narrative quality to all their paintings. They were story tellers. That's why I like doing children's books," Long told Cincinnati Post interviewer Peggy Kreimer.

Madonna thought that this style was perfect for her tale of small-town life in 1949, and reviewers have generally noted that Long's illustrations are well-suited to the text. In Mr. Peabody's Apples, the eponymous Mr. Peabody is a teacher who also serves as a Little League coach. One of his players, Tommy, notices that every week after the game, Mr. Peabody takes an apple from the local market without paying and, not knowing that Mr. Peabody had been paying for the apples in advance, spreads the rumor that he is a thief. When Mr. Peabody finds out about this, he explains the situation, but then tries to teach Tommy a lesson about the damage that his rumor-mongering has done. He has Tommy bring his pillow to the baseball field and cuts it open. Feathers fly everywhere, and Mr. Peabody tells Tommy to go gather them all up. When Tommy protests that this is impossible, Mr. Peabody replies, "It would be just as impossible to undo the damage that you have done by spreading the rumor that I am a thief." "Readers may be less than charmed by Mr. Peabody's self-righteous streak but Long's art is worth watching," a reviewer wrote in Publishers Weekly. Salon.com contributor Emily Jenkins, who also objected to Mr. Peabody's harshness, nonetheless praised Long's "muscular, rubbery paintings [which] have beautiful plays of light and a still, detailed beauty."

Long has also illustrated several other books, including Frances Ward Weller's The Day the Animals Came: A Story of St. Francis Day and Gary D. Schmidt's The Wonders of Donal O'Donnell: A Folktale of Ireland. Booklist reviewer Ilene Cooper praised Long's work in the first book, about the Blessing of the Animals ceremony held annually at St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York, saying that "the acrylic paintings soar as Long looks at goings-on from many different perspectives."

Writing about The Wonders of Donal O'Donnell in School Library Journal, Marie Orlando noted that Long's "richly colored acrylic paintings successfully enhance the mood," which starts out dark, as Donal O'Donnell and his wife Sorcha cut themselves off from the community and mourn the death of their son. But on one particularly brutal winter night, Sorcha cannot bring herself to turn away three men who knock on the door and ask to come in and warm up. The three, Donal O'Sheary, Donal O'Neary, and Donal O'Leary, each tell a story (adapted by Schmidt from traditional Irish folklore) about a boy who goes to Fairy Land but then returns. As the night progresses, the O'Donnells learn to accept that their son is gone, but they begin to tell stories about him so that he can live on in their memories. Long's "somber" illustrations both reflect the mood and "remind the reader of the darkened, candlelit atmosphere of the cottage," a critic commented in Kirkus Reviews.

Although he has provided illustrations for many adult publications, Long says that in the future he plans to focus on picture books. "The process of making a children's book from start to finish is very fulfilling," he told Cincinnati Enquirer 's Marilyn Bauer. "It's a way to touch children and to have an impact on American culture in general."

Biographical and Critical Sources

BOOKS

Madonna, Mr. Peabody's Apples, illustrated by Loren Long, Callaway (New York, NY), 2003.

PERIODICALS

Black Issues Book Review, July-August, 2003, Suzanne Rust, review of I Dream of Trains, p. 65.

Booklist, October 1, 2003, Ilene Cooper, review of The Day the Animals Came: A Story of Saint Francis Day, p. 335; November 15, 2003, Ilene Cooper, review of Mr. Peabody's Apples, p. 601.

Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, OH), November 9, 2003, Marilyn Bauer, interview with Long.

Cincinnati Post (Cincinnati, OH), November 8, 2003, Peggy Kreimer, interview with Long.

Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2002, review of The Wonders of Donal O'Donnell: A Folktale of Ireland, p. 1702; July 1, 2003, review of The Day the Animals Came, p. 916.

Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, KY), February 7, 2004, Mary Meehan, interview with Long.

New York Times Book Review, November 16, 2003, Tony Hiss, review of I Dream of Trains, p. 24.

Publishers Weekly, November 4, 2002, review of The Wonders of Donal O'Donnell, p. 84; September 29, 2003, review of The Day the Animals Came, p. 62; November 17, 2003, John F. Baker, "Madonna Artist in Big Kids' Deal," p. 12; December 15, 2003, review of Mr. Peabody's Apples, p. 73.

School Library Journal, January, 2001, Pat Leach, review of My Dog, My Hero, p. 92; December, 2002, Marie Orlando, review of The Wonders of Donal O'Donnell, p. 129.

ONLINE

Loren Long Home Page, http://www.lorenlong.com/ (March 19, 2004).

Salon.com, http://www.salon.com/ (November 14, 2003), Emily Jenkins, review of Mr. Peabody's Apples.

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

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Long, Loren 1966(?)-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Long, Loren 1966(?)-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 11, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/long-loren-1966

"Long, Loren 1966(?)-." Something About the Author. . Retrieved December 11, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/long-loren-1966