McHenry, E.B. 1963(?)–

views updated

McHenry, E.B. 1963(?)–

Personal

Born c. 1963, in PA. Education: Philadelphia College of Art, B.F.A., 1985; attended Moore College of Art and Design.

Addresses

Home—San Francisco, CA. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Author, illustrator, and commercial artist. Formerly worked in educational software development for firms, including Adobe Software. Exhibitions: Work exhibited at galleries, including Dolan/Maxwell Gallery, Philadelphia, PA.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

Poodlena, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2004.

Has Anyone Seen Winnie and Jean?, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor of illustrations to periodicals, including Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia Inquirer. Contributed artwork to educational software projects.

Sidelights

After spending the early portion of her professional career as a fine and commercial artist, E.B. McHenry turned her creative energies to writing and illustrating children's books. Growing up just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art with a degree in painting and began producing work for art galleries as well as illustrations for magazines and newspapers. A move to California's Bay Area in the mid-1990s led to a position creating illustrations for software developers. In 2004, McHenry further shifted her focus, writing and illustrating her first picture book for children, Poodlena.

Living a pampered life in a metropolitan high-rise apartment, Poodlena spends much of her day being groomed by her owner so she will look the part of the most sophisticated canine in the dog park. At the park, Poodlena takes special care not to muss her carefully sculpted pink fur, even if it means keeping away from other dogs so they cannot damage her beloved coiffure. However, after a rainfall makes the dog park a muddy mess, the treasured pooch is accidentally pushed into the mud, where she discovers the joy of getting dirty. Writing in School Library Journal, Sally R. Dow noted that McHenry's "illustrations done … in bubble-gum shades complement the rhyming text," while Booklist critic Ilene Cooper credited much of the book's appeal to pictures that "have a retro feel and conjure up visions of a 1950s New York."

Dogs reappear in McHenry's second book, Has Anyone Seen Winnie and Jean? This time adventurous corgis Winnie and Jean escape from their comfortable suburban backyard and embark on a week-long expedition. The duo visit a golf course, crash a barbecue, and forage for food from a vending machine. Meanwhile, the dog's owners, a heartbroken brother and sister, search for the pair, eventually enlisting the aid of the police, who help the children and dogs reunite. "The big draw of this rhyming picture book are the gouache illustrations," noted Booklist critic Kristen McKulski, the critic adding that McHenry's art presents an interesting contrast between the carefree pets and the worried children. In School Library Journal Linda L. Walkins also found much merit in McHenry's artwork, suggesting that the "richly colored" pictures "enhance the narrative, lending an old-fashioned air and a bit of humor to the tale."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 1, 2004, Ilene Cooper, review of Poodlena, p. 1563; June 1, 2007, Kristen McKulski, review of Has Anyone Seen Winnie and Jean?, p. 80.

Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2007, review of Has Anyone Seen Winnie and Jean?

Publishers Weekly, May 24, 2004, review of Poodlena, p. 62.

School Library Journal, November, 2004, Sally R. Dow, review of Poodlena, p. 112; July, 2007, Linda L. Walkins, review of Has Anyone Seen Winnie and Jean?, p. 81.

ONLINE

E.B. McHenry Home Page,http://www.poodlena.com (September 24, 2008).