Skip to main content

Mathieu, Joe 1949–

Mathieu, Joe 1949–

(Joseph P. Mathieu)

Personal

Born January 23, 1949, in Springfield, VT; son of Joseph A. (a car dealer) and Patricia Mathieu; married

Melanie Gerardi, September 7, 1970; children: Kristen, Joseph Michael. Education: Rhode Island School of Design, B.F.A., 1971. Hobbies and other interests: Bicycling (especially touring the New England states), jazz and ragtime.

Addresses

Home and office—Hudson, MA. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Author and illustrator of books for children. Designer of covers for books and recordings, including album covers for Stomp Off records.

Awards, Honors

Best Books selection, American Institute of Graphic Arts, 1973, for The Magic Word Book, Starring Marko the Magician!; Children's Choice selection, International Reading Association, 1982, for Ernie's Big Mess; Ten Best Children's Books designation, Time magazine, 2005, for Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie!

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

The Amazing Adventures of Silent "E" Man, Random House (New York, NY), 1973.

The Magic Word Book, Starring Marko the Magician! Random House (New York, NY), 1973.

Big Joe's Trailer Truck, Random House (New York, NY), 1974.

I Am a Monster ("Sesame Street" series), Golden Press (New York, NY), 1976.

The Grover Sticker Book, Western Publishing (Racine, WI), 1976.

The Count's Coloring Book, Western Publishing (Racine, WI), 1976.

The Sesame Street Mix or Match Storybook: Over Two Hundred Thousand Funny Combinations, Random House (New York, NY), 1977.

Who's Who on Sesame Street, Western Publishing (Racine, WI), 1977.

Busy City (nonfiction), Random House (New York, NY), 1978.

The Olden Days (nonfiction), Random House (New York, NY), 1981.

Bathtime on Sesame Street, edited by Jane Schulman, Random House (New York, NY), 1983.

Big Bird Visits the Dodos, Random House (New York, NY), 1985.

Fire Trucks, Random House (New York, NY), 1988.

Trucks in Your Neighborhood, Random House (New York, NY), 1988.

Sesame Street 123: A Counting Book from 1 to 100 (also see below), Random House (New York, NY), 1991.

Sounds ("Sesame Street" series), Publications International (Lincolnwood, IL), 1997.

On the Go ("Sesame Street" series), Publications International (Lincolnwood, IL), 1997.

Counting ("Sesame Street" series), Publications International (Lincolnwood, IL), 1997.

Colors ("Sesame Street" series), Publications International (Lincolnwood, IL), 1997.

Sesame Street Lift-and-Peek Party!, Children's Television Workshop (New York, NY), 1998.

Learn about Numbers: With Flips, Flaps, Slides, Tabs, and Pop-up Surprises! ("Sesame Street" series), Children's Television Workshop (New York, NY), 1998.

ABC and 123: A Sesame Street Treasury of Words and Numbers (includes Sesame Street 123: A Counting Book from 1 to 100), Children's Television Workshop (New York, NY), 1998.

Fun with Opposites ("Sesame Street" series), Children's Television Workshop (New York, NY), 2000.

ILLUSTRATOR

Ossie Davis, Purlie Victorious, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1973.

Scott Corbett, Dr. Merlin's Magic Shop, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1973.

Genevieve Gray, Casey's Camper, McGraw, 1973.

Byron Preiss, The Electric Company: The Silent "E's" from Outer Space, Western Publishing (Racine, WI), 1973.

Scott Corbett, The Great Custard Pie Panic, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1974.

Suzanne W. Bladow, The Midnight Flight of Moose, Mops, and Marvin, McGraw, 1975.

Howard Liss, The Giant Book of Strange but True Sports Stories, Random House (New York, NY), 1976.

Hedda Nussbaum, Plants Do Amazing Things (nonfiction), Random House (New York, NY), 1977.

Katy Hall and Lisa Eisenberg, A Gallery of Monsters, Random House (New York, NY), 1981.

Cindy West, The Superkids and the Singing Dog, Random House (New York, NY), 1982.

Harold Woods and Geraldine Woods, The Book of the Unknown (nonfiction), Random House (New York, NY), 1982.

Howard Liss, The Giant Book of More Strange but True Sports Stories, Random House (New York, NY), 1983.

Deborah Kovacs, Brewster's Courage, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1992.

Leslie McGuire, Big Dan's Moving Van, Random House (New York, NY), 1993.

Laura Joffe Numeroff, Dogs Don't Wear Sneakers, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1993.

Laura Joffe Numeroff, Chimps Don't Wear Glasses, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1995.

Leslie McGuire, Big Frank's Fire Truck, Random House (New York, NY), 1995.

Lori Haskins, Too Many Dogs!, Random House (New York, NY), 1998.

Theo LeSieg, The Eye Book, Random House (New York, NY), 1999.

Theo LeSieg, The Tooth Book, Random House (New York, NY), 2000.

Louise Gikow, Red Hat, Green Hat, Golden Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Tennant Redbank, Walk, Don't Walk, Golden Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Stephen Krensky, What a Mess!, Random House (New York, NY), 2001.

Anna Jane Hays, Happy Alphabet!: A Phonics Reader, Random House (New York, NY), 2001.

Robert Skutch, Albie's Trip to the Jumble Jungle, Tricycle Press (Berkeley, CA), 2002.

Al Perkins, The Nose Book, Random House (New York, NY), 2002.

Leslie McGuire, Big Mike's Police Car, Random House (New York, NY), 2003.

Bonnie Worth, Hurray for Today!, Random House (New York, NY), 2004.

Lisa and Cindy Moran, Big Cindy's School Bus, Random House (New York, NY), 2004.

Kara McMahon, Just the Way You Are, Random House (New York, NY), 2004.

(With Aristides Ruiz) Tish Rabe, Clam-I-Am, Random House (New York, NY), 2005.

Laura Joffe Numeroff, Dogs Don't Wear Sneakers, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2005.

Stephanie Greene, Moose's Big Idea, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2005.

Stephanie Greene, Moose Crossing, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2005.

Judy Cox, Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie!, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2005.

(With Aristides Ruiz) Bonnie Worth, A Whale of a Tale!: All about Porpoises, Dolphins, and Whales, Random House (New York, NY), 2006.

(With Aristides Ruiz) Bonnie Worth, I Can Name Fifty Trees Today!, Random House (New York, NY), 2006.

Stephanie Greene, Pig Pickin', Marshall Cavendish (Tarrytown, NY), 2006.

Tish Rabe, My, Oh My—A Butterfly!, Random House (New York, NY), 2007.

Stephanie Greene, The Show-Off, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2007.

Sarah Albee, Field Trip!, Reader's Digest (Pleasantville, NY), 2007.

Bonnie Worth, One Cent, Two Cent, Old Cent, New Cent: All about Money, Random House (New York, NY), 2008.

Judy Cox, Mrs. Millie Goes to Philly!, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2008.

ILLUSTRATOR; "SESAME STREET" SERIES

Matt Robinson, Matt Robinson's Gordon of Sesame Street Storybook, Random House (New York, NY), 1972.

Emily Perl Kingsley and others, The Sesame Street 1,2,3 Storybook, Random House (New York, NY), 1973.

Norman Stiles and Daniel Wilcox, Grover and the Everything in the Whole Wide World Museum: Featuring Lovable, Furry Old Grover, Random House (New York, NY), 1974.

Jeffrey Moss, Norman Stiles, and Daniel Wilcox, The Sesame Street ABC Storybook, Random House (New York, NY), 1974.

Anna Jane Hays, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Smell No Evil, Western Publishing (Racine, WI), 1975.

E.P. Kingsley, David Korr, and Jeffrey Moss, The Sesame Street Book of Fairy Tales, Random House (New York, NY), 1975.

Norman Stiles, Grover's Little Red Riding Hood, Western Publishing (Racine, WI), 1976.

Norman Stiles, The Ernie and Bert Book, Western Publishing (Racine, WI), 1977.

Patricia Thackray, What Ernie and Bert Did on Their Summer Vacation, Western Publishing (Racine, WI), 1977.

E.P. Kingsley, The Exciting Adventures of Super-Grover, Golden Press (New York, NY), 1978.

Sharon Lerner, Big Bird's Look and Listen Book, Random House (New York, NY), 1978.

Patricia Thackray, Grover Visits His Granny, Random House (New York, NY), 1978.

Daniel Korr, Cookie Monster and the Cookie Tree, Western Publishing (Racine, WI), 1979.

Valjean McLenigham, Ernie's Work of Art, Western Publishing (Racine, WI), 1979.

Linda Hayward, The Sesame Street Dictionary, Random House (New York, NY), 1980, reprinted, 2004.

Sarah Roberts, Ernie's Big Mess, Random House (New York, NY), 1981.

Jon Stone and Joe Bailey, Christmas Eve on Sesame Street (based on the television special "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street"), Random House (New York, NY), 1981.

Sarah Roberts, Nobody Cares about Me!, Random House (New York, NY), 1982.

Dan Elliott, Ernie's Little Lie, Random House (New York, NY), 1983.

Dan Elliott, A Visit to the Sesame Street Firehouse, Random House (New York, NY), 1983.

Sarah Roberts, Bert and the Missing Mop Mix-Up, Random House (New York, NY), 1983.

Norman Stiles, I'll Miss You, Mr. Hooper, Random House (New York, NY), 1984.

Dan Elliott, Two Wheels for Grover, Random House (New York, NY), 1984.

Sharon Lerner, Big Bird's Copycat Day, Random House (New York, NY), 1984.

Dan Elliott, My Doll Is Lost, Random House (New York, NY), 1984.

Sarah Roberts, The Adventures of Big Bird in Dinosaur Days, Random House (New York, NY), 1984.

Sarah Roberts, I Want to Go Home, Random House (New York, NY), 1985.

Deborah Hautzig, A Visit to the Sesame Street Hospital, Random House (New York, NY), 1985.

Sharon Lerner, Big Bird Says, Random House (New York, NY), 1985.

Deborah Hautzig, A Visit to the Sesame Street Library, 1986.

Judy Freudberg and Tony Geiss, Susan and Gordon Adopt a Baby, Random House (New York, NY), 1986.

Liza Alexander, A Visit to the Sesame Street Museum, Random House (New York, NY), 1987.

Molly Cross, Wait for Me, Random House (New York, NY), 1987, published as Wait for Elmo, Random House (New York, NY), 1998.

Deborah Hautzig, It's Easy, Random House (New York, NY), 1988.

Virginia Holt, A My Name Is Alice, Random House (New York, NY), 1989.

Deborah Hautzig, Get Well, Granny Bird, Random House (New York, NY), 1989.

Deborah Hautzig, Grover's Bad Dream, Random House (New York, NY), 1990.

Lisa Alexander, How to Get to Sesame Street, Western Publishing (Racine, WI), 1990.

Deborah Hautzig, Ernie and Bert's New Kitten, Random House (New York, NY), 1990.

Deborah Hautzig, Big Bird Plays the Violin, Random House (New York, NY), 1991.

Liza Alexander, Bird Watching with Bert, Western Publishing (Racine, WI), 1991.

Bobbi Jane Kates, We're Different, We're the Same, Random House (New York, NY), 1992.

Elizabeth Rivlin, Elmo's Little Glowworm, Random House (New York, NY), 1994.

Anna Ross, Elmo's Big Lift-and-Look Book, Random House (New York, NY), 1994.

Norman Stiles, Around the Corner on Sesame Street, Random House (New York, NY), 1994.

Lou Berger, Sesame Street Stays up Late, Random House (New York, NY), 1995.

Annie Cobb, B Is for Books, Random House (New York, NY), 1996.

Anna Ross, Elmo's Lift-and-Peek around the Corner Book, Random House (New York, NY), 1996.

Tish Rabe, The King's Beard, Random House (New York, NY), 1997.

Eleanor Hudson, Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street?, Beginner Books (New York, NY), 1997.

Stephanie St. Pierre, Ernie's Wishes, Random House (New York, NY), 1998.

Stephanie St. Pierre, Elmo's Wishes, Random House (New York, NY), 1998.

Stephanie St. Pierre, Elmo's Busy Baby Book: With Great Big Flaps!, Children's Television Workshop (New York, NY), 1999.

Sarah Albee, If You're Happy and You Know It—Clap Your Paws!, Random House (New York, NY), 2001.

Sarah Albee, Ernie's Joke Book, Random House (New York, NY), 2001.

Sharon Lerner, Big Bird's Copycat Day, Random House (New York, NY), 2003.

Sharon Lerner, Big Bird Says—: A Game to Read and Play, Random House (New York, NY), 2003.

Kara McMahon, Brought to you by—Sesame Street!, Random House (New York, NY), 2004.

Abigail Tabby, The City Sings a Song!: A Story for Two to Share, Random House (New York, NY), 2005.

Kama Einhorn, My First Book about Dogs, Random House (New York, NY), 2006.

Sidelights

Joe Mathieu has made a career illustrating many of the children's books featuring Jim Henson's Muppets from the award-winning Sesame Street program, which airs on public television. Although Mathieu began his career in children's publishing illustrating his own texts in books such as The Magic Word Book, Starring Marko the Magician! and The Amazing Adventures of Silent "E" Man, the bulk of his work as an artist has been paired with stories by other writers. Among these are Elmo's Lift-and-Peek around the Corner Book, in which author Anna Ross introduces numbers, opposites, and matching concepts with the aid of Mathieu's "loudly colored, chaotic-looking pages," in the estimation of a Publishers Weekly reviewer.

Other Sesame Street tie-in books illustrated by Mathieu include We're Different, We're the Same, featuring a story by Bobbi Jane Kates in which Mathieu's Muppet characters "cavort cheerfully with people of all sizes, shapes and ethnicities," according to a Publishers Weekly critic. In A Visit to the Sesame Street Hospital, by Deborah Hautzig, Grover is given a tour of the hospital where he will stay during a tonsillectomy operation, and Hautzig's Get Well, Granny Bird finds Big Bird visiting his grandmother when she gets a cold. Mathieu's illustrations for both these books "are typical" of the Sesame Street books; they are "realistically drawn and in full color," as Sharron McElmeel observed in her School Library Journal review of those titles.

Mathieu has also illustrated a number of books that range outside the Sesame Street world. A Publishers Weekly critic praised the "exuberant art" he contributes to Laura Numeroff's Dogs Don't Wear Sneakers, in which his pictures of animals in implausible situations accompany Numeroff's nonsensical rhymes. In fact, according to School Library Journal contributor Lori A. Janick, "Mathieu's wacky and inventive illustrations … really carry the show" in this title. The book's sequel, Chimps Don't Wear Glasses, was deemed less successful by a Kirkus Reviews critic, although the reviewer nonetheless praised Mathieu's "busy, literal cartoons." Carolyn Phelan, writing in Booklist, predicted that young readers "will enjoy the humorous interpretation of the rhyming words in the colorful pictures."

Deborah Kovacs's picture book Brewster's Courage features a ferret who travels to Louisiana to enjoy the region's zydeco music and learns how to make friends in a new situation. In this work, Mathieu's "amusing drawings" accompany "a story with appeal for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider," according to a Kirkus Reviews commentator. Robert Skutch's Albie's Trip to the Jumble Jungle features a number of hybrid animals, such as a lion with wings. "The playful cartoons are colorful and appealing," wrote Be Astengo, discussing Mathieu's imaginative contribution in School Library Journal.

Mathieu has also illustrated three chapter-book adventures featuring Moose and his pig friend, Hildy, that are written by Stephanie Green. In Moose Crossing Moose and Hildy believe that Moose has become famous when a bright yellow sign with Moose's silhouette on it is posted alongside a local road. A Kirkus Reviews contributor called Mathieu's pencil sketches for the story "humorous." In Moose's Big Idea, Moose decides to sell coffee and doughnuts to the local hunters, hoping they will not recognize him without his antlers. "Mathieu's frequent black-and-white illustrations expand on the fun," wrote Laura Scott in School Library Journal. Pig Pickin', another story by Green, gives Hildy a chance to shine as the pig asks Moose to accompany her to what she thinks is a beauty contest. In reality, Hildy is being fattened up for a barbecue, and Moose has to save her. "Readers will enjoy the … playful … pencil and gray-wash drawings," wrote Marilyn Ackerman in a School Library Journal review of the book. The illustrations "feature largely throughout the tale," noted a Kirkus Reviews contributor who added that Mathieu's numerous illustrations for the book will encourage beginning readers.

Judy Cox's Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie!, which features Mathieu's art, was selected by Time magazine as one of the best children's books of 2005. In Cox's text, kindergarten teacher Mrs. Millie uses the wrong words to describe activities she wants the children to perform (such as hanging up their "goats"), and Mathieu's humorous illustrations bring the teacher's misstatements to literal life. Stephanie Zvirin, writing in Booklist, praised the book's "rainbow-bright, color-saturated art," and Erin Senig noted in School Library Journal that "the artist's lively and imaginative cartoons aid in understanding" Cox's wordplay.

Mathieu once told SATA: "I became addicted to drawing pictures at about three years old. I was never interested in drawing completely straight. It's almost impossible for me to avoid humor, caricature and lots of action.

"I don't feel that an artist has to be particularly encouraged to draw. I think he'll draw no matter what. The same with a writer or a musician for that matter. As a youngster, I became enamored of Jim Henson and the Muppets long before they were really famous. I would beg permission to miss the bus if they were going to appear on the Dave Garroway Show or I'd get special permission to stay up late if they were scheduled for Jack Parr.

"When Random House and the Children's Television Workshop started looking for illustrators to interpret the Muppet characters from Sesame Street, I just fell into it and I love drawing them. The Sesame Street characters are my favorites of all the many Muppet characters."

Along with his work for children's books, Mathieu's illustrations have appeared on numerous Sesame Street products, ranging from toys to clothing. He has also illustrated album and CD covers for musical groups, giving him a chance to express his love of ragtime piano and jazz.

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 1, 1995, Carolyn Phelan, review of Chimps Don't Wear Glasses, p. 89; August, 2005, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie! p. 2038; May 1, 2006, Edie Ching, review of Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie! p. 96.

Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 1992, review of Brewster's Courage, p. 780; August 1, 1995, review of Chimps Don't Wear Glasses, p. 1115; June 15, 2005, review of Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie!, p. 680; September 15, 2005, review of Moose Crossing, p. 1026; September 15, 2006, review of Pig Pickin', p. 954.

Publishers Weekly, November 23, 1992, review of We're Different, We're the Same, p. 61; January 29, 1996, review of Elmo's Lift-and-Peek around the Corner Book, p. 99; August 19, 1996, review of Dogs Don't Wear Sneakers, p. 69; November 9, 1998, review of Chimps Don't Wear Glasses, p. 79.

School Library Journal, August, 1989, Sharron McElmeel, review of Get Well, Granny Bird, p. 122; September, 1992, p. 254; January, 1994, Lori A. Janick, review of Dogs Don't Wear Sneakers, p. 96; February, 2003, Be Astengo, review of Albie's Trip to Jumble Jungle, p. 122; October 2005, Laura Scott, review of Moose's Big Idea, p. 114; February, 2006, Barbara Auerbach, review of Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie!, p. 67; March, 2006, Kristine M. Casper, review of Moose Crossing, p. 190; October, 2006, Marilyn Ackerman, review of Pig Pickin', p. 112.

ONLINE

Joe Mathieu Home Page,http://www.joemathieu.com (November 28, 2007).

Ten Speed Press Web site,http://www.tenspeed.com/authors/ (December 2, 2007), profile of Mathieu.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Mathieu, Joe 1949–." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 6 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Mathieu, Joe 1949–." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 6, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/mathieu-joe-1949

"Mathieu, Joe 1949–." Something About the Author. . Retrieved November 06, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/mathieu-joe-1949

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.