Frost, Jonathan 1949-
FROST, Jonathan 1949-
Home—14 Belmont Ave., Camden, ME 04843.
Artist, illustrator, and author. Manager of a commercial art gallery and teacher of painting and etching.
Gowanus Dogs (children's book), Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (New York, NY), 1999.
Jonathan Frost was born and raised in Ohio, where he studied art from a young age. He was determined to be an artist when he was in junior high school and took classes at the College of Art and Design in Columbus. After earning a degree in philosophy from Dartmouth College, Frost moved to Cornish, New Hampshire, intending to work full time as an artist, but he was unable to stick to his plan. As he told Heather Vogel Frederick in an interview with Publishers Weekly, "I had no idea what it took in terms of discipline."
At the age of forty, Frost decided to dust off his dreams of being a professional artist. He attended a graduate program in illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where a friend introduced him to Frances Foster at Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Foster liked some of Frost's etchings of wild dogs near a waterway in Brooklyn, and asked him to come up with a story to accompany them. Frost's children's book, Gowanus Dogs, was the end result.
Reviewers have praised Frost, both for his heartwarming story and for the gritty landscapes evoked by his black-and-white illustrations, though not all of them believe the two always mesh. A contributor for Kirkus Review remarked of Frost's art that it depicts a "dingy realism that evokes neither the puppies' exuberance nor the … happy ending." Booklist reviewer Hazel Rochman called the book "a story of kindness and grace," and a Publishers Weekly contributor said it was a "visually arresting tale." In a piece for the New York Times Book Review, Anne Raver wrote that "Gowanus Dogs invites readers, of any age, to enter the life of the homeless, without judgment … and without callousness."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 15, 1999, Hazel Rochman, review of Gowanus Dogs, p. 1534.
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 1999, review of Gowanus Dogs, p. 299.
New York Times Book Review, June 20, 1999, Anne Raver, review of Gowanus Dogs, p. 20.
Publishers Weekly, April 19, 1999, review of Gowanus Dogs, p. 73; June 28, 1999, Heather Vogel Frederick, "Jonathan Frost" (interview), p. 26.
School Library Journal, June, 1999, Alicia Eames, review of Gowanus Dogs, p. 94.
Illustart.com,http://www.illustart.com/ (August 30, 2004), "Jonathan Frost."*