Magoon, Scott 1972-

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Magoon, Scott 1972-


Born Wayland Renrick Magoon, August 31, 1972; son of Wayland and Bonnie Magoon; married; children: two sons. Education: Northeastern University, B.A. (English literature), 1995. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, video games, sledding, jazz, movies.


Home and office—Boston, MA. Agent—c/o Writers House, Rebecca Sherman, 21 W. 26th St., New York, NY 10010. E-mail—[email protected]


Graphic designer and illustrator. Candlewick Press, Boston, MA, book designer, 2003-06; Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA, associate art director in Children's Trade Division, 2005—.


Kara LaReau, Ugly Fish, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2006.

Hugo and Miles In: I've Painted Everything!, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2007.

A.W. Flaherty, The Luck of the Loch Ness Monster, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2007.

Kara LaReau, Rabbit and Squirrel, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2008.


Count on Me, Baby!, Berlitz Publishing (Singapore), 2004.

Peek-a-boo Family, Berlitz Publishing (Singapore), 2004.

Babies Animal Friends, Berlitz Publishing (Singapore), 2004.


Scott Magoon, a book designer and self-taught illustrator, has contributed artwork to various children's titles, including the "Baby Berlitz" picture-book series. In addition to his work for other writer, Magoon combines his quirky art with an original story in Hugo and Miles In: I've Painted Everything! He also serves as an associate art director for Boston-based publisher Houghton Mifflin, where he designs children's titles. As Magoon noted on his home page, the "best stories for kids always seem to come with a message of hope." In his opinion, children's stories should reinforce the concept that, in the end, everything will be okay.

Magoon's philosophy of children's book applies to each of the works he has chosen to illustrate. With a text by Kara LaReau, Ugly Fish details the story of an unkind fish that bullies the smaller fish living in the same tank. Life for these smaller fish improves substantially when Ugly Fish receives a new tank that, even larger and uglier, makes the bullied fish the target of bullying. School Library Journal reviewer Julie Roach noted that Magoon's "edgy" pen-and-ink, digitally colored cartoon illustrations perfectly complement LaReau's "dry and wicked humor." As Roach added, the humor of Magoon's illustrations lightens the sometimes unpleasant effect of Ugly's predations.

In Hugo and Miles In: I've Painted Everything! Magoon tells a story that focuses on the concept of creativity and inspiration. Describing the author/illustrator's use of both pencil and digital color, Marianne Saccardi noted in School Library Journal that Magoon's images "provide [an] ample supply of visual jokes" and concluded that the book will inspire "new ways to see everyday objects."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July-August, 2006, Deborah Stevenson, review of Ugly Fish, p. 505.

Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2006, review of Ugly Fish, p. 519.

Publishers Weekly, June 26, 2006, review of Ugly Fish, p. 50; May 21, 2007, review of Hugo and Miles In: I've Painted Everything!, p. 54.

School Library Journal, July, 2006, Julie Roach, review of Ugly Fish, p. 82; March, 2007, Marianne Saccardi, review of Hugo and Miles In: I've Painted Everything!, p. 176.


Houghton Mifflin Web site, (August 9, 2007), "Scott Magoon."

Scott Magoon Home Page, (August 9, 2007).