DuBurke, Randy

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DuBurke, Randy

Personal

Born in Washington, GA; married Olivia Wolff; children: Sakai, Matthias. Education: New York Technical College, graduate.

Addresses

Home—Baslerstrasse 23, CH-4102 Binningen, Switzerland. E-mail[email protected]

Career

Illustrator, author, and animator. Manhattan Multi Media, advertising designer; commercial illustrator; animator for M.T.V.; illustrated comic books for DC Comics and Marvel for twelve years.

Awards, Honors

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award for illustration, 2003, for The Moon Ring; Children's Book of the Year, Bank Street College Children's Book Committee, 2006, and Florida State Award Masterlist, Florida Reading Association, 2006–07, both for Catching the Moon: The Story of a Young Girl's Baseball Dream.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

Hunter's Heart, Paradox Press (New York, NY), 1995.

The Moon Ring, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2002.

Little Mister, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2006.

ILLUSTRATOR

Olivia George, The Bravest Girls in the World, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2004.

Pam Pollack and Meg Belviso, Halloween Night on Shivermore Street, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2004.

Crystal Hubbard, Catching the Moon: The Story of a Young Girl's Baseball Dream, Lee & Low Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Andrew Helfer, Malcolm X: A Novel Graphic Biography, Hill & Wang (New York, NY), 2006.

Illustrations included in Forbidden Zone comic book, Volume 1, 1999.

Work in Progress

Illustrating Six o'Clock in San Francisco, by Cynthia Jaynes Omololu, for Clarion Books; illustrating Yummy by Greg Neri, for Lee & Low; Shanghai Basketball; writing and illustrating graphic novels.

Sidelights

A self-taught artist, Randy DuBurke was born in Georgia and lived in the Deep South with his grandparents until age four, when he moved north to New York City to live with his mother and father. Living with extended family, he learned to appreciate the longstanding tradition of southern storytelling, as well as a respect for nature. While DuBurke now lives in Switzerland, his childhood continues to influence his picture books for children, such as the award-winning The Moon Ring. In addition to children's books, DuBurke creates illustrations for comic books and graphic novels, and as a professional artist has designed, trading cards, advertising art, and even designed video animation for M.T.V.

In The Moon Ring DuBurke weaves a bit of Southern magic into his story of the adventures of a young African-American girl named Maxine one hot summer night. As the girl stares up into the night sky during the second full moon of the month, Maxine's grandmother explains that the "blue moon" means that magic is in the air. As the night deepens, a ring of silver falls from the moon and carries Maxine to far-away lands from the African savanna, to the coldest reaches of Antarctica, to bustling New York City streets. During her fantastic journey, Maxine is joined by animal characters that accompany her on her exploits: giraffes, seals, penguins, and others. When Maxine tires from her travels, she finds herself happily and safely nestled back at home.

In Publishers Weekly a reviewer commented that DuBurke's "magical" pen-and-ink art for The Moon Ring, colored with vivid acrylic paints, "combines an almost photographic realism with cartoon exaggeration" and "exude a giddy energy." Ellen Heath, writing in School Library Journal, also enjoyed the book, stating that the author/illustrator's "unusual and appealing" characters are the focus of DuBurke's "impressive illustrations." While noting that the characters' expressions are sometimes exaggerated, a Kirkus Reviews writer concluded of The Moon Ring that "the boundless energy and sheer playfulness of this debut will please young readers." In addition to creating art for his own book, DuBurke has also illustrated several picture books, including Catching the Moon: The Story of a Young Girl's Baseball Dream, by Crystal Hubbard, and Halloween Night on Shivermore Street, by Pam Pollack and Meg Belviso.

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2002, review of The Moon Ring, p. 1222.

Publishers Weekly, October 7, 2002, review of The Moon Ring, p. 71.

School Library Journal, December, 2002, Ellen Heath, review of The Moon Ring, p. 94.

ONLINE

Book Ideas Web site, http://www.bookideas.com/ (June 6, 2006), Marie Jones, review of The Moon Ring.

Chronicle Books Web site, http://www.chroniclebooks.com/ (June 6, 2006).

Lambiek.net, http://www.lambiek.net/ (June 6, 2006), "Randy DuBurke.

Lee & Low Books Web site, http://www.leeandlow.com/ (June 6, 2006).

Randy DuBurke Home Page, http://www.randyduburke.com (July 16, 2006).