McGrory, Anik

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McGrory, Anik

Personal

Married; husband's name Glenn; children: Noel, Solenn. Education: Attended Rhode Island School of Design. Hobbies and other interests: Travel.

Addresses

Home—Tarrytown, NY. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Illustrator and author of picture books.

Member

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Awards, Honors

Don Freeman Memorial grant-in-aid, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, 2003.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

Mouton's Impossible Dream, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 2000.

Kidogo, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2005.

ILLUSTRATOR

Barbara Diamond Goldin, A Mountain of Blintzes, Harcourt (San Francisco, CA), 2001.

Sneed B. Collard, III, Animals Asleep, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2004.

Mike Downs, You See a Circus, I See …, Charlesbridge (Watertown, MA), 2005.

Linda Ashman, Desmond and the Naughtybugs, Dutton (New York, NY), 2006.

Johanna Hurwitz, Mostly Monty, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2007.

Sidelights

Children's author and illustrator Anik McGrory has provided artwork for texts by a variety of authors, including Barbara Diamond Goldin, Mike Downs, and Sneed B. Collard, III. McGrory's detailed watercolors have been credited for adding an extra dimension to each story she illustrates. For instance, in A Mountain of Blintzes, Goldin's tale about a family preparing for Shavuot, School Library Journal contributor Teri Markson highlighted the "bright, friendly palette and endearing pink-cheeked characters" featured in McGrory's art, suggesting that "the illustrations tell an amusing story within a story." In his Booklist review, John Peters wrote

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that Down's narrative in You See a Circus, I See … "is considerably heightened by McGrory's splashy scenes" about life under the big top.

McGrory earned additional praise for the art she created to accompany Collard's Animals Asleep, a picture book offering young readers information about the resting habits of numerous creatures. According to Booklist critic Carolyn Phelan, the illustrations "offer graceful, well-composed depictions of beasts, birds, and butterflies in a series of beautifully lit settings." Similarly, a Kirkus Reviews writer claimed that McGrory's "softly colored, detailed watercolor paintings enhance the text," making Animals Asleep "good for bedtime."

Teaming up with author Linda Ashman, McGrory created the artwork for Desmond and the Naughtybugs, a story about a little boy who struggles to behave. In general, Desmond is a well-behaved child, but occasionally the Naughtybugs appear, causing much mayhem. For instance, the presence of Squirmies causes Desmond to become restless at a restaurant, while a Pesky influences the boy to mishandle the apples at the supermarket. Fortunately, Desmond's parents have the Gigglies to fight the Naughtybugs, restoring harmony in the family. Reviewing the book in School Library Journal, Andrea Tarr concluded that "McGrory's charming illustrations add a whimsical touch."

In McGrory's first self-illustrated picture book, Mouton's Impossible Dream, a sheep named Mouton hopes to fly in a hot-air balloon. Watching her owners labor on such a flying machine, Mouton decides that she, too, would like to soar into the sky. To do so, he enlists the help of feathered farm animals Canard and Cocorico, a duck and rooster, respectively. Eventually, the threesome takes flight as part of a test to see if living creatures can travel safely in the balloon. "Lavish, beautifully composed watercolors are the strength of this pleasing story," claimed Booklist critic Gillian Engberg, and a Horn Book contributor suggested that the author/illustrator offers children an interesting look at history "through Mouton's highly sympathetic personality and through her light, atmospheric watercolors."

McGrory's next solo effort, Kidogo, is a story about a little elephant's search to find a creature smaller than himself. Setting out alone through the African wilderness, Kidogo looks high and low, yet encounters no one. Only when he begins itching does he realize a creature smaller than he exists: ants. Happy to finally be the largest, the growing elephant helps the insects as they lead him back to his family. Calling Kidogo a "sweet, enchanting story," School Library Journal reviewer Rebecca Sheridan found McGrory's "poetic text" to be "perfectly matched with pencil-and-watercolor illustrations."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 2000, Gillian Engberg, review of Mouton's Impossible Dream, p. 1910; March 1, 2001, Karen Simonetti, review of A Mountain of Blintzes, p. 1287; March 1, 2004, Carolyn Phelan, review of Animals Asleep, p. 1190; April 1, 2005, John Peters, review of You See a Circus, I See …, p. 1365; June 1, 2007, Suzanne Harold, review of Mostly Monty, p. 82.

Horn Book, May, 2000, review of Mouton's Impossible Dream, p. 297.

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2004, review of Animals Asleep, p. 220; September 1, 2005, review of Kidogo, p. 978; December 15, 2005, review of Desmond and the Naughtybugs, p. 1317.

Publishers Weekly, May 8, 2000, review of Mouton's Impossible Dream, p. 220; February 28, 2005, review of You See a Circus, I See …, p. 65.

School Library Journal, April, 2000, Grace Oliff, review of Mouton's Impossible Dream, p. 108; April, 2001, Teri Markson, review of A Mountain of Blintzes, p. 108; May, 2004, Nancy Call, review of Animals Asleep, p. 192; April, 2005, Bina Williams, review of You See a Circus, I See …, p. 96; September, 2005, Rebecca Sheridan, review of Kidogo, p. 177; January, 2006, Andrea Tarr, review of Desmond and the Naughtybugs, p. 90; July, 2007, Donna Atmur, review of Mostly Monty, p. 77.

ONLINE

Anik McGrory Home Page,http://www.anikmcgrory.com (September 23, 2008).

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