Gordon, David 1965-

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Gordon, David 1965-


Born January 22, 1965, in CO. Education: Parsons School of Design, B.F.A.


Home and office—311 W. 84th St., Ste. 5F, New York, NY 10024. E-mail—[email protected]


Author, illustrator, and concept artist. Visual developer, character designer, art director, director, and layout director for films and television programs, including Robots, Cars, Monsters, Inc., A Bug's Life, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Frankenstein, Curious George, Spongebob Squarepants, Back to the Future, El Kabong, and Locomotion.

Awards, Honors

Broadcast Design Award Gold Medal, for El Kabong; Broadcast Design Award Bronze Medal, for Loco Rodeo.



The Ugly Truckling, Laura Geringer (New York, NY), 2004.

The Three Little Rigs, Laura Geringer (New York, NY), 2005.

Hansel and Diesel, Laura Geringer (New York, NY), 2006.

Smitten, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2006.


Laurie Halse Anderson, The Big Cheese of Third Street, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2002.

Mike Dawns, The Noisy Airplane Ride, Tricycle Press (Berkeley, CA), 2003.

K.C. Olson, Construction Countdown, Holt (New York, NY), 2004.

Susan K. Leigh, The Town That Forgot about Christmas, Concordia (St. Louis, MO), 2006.

Contributor of illustrations to Business Week, Entertainment Weekly, Forbes, Men's Journal, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.


Even readers unfamiliar with David Gordon's picture books know something of his art. Before becoming a picture-book author and illustrator, Gordon worked on animated films produced by Pixar Studios, among them Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., and Cars. His work, which ranges from design to direction, has also appeared on television programs such as Spongebob Squarepants. In 2002, Gordon turned his hand to book illustration, creating art for Laurie Halse Anderson's The Big Cheese of Third Street. He has continued on to illustrate picture books, and has also paired his art with original stories in Hansel and Diesel and The Three Little Rigs, among others.

The illustrations for The Big Cheese of Third Street are done in "a style mixing Marc Simont and Dan Yaccarino," according to a Kirkus Reviews contributor. A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented that "Gordon picks up on the [story's] sly humor and fills his sturdy, uncomplicated cityscapes with comic touches." Of his illustrations for Mike Downs' The Noisy Airplane Ride, Todd Morning wrote in Booklist that "Gordon's vibrant, computer-generated illustrations help expand the words into a story." In Construction Countdown "Gordon achieves painterly effects through his series of digital illustrations," wrote Carolyn Phelan in her Booklist review.

Gordon "peoples" his original stories for children with airplanes, tractors, trucks, and construction equipment, and they are featured in the recast fairy tales The Ugly Truckling, The Three Little Rigs, and Hansel and Diesel. In The Ugly Truckling a young vehicle does not understand why she feels so out of place in her truck family: she only has three wheels instead of four, and she also has a strange beam on each side of her body. At the end, the vehicle discovers that she actually belongs to an airplane family. Jennifer Mattson commented in Booklist on Gordon's "felicitous rhyme," adding that his illustrations give the baby vehicles "high-octane cuteness." Though critical of the text, Wanda Meyers-Hines praised Gordon's artwork in School Library Journal. "Ranging from gloriously colored landscapes to vivid close-ups of the characters, the artwork is colorful and appealing," Meyers-Hines noted. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote of the illustrations that they "will rev the engines of preschoolers obsessed with all things mechanical."

The Three Little Rigs features the youngsters of big rigs who are told to go out into the world to build garages. Instead of the wolf of the familiar "Little Pigs" saga, the danger in Gordon's story is the Big Bad Wrecking Ball. The author/illustrator "uses the familiar fairy tale as a framework to extol the virtues of teamwork," wrote a contributor to Kirkus Reviews. In Booklist, Jennifer Mattson remarked that the illustrations feature "headlights, bumpers, and rivets smoothly coalescing into expressive facial features," while Linda M. Kenton wrote in School Library Journal that Gordon's "accomplished artwork adds great drama to the story."

In Hansel and Diesel fuel runs low, prompting two young trucks to voyage deep into the junk yard, leaving behind them a trail of bolts to help them find their way home. They happen upon a brightly lit gas station, only to discover that the owner is a wicked winch. "Whether in a library or a bookstore, take the time to find this book," wrote a critic for Curled up with a Good Kids Book online. "The junkyard-as-forest is effectively rendered," noted Kathy Krasniewicz, the School Library Journal critic adding that children familiar with the original tale may miss the traditional ending; instead of Gretel coming to the rescue, the children's parents save the day in Gordon's book. "This story, though harrow- ing, applauds the ingenuity of youngsters and the embrace of a loving family," wrote a critic for Kirkus Reviews, and in Booklist Todd Morning concluded that "Gordon offers plenty for young children to look at and enjoy."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, December 1, 2001, Ilene Cooper, review of The Big Cheese of Third Street, p. 644; April 1, 2003, Todd Morning, review of The Noisy Airplane Ride, p. 1398; May 15, 2004, Carolyn Phelan, review of Construction Countdown, p. 1622; June 1, 2004, Jennifer Mattson, review of The Ugly Truckling, p. 1741; April 1, 2005, Jennifer Mattson, review of The Three Little Rigs, p. 1366; May 1, 2006, Todd Morning, review of Hansel and Diesel, p. 92.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July-August, 2004, Janice Del Negro, review of The Ugly Truckling, p. 465.

Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2002, review of The Big Cheese of Third Street, p. 100; May 15, 2003, review of The Noisy Airplane Ride, p. 749; June 15, 2004, review of The Ugly Truckling, p. 576; April 15, 2005, review of The Three Little Rigs, p. 474; June 15, 2006, review of Hansel and Diesel, p. 633.

Publishers Weekly, November 19, 2001, review of The Big Cheese of Third Street, p. 67; July 26, 2004, review of The Ugly Truckling, p. 53; September 25, 2006, review of The Town That Forgot about Christmas, p. 71.

School Library Journal, February, 2002, Genevieve Gallagher, review of The Big Cheese of Third Street, p. 96; August, 2003, Joy Fleishhacker, review of The Noisy Airplane Ride, p. 148; July, 2004, Wanda Meyers-Hines, review of The Ugly Truckling, p. 76, Sally R. Dow, review of Construction Countdown, p. 95; June, 2005, Linda M. Kenton, review of The Three Little Rigs, p. 115; July, 2006, Kathy Krasniewicz, review of Hansel and Diesel, p. 78.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), July 16, 2006, Mary Harris Russell, review of Hansel and Diesel, p. 7.


Curled up with a Good Kids Book,http://www.curledupkids.com/ (April 28, 2007), review of Hansel and Diesel.

David Gordon Home Page,http://www.illustrationranch.com (April 28, 2007).

Out of Picture Web site,http://www.outofpicture.com/ (April 28, 2007), "David Gordon."

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