Gutierrez, Akemi

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Gutierrez, Akemi

Personal

Married. Hobbies and other interests: Bicycling, reading.

Addresses

Home—CA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Houghton Mifflin, 222 Berkeley St., Boston, MA 02116-3764. E-mail[email protected]

Career

Illustrator, animator, and writer. Has worked in animation for Disney, including film The Emperor's New Groove, 2000.

Awards, Honors

Gold Award, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, 2003, for What The Elephant Told, 2004, for Three Little Bears.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

The Mummy and Other Adventures of Sam and Alice, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2005.

The Pirate and Other Adventures of Sam and Alice, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2007.

Author's works have been translated into French.

ILLUSTRATOR

Barbara Brenner, What the Elephant Told, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2003.

Sarah Wilson, A Nap in a Lap, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2003.

David Martin, Three Little Bears, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2004.

Sidelights

After working as an animator for feature films produced by Disney Studios, Akemi Gutierrez channeled her creative talents into children's book illustration. In 2003 she created art for Barbara Brenner's award-winning picture book What the Elephant Told that was praised by a Publishers Weekly reviewer for its "sweet-natured, direct expressiveness." After illustrating two other books—Sarah Wilson's A Nap in a Lap and David Martin's Three Little Bears—Gutierrez decided to create her own story as a showcase for her artwork. The Mummy and Other Adventures of Sam and Alice was the result; featuring the artist's trademark gouache paintings, it introduces two likeable oval-headed characters that Gutierrez hopes will make several more picture-book appearances. Praising the illustrations in A Nap in a Lap, a Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote that by "combining bold shapes with confectionery colors" Gutierrez creates images that "emit … a beguiling sprightliness."

The Mummy and Other Adventures of Sam and Alice contains three short stories featuring a brother-and-sister team who use their imaginations to the fullest. Dreaming up exciting make-believe adventures—from exploring a jungle filled with wild animals to imagining what to do if you encounter a mummy—the duo play happily and willingly together, protecting each other from the wild beasts they encounter in the imaginary wilds they explore. Gutierrez's "simply drawn gouache illustrations present the perfect blend of creativity, color, and personality to entice younger readers to follow along," wrote Lisa Gangemi Kropp in a review of The

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Mummy and Other Adventures of Sam and Alice for School Library Journal. In Publishers Weekly a critic also enjoyed the illustrations, stating that the author/illustrator's "cute pictures go a long way" in a story that focuses on children's "vivid, adventure-minded imaginations."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Publishers Weekly, May 12, 2003, review of What the Elephant Told, p. 65; January 5, 2004, review of A Nap in a Lap; October 3, 2005, review of The Mummy and Other Adventures of Sam and Alice.

School Library Journal, July, 2003, Marge Loch-Wouters, review of What the Elephant Told, p. 88; November, 2005, Lisa Gangemi Kropp, review of The Mummy and Other Adventures of Sam and Alice, p. 93.

ONLINE

Akemi Gutierrez Home Page, http://www.artbyakemi.com (June 6, 2006).

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