Home and office—Oakland, NJ.
An Izard Storyteller's Choice Award and Rhode Island Children's Book Award, both 1994, both for Jacob and the Stranger.
Danny's First Snow, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2007.
Mary Packard, I Am King!, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1994.
Sally Derby, King Kenrick's Splinter, Walker (New York, NY), 1994.
Sally Derby, Jacob and the Stranger, Tichnor & Fields (New York, NY), 1994.
L.G. Bass, The Pomegranate Seeds: A Classic Greek Myth, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1995.
Norma Simon, The Story of Hanukkah, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1997.
Alma Flor Ada, The Malachite Palace, translated by Rosa Zubizarreta, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1998.
Philip Pullman, Clockwork; or, All Wound Up, Arthur A. Levine (New York, NY), 1998.
Janice Del Negro, Lucy Dove, Dorling Kindersley (New York, NY), 1998.
Sonia Craddock, Sleeping Boy, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1999.
Eve Bunting, Who Was Born This Special Day?, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2000.
Sue Alexander, Behold the Trees, Arthur A. Levine (New York, NY), 2001.
Robert Burleigh, The Secret of the Great Houdini, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2002.
Sue Stauffacher, The Angel and Other Stories, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 2002.
Aaron Shepard, The Princess Mouse: A Tale of Finland, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2003.
Mary Packard, I Am King!, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.
Bruce Coville, William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Dial (New York, NY), 2004.
Monique de Varennes, The Sugar Child, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2004.
Kate Hovey, Voices of the Trojan War, Margaret K. McElderry (New York, NY), 2004.
Fran Manushkin, The Little Sleepyhead, Dutton (New York, NY), 2004.
Cynthia Zarin, Saints among the Animals, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2005.
Marianna Mayer, The Boy Who Ran with the Gazelles, Dial (New York, NY), 2005.
Anette Griessman, The Fire, Putnam's Sons (New York, NY), 2005.
Miriam Chaikin, Angel Secrets: Stories Based on Jewish Legend, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2005.
Mary Quattlebaum, Why Sparks Fly High at Dancing Point: A Colonial American Folktale, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2006.
Jodi Lynn Anderson, May Bird among the Stars, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2006.
Leonid Gore was already a successful illustrator of children's book in his native USSR when he immigrated to the eastern United States in 1990. His familiarity with Eastern European culture combined with his training at the Art Institute of Minsk to make Gore a popular choice for illustrations and advertising campaigns that featured Russian landscape and culture. Along with such titles as Jacob and the Stranger, a story by Sally Derby that is set in the small town of Slavda, Gore also designed the art for the 1996 Stolichnaya vodka advertising campaign, which was "centered on Russian imagery" according to Stuart Elliott of the New York Times. In the years since, his ornate style has been featured in numerous other books, among them Mary Packard's I Am King!, Anette Griessman's picture book The Fire, Miriam Chaikin's Angel Secrets: Stories Base on a Jew-ish Legend, and an illustrated adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet by Bruce Coville. In 2007, Gore released his first self-illustrated book for children, Danny's First Snow, which was described by a Kirkus Reviews writer as "a treat for wintry story times" due to Gore's "simple, well-written text, original plot, and perceptive illustrations."
Published in 1994, Jacob and the Stranger is the tale of Jacob, a lazy man who prefers leisure to work. He puts out a sign stating that he will do work as long as it is not too hard. When a stranger answers his sign and leaves Jacob a potted plant to care for while he is away, the lazy man soon finds that plant-tending is not as easy a job as he had hoped. Then the plant starts to bloom and cats of all sorts bud from the leaves. One of these cats, a black panther, captures Jacob's heart. When the stranger returns, he refuses to pay Jacob the agreed-upon wage, and Jacob must outsmart the stranger to keep the panther and collect his payment. "Gore's eerie black-and-white pictures [are] full of mystery and danger," wrote Ilene Cooper in a Booklist review of Jacob and the Stranger, and Anne Deifendeifer wrote in Horn Book that the illustrations "admirably reflect the folk-loric mood."
Gore moves from Russia to ancient Greece in his illustrations for L.G. Bass's The Pomegranate Seeds: A Classic Greek Myth. The artist's "ink-and-acrylic illus-
trations offer a feathery, dreamlike view of this classical world," wrote Kay Weisman in Booklist. For Norma Simon's The Story of Hanukkah, Gore's "organic and softly lit" illustrations of the Jewish story of the Maccabees "are both reverent and fresh," according to a Publishers Weekly contributor. Of Alma Flor Ada's original fairy tale, The Malachite Palace, Hazel Rochman commented in Booklist on "Gore's full-page, acrylic-and-ink pictures, in rich, shimmering shades of green and red."
For Janice Del Negro's retelling of a Scottish fairy story in Lucy Dove, Gore drew on members of his family. "As I created the character of Lucy, I drew inspiration from my Aunt Tanya and Aunt Fira in Russia," he explained on the Embracing the Child Web site. "Lucy is a combined portrait of these two aunts, and I dedicated the book to them." Susan Dove Lempke, writing in Booklist, wrote that the "luminescent, scratchy paintings" in Lucy Dove "capture the eerie quality well," and "are as bewitching as they are haunting," in the opinion of Mary M. Burns in Horn Book.
Among his work creating art for books, Gore has provided illustrations for Philip Pullman's short gothic novel Clockwork; or, All Wound Up. Here his "soft- edged drawings, full of light and shadow are extremely well crafted and satisfyingly strange," in the opinion of Booklist critic Ilene Cooper. A tale that combines fairy tales, an historic setting, and Gore's art is Sonia Craddock's Sleeping Boy, a picture book about which Horn Book contributor Roger Sutton wrote: "Only Leonid Gore's acrylic paintings, by turn tender and threatening, pitched at unsettling angles to the text, do the theme justice." His illustrations for Griessman's The Fire were praised by Julie Cummins, the Booklist contributor writing that Gore's "acrylics and pastels in intense, fiery reds, oranges, and golds viscerally convey the children's fright and the vicious heat of the blaze."
Gore's illustrations have continued to be successfully paired with fairy and folk tales. The "pastel and acrylic paintings" he contributes to Monique Varennes's The Sugar Child hold "all the colors of marzipan and the translucence of sugar candy," according to a Kirkus Reviews contributor. Catherine Threadgill, writing in School Library Journal, found Marianna Mayer's telling of The Boy Who Ran with the Gazelles weak, and commented that "Gore's sand-swept, evocative pastels deserve the accompaniment of a better story." In Mary Quattlebaum's Sparks Fly High: The Legend of Dancing Point, "Gore's depiction of colonial times with feathery backgrounds, pointy-chin-and-nosed people and gossamer overlays on fabric" is based on American folk art, according to a Kirkus Reviews contributor.
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, September 1, 1994, Ilene Cooper, review of Jacob and the Stranger, p. 40; February 1, 1996, Kay Weisman, review of The Pomegranate Seeds: A Classic Greek Myth, p. 934; May 15, 1998, Hazel Rochman, review of The Malachite Palace, p. 1629; September 1, 1998, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Lucy Dove, p. 120; September 15, 1998, Ilene Cooper, review of Clockwork; or, All Wound Up, p. 229; February 1, 2000, Michael Cart, review of Sleeping Boy, p. 1024; March 1, 2001, review of Behold the Trees, p. 1276; October 1, 2005, Julie Cummins, review of The Fire, p. 62, and Ilene Cooper, review of Angel Secrets, p. 67; October 15, 2005, review of May Bird and the Ever After, p. 48; October 15, 2006, Gillian Engberg, review of Sparks Fly High: The Legend of Dancing Point, p. 52; December 1, 2006, Ilene Cooper, review of Saints among the Animals, p. 44.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, December, 2006, Deborah Stevenson, review of Sparks Fly High, p. 185, and Elizabeth Bush, review of Saints among the Animals, p. 194.
Horn Book, September-October, 1994, Anne Deifendeifer, review of Jacob and the Stranger, p. 583; September-October, 1998, Mary M. Burns, review of Lucy Dove, p. 615; November, 1998, Ann A. Flowers, review of Clockwork, p. 740; January, 2000, Roger Sutton, review of Sleeping Boy, p. 63; September-October, 2005, Susan P. Bloom, review of Angel Secrets, p. 592; September-October, 2006, Joanna Rudge Long, review of Sparks Fly High, p. 601; January-February, 2007, Lauren Adams, review of Saints among the Animals, p. 87.
Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2004, review of Voices of the Trojan War, p. 631; October 1, 2004, review of The Sugar Child, p. 959; June 15, 2005, review of The Boy Who Ran with the Gazelles, p. 686; August 1, 2005, review of Angel Secrets, p. 845; September 15, 2005, review of The Fire, p. 1026; September 15, 2005, review of May Bird and the Ever After, p. 1019; September 15, 2006, review of Sparks Fly High, p. 964, August, 2007, review of Danny's First Snow.
New York Times, October 15, 1996, Stuart Elliott, "The Future, according to the Marketer of Stolichnaya, Will Be Filled with Flavored Vodka."
Publishers Weekly, October 6, 1997, review of The Story of Hanukkah, p. 53; October 18, 1999, review of Clockwork, p. 86; November 1, 1999, review of Sleeping Boy, p. 56; September 25, 2000, Elizabeth Devereaux, review of Who Was Born this Special Day? p. 68; May 28, 2001, review of Behold the Trees, p. 85; December 20, 2004, review of The Sugar Child, p. 58.
School Library Journal, October, 2004, review of William Shakespeare's Hamlet, p. S50; November, 2004, Rachel G. Payne, review of The Sugar Child, p. 96; August 2005, Catherine Threadgill, review of The Boy Who Ran with the Gazelles, p. 103; November, 2005, Judith Constantinides, review of The Fire, p. 93; December, 2005, Tasha Saecker, review of May Bird and the Ever After, p. 136; December, 2006, Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, review of Sparks Fly High, p. 127; January, 2007, Linda L. Walkins, review of Saints among the Animals, p. 121.
Arthur A. Levine Web Site,http://www.arthuralevinebooks.com/ (December 3, 2007), "Leonid Gore."
Embracing the Child Web site,http://www.embracingthechild.org/ (December 3, 2007), "Leonid Gore."
Simon & Schuster Web site,http://www.simonsays.com/ (December 3, 2007), "Leonid Gore."