Hale, Christy 1955- (Christine Hale Apostolou)
Hale, Christy 1955- (Christine Hale Apostolou)
Born January 21, 1955, in Southbridge, MA; daughter of Harold Charles (a mechanical engineer) and Eunice Sherman (a draftsperson) Hale; married Scott Julian Apostolou, August 31, 1991; children: one daughter. Education: Lewis and Clark College, B.A. (fine arts), 1977, M.A.T., 1980; Pratt Institute, B.F.A. (illustration and graphic design), 1986. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Protestant. Hobbies and other interests: Letterpress printing, playing guitar, traveling, and speaking Spanish.
Willamette Middle School, West Linn, OR, art instructor, 1978-84; E.P. Dutton, New York, NY, art assistant, 1986-87; Aperture, New York, NY, designer, 1987-88; Putnam/Philomel, New York, NY, senior designer, 1987-89; Bradbury Press, New York, NY, interim art director, 1989; Macmillan, New York, NY, interim art director, 1989-90; Four Winds Press, New York, NY, art director, 1990-94; freelance designer and illustrator.
Award of Excellence, AIGA Cover Show, 1988; two Merit Awards for photo design, 1988-89; first place award, Bookbinder's Guild, 1989, for special trade book; honorable mention, How magazine, 1990, for illustration.
Art Activities for Little Learners, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2004.
Quilting Activities for Young Learners, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2005.
Collaborative Art and Writing Projects for Young Learners, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor to periodicals, including Instructor.
William Stafford, How to Hold Your Arms When It Rains, Confluence Press (Lewiston, ID), 1990.
Felix Pitre, reteller, Juan Bobo and the Pig, Lodestar (New York, NY), 1993.
May Swenson, The Complete Poems to Solve, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1993.
T. Obinkaram Echewa, The Ancestor Tree, Lodestar (New York, NY), 1994.
Felix Pitre, reteller, Paco and the Witch, Lodestar (New York, NY), 1995.
Ali Wakefield, Those Calculating Crows!, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1996.
Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen, Elizabeti's Doll, Lee & Low (New York, NY), 1998.
Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen, Mama Elizabeti, Lee & Low (New York, NY), 2000.
Betsy Hearne, Who's in the Hall? A Mystery in Four Chapters, Greenwillow (New York, NY), 2000.
Alice Mead, Billy and Emma, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 2000.
Eileen Spinelli, A Safe Place Called Home, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2001.
Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen, Elizabeti's School, Lee & Low (New York, NY), 2002.
Lillian Morrison, It Rained All Day That Night: Autograph Album Verses and Inscriptions, August House (Little Rock, AK), 2003.
Connie Ann Kirk, Sky Dancers, Lee & Low (New York, NY), 2004.
Molly Friedrich, You Are Not My Real Mother!, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2004.
Lillian Morrison, Guess Again!: Riddle Poems, August House (Little Rock, AK), 2006.
Books featuring Hale's illustrations have been translated into Spanish.
Illustrator Christy Hale has created artwork for a variety of books for young readers. Teaming up with author Felix Pitre, she contributed art to picture-book retellings of traditional Puerto Rican folktales in Juan Bobo and the Pig and Paco and the Witch, providing "a unique and playful look at the folk heroes of another culture," according to a Publishers Weekly critic. In Juan Bobo and the Pig Juan is left to care for the family pig while his mother attends church. Considered a traditional "wise fool" character in Puerto Rican legend, Juan does not known how to quiet the unhappy swine, but eventually he realizes what the pig wants: he dresses it up and sends it off to church as well. A Puerto Rican version of the Rumpelstiltskin tale, Paco and the Witch finds young Paco falling under the spell of an old witch who will keep him captive unless he can guess her name correctly. If he cannot guess her name in time, Paco will become the main ingredient in witch's stew. Fortunately, Paco is saved from this fate by a crab who helps the boy name the witch and escape. Calling Hale's illustrations for Juan Bobo and the Pig "brightly colored and vigorous," Booklist reviewer Julie Corsaro also cited the art's "fifties … feeling," while School Library Journal contributor Lauren Mayer remarked that the "linoleum block prints … in bleached yet vibrant colors" reflect "the sun-drenched Caribbean" setting. Reviewing Paco and the Witch, a Publishers Weekly contributor cited Hale's "distinctive, sultry palette of purples, greens and golden browns," and School Library Journal critic Maria Redburn observed that the "illustrations are full of color, relating the ever-changing mood of the story."
Hale has also working with several other writers, among them Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen, Lillian Morrison, and Molly Friedrich. In Elizabeti's Doll, the first of several collaborations between Stuve-Bodeen and Hale, a young Tanzanian girl wishes for a doll of her own, to care for just as her mother cares for her new baby brother. Searching for a suitable doll, Elizabeti finds a smooth rock and names it Eva, bathing, diapering, and burping it just like a real baby. When Eva is mistakenly used by Elizabeti's older sister in the cooking fire, the young girl is distraught, but eventually she regains her doll and sings the stone toy to sleep. Hale "deftly captures
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the story's mood in softly shaded mixed-media illustrations," claimed a Publishers Weekly reviewer, and Booklist contributor GraceAnne A. DeCandido dubbed Elizabeti's Doll "another triumph for the illustrator."
Elizabeti's story continues in Mama Elizabeti and Elizabeti's School, the latter which finds the young girl venturing forth on her first day away from home. Called "a perfect book for mothers hoping to spend some quality reading time with their daughters" by Black Issues Book Review critic Khafre Abif, Mama Elizabeti finds Elizabeti helping to care for toddler brother Obedi after their mother has another baby. Thinking that she has plenty of experience after taking care of Eva, the young girl discovers that a wiggly boy is much harder to care for than a lifeless rock. After momentarily losing track of Obedi, Elizabeti fears for his safety, but her worries are quickly relieved as he toddles back to her, walking for the first time. Claiming that Hale's "illustrations bring this book alive," School Library Journal reviewer Martha Topol wrote that the book's artwork "perfectly captures the spontaneity and totality of a toddler's love." Reviewing Elizabeti's School for Horn Book, Martha V. Parravano noted that "Hale's mixed-media illustrations are once again striking" and balance Stuve-Bodeen's "intimate … text, with effective use of close-ups and warm family groupings."
Hale has also provided the illustrations for Betsy Hearne's picture book Who's in the Hall? A Mystery in Four Chapters, an "excellent blend of good writing and fine illustration," remarked Marlene Gawron in a School Library Journal review. Describing the book as a "dandy choice for newly independent readers," Horn Book contributor Joanna Rudge Long observed that Hale's "dynamic cartoon-style illustrations pick up the story's humor" as well as provide a way for readers to keep track of all the characters in the story. Her ink and watercolor works for Lillian Morrison's It Rained All Day That Tight: Autographs, Rhymes, and Inscriptions "dance across each page, extending the sentiment…. implicit in each verse," noted School Library Journal reviewer Kathleen Whalin, and in Kirkus Reviews a reviewer noted that the art for Connie A. Kirk's Sky Dancers "captures the energy and excitement of the trip" a young Native-American boy makes to see his father walking on the high beams during the construction of the Empire State Building.
"I have been interested in "making books since I can remember," Hale once told SATA. "I decided at ten to become a writer and illustrator; although, the writer part hasn't happened yet. I entered into book design through letterpress printing, fine print edition-ing, paper making, and book binding and am just getting started on my illustration career. From the printer's need to make multiples, I have worked mainly in linoleum and woodcut. I have worked with poets on small chapbooks, and this medium (linocut) has allowed me to become the publisher of limited-edition books along with several small books of poetry and illustration.
"I enjoy the research involved in illustration. My picture books have been set in other cultures with great riches for me to draw from."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Black Issues Book Review, July, 2000, Khafre Abif, review of Mama Elizabeti, p. 74.
Booklist, June 1, 1993, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Complete Poems to Solve, p. 1805; October 15, 1993, Julie Corsaro, review of Juan Bobo and the Pig, p. 447; October 1, 1994, Hazel Rochman, review of The Ancestor Tree, p. 331; May 15, 1995, Hazel Rochman, review of Paco and the Witch, p. 1650; November 15, 1996, Kay Weisman, review of Those Calculating Crows!, p. 596; October 1, 1998, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Elizabeti's Doll, p. 336; February 15, 2001, Henrietta M. Smith, review of Elizabeti's Doll, p. 1161; October 1, 2001, Carolyn Phelan, review of A Safe Place Called Home, p. 330; November 15, 2004, Hazel Rochman, review of You're Not My Real Mother!, p. 589, and Jennifer Mattson, review of Sky Dancers, p. 590; May 1, 2006, Carolyn Phelan, review of Guess Again!: Riddle Poems, p. 87.
Horn Book, May-June, 1993, Nancy Vasilakis, The Complete Poems to Solve, p. 341; July, 2000, review of Mama Elizabeti, p. 448; November, 2000, Joanna Rudge Long, review of Who's in the Hall? A Mystery in Four Chapters, p. 746; November-December, 2002, Martha V. Parravano, review of Elizabeti's School, p. 741.
Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2004, review of Sky Dancers, p. 1009.
New York Times Book Review, January 15, 1995, review of The Ancestor Tree, p. 25; January 21, 2001, DeRaismes Combes, review of Who's in the Hall?, p. 25.
Publishers Weekly, July 12, 1993, review of Juan Bobo and the Pig, p. 447; May 29, 1995, review of Paco and the Witch, p. 84; July 15, 1996, review of Those Calculating Crows!, p. 73; August 24, 1998, review of Elizabeti's Doll, p. 56; July 3, 2000, review of Who's in the Hall?, p. 70.
School Library Journal, May, 1993, Lee Bock, The Complete Poems to Solve, p. 122; November, 1993, Lauren Mayer, review of Juan Bobo and the Pig, p. 101; February, 1995, Marilyn Iarusso, review of The Ancestor Tree, p. 73; August, 1995, Maria Redburn, review of Paco and the Witch, p. 137; December, 1996, JoAnn Rees, review of Those Calculating Crows!, p. 109; September, 1998, Martha Topol, review of Elizabeti's Doll, p. 183; May, 2000, Susan Hepler, review of Billy and Emma, p. 150; July, 2000, Martha Topol, review of Mama Elizabeti, p. 88; August, 2000, Marlene Gawron, review of Who's in the Hall?, p. 156; January, 2004, Kathleen Whalin, review of It Rained All Day That Night: Autographs, Rhymes, and Inscriptions, p. 154; January, 2005, Kathy Krasniewicz, review of Sky Dancers, p. 94.
Christy Hale Home Page,http://www.christyhale.com (June 15, 2007).