Carter, David A. 1957–
Carter, David A. 1957–
Born March 4, 1957, in Salt Lake City, UT; son of H. Craig (a draftsperson) and Lavon (a homemaker; maiden name, Gill) Carter; married Noelle Lokvig (an illustrator and author), August 10, 1985; children: Molly, Emma. Education: Attended Utah State University. Hobbies and other interests: Skiing, travel, gardening, tennis.
Home and office—14009 Sheridan Ct., Auburn, CA 95603. E-mail—[email protected]
Graphic designer and advertising illustrator, c. late 1970s; Intervisual Communications, Inc., California, artist, paper engineer, and book designer until 1987; freelance author and illustrator of children's books, 1987–.
What's in My Pocket?, Putnam (New York, NY), 1989.
Surprise Party, Grosset & Dunlap (New York, NY), 1990.
(With Lynette Ruschak) Snack Attack: A Tasty Pop-Up Book, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1990.
Playful Pandas, National Geographic Society (Washington, DC), 1991.
In a Dark, Dark Wood, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1991, published as In a Dark, Dark Wood: An Old Tale with a New Twist, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2002.
Jingle Bugs, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1992.
Opposites, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1993.
Colors, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1993.
Counting, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1993.
I'm Shy, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1993.
(With Roger Smith) In and Out, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1993.
Says Who?, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1993.
(With James Diaz) The Elements of Pop-Up: A Pop-Up Book for Aspiring Paper Engineers, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1999.
Flapdoodle Dinosaurs: A Colorful Pop-Up Book, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2001.
Who Took the Cookie from the Cookie Jar?: Fun Flaps and Pop-Up Surprises, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.
Glitter Critters: David Carter's Pop-Up Book, Piggy Toes Press (Los Angeles, CA), 2003.
(With James Diaz) Let's Make It Pop-Up, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2004.
One Red Dot, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2005.
Woof! Woof!, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2006.
Blue 2, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2006.
SELF-ILLUSTRATED; "BUGS" SERIES
How Many Bugs in a Box?, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1988.
More Bugs in Boxes, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1990.
Alpha Bugs, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1994.
Love Bugs, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1995.
Feely Bugs, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1995, published in a reduced size edition, 2005.
Bugs in Space, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1997.
Finger Bugs Love Bug, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1997.
Bugs at Play, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1997.
Bugs at Work, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1997.
Busy Bugs, Lazy Bugs, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1997.
Bugs on the Go, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1997.
Stinky Bugs, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1998.
Bed Bugs: A Pop-Up Bedtime Book, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1998.
The Twelve Bugs of Christmas: A Pop-Up Christmas Counting Book, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1999.
Giggle Bugs: A Lift-and-Laugh Book, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1999.
Easter Bugs: A Springtime Pop-Up, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2001.
Chanukah Bugs: A Pop-Up Celebration, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2002.
Peekaboo Bugs: A Hide-and-Seek Book, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2002.
Halloween Bugs: A Trick-or-Treat Pop-Up, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2003.
AND ILLUSTRATOR, WITH WIFE, NOELLE CARTER
I'm a Little Mouse, Holt (New York, NY), 1990.
Merry Christmas, Little Mouse: A Scratch-the-Scent and Lift-the-Flap Book, Holt (New York, NY), 1993.
Peek-a-Boo Little Mouse: A Pat & Play Lift-the-Flap Book, Holt (New York, NY), 1993.
The Nutcracker: A Pop-Up Adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffman's Original Tale, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2000.
Little Mouse's Christmas, Piggy Toes Press (Los Angeles, CA), 2003.
ILLUSTRATOR, DESIGNER, AND/OR PAPER ENGINEER
(With Dick Dudley) Joan Knight, Journey to Egypt, illustrated by Piero Ventura, Viking Kestrel (New York, NY), 1986.
Peter Seymour, Sleeping Beauty, illustrated by John Wallner, Viking Penguin (New York, NY), 1987.
Peter Seymour, The Three Little Pigs, illustrated by John Wallner, Viking Penguin (New York, NY), 1987.
Jannat Messenger, Lullaby and Goodnight: A Bedtime Book with Music, Aladdin Books (New York, NY), 1988.
Peter Seymour, How Things Are Made, illustrated by Linda Griffith, E.P. Dutton (New York, NY), 1988.
Seymour Simon, How to Be an Ocean Scientist in Your Own Home, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1988.
Peter Seymour, What's in the Jungle?, Holt (New York, NY), 1988.
Peter Seymour, If Pigs Could Fly, Child's Play, 1988.
Tony Ross, The Pop-Up Book of Nonsense Verse, Random House (New York, NY), 1989.
Karen E. Lotz, The First Christmas: With Four Classic Nativity Ornaments, illustrated by Joyce Patti, Dutton Children's Books (New York, NY), 1990.
Peter Seymour, What's in the Prehistoric Forest?, Holt (New York, NY), 1990.
Peter Seymour, What's in the Deep Blue Sea?, Holt (New York, NY), 1990.
Olive A. Wadsworth, Over in the Meadow: An Old Counting Rhyme, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1992.
Peter Seymour, What's in the Cave?, Holt (New York, NY), 1995.
Grace Maccarone, Cars, Cars, Cars, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1995.
Peter Seymour, What's at the Beach?, Holt (New York, NY), 1995.
Sarah Weeks, Noodles: A Pop-Up Book, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.
Mary Serfozo, There's a Square: A Book about Shapes, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1996.
(With David Pelham) Michael Foreman, Ben's Box: A Pop-Up Fantasy, Piggy Toes Press (Kansas City, MO), 1997.
Deborah Nourse Lattimore, I Wonder What's under There?: A Brief History of Underwear, Browndeer Press (San Diego, CA), 1998.
Alan Benjamin, Curious Critters: A Pop-Up Menagerie, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1998.
Sarah Weeks, Who's under My Hat?, Harcourt (New York, NY), 2005.
Sarah Weeks, Ruff! Ruff! Where's Scruff?, Harcourt (New York, NY), 2006.
David A. Carter is the author or illustrator of several dozen pop-up books for young children, several written with his wife, author and illustrator Noelle Carter. His works have won praise for their clever tactile surfaces and appealing shapes and colors. As Carter once told SATA: "I am often asked by children where I get my ideas for books. I have spent many hours contemplating this question and I still do not have the answer." As a child, Carter recalled, "I would play outside all day, spending hours on end in the fields around my home, lifting up rocks and boards in search of bugs. It was always very exciting to lift up the rocks because I never knew what I would find…. Lifting something to find a bug was one of my greatest thrills as a child and that is exactly what I had created, unconsciously, in How Many Bugs in a Box?"
How Many Bugs in a Box? is one of many titles by Carter that uses insects as a theme to enchant preschoolers. This debut was published in 1987, the same year Carter left his publishing job to become a freelance writer, illustrator, and paper engineer. How Many Bugs in a Box? is a counting lesson, with successive page spreads depicting a different type and number of insects, such as "seven space bugs." A Publishers Weekly reviewer found it rich in "startlingly bright illustrations" that might easily entice young readers.
After working or collaborating on several other books, Carter returned to the insect world with the 1990 title More Bugs in Boxes. Here, he presents a series of questions that lead young readers into guessing the contents of each box. The bugs revealed are, like the pages themselves, drawn in vivid colors and also boast interesting textures; spitfire flies are silvery, for instance, while basketball bugs possess a rubbery texture. Anne Connor, reviewing the book for School Library Journal, called More Bugs in Boxes an "engineering feat" with "sometimes amazing effects."
Carter's "Bugs" books have been among his most popular titles, and they range in theme from holidays to activities and games to jokes. In Giggle Bugs: A Lift-and-Laugh Book readers must pull open flaps to reveal "punchlines to fifty-eight bug-related jokes," according to a reviewer for Publishers Weekly. The Twelve Bugs of Christmas: A Pop-Up Christmas Counting Book parodies the traditional holiday carol; there are boxes to unwrap on each spread and "inside each box is a new bug surprise," wrote a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Using the same technique for Easter Bugs: A Springtime Pop-Up, Carter "conceal[s] his whimsical 'bugs' behind Easter egg-shaped flaps." Chanukah Bugs: A Pop-Up Celebration features creatures hiding in dreidels and
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among the latke, "combining humor with handsome graphics" according to Susan Patron in School Library Journal.
Carter has also won praise for other works that play upon children's fascination with the animal kingdom. His 1989 book for preschoolers, What's in My Pocket?, employs a series of five animals whose heads pop up as the pages are turned. His text poses questions that lead the reader to open another flap on each page, a pocket for the creature that, when lifted, shows what the animal's favorite food is: the rabbit has a carrot, the mouse hides cheese, and so forth. A reviewer for Junior Bookshelf found that "the animals have distinctive characters" and, "altogether, there are many things to notice and plenty of movement" in What's in My Pocket? Reviewing the work for Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Zena Sutherland admired Carter's talent for "nice composition and bright color in pictures with no clutter."
Flapdoodle Dinosaurs: A Colorful Pop-Up Book finds members of the early animal kingdom popping up in a modern setting. Shrunk to small enough so that they fit into pickle jars or loaves of bread, all the dinosaurs are hidden behind flaps to pop out at young readers. A Publishers Weekly critic found the book to be "just plain fun." Who Put the Cookie in the Cookie Jar? uses the same technique, though this one hides miniature thieves in large cookie jars, giving the traditional rhyme "a new twist" according to a Publishers Weekly critic.
Working to create new and different "kinetic sculpture," Carter designed and created One Red Dot, telling an interviewer for the Powells Books Web site: "With this book, I want you to touch the art." A combination counting book and seek-and-find game, One Red Dot reveals paper sculptures with a different number of features on each page, as well as one red dot hidden somewhere on each sculpture. The "graphically bold pop-up book … entices readers" to hunt for the single red dot, according to Lisa Gangemi Krapp in School Library Journal. Bao Ong, writing in Newsweek, reported that the book is designed for "children of all ages," and Lolly Robinson wrote in Horn Book that many adult "pop-up aficionados" will appreciate the abstract designs. Robinson also felt that with One Red Dot, "Carter pulls out all the stops in a veritable catalog of paper-engineering effects."
Along with pop-up sculptures and lift-the-flap puzzles, Carter has created Woof! Woof!, a guessing-game book featuring die-cut holes for readers to feel as well as look at. At the beginning of the book, the shapes have little meaning, but by the end the geometric patterns have become dogs. "The graphical simplicity combines with the touch-and-feel feature to create a perfectly delightful interactive mystery," wrote a contributor to Kirkus Reviews.
With his wife, author and illustrator Noelle Carter, Carter has also created titles such as I'm a Little Mouse. This story centers on a young mouse who has become lost; he then goes about introducing himself to other animals by explaining that he has fuzzy gray fur and a long tail. In response, the other creatures describe their unique characteristics to him, such as "slippery shiny skin" or "long shaggy hair." Carter creates unusual simulations of such textured surfaces, thus reinforcing his story's text. "Preschoolers will want to touch the mouse and his perky pals again and again," wrote a reviewer for Publishers Weekly.
In addition to his solo works, Carter has also collaborated with other authors, such as Mary Serfozo, with whom he created 1996's There's a Square: A Book about Shapes, and Peter Seymour, with whom Carter has worked for several years. One of Seymour and Carter's joint efforts, What's in the Deep Blue Sea?, offers an unusual strategy: a young tiger stalks through the jungle on his way to the water, where he looks down to see a pair of whiskers, much like his own, appraising him. Throughout the pages, animals hide behind lift-up flaps, and like many books in the pop-up genre, the story's grand finale is designed to electrify young imaginations. In a review of What's in the Deep Blue Sea? a Publishers Weekly contributor called Carter's images "luxuriant" and commended "the use of dark, saturant color and dry over dry painting to create stunning spreads."
James Diaz and Carter collaborated on a nonfiction instructional book for young artists on designing pop-up art. The Elements of Pop-Up: A Pop-Up Book for Aspiring Paper Engineers "is more than a how-to manual on pop-ups," according to Lolly Robinson in a review of the work for Horn Book. Robinson noted that the authors describe "the geometry and physics of paper engineering" and the math concepts used in their creation, "explaining the usefulness of kinetic energy." Featuring
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the art of both creators, The Elements of Pop-up is as much about science as it is about art, and also provides a section on the history of pop-up books. The pair have continued their educational series with Let's Make It Pop-Up.
As Carter once told SATA, while he "cannot explain the creative process" that produces his books, the "link between my childhood curiosities and thrills and my books has something to do with where my ideas come from. My goal in creating a book is to engage this natural curiosity, to entertain with surprise and silliness and whenever possible to educate, because for me the end result of curiosity is learning.
"The term interactive has become popular in reference to computer software. Pop-up books are also interactive; of course to a big kid like myself the term interactive is nothing more than a big word for play. I believe children learn by playing. One of the things that I like most about pop-up books is that a child who may not be reading yet can interact, or play, with the book. My hope is that this will draw the young reader into the book and hopefully into reading in general.
"If my books can entertain and excite a child who is not a reader, and draw him or her into books and reading, then I have accomplished my goal."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, January 15, 1995, p. 937; December 15, 1999, Ilene Cooper, review of The Elements of Pop-Up: A Pop-Up Book for Aspiring Paper Engineers, p. 786; December 1, 2000, review of The Nutcracker: A Pop-Up Adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffman's Original Tale, p. 728.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 1989, Zena Sutherland, review of What's in My Pocket?, p. 30; January, 1992, p. 120.
Horn Book, January, 2000, Lolly Robinson, review of The Elements of Pop-Up, p. 94; November-December, 2005, Lolly Robinson, review of One Red Dot, p. 703.
Junior Bookshelf, February, 1990, review of What's in My Pocket?, p. 23.
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2005, review of One Red Dot, p. 1023; February 1, 2006, review of Woof! Woof!, p. 129.
Newsweek, September 26, 2005, Bao Ong, "Pop Culture Phenomenon," p. 9.
Publishers Weekly, December 11, 1987, review of How Many Bugs in a Box?, p. 62; October 12, 1990, review of What's in the Deep Blue Sea?, p. 62; January 11, 1991, review of I'm a Little Mouse, p. 100; January 15, 1996, p. 461; May 25, 1998, p. 92; December 21, 1998, review of Stinky Bugs, p. 69; July 5, 1999, "Naturally Interactive," p. 73; September 27, 1999, review of The Twelve Bugs of Christmas, p. 54; September 25, 2000, review of The Nutcracker, p. 76; February 19, 2001, review of Easter Bugs, p. 63; December 17, 2001, review of Flapdoodle Dinosaurs, p. 93; August 12, 2002, "Otherworldly Tips," p. 302; March 1, 2004, "Pop (up) Culture," p. 71.
School Library Journal, August, 1990, Anne Connor, review of More Bugs in a Box, p. 126; February, 1991, p. 74; December, 1995, p. 85; October, 2002, review of Chanukah Bugs, p. 58; November, 2005, Lisa Gangemi Krapp, review of One Red Dot, p. 89.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), February 26, 2006, Mary Harris Russell, review of Woof! Woof!, p. 7.
Harcourt Trade Publishers Web site, http://www.harcourtbooks.com/ (April 26, 2006), profile of and interview with Carter.
Powells Books Web site, http://www.powells.com/ (August 26, 2006), interview with Carter.
"Carter, David A. 1957–." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 19, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/carter-david-1957
"Carter, David A. 1957–." Something About the Author. . Retrieved November 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/carter-david-1957
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