Carrick, Paul 1972-

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Carrick, Paul 1972-


Born May 2, 1972, in Martha's Vineyard, MA; son of Donald (an illustrator) and Carol (a writer) Carrick. Education: Rhode Island School of Design, B.F.A., 1994. Hobbies and other interests: Motorcycling, war-gaming, hiking.


Home and office—P.O. Box 15281, Boston, MA 02215. E-mail—[email protected].


Illustrator. Contributor of illustrations to game companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Chaosium, Five Rings, Alderac, Precedence, Z-Man Games, Mind Ventures, XID Creative, Green Knight, Atlas Games, and Eclipse Studios. Illustrator for role-playing and card games, including Dungeons and Dragons, Call of Cthulu, Legend of the Five Rings (card game), and Wheel of Time (card game).



Watch out for Wolfgang!, Charlesbridge (Watertown, MA), 2009.


Carol Carrick, Mothers Are like That, Clarion (New York, NY), 2000.

(With Bruce Shillinglaw) Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld, Dinosaur Parents, Dinosaur Young: Uncovering the Mystery of Dinosaur Families, Clarion (New York, NY), 2001.

Carol Carrick, The Polar Bears Are Hungry, Clarion (New York, NY), 2002.

Anastasia Suen, Wired, Charlesbridge (Watertown, MA), 2007.


Paul Carrick grew up on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, in a creative family. His mother, Carol Carrick, has written more than fifty books, many of them illustrated by her husband, Donald Carrick, and some featuring a young boy named Paul. Because Martha's Vineyard was primarily a summer resort while Carrick was growing up, most of the year there was little going on and Carrick developed an interest in art and role-playing games. While attending the Rhode Island School of Design, he struggled to get his professors to appreciate his work in the fantasy art genre. "It took the full four years to earn the respect from some of the teachers," he recalled on his home page. "Some felt this type of art in no way could be sophisticated." After completing his degree, Carrick traveled to GenCon, one of the largest conventions for fantasy role-playing games in the United States, where he made contacts with several publishers. Beginning in 1993, he became an illustrator for such well-known role-playing games as Dungeons and Dragons and Call of Cthulu, as well as creating art for collectable card games.

In addition to illustrating texts by various authors, Carrick has also tried his hand at writing. He is the author and illustrator for Watch out for Wolfgang! After the death of his father, Carrick and his mother teamed up on Carrick's first illustrated picture book, Mothers Are like That. Featuring "shadowy acrylic paintings," as GraceAnne A. DeCandido described them in Booklist, the books shows mothers of all sizes and species caring for their young. Carrick's illustrations "brim with child-appealing, close-up portraits," in the opinion of Horn Book critic Martha V. Parravano, and School Library Journal reviewer Marian Drabkin cited Carrick's use of "soft colors and gentle shadows." A Publishers Weekly

critic concluded of Mothers Are like That that the book marks the illustrator's "promising picture book debut with luminous, realistic acrylic art."

The mother-son team collaborates again on The Polar Bears Are Hungry. In what Carol L. MacKay called "breathtaking scenes" in her School Library Journal review, Carrick employs an interesting technique, "outlin[ing] his subjects in luminous electric blue" to emphasize the distinctive lighting of the Arctic environment. While a Kirkus Reviews contributor found some of Carrick's human characters to be "stiff," the reviewer concluded that the illustrations "capture the bears and seals perfectly." As Connie Fletcher wrote in Booklist, in The Polar Bears Are Hungry "acrylic paints portray the vibrant colors of the Arctic."

In addition to working with his mother, Carrick has also worked with other authors on creating books for young readers. Both Dinosaur Parents, Dinosaur Young: Uncovering the Mystery of Dinosaur Families and Wired feature science topics, the former focusing on paleontology and the latter introducing electrical concepts. In Horn Book commented on Carrick's illustrations for Dinosaur Parents, Dinosaur Young, describing them as "soft-focus artistic renditions of live dinosaurs." In Wired, featuring a text by Anastasia Suen, the artist's "acrylic mixed-media illustrations are informative, with clear labels to identify specific components," according to Steven Engelfried in School Library Journal.

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, March 15, 2000, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Mothers Are like That, p. 1386; April 15, 2001, Gillian Engberg, review of Dinosaur Parents, Dinosaur Young: Uncovering the Mystery of Dinosaur Families, p. 1549; October 15, 2002, Connie Fletcher, review of The Polar Bears Are Hungry, p. 410; August, 2007, Gillian Engberg, review of Wired, p. 72.

Horn Book, March, 2000, Martha V. Parravano, review of Mothers Are like That, p. 181; May, 2001, review of Dinosaur Parents, Dinosaur Young, p. 353.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2002, review of The Polar Bears Are Hungry, p. 1220.

Publishers Weekly, March 6, 2000, review of Mothers Are like That, p. 109.

School Library Journal, May, 2000, Marian Drabkin, review of Mothers Are like That, p. 132; July, 2001, Carolyn Angus, review of Dinosaur Parents, Dinosaur Young, p. 134; November, 2002, Carol L. MacKay, review of The Polar Bears Are Hungry, p. 142; July, 2007, Steven Engelfried, review of Wired, p. 95.

Science Books & Films, May, 2003, review of The Polar Bears Are Hungry, p. 101.


Paul Carrick Home Page, (October 27, 2008).