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Chapman, Gillian 1955-

Chapman, Gillian 1955-

PERSONAL:

Born April 18, 1955, in London, England. Ethnicity: "English." Education: Harrow School of Art, higher diploma in illustration, 1977.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Designer, illustrator, and writer of children's books. United Methodist Publishing House, Nashville, TN, illustrator of craft leaflets.

WRITINGS:

SELF-ILLUSTRATED CHILDREN'S BOOKS

My First Picture Dictionary, Ward Lock (London, England), 1985.

Little Bear Tales, Smithmark Publishers (Knoxville, TN), 1987.

(With Pam Robson) Making Books: A Step-by-Step Guide to Your Own Publishing, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1992.

Pop-up Cards and Other Amazing Things to Make, Simon & Schuster Young Books (New York, NY), 1992.

(With Pam Robson) Making Shaped Books: With Patterns, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1993.

(With Pam Robson) Making Maps and Mazes: A First Guide to Mapmaking, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1993.

The Noisy Jungle, Campbell Books (London, England), 1994.

Pretty Parrots, Campbell Books (London, England), 1994.

The Noisy Farmyard, Campbell Books (London, England), 1994.

Chirpy Chicks, Campbell Books (London, England), 1994.

(With Pam Robson) Art from Fabric: With Projects Using Rags, Old Clothing, and Remnants, Thomson Learning (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Pam Robson) Art from Paper: With Projects Using Waste Paper and Printed Materials, Thomson Learning (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Pam Robson) Art from Rocks and Shells: With Projects Using Pebbles, Feathers, Flotsam and Jetsam, Thomson Learning (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Pam Robson) Art from Wood: With Projects Using Branches, Leaves, and Seeds, Thomson Learning (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Pam Robson) Exploring Time, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1995.

(With Pam Robson) Making Masks for Children, Macdonald Young (Hove, England), 1996.

(With Pam Robson) Art from Sand and Earth: With Projects Using Clay, Plaster, and Natural Fibres, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1997.

(With Pam Robson) Art from Packaging: With Projects Using Cardboard, Plastics, Foil, and Tape, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1997.

The Aztecs, Heinemann Interactive Library (Des Plaines, IL), 1997.

The Egyptians, Heinemann Interactive Library (Des Plaines, IL), 1997.

The Greeks, Heinemann Interactive Library (Des Plaines, IL), 1998.

The Romans, Heinemann Interactive Library (Des Plaines, IL), 1998.

Spring, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1998.

Summer, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1998.

Autumn, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1998.

Winter, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1998.

The Vikings, Heinemann Interactive Library (Des Plaines, IL), 2000.

Art from the Past, Heinemann Interactive Library (Des Plaines, IL), 2000.

Santa's Workshop, Fernleigh Books (London, England), 2000.

Mice's Toy Box, Fernleigh Books (London, England), 2000.

Here Comes Christmas, Fernleigh Books (London, England), 2000.

Bible Make and Do: Craft Ideas Inspired by Stories from the Bible, four volumes, Barnabas (Oxford, England), 2003.

Christmas Make and Do, Concordia Publishing House (St. Louis, MO), 2004.

The Make and Do Bible: Reproducible Craft Ideas for Ages 6-12, Concordia Publishing House (St. Louis, MO), 2006.

Art from the Past, multiple volumes, Fernleigh Books (London, England), 2006.

Salvaged, multiple volumes, Hodder (London, England), 2006.

(With Pam Robson) Making Art with Rocks and Shells, PowerKids Press (New York, NY), 2007.

(With Pam Robson) Making Art with Fabric, PowerKids Press (New York, NY), 2008.

(With Pam Robson) Making Art with Packaging, PowerKids Press (New York, NY), 2008.

(With Pam Robson) Making Art with Paper, PowerKids Press (New York, NY), 2008.

(With Pam Robson) Making Art with Sand and Earth, PowerKids Press (New York, NY), 2008.

(With Pam Robson) Making Art with Wood, PowerKids Press (New York, NY), 2008.

Also author and illustrator of Easter Make and Do and Celebrations Make and Do, both Concordia Publishing House (St. Louis, MO); Mice's Christmas Box of Books, Mice's World of Christmas, Bear;s Advent Box, Penguin's Advent Box, and Elk's Advent Box, all part of "Advent Book Box" series, Fernleigh Books (London, England); The Creation and The Nativity, in "Touch and Feel" series; other self-illustrated children's books include How to Make a Christmas Crib, How to Make Noah's Ark; author and illustrator of book series, including "Bible Explorers."

ILLUSTRATOR:

Jean Kenward, Clutterby Hogg: The Story of a Wicked Pig, Warne (London, England), 1980.

Jane Fior, The Pet Show, Collins (London, England), 1981.

Jane Fior, The Toy Cupboard, Collins (London, England), 1981.

Kit Wright, Professor Potts Meets the Animals in Africa, Watts (London, England), 1981.

Peter Spence, Professor Potts Meets the Animals in Asia, Watts (London, England), 1981.

Peter Spence, Professor Potts Meets the Animals in North America, Watts (London, England), 1981.

Wendy Boase, Three Bears, Walker (London, England), 1983.

Wendy Boase, Three Little Pigs, Walker (London, England), 1983.

Dorothy Savage, The Black Peephole Book, Collins (London, England), 1986.

Dorothy Savage, The Green Peephole Book, Collins (London, England), 1986.

Dorothy Savage, The Red Peephole Book, Collins (London, England), 1986.

Myrna Daitz, Crafty Ideas for Parties, Exley (Watford, England), 1990.

Myrna Daitz, Crafty Ideas for Presents, Exley (Watford, England), 1990.

Myrna Daitz, Crafty Ideas from Junk, Exley (Watford, England), 1990.

Leena Lane, Jesus and His Friends, Bible Reading Fellowship (Oxford, England), 2004.

Leena Lane, Jesus Does Amazing Things!, Bible Reading Fellowship (Oxford, England), 2004.

Christopher Doyle, The Story of Jesus, Barnabas (Oxford, England), 2005.

Leena Lane, The Story of Joseph, Bible Reading Fellowship (Oxford, England), 2005.

Leena Lane, The Story of Moses, Bible Reading Fellowship (Oxford, England), 2005.

Leena Lane, My First Bible, Bible Reading Fellowship (Oxford, England), 2006.

Illustrator of Kidz Bible by Leena Lane; and "Animal Tales" written by Heather Henning, some of which were published in Gaelic.

SIDELIGHTS:

Gillian Chapman has written or collaborated on dozens of children's books that provide "how-to" instructions for a variety of craft projects. Often, Chapman's books delve into a particular theme—the ancient culture of the Aztecs, for instance, or wintertime celebrations around the world—and her illustrations and photographs show readers how to make relevant art projects, based on these cultures, from simple household materials.

For many years, Chapman illustrated children's books written by others; she had also built up a steady commercial client base for her images. One of the earliest works for which she received author credit was My First Picture Dictionary. The pages each contained a letter of the alphabet and offered Chapman's renderings of several common objects or animals that began with the particular letter. Though a rather simple format for the age group, Chapman tried to create interesting juxtapositions—a magician with mice, for instance, or a dolphin adjacent to a figure in diving gear. Margery Fisher, reviewing the work in Growing Point, mentioned its "lively illustrations and a splendid choice of subjects," which she believed added to the book's educational appeal.

Most of Chapman's other works, however, are geared toward elementary-age children. As she once commented: "My research for the first craft books led me into a number of schools and I asked Pam Robson, a primary teacher, to collaborate with me. The success of the series took us into many schools and libraries in England and Wales, where we showed both children and teachers how to make projects in our practical workshops." One of the first titles from this collaboration, which began in the early 1990s, was Making Books: A Step-by-Step Guide to Your Own Publishing. Here, the author0illustrator duo explain a bit about the history of bookmaking and bookbinding, discuss the different types of books—such as rag and pop-up—and describe the materials traditionally used. Their activity pages show readers how to sew and bind a work, through easy instructions, photographs, and Chapman's drawings.

Chapman and Robson also wrote Making Maps and Mazes: A First Guide to Mapmaking, which distinguishes the many different kinds of maps, such as grids, aerial views, and linear diagrams. The authors also explain, through the text and illustration, how these various kinds of guides are related to mazes and labyrinths. That same year, they also published Making Shaped Books: With Patterns, which prompted School Library Journal reviewer Melissa Gross to observe, "the layout is attractive and the illustrations are good-quality, full-color photographs." They also earned notice for Exploring Time, designed to help readers aged eight to ten move beyond telling time and into the realm of life spans, solar time, and lunar time. Charts, illustrations, and a glossary of new words enhance this work's educational value. "This attractively formatted title is a winner," wrote School Library Journal reviewer Susan Chmurynsky.

In Making Masks for Children, Chapman and Robson chronicle the history of masks in human civilization over the ages, and how they are still an integral part of ceremony and society in some parts of the world. They provide examples of different types of masks—a medieval helmet designed to protect, for instance, or a Japanese Noh mask used for traditional theater—and then show readers how to make their own versions. "The spreads are dominated by vividly colourful, sharply photographed masks," noted Kevin Steinberger in a Magpies review.

Chapman also wrote a series of "Seasonal Crafts" books. Directed at the early-elementary reader, books on autumn, winter, spring, and summer discuss each particular season's festivities in various parts of the world, and then include related craft projects. Another series, "Art from the Past," appeared around the same time. In The Egyptians, Chapman discusses the everyday and religious art of the ancient culture, and then shows how to make one's own version of scarab jewelry and other artifacts—even a catlike mummy. The Aztecs features projects for do-it-yourself mosaics, a textile, and a wheeled toy. All the learning activities, noted Marcia Hupp in a review of both titles for School Library Journal, "are attractive, often ambitious, and generally reflective of the culture."

Chapman won notice for The Greeks and The Romans, two other entrants in the "Art from the Past" series. Readers can learn how to craft papier-mâché pottery based on Greek urns, and even make a "Roman Ruin Desk Organizer" modeled after the Forum. After giving a brief history and art lesson about the particular culture, Chapman moves on to the craft projects, and includes safety tips and definitions of unfamiliar terms. "These titles offer sophisticated-looking crafts that children will want to try," observed Wendy Lukeheart in a review of both for School Library Journal.

Chapman once commented: "I enjoy all the aspects of my work. The different stages in the creative process are so diverse—from researching and developing projects and trying to make them fun, to illustrating how to make the projects, and finally organising the photo shoots of the finished craftwork. From my experience of working in schools and libraries with children of all ages and abilities I try to make all the practical projects achievable for the age group I'm working with.

"My husband and I moved from London to the Isle of Wight (just off the south coast of England) six years ago. We enjoy every aspect of our life here—we have a large garden, surrounded by beautiful countryside, close to the sea. My personal interests include gardening, photography, needlecrafts and many other craft activities that can be related to my professional work. I am also very interested in keeping up with information technology."

Chapman recently told CA: "I have written, illustrated, and designed craft projects for a number of Christian craft books. These include Bible Make and Do: Craft Ideas Inspired by Stories from the Bible, a series of four books showing children how to make simple craft projects relating to stories from the Bible. For example, the story of Daniel in the lion's den is linked to making a papier mâché lion's mask and Joseph's coat of many colors is brought to life by making a colorful patchwork coat wall hanging. How to Make a Christmas Crib and How to Make Noah's Ark show how to make a range of animals and figures from pipe cleaners, yarn, and fabric scraps. ‘Bible Explorers’ is a series of eight paperback books linking Old and New Testament stories about the prophets and the life of Jesus with fun activities and word games. ‘Animal Tales’ is a series of four board books with Christian themes, written by Heather Henning, that I have illustrated with paper collage pictures. ‘Touch and Feel’ is a series of two titles on the creation and the nativity, which use collage artwork and real textures to tell these Bible stories. I am also finishing a book called The Nativity, which shows how to make large, hand-held puppet characters to perform the Christmas story."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Growing Point, November, 1985, Margery Fisher, review of My First Picture Dictionary, pp. 4511-4512.

Internet Bookwatch, October, 2006, review of The Make and Do Bible: Reproducible Craft Ideas for Ages 6-12.

Junior Bookshelf, February, 1992, review of Making Books: A Step-by-Step Guide to Your Own Publishing, pp. 26-27.

Magpies, March, 1996, Kevin Steinberger, review of Making Masks for Children, pp. 41-42.

School Librarian, November, 1993, Frances Ball, review of Making Maps and Mazes: A First Guide to Mapmaking, p. 158; August, 1997, Joyce Banks, review of Autumn and Winter, p. 150.

School Library Journal, September, 1992, Susan H. Patron, review of Making Books, p. 265; March, 1993, Susan Chmurynsky, review of Exploring Time, p. 202; December, 1995, Melissa Gross, review of Making Shaped Books: With Patterns, p. 95; January, 1996, Susan Chmurynsky, review of Art from Fabric: With Projects Using Rags, Old Clothing, and Remnants, p. 116; March, 1998, Starr LaTronica, review of Autumn and Winter, p. 194; April, 1998, Marcia Hupp, review of The Aztecs and The Egyptians, p. 142; February, 1999, Wendy Lukeheart, review of The Greeks and The Romans, p. 114.

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