Talbott, Hudson 1949-
TALBOTT, Hudson 1949-
PERSONAL: Born July 11, 1949, in Louisville, KY; son of Peyton (a mortgage loan officer) and Mildred (a dress shop manager; maiden name, Pence) Talbott. Education: Attended University of Cincinnati; received B.F.A. from Temple University. Politics: "Registered Democrat." Religion: Siddha yoga.
CAREER: Freelance illustrator, New York, NY, 1974—. Clients include Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Opera Guild, Bloomingdale's Department Store, Harper & Row and Crown publishers, Paper Moon Graphics, and Ruby Street, Inc. Member of board of directors of Art Awareness (a nonprofit arts-presenting organization), Lexington, NY.
MEMBER: Society of Children's Book Writers.
AWARDS, HONORS: Kentucky Bluegrass Award nomination, 2002-03, Readers Choice Award nomination, Michigan Reading Association, 2003, William Allen White Award nomination, 2003, American Library Association's Book Picks, 2002, Notable Children's Books List, Association for Library Service to Children, and Honor List, Voice of Youth Advocates Nonfiction, all for Leonardo's Horse.
How to Show Grown-Ups the Museum, Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), 1986.
The Lady at Liberty: Memoirs of a Monument, Avon (New York, NY), 1986.
We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, Crown (New York, NY), 1987.
(Illustrator) Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, Into the Woods, Crown (New York, NY), 1988.
Going Hollywood: A Dinosaur's Dream, Crown (New York, NY), 1989.
King Arthur: The Sword in the Stone, Morrow (New York, NY), 1991.
Your Pet Dinosaur: An Owner's Manual, Morrow (New York, NY), 1992.
Excalibur, Morrow (New York, NY), 1996.
(With Mark Greenberg) Amazon Diary: The JungleAdventures of Alex Winters, Putnam (New York, NY), 1996.
Lancelot, Morrow (New York, NY), 1999.
O'Sullivan Stew: A Tale Cooked Up in Ireland, Putnam (New York, NY), 1999.
Forging Freedom: A True Story of Heroism during theHolocaust, Putnam (New York, NY), 2000.
(Illustrator) Jan Fritz, Leonardo's Horse, Putnam (New York, NY), 2001.
Safari Journal: The Adventures in Africa of CareyMonroe, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 2003.
(Illustrator) Jan Fritz, The Lost Colony of Roanoke, Putnam (New York, NY), 2004.
ADAPTATIONS: We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story was adapted as an animated film by Steven Spielberg in 1993.
SIDELIGHTS: Hudson Talbott's self-illustrated books for children range from adventures among the dinosaurs to recountings of the stories of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table to a young man's exploits against the Nazis in occupied Holland.
In We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, Going Hollywood: A Dinosaur's Dream, and Your Pet Dinosaur: An Owner's Manual, Talbott introduces Dr. Rex, a talking Tyrannosaurus, and his dinosaur friends whose adventures, according to Steve Daly in Entertainment Weekly, have "style, invention, and energized wit." In one adventure, for example, the dinosaurs disrupt the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and must hide away by disguising themselves as exhibits at the natural history museum. In Your Pet Dinosaur, Dr. Rex presents his advice for those wishing to buy and raise a dinosaur of their own. His often humorous advice—"-Housebreaking often lives up to its name"—is delivered in a serious tone. A critic for Publishers Weekly remarked that "this mock manual's corniness and deadpan delivery are frequently funny." In 1993, Steven Spielberg adapted Talbott's We're Back! as an animated film.
In a series of four books, Talbott has recounted the legendary adventures of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. King Arthur: The Sword in the Stone retells the story of how Arthur became king of England by pulling a magical sword from its resting place within a stone. A Publishers Weekly reviewer believed that, in Talbott's version, "Arthur's feat of removing the famous sword from the stone on Christmas Day is not merely preserved but heightened." King Arthur and the Round Table finds the young king assembling his knights dedicated to the betterment of England, while in Excalibur Arthur battles King Pellinore and gains the magic sword Excalibur. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly especially praised Talbott's illustrations for his tale, noting that "the intriguingly misty landscapes lend the classic story an air of mystery." According to Karen Morgan in Booklist, many readers "will relish Talbott's abundant detailing of bloody battles or enjoy the story for its fantasy and drama." Lancelot traces the story of Arthur's most famous knight from his childhood as an orphan to his arrival at King Arthur's court.
Talbott turned to recent history to write his Forging Freedom: A True Story of Heroism during the Holocaust, a story based on the real-life adventures of a friend who lived through World War II. Jaap Penraat was a young man when the Nazis invaded Holland and began a persecution of the Jewish population in Amsterdam. Jaap, a trained artist, worked secretly forging identity documents for his Jewish friends so they could leave the country safely. Some 400 people were saved in this manner. A Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote that Talbott "overcomes a mildly strained narrative by virtue of his freshly conceived and powerfully rendered paintings." Kathleen Isaacs in School Library Journal called Forging Freedom a "compelling biography," while a reviewer for Horn Book claimed that "exciting graphics and adventurous doings make this Holocaust memoir (based on the story of a friend of the author) stand out in a genre that tends toward the sober and contemplative."
Talbott once told CA: "I came into book authorship through my artwork. David Allender, an editor at Crown Publishers, saw my art on a calendar and called to ask if I would be interested in writing and illustrating a book. Although I'm still principally a visually-oriented person, I am very excited by the new challenge of exploring the verbal portion of my creativity."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 15, 1996, Karen Morgan, review of Excalibur, p. 585; February 1, 1999, Kay Weisman, review of O'Sullivan Stew: A Tale Cooked Up in Ireland, p. 983; July, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of Forging Freedom: A True Story of Heroism during the Holocaust, p. 2026; October 15, 2001, Carolyn Phelan, review of Leonardo's Horse, p. 394.
Entertainment Weekly, December 10, 1993, Steve Daly, "Going Hollywood: A Dinosaur's Dream," p. 86.
Horn Book, January, 2001, review of Forging Freedom, p. 119; September, 2001, review of Leonardo's Horse, p. 609.
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2001, review of Leonardo's Horse, p. 1357; April 1, 2003, review of Safari Journal: The Adventures in Africa of Carey Monroe, p. 541.
Publishers Weekly, October 18, 1991, review of KingArthur: The Sword in the Stone, p. 60; August 3, 1992, review of Your Pet Dinosaur: An Owner's Manual, p. 72; July 22, 1996, review of Excalibur, p. 240; August 12, 1996, review of Amazon Diary: The Jungle Adventures of Alex Winters, p. 83; January 11, 1999, review of O'Sullivan Stew, p. 72; September 13, 1999, review of Lancelot, p. 85; October 23, 2000, review of Forging Freedom, p. 77; January 1, 2001, review of O'Sullivan Stew, p. 94.
School Arts, February, 2002, Ken Marantz, review of Leonardo's Horse, p. 56.
School Library Journal, November, 2000, review of Forging Freedom, p. 176; April, 2003, Genevieve Gallagher, review of Safari Journal, p. 169.
Hudson Talbott's Home Page,http://www.hudsontalbott.com/ (October 28, 2002).*