DeSaix, Deborah Durland

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DeSaix, Deborah Durland

Personal

Born in Miami, FL; married George Inge IV (an artist). Education: University of North Carolina, B.A. (art); School of Visual Arts, M.F.A. (illustration).

Addresses

Home and office—Asheville, NC. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Author and illustrator. School of Visual Arts, New York, NY, former instructor in illustration.

Member

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Author's Guild, Author's League.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

In the Back Seat, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 1993.

Returning Nicholas, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Karen Gray Ruelle) Hidden on the Mountain: Stories of Children Sheltered from the Nazis in Le Chambon, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2007.

ILLUSTRATOR

Frank DeSaix, Hilary and the Lions, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 1990.

Frank DeSaix, The Girl Who Danced with Dolphins, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 1991.

Lisa Westberg Peters, Meg and Dad Discover Treasure in the Air, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 1995.

Nancy Taylor, reteller, Daniel and the Lions' Den, Time-Life for Children (Alexandria, VA), 1996.

Aileen Fisher, Know What I Saw?, Roaring Brook Press (New Milford, CT), 2005.

Karen Gray Ruelle, The Tree, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2009.

Sidelights

Deborah Durland DeSaix grew up in North Carolina and by age eight she knew she would become an artist. Studying art and illustration during her college years, she went on to contribute illustrations to several children's books. DeSaix has also illustrated several original children's stories, including Returning Nicholas and In the Back Seat. In 2007 she collaborated with writer Karen Gray Ruelle to coauthor Hidden on the Mountain: Stories of Children Sheltered from the Nazis in Le Chambon. DeSaix first met Ruelle when Ruelle enrolled in a class in illustration that she was teaching at New York City's School of Visual Arts. The two women have since worked together on a second children's book.

Hidden on the Mountain pairs a photo-essay with a nonfiction text that recounts the stories of the refugee children who took shelter in the mountains of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, France and were therefore protected from Holocaust atrocities. DeSaix and Ruelle tell the various and individual tales of the surviving children through interviews they reinterpret as first-person diary entries. Adding to the book's coverage of a complex period of history, the coauthors include maps, a chronology of events, and a bibliography including resources that will further inspire young researchers.

Several reviewers acknowledged the extensive research that DeSaix and Ruelle consulted and which contributed to the book's authenticity. In School Library Journal Rachel Kamin commented that Hidden on the Mountain serves as an "invaluable resource for Holocaust educators," and also noted that "many of the children's narratives would read beautifully out loud." Hazel Rochman, in her critique of the book for Booklist, deemed DeSaix and Ruelle's collaborative work an "inspiring photo-essay" that "tell[s] an amazing rescue story."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 1, 1993, Denia Hester, review of In the Back Seat, p. 67; September 15, 2005, Jennifer Mattson, review of Know What I Saw?, p. 72; December 1, 1995, April Judge, review of Meg and Dad Discover Treasure in the Air, p. 630; March 15, 2007, Hazel Rochman, review of Hidden on the Mountain: Stories of Children Sheltered from the Nazis in Le Chambon, p. 42.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September, 2007, Hope Morrison, review of Hidden on the Mountain, p. 16.

Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2005, review of Know What I Saw?, p. 734; April 1, 2007, review of Hidden on the Mountain.

Publishers Weekly, June 14, 1993, review of In the Back Seat, p. 69; October 30, 1995, review of Returning Nicholas, p. 61; September 2, 1996, review of Hilary and the Lions, p. 133.

School Library Journal, August, 1993, George Delalis, review of In the Back Seat, p. 140; January, 1996, Kate McClelland, review of Returning Nicholas, p. 77; January, 1996, Diane Nunn, review of Meg and Dad Discover Treasure in the Air, p. 92; September, 2005, Teresa Pfeifer, review of Know What I Saw?, p. 169; May, 2007, Rachel Kamin, review of Hidden on the Mountain, p. 152.

ONLINE

Children's Bookwatch Web site,http://www.midwestbookreview.com/ (October 1, 2005), review of Know What I Saw?

Hidden on the Mountain Web site,http://www.hiddenonthemountain.com/ (March 2, 2008), "Deborah Durland DeSaix."

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