Himler, Ronald 1937- (Ronald Norbert Himler)

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Himler, Ronald 1937- (Ronald Norbert Himler)

Personal

Born November 16, 1937, in Cleveland, OH; son of Norbert and Grace (Manning) Himler; married Ann Danowitz, June 18, 1972 (divorced); children: Daniel, Anna, Peer. Education: Cleveland Institute of Art, diploma, 1960; graduate study in painting at Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI), 1960-61, and New York University and Hunter College, 1968-70.

Addresses

Home—11301 E. Placita Cibuta, Tucson, AZ 85749.

Career

Illustrator and author of children's books. General Motors Technical Center, Warren, MI, technical sculptor (styling), 1961-63; artist and illustrator, 1963—. Toy designer and sculptor for Transogram Co., New York, NY, 1968, and Remco Industries, Newark, NJ, 1969. Cofounder and headmaster, Blue Rock School, NC, 1982-84. Exhibitions: Wolfe Galleries, Tucson, AZ, 1990.

Awards, Honors

Award for Graphic Excellence, American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), and citation of merit, Society of Illustrators, both 1972, both for Baby; Printing Industries of America citation, 1972, for Rocket in My Pocket; Children's Book Showcase selection, Children's Book Council (CBC), 1975, for Indian Harvests; New Jersey Institute of Technology award (with Ann Himler), 1976, for Little Owl, Keeper of the Trees; AIGA Best of Bias-

free Illustration citation, 1976, for Make a Circle, Keep Us In; Children's Choice selection, International Reading Association/CBC, 1979, for Bus Ride; Best Children's Books designation, School Library Journal, 1979, for Curly and the Wild Boar, 1990, for The Wall, and 1991, for Fly Away Home; Children's Books of the Year selection, Child Study Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College, 1982, for Moon Song and Jem's Island, and 1992, for Fly Away Home; Best Town in the World exhibited at Brataslava Biennale of Illustration, 1985; Best Books designation, New York Public Library, 1985, and Notable Book designation, American Library Association (ALA), 1986, both for Dakota Dugout; Pick of the Lists, American Booksellers Association, 1987, for Nettie's Trip South, 1990, for The Wall, 1991, for I'm Going to Pet a Worm Today, and 1992, for Fly Away Home and Katie's Trunk; Notable Book selection, ALA, 1990, for The Wall; One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing selection, New York Public Library, 1990, for The Wall, and 1992, for The Lily Cupboard; Notable Book designation, ALA, 1991, and Editor's Choice designation, Booklist, 1991, both for Fly Away Home; Silver Medal, Society of Illustrators, 1992, for best Western painting in book-cover art; Christopher Award; Golden Sower Award nomination; Black-eyed Susan Picture-Book Award; Colorado Children's Book Award nomination; numerous other awards.

Writings

FOR CHILDREN; SELF-ILLUSTRATED

(Compiler) Glad Day, and Other Classical Poems for Children, Putnam (New York, NY), 1972.

(With first wife, Ann Himler) Little Owl, Keeper of the Trees, Harper (New York, NY), 1974.

The Girl on the Yellow Giraffe, Harper (New York, NY), 1976, reprinted, Star Bright Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Wake Up, Jeremiah, Harper (New York, NY), 1979.

Six Is So Much Less than Seven, Star Bright Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Dancing Boy, Star Bright (New York, NY), 2005.

ILLUSTRATOR

Robert Burgess, Exploring a Coral Reef, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1972.

Carl A. Withers, compiler, Rocket in My Pocket (poetry anthology), revised edition, Western Publishing (New York, NY), 1972.

Fran Manushkin, Baby, Harper (New York, NY), 1972.

Elizabeth Winthrop, Bunk Beds, Harper (New York, NY), 1972.

Millicent Brower, I Am Going Nowhere, Putnam (New York, NY), 1972.

Charlotte Zolotow, Janey, Harper (New York, NY), 1973.

Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, Morris Brookside, a Dog, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1973.

Tom Glazer, Eye Winker, Tom Tinker, Chin Chopper, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1973.

Fran Manushkin, Bubblebath, Harper (New York, NY), 1974.

William C. Grimm, Indian Harvests, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 1974.

Robert Burch, Hut School and the Wartime Homefront Heroes, Viking (New York, NY), 1974.

Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, Morris Brookside Is Missing, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1974.

Betsy Byars, After the Goat Man, Viking (New York, NY), 1974.

Polly Curran, A Patch of Peas, Golden Press (New York, NY), 1975.

Arnold Adoff, Make a Circle, Keep Us In, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1975.

Achim Broger, Bruno, Morrow (New York, NY), 1975.

Marty Kelly, The House on Deer-Track Trail, Harper (New York, NY), 1976.

Crescent Dragonwagon, Windrose, Harper (New York, NY), 1976.

Betty Boegehold, Alone in the Cabin, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1976.

Yoshiko Uchida, Another Goodbye, Allyn & Bacon (Newton, MA), 1976.

Richard Kennedy, The Blue Stone, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1976.

Jeanette Caines, Daddy, Harper (New York, NY), 1977.

Johanna Johnston, Harriet and the Runaway Book: The Story of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harper (New York, NY), 1977.

Arnold Adoff, Tornado, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1977.

Louise Dickerson, Good Wife, Good Wife, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 1977.

Arnold Adoff, Under the Early Morning Trees, Dutton (New York, NY), 1978.

Clyde Bulla and Michael Dyson, Conquista, Crowell (New York, NY), 1978.

Nancy Jewell, Bus Ride, Harper (New York, NY), 1978.

Fred Gipson, Little Arliss, Harper (New York, NY), 1978.

Fred Gipson, Curly and the Wild Boar, Harper (New York, NY), 1979.

Richard Kennedy, Inside My Feet: The Story of a Giant, Harper (New York, NY), 1979.

Carla Stevens, Trouble for Lucy, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1979.

Arnold Adoff, I Am the Running Girl, Harper (New York, NY), 1979.

Douglas Davis, The Lion's Tail, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1980.

Elizabeth Parsons, The Upside-Down Cat, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1981.

Linda Peavy, Allison's Grandfather, Scribner (New York, NY), 1981.

Byrd Baylor, Moon Song, Scribner (New York, NY), 1982.

Katherine Lasky, Jem's Island, Scribner (New York, NY), 1982.

Byrd Baylor, Best Town in the World, Scribner (New York, NY), 1983.

Thor Heyerdahl, Kon Tiki: A True Adventure of Survival at Sea, Random House (New York, NY), 1984.

Ann Turner, Dakota Dugout, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1985.

Ellen Howard, Edith Herself, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1987.

Ann Turner, Nettie's Trip South, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1987.

Susan Pearson, Happy Birthday, Grampie, Dial (New York, NY), 1987.

Emily Cheney Neville, The Bridge, Harper (New York, NY), 1988.

Alice Fleming, The King of Prussia and a Peanut Butter Sandwich, Scribner (New York, NY), 1988.

Susan Nunes, Coyote Dreams, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1988.

Ann Herbert Scott, Someday Rider, Clarion (New York, NY), 1989.

(With John Gurney) Della Rowland, A World of Cats, Contemporary Books (Chicago, IL), 1989.

Crescent Dragonwagon, Winter Holding Spring, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1990.

Eve Bunting, The Wall, Clarion (New York, NY), 1990.

Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler, George Washington and Presidents' Day, Silver Press (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1990.

Merry Banks, Animals of the Night, Scribner (New York, NY), 1990.

Liza Ketchum Murrow, Dancing on the Table, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1990.

Patricia Hubbell, A Grass Green Gallop, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1990.

Eve Bunting, Fly Away Home, Clarion (New York, NY), 1991.

Constance Levy, I'm Going to Pet a Worm Today, and Other Poems, McElderry Books (New York, NY), 1991.

Virginia T. Gross, The Day It Rained Forever: A Story of the Johnstown Flood, Viking (New York, NY), 1991.

Kathleen V. Kudlinski, Pearl Harbor Is Burning, Viking (New York, NY), 1991.

Shulamith Levey Oppenheim, The Lily Cupboard, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1992.

Byrd Baylor, One Small Blue Bead, Scribner (New York, NY), 1992.

Ann Turner, Katie's Trunk, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1992.

Kate Aver, Joey's Way, McElderry Books (New York, NY), 1992.

Ann Herbert Scott, A Brand Is Forever, Clarion (New York, NY), 1993.

Eve Bunting, Someday a Tree, Clarion (New York, NY), 1993.

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, The Sioux, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1993.

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, The Navajos, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1993.

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, The Seminoles, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1994.

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, The Nez Perce, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1994.

Kathleen V. Kudlinski, Lone Star, Viking (New York, NY), 1994.

Kathleen V. Kudlinski, Earthquake, Viking (New York, NY), 1994.

Eve Bunting, A Day's Work, Clarion (New York, NY), 1994.

Nancy Luenn, SQUISH! A Wetland Walk, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1994.

Wendy Kesselman, Sand in My Shoes, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1995.

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, The Hopis, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1995.

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, The Iroquois, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1995.

D. Anne Love, Bess's Log Cabin Quilt, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1995.

D. Anne Love, Dakota Spring, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1995.

Sue Alexander, Sara's City, Clarion (New York, NY), 1995.

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, The Cherokees, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1996.

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, The Cheyennes, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1996.

Eve Bunting, Train to Somewhere, Clarion (New York, NY), 1996.

Barbara A. Steiner, Desert Trip, Sierra Club Books (San Francisco, CA), 1996.

Ellen Howard, The Log Cabin Quilt, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1996.

Linda Oatman High, A Christmas Star, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1997.

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, The Apaches, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1997.

Faye Gibbons, Hook Moon Night: Spooky Tales from the Georgia Mountains, Morrow Junior Books (New York, NY), 1997.

Rukhsana Khan, The Roses in My Carpets, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1998.

Eve Bunting, Rudi's Pond, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Eleanor Coerr, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, Putnam (New York, NY), 1999.

Jean Fritz, Why Not, Lafayette?, G.P. Putnam's Sons (New York, NY), 1999.

Katherine Kirkpatrick, Redcoats and Petticoats, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1999.

Stewart Ross, Mark Twain and Huckleberry Finn, Viking (New York, NY), 1999.

Jane Resh Thomas, The Snoop, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Sherry Garland, Voices of the Alamo, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2000.

Steven Kroll, William Penn: Founder of Pennsylvania, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2000.

Ellen Howard, The Log Cabin Christmas, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2000.

Frederick Lipp, The Caged Birds of Phnom Penh, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2001.

Julian Scheer, By the Light of the Captured Moon, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2001.

Julian Scheer, A Thanksgiving Turkey, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2001.

Ellen Howard, The Log Cabin Church, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2002.

Fran Manushkin, Baby, Come Out!, Star Bright Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Mike Spradlin, The Legend of Blue Jacket, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

David A. Adler, A Picture Book of Lewis and Clark, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2003.

Betty Ren Wright, The Blizzard, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2003.

Gwenyth Swain, I Wonder as I Wander, Eerdman's (Grand Rapids, MI), 2003.

Leslea Newman, The Best Cat in the World, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 2004.

Laurie Lawlor, The School at Crooked Creek, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2004.

Barbara H. Cole, Wash Day, Star Bright Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Miriam Cohen, My Big Brother, Star Bright Books (New York, NY), 2005.

David A. Adler and Michael S. Adler, A Picture Book of Samuel Adams, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2005.

Elizabeth van Steenwyk, Prairie Christmas, Eerdman's (Grand Rapids, MI), 2006.

Ellen Howard, The Log Cabin Wedding, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2006.

Sherry Garland, The Buffalo Soldier, Pelican (Gretna, LA), 2006.

Miriam Cohen, First Grade Takes a Test, Star Bright Books (New York, NY), 2006.

David A. Adler and Michael S. Adler, A Picture Book of John Hancock, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2006.

Barbara H. Cole, Anna and Natalie, Star Bright Books (New York, NY), 2007.

David A. Adler and Michael S. Adler, A Picture Book of John and Abigail Adams, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2007.

Ruth Vander Zee, Always with You, Eerdman's (Grand Rapids, MI), 2008.

Author's books have been translated into other languages, including Dutch and Japanese.

Sidelights

A prolific artist and illustrator, Ronald Himler has had one of the most high-profile careers in children's literature. In addition to his original self-illustrated books and the hundred-plus books he has illustrated for writers such as Eve Bunting, Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, Byrd Baylor, and Ellen Howard, Himler has also created cover art for dozens of young-adult titles. In creating his images, he employs a variety of artistic media, including watercolor, oils, gouache, and pencil. His characteristically gentle and sensitive depiction of the meaning behind numerous stories and poems has opened a window for young children onto the magical world that surrounds them.

Raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Himler spent many childhood hours immersed in drawing, especially during the weekly trips he took to his grandmother's house where he spent his time sketching at the dining-room table. According to the artist, drawing has been such a constant part of his life that it has almost seemed as though art chose him rather than vice versa. After graduating from high school, he studied painting at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and went on to graduate school at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Thereafter, Himler worked in various positions as a commercial artist, including a stint as a technical sculptor at the General Motors Technical Center and also as a toy designer and sculptor for two companies.

Early in his career, Himler decided to travel throughout Europe and Scandinavia, doing independent research at the Louvre in Paris, at the Uffizi Galleries in Florence,

and at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum. His tours through some of the world's finest collections of fine art broadened the scope of Himler's own painting, while the contacts he made with people of so many different cultures increased his sensitivity to the diversity of the world's peoples. Upon returning to the United States, Himler was determined to pursue a career as an illustrator of children's books. His first project was creating art for a verse anthology titled Glad Day, and Other Classical Poems for Children, which was published in 1972, the same year the artist married Ann Danowitz. This illustration project was quickly followed by others, including drawings to accompany a work of nonfiction titled Exploring a Coral Reef. Requests for illustrations for other books continued to come his way, and Himler was soon bringing to life texts by a wide variety of popular children's writers, among them Betsy Byars, Tom Glazer, Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, and Charlotte Zolotow.

In 1974, Himler and his wife, Ann Himler, collaborated on the children's book Little Owl, Keeper of the Trees, with Himler also providing the illustrations. Comprising three tales that center on a young owl living high up in a sycamore tree, Little Owl, Keeper of the Trees weaves magic into the world of forest-dwelling animals through the character of Jonas, a small, friendly monster that possesses special powers. Himler went on to write two other books, including his self-illustrated The Girl on the Yellow Giraffe. Calling the book "an affectionate celebration of a child's imaginative powers," Booklist reviewer Denise M. Wilms praised The Girl on the Yellow Giraffe as an effective portrayal of a child's imaginary world. Himler wrote The Girl on the Yellow Giraffe for his daughter, Anna; four years later, he produced Wake Up, Jeremiah for his son, Peer. Accompanied by a minimal text, Himler's impressionist-style, full-color illustrations depict a young boy's excitement at the start of a new day. Getting up extra early to watch the sunrise from the top of a hill near his home, Jeremiah then rushes home to share this fresh new day with his drowsy parents. "The evolution of dawn—from early murk to resplendent full light—in Mr. Himler's il- lustrations represent his best, most colorful performance to date," remarked New York Times Book Review contributor George A. Woods.

Reviewing Himler's next self-illustrated title, Six Is So Much Less than Seven, a Kirkus Reviews writer called the picture book a "touching tribute to pets and how they enrich our lives." The book tells of an elderly farmer who goes about his daily activities, all the while accompanied by six cats. He rises, eats breakfast, does the housework, repairs his tractor, gives the shed a coat of paint, rests for a bit, fetches the mail, and works around the farmyard, barn, and garden. However, there is an underlying feeling of sadness in the scenes, and the reader learns why toward the end of the day when the man goes to visit the grave of a seventh feline. The somber tone brightened, however, during the last activity of the day: the man then goes to visit a cat and her four new kittens. The Kirkus Reviews critic, in addition to praising Himler's gentle illustrations and "trademark soft watercolors," described Six Is So Much Less than Seven "soothing" for anyone getting over the loss of a pet.

A more-recent original book by Hilmer, Dancing Boy is a wordless tale that follows a young boy who, dancing through a small town without any clothes on, inspires all the children who see him to follow his happy and carefree example. In Himler's pen and watercolor art, the nudity of the young figures is depicted in an innocent fashion, and no objectionable body parts are ex-

posed. Although School Library Journal contributor Rachel G. Payne noted that Himler's story is more a "nostalgia for the innocence of childhood lost" than a story for children, Dancing Boy is nonetheless successful as a "provocative and artful reverie."

In illustrating the works of other authors, Himler must sometimes deal with complex, emotion-laden subjects. In Eve Bunting's Fly Away Home, for example, a homeless young boy and his out-of-work dad are depicted by Himler in muted shades of brown and blue, and he places father and son at the edge of the page to symbolize their existence on the fringes of society. "Himler matches Bunting's understated text with gentle sensibility," noted a Kirkus Reviews contributor. Zena Sutherland, writing in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, similarly noted that "Himler's quiet paintings echo the economy and the touching quality of the story," and Horn Book critic Ann A. Flowers commented that "the yearning sadness" of Bunting's tale "is reflected in the subtle, expressive watercolors."

Other collaborations between Himler and Bunting include The Wall, Someday a Tree, A Day's Work, and A Train to Somewhere. In a review of The Wall, which sensitively presents a boy's impressions of a visit to Washington, DC's Vietnam Memorial, Wilms maintained that "Himler's intense, quiet watercolors capture the dignity of the setting as Bunting's story reaches right to the heart of deep emotions." In her Booklist review of Someday a Tree, Hazel Rochman noted that "Himler's watercolors express the quiet harmony" of the ecological fable's setting, and a Publishers Weekly critic maintained that "nostalgia and timelessness merge seamlessly in this uncommonly evocative picture book." The Publishers Weekly contributor also lauded Himler's "delicate paintings," noting that they "movingly reinforce" Bunting's message.

In A Day's Work a Mexican-American boy finds work for his Mexican-born grandfather. A story of integrity and honesty, Bunting's story is aided by Himler's "expressive, gestural watercolors," according to a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, the critic adding that the artwork "invokes both the harsh and the tender landscapes" of the young boy's world. In Train to Somewhere, Bunting's story of an orphan train that carried New York children to the Midwest in the late nineteenth century, readers meet Marianne, a girl nobody wants. "Himler's paintings in watercolor and gouache set the story against a bleak Midwestern fall landscape," Rochman remarked, while a Publishers Weekly reviewer deemed the book a "characteristically incisive collaboration" featuring artwork that is "at once sobering and uplifting—and assuredly memorable."

Acknowledged for his beautifully executed illustrations on a variety of topics, Himler is particularly noted for his depiction of the life and history of the American West and of the Native Americans who made that region their home. Noted by critics are the illustrations he

created for "The First Americans," a series of books written by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve that focus on Native-American tribal culture. Series titles include The Nez Perce, The Sioux, and The Seminoles, the last of which School Library Journal contributor M. Colleen McDougall noted: "Himler's illustrations are the book's high point" and his "figures and landscapes are both aesthetically pleasing and pertinent to the discussion." A Publishers Weekly reviewer praised the "striking oil paintings" Himler contributed to both The Sioux and The Navajos, while School Library Journal contributor Jacqueline Elsner remarked in a review of The Cherokees that "Himler's familiar watercolors, rich, warm, and serene, grace the text." Reviewing The Cherokees, Elizabeth S. Watson commented in Horn Book that any book that opens with "a wonderfully clear, cleanly drawn map starts out on the right foot." Writing in Booklist, Rochman maintained that in The Apaches Himler provides young readers with "a handsomely illustrated overview" of tribal traditions via "warm watercolors" full of detail about clothing and daily life.

Other books featuring Himler's art that focus on life along America's western frontier include the ranch stories of Ann Herbert Scott—Someday Rider and A BrandIs Forever—as well as Byrd Baylor's story collection Moon Song, Barbara A. Steiner's Desert Trip, and D. Anne Love's Bess's Log Cabin Quilt and Dakota Spring, the last two of which focus on a family making a home on the Dakota prairie. According to Rochman, Himler's watercolors for Desert Trip "show the wide open spaces, the astonishing rock formations," and even the amazing detail when viewing a single flower close up.

More tales of America's pioneering days are brought to life through Himler's collaboration with author Ellen Howard. The Log Cabin Quilt deals with the Freshwater family as they move from Carolina to Michigan via wagon train, building a log cabin for their new home. In Booklist Phelan described the book as "sensitively written and illustrated," and praised Himler's "impressionistic paintings [which] have a rather muted palette." The family saga progresses in Log Cabin Christmas, in which Himler "capture[s] the cramped, rustic, hard-lived conditions in a log cabin," according to a School Library Journal contributor. Other installments include The Log Cabin Church and The Log Cabin Wedding. Himler's illustrations for The Log Cabin Church "accurately show the life led by pioneers," noted a Kirkus Reviews critic, the writer concluding that the book is "an effort doubly blessed." Reviewing The Log Cabin Wedding, Rochman noted that the book's pencil illustrations "express the intense feelings and connections among the people in the small cabin." Reviewing Himler's illustrations for Sherry Garland's Voices of the Alamo, Ruth Semrau wrote in School Library Journal that the book's "outstanding double-page watercolors depict characters, sweeping landscapes, [and] battle scenes" that figure in a crucial moment in Texas history.

Expanding his focus on American history, Himler has also created art for picture-book biographies such as Steven Kroll's William Penn: Founder of Pennsylvania, and a series of works by the father-and-son team of David A. Alder and Michael S. Alder that includes A Picture Book of John Hancock and A Picture Book of Samuel Adams. Reviewing A Picture Book of John Hancock, Jody Kopple noted in School Library Journal that the artist's "muted" images "offer visual clues to historical events." A timely work for younger children, Adler's 200th-anniversary-history A Picture Book of Lewis and Clark also benefits from the Himler touch.

Himler moves forward in time to the Great Depression of the early twentieth century in his work for Linda Oatman High's A Christmas Star, in which a congregation's faith as well as a bit of Yuletide magic come to play in making the season a merry one for one little girl. A contributor to Publishers Weekly praised the book's art, which "creates a sparse, snowy countryside and a cast of characters," according to the reviewer. Rochman noted in Booklist that Himler's pictures of snow in "blue-toned moonlight" contrast with the interior of the church, depicted as "cozy" due to the artist's use of "warm shades of brown." Another work that hails from the same era and season, Betty Ren Wright's The Blizzard tells an "evocative" story of rural neighborliness in which Himler depicts the travails of a group of stranded students with a "golden glow" that reflects the story's good will, according to Booklist critic Ilene Cooper.

Reflecting his versatility, Himler imbues his work for picture books such as Rukhsana Khan's The Roses in My Carpets and Eleanor Coerr's Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes with an appropriately international flavor. Khan's story follows a day in the life of a young Afghani refugee who has survived the aerial bombing that killed his father, while Coerr's tale tells the true story of a Japanese girl whose promise is cut short when she falls ill with leukemia as a result of the Hiroshima bombing. In The Roses in My Carpets "Himler paints the family with dignity and warmth," a reviewer declared in Publishers Weekly, "enveloping them in earth-colored, rosy tones and the details of daily life." Also praising the work, Booklist critic Linda Perkins deemed The Roses in My Carpets "a rare and welcome glimpse into a culture children usually don't see." Reviewing Himler's illustrations for Frederick Lipp's The Caged Birds of Phnom Penh, which tells the story of a girl living in the Cambodian capital who dreams of a place where birds can fly free, Anne Parker lauded Himler's "outstanding" artwork" in her School Library Journal review. The illustrator is able to "capture many different kinds of light," Parker explained, adding of The Caged Birds of Phnom Penh that the writing and art "work well together, providing an excellent window into another culture."

While Himler has won praise for capturing historical and cultural settings, many of his illustrations are paired with stories that focus on the everyday. In Julian Scheer's By the Light of the Captured Moon, for example, he depicts a group of young children as they gather fireflies, while his work for Leslea Newman's The Best Cat in the World captures the poignancy of a child dealing with an elderly and infirm pet. Himler's art also breathes new life into a new edition of Miriam Cohen's First Grade Takes a Test, a story originally published in 1980 that is transformed into a multicultural picture book through the artist's "loose-lined, pencil-and-watercolor pictures," according to Stephanie Zvirin in Booklist. In another book by Cohen, My Big Brother, a story of brotherly love benefits from "Himler's artwork," which "sensitively depicts each character's emotions through body language and facial expressions," in Phelan's opinion. Noting the illustrator's ability to evoke the love within the close-knit African-American family at the heart of Cohen's tale, School Library Journal reviewer Jane Marino added that Himler's "soft, watercolor illustrations complement the narrative perfectly" and reinforce Cohen's "universal theme."

Biographical and Critical Sources

BOOKS

Children's Book Illustration and Design, edited by Julie Cummins, PBC/Library of Applied Design (New York, NY), 1992, pp. 70-72.

Kingman, Lee, and others, Illustrators of Children's Books 1967-1976, Horn Book (Boston, MA), 1978, p. 126.

Ward, Martha E., and Dorothy A. Marquardt, Illustrators of Books for Young People, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1975, p. 75.

PERIODICALS

Art of the West, January-February, 1989.

Booklist, October 1, 1976, Denise M. Wilms, review of The Girl on the Yellow Giraffe, p. 252; April 1, 1990, Denise M. Wilms, review of The Wall, p. 1544; March 1, 1993, Hazel Rochman, review of Someday a Tree, p. 1234; April 1, 1993, Ilene Cooper, review of A Brand Is Forever, p. 1434; February 15, 1995, Kay Weisman, review of Bess's Log Cabin, p. 1085; June 1, 1995, Carolyn Phelan, review of Sand in My Shoes, p. 1786; October 1, 1995, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Sara's City, p. 325; November 15, 1995, Carolyn Phelan, review of Dakota Spring, pp. 559-560; February 1, 1996, Hazel Rochman, review of Train to Somewhere, p. 930; April 15, 1996, Hazel Rochman, review of Desert Trip, p. 1444; December 15, 1996, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Log Cabin Quilt, p. 731; April 1, 1997, Hazel Rochman, review of The Apaches, p. 1332; September 1, 1997, Hazel Rochman, review of A Christmas Star, p. 139; November 15, 1998, Linda Perkins, review of The Roses in My Carpet, p. 596; March 1, 1999, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Mark Twain and Huckleberry Finn, p. 1210; April 1, 2001, Gillian Engberg, review of The Caged Birds of Phnom Penh, p. 1479; May 1, 2001, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of By the Light of the Captured Moon, p. 1692; September 1, 2001, Hazel Rochman, review of A Thanksgiving Turkey, p. 122; October 1, 2002, Kay Weisman, review of The Log Cabin Church, p. 345; November 1, 2002, Linda Perkins, review of The Legend of Blue Jacket, p. 489; July, 2003, Ilene Cooper, review of The Blizzard, p. 1887; April 15, 2004, Julie Cummins, review of The School at Crooked Creek, p. 1443; September 1, 2004, Hazel Rochman, review of Wash Day, p. 130; November 15, 2004, Hazel Rochman, review of The Girl on the Yellow Giraffe, p. 590; January 1, 2005, Carolyn Phelan, review of My Big Brother, p. 852; June 1, 2005, Carolyn Phelan, review of A Picture Book of Samuel Adams, p. 1815; September 15, 2006, Kay Weisman, review of Prairie Christmas, p. 64, and Hazel Rochman, review of The Log Cabin Wedding, p. 71; November 1, 2006, Kay Weisman, review of The Buffalo Soldier, p. 60; November 15, 2006, Stephanie Zvirin, review of First Grade Takes a Test, p. 52.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, May, 1991, Zena Sutherland, review of Fly Away Home, p. 212; October, 1994, review of A Day's Work, pp. 38-39; June, 1995, review of Bess's Log Cabin Quilt, p. 352; October, 1996, review of The Log Cabin Quilt, p. 64; November, 2000, review of The Log Cabin Quilt, p. 106; October, 2001, review of A Thanksgiving Turkey, p. 75; April, 2003, review of A Picture Book of Lewis and Clark, p. 302; November, 2003, Elizabeth Bush, review of The Blizzard, p. 130; April, 2004, Elizabeth Bush, review of The School at Crooked Creek, p. 334.

Childhood Education, winter, 2000, Smita Guha, review of William Penn: Founder of Pennsylvania, p. 107.

Horn Book, July-August, 1991, Ann A. Flowers, review of Fly Away Home, p. 445; May-June, 1993, Elizabeth S. Watson, review of A Brand Is Forever, pp. 330-331; May-June, 1996, Elizabeth S. Watson, review of The Cherokees, p. 353; November-December, 1999, Margaret A. Bush, review of Why Not, Lafayette?, p. 756; July, 2002, review of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, p. 425.

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 1991, review of Fly Away Home, p. 172; July 15, 2002, review of Six Is So Much Less than Seven, p. 1033; August 1, 2002, review of The Log Cabin Church, p. 1133; March 15, 2003, review of A Picture Book of Lewis and Clark, p. 458; July 15, 2003, review of The Blizzard, p. 969; January 1, 2004, review of The Best Cat in the World, p. 40; March 15, 2004, review of The School at Crooked Creek, p. 272; October 1, 2004, review of The Girl on the Yellow Giraffe, p. 961; January 15, 2005, review of My Big Brother, p. 118; October 1, 2006, review of The Long Cabin Wedding, p. 1016; November 1, 2006, review of Prairie Christmas, p. 1134.

New York Times Book Review, June 25, 1972; November 12, 1972; October 28, 1979, George A. Woods, review of Wake Up, Jeremiah, p. 18; February 19, 1989; May 30, 1993, Marianne Partridge, review of A Brand Is Forever, p. 19.

Publishers Weekly, May 21, 1982, review of Moon Song, p. 76; March 15, 1993, review of Someday a Tree, pp. 86-87; March 29, 1993, review of A Brand Is Forever, p. 56; November 8, 1993, review of The Sioux and The Navajos, p. 80; August 8, 1994, review of A Day's Work, pp. 434-435; February 5, 1996, review of Train to Somewhere, p. 89; October 6, 1997, review of A Christmas Star, p. 55; October 5, 1998, review of The Roses in My Carpet, p. 90; September 20, 1999, review of Why Not, Lafayette?, p. 89; March 27, 2000, review of Train to Somewhere, p. 83; February 26, 2001, review of By the Light of the Captured Moon, p. 85; March 5, 2001, review of The Caged Birds of Phnom Penh, p. 79; March 26, 2001, review of Why Not, Lafayette?, p. 95; September 24, 2001, review of A Thanksgiving Turkey, p. 46; September 8, 2003, review of The Blizzard, p. 76; September 22, 2003, review of I Wonder as I Wander, p. 68; February 2, 2004, review of The Best Cat in the World, p. 75.

School Library Journal, May, 1993, Jacqueline Elsner, review of Someday a Tree, p. 81, and Charlene Strickland, review of A Brand Is Forever, p. 91; April, 1994, M. Colleen McDougall, reviews of The Nez Perce, The Sioux, and The Seminoles, p. 146; April, 1996, Jacqueline Elsner, review of The Cherokees, p. 130; October, 1996, Jane Class, review of The Log CabinQuilt, p. 122; October, 1997, Jane Marino, review of A Christmas Star, p. 42; November, 1998, Diane S. Marton, review of The Roses in My Carpets, pp. 87-88; April, 1999, Beth Tegart, review of Redcoats and Petticoats, p. 100; May, 1999, Shawn Brommer, review of Mark Twain and Huckleberry Finn, p. 142; December, 1999, Marlene Gawron, review of Why Not, Lafayette?, pp. 149-150; April, 2000, Jackie Hechtkopf, review of William Penn, p. 122; June, 2000, Ruth Semrau, review of Voices of the Alamo, p. 164; October, 2000, review of The Log Cabin Christmas, p. 59; March, 2001, Gay Lynn van Vleck, review of By the Light of the Captured Moon, p. 220; May, 2001, Anne Parker, review of The Caged Birds of Phnom Penh, p. 128; September, 2001, Pamela K. Bomboy, review of A Thanksgiving Turkey, p. 205; October, 2002, Margaret Bush, review of The Log Cabin Church, p. 112; November, 2002, Dona Ratterree, review of The Legend of Blue Jacket, p. 150; October, 2003, Lisa Dennis, review of The Blizzard, p. 143; February, 2004, Susan Hepler, review of The Best Cat in the World, p. 120; June, 2005, Suzanne Myers Harold, review of A Picture Book of Samuel Adams, p. 132; July, 2005, Jane Marino, review of My Big Brother, p. 71; September, 2005, Rachel G. Payne, review of Dancing Boy, p. 173; December, 2006, Pat Leach, review of The Log Cabin Wedding, p. 101; July, 2007, Jody Kopple, review of A Picture Book of John Hancock, p. 88.

ONLINE

Ronald Himler Home Page,http://www.ronhimler.com (October 27, 2007).