McLean, Andrew 1946–

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McLean, Andrew 1946–

Personal

Born 1946, in Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia; married; wife's name Janet (a kindergarten teacher and writer).

Addresses

Agent—c/o Allen & Unwin, 9 Atchison St., P.O. Box 8500, Saint Leonards, Sydney, New South Wales 2065, Australia.

Career

Painter and illustrator.

Awards, Honors

Australian Children's Book of the Year commendation in picture-book category, Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA), 1979, for The Riverboat Crew, shortlist, 1982, for The Steam Train Crew, and Honour Book designation, 1991, for Hector and Maggie, 1994 for Dog Tales, and 1998, for Josh; Australian Children's Book of the Year Honour Book designation in younger-readers category, CBCA, 1998, for Antonio S. and the Mystery of Theodore Guzman, by Odo Hirsch; Australian Children's Book of the Year Award in early childhood category, CBCA, 2001, for You'll Wake the Baby!, by Catherine Jinks.

Writings

AND ILLUSTRATOR; WITH WIFE, JANET MCLEAN

The Riverboat Crew, Oxford University Press (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1978.

The Steam Train Crew, Oxford University Press (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1981.

Jenny and the Night of the Storm, Oxford University Press (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1982.

Fire-Engine Lil, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1989.

Oh Kipper!, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1991.

Cat Goes to Sea, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1994.

The Chuting Gallery, Thistle Press, 1998.

ILLUSTRATOR

Judy Tuer and Cheryl Semple, O.K., Jason, Dove Communications (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1986.

Dannalea Sloan and Diana Santleben, Too Little, Collins Dove Communications (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1987.

David Hicks, God's Goodness Is All around Us, Collins Dove (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1988.

Brenda Parkes, reteller, Little Half-Chick, Oxford University Press (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1989.

Nan McNab, Hide and Squeak, ABC Enterprises (Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia), 1990.

Janet McLean, Hector and Maggie, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1990.

Nan McNab, Victoria's Market, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1992.

Janet McLean, Dog Tales, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1993, Ticknor & Fields (New York, NY), 1995.

Garry Disher, Switch Cat, Ashton Scholastic (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1994, Ticknor & Fields (New York, NY), 1995.

Janet McLean, Cats' Whiskers, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1995.

John Parker, Jim's Run, Omnibus Books (Norwood, South Australia, Australia), 1995.

Ruth Homes, The Flying Trapeze, Omnibus Books (Norwood, South Australia, Australia), 1996.

Richard Tulloch, Mr. Biffy's Battle, Puffin (Ringwood, Victoria, Australia), 1997.

Odo Hirsch, Antonio S. and the Mystery of Theodore Guzman, Allen & Unwin (Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia), 1997.

Nadia Wheatley, Highway, Addison Wesley Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1997.

Jane Godwin, Sebby, Stee, the Garbos, and Me, Puffin (Ringwood, Victoria, Australia), 1998.

Emily Rodda, Where Do You Hide Two Elephants?, Omnibus Books (Norwood, South Australia, Australia), 1998, Gareth Stevens (Milwaukee, WI), 2001.

Odo Hirsch, Bartlett and the Ice Voyage, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1998, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2002.

Penny Matthews, The Sea Dog, Omnibus Books (Nor-wood, South Australia, Australia), 1998.

Tania Cox, Little Bat, Working Title Press (Kingswood, South Australia, Australia), 1999.

Robert Hughes, A Jerk on One End: Reflections of a Mediocre Fisherman, Harvill, 1999.

Odo Hirsch, Bartlett and the City of Flames, Allen & Un-win (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1999.

Janet McLean, Make It I'm the Mother, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2000.

Catherine Jinks, You'll Wake the Baby!, Viking (Ring-wood, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

John Heffernan, My Dog, Margaret Hamilton (Hunters Hill, New South Wales, Australia), 2001.

Jane Godwin, When Anna Slept Over, Penguin (Ringwood, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Odo Hirsch, Bartlett and the Forest of Plenty, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2001, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2004.

Penny Matthews, A Year on Our Farm, Omnibus Books (Norwood, South Australia, Australia), 2002.

Nigel Gray, Oliver Twist Finds a House (adapted from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens), Cygnet Books (Crawley, Western Australia, Australia), 2002.

Emily Rodda (pseudonym of Jennifer Rowe), Squeak Street (picture book), Working Title Press (Kingswood, South Australia, Australia), 2002.

Odo Hirsch, Bartlett and the Island of Kings, Allen & Un-win (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2003.

Anthony Hill, The Shadow Dog, Viking (Haymarket, New South Wales, Australia), 2003.

Bruce Dawe, Show and Tell, Puffin (Camberwell, Victoria, Australia), 2003.

Margaret Barbalet, Reggie, Queen of the Street, Puffin (Camberwell, Victoria, Australia), 2003.

Sofie Laguna, On Our Way to the Beach, Omnibus Books (Norwood, South Australia, Australia), 2003.

Nigel Gray, Pip and the Convict (adapted from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens), Cygnet Books (Crawley, Western Australia, Australia), 2005.

ILLUSTRATOR; "JOSH" BOARD-BOOK SERIES

Janet McLean, Josh, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1997, Little Ark (New York, NY), 1999.

Janet McLean, Josh and Thumper, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1997, Little Ark (New York, NY), 1999.

Janet McLean, Josh and the Ducks, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1998, Little Ark (New York, NY), 1999.

Janet McLean, Josh and the Monster, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1998, Little Ark (New York, NY), 1999.

ILLUSTRATOR; "HAZEL GREEN" NOVEL SERIES

Odo Hirsch, Hazel Green, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1999.

Odo Hirsch, Something's Fishy, Hazel Green!, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2000.

Odo Hirsch, Have Courage, Hazel Green!, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2001, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2006

Odo Hirsch, Think Smart, Hazel Green!, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2003.

ILLUSTRATOR; "SQUEAK STREET" CHAPTER-BOOK SERIES

Emily Rodda, Old Bun and the Burglar, Working Title Press (Kingswood, South Australia, Australia), 2005.

Emily Rodda, One-Shoe's Wishes, Working Title Press (Kingswood, South Australia, Australia), 2005.

Emily Rodda, Fee-Fee's Holiday, Working Title Press (Kingswood, South Australia, Australia), 2005.

Emily Rodda, Pink-Paw's Painting, Working Title Press (Kingswood, South Australia, Australia), 2005.

Emily Rodda, Lucky Clive, Working Title Press (King-swood, South Australia, Australia), 2005.

Emily Rodda, Quick-Sticks' Magic, Working Title Press (Kingswood, South Australia, Australia), 2005.

Emily Rodda, Kevin to the Rescue, Working Title Press (Kingswood, South Australia, Australia), 2006.

Emily Rodda, Tails and the Twin Spell, Working Title Press (Kingswood, South Australia, Australia), 2006.

Emily Rodda, Addy and the Pirates, Working Title Press (Kingswood, South Australia, Australia), 2006.

Emily Rodda, Ben the Post Mouse, Working Title Press (Kingswood, South Australia, Australia), 2006.

Sidelights

Australian artist Andrew McLean is noted for his illustrations for numerous popular books for young children. In titles such as Oh Kipper!,, the award-winning The Steam Train Crew, and Cat Goes to Sea, he collaborates with his wife, author and teacher Janet McLean, in creating an entertaining text, and his solo illustrations also appear alongside Janet's award-winning texts in Hector and Maggie and the "Josh" board-book series. In their many books, the McLeans introduce children to fun-loving animal characters that have been praised by critics and educators alike for their warmth, energy, and honesty. "I am attracted to the simplicity, honesty, and directness of picture books," McLean explained on his home page. "I like developing the characters and using movement, gesture, and facial expression to convey feeling. This is one reason why there are so many animals in our picture books."

The McLeans admit that the way they work together is "hard to describe." Many stories come from the imaginations of both Andrew and Janet, with ideas bounced back and forth until everything gels and they have a workable plot. "We never argue," the couple noted on their home page, "but we need time for the core elements of a story to emerge. The words and pictures develop side by side from the beginning and at some stage a book starts to form." McLean's illustrations for their first collaboration, the award-winning The Riverboat Crew, were praised for their use of crosshatching by a Junior Bookshelf contributor. The story follows three crew members of a paddle steamer—Captain Bill, Gus the stoker, and Sam the cook—as they wind their way down an Australian river and discuss whose job is the most important. Calling the book's text "beautifully economical," the Junior Bookshelf reviewer maintained that "it is the fine colored line which gives the book its distinction and character." In The Steam Train Crew the men behind the controls of a small, red steam train are enticed into picking the blackberries growing alongside the tracks and end up chasing their chugging train into the station. Noting that the illustrations "provide a pleasantly old-fashioned flavor," Booklist contributor Denise M. Wilms added that The Steam Train Crew contains a "clear-cut plot and sense of drama [that] will hold an audience well." "Apart from the dashing chalk and ink scenes," added Margery Fisher in her Growing Point appraisal of the picture book, "the most impressive contribution of the artwork is in character-drawing"; each of the crew members registers his own degree of disbelief at the incident.

In the McLeans' Dog Tales, five rambunctious pups playing with their young owners end up causing all manner of trouble with wagging tails, wet noses, muddy paws, and other parts of their doggy anatomy. In addition to lauding the book's humorous subject matter, Books for Keeps contributor Trevor Dickinson praised McLean's "acutely observed, light-hearted artwork and amusing marginal details." "There's a lot to smile at and laugh over in this lively, down-to-earth look" at man's—and kids'—best friend, added Martha Topol in School Library Journal. A companion volume, Cats' Whiskers depicts the antics of six felines via detailed illustrations that School Librarian contributor Jill Bennett noted "will reward close attention and individual exploration" on the part of the story-hour set.

Like Dog Tales, man's best friends take center stage in most of the McLeans' popular picture books. In Hector and Maggie, for example, Maggie the sheepdog moves in to take over the duties of a creaky-boned, retiring farm dog named Tom, and a bossy rooster named Hector decides to put the newcomer in her place—with humorous results. "The illustrations are a delight," exclaimed a Magpies contributor who had particular praise for Andrew McLean's "ability to capture and develop personalities" in his highly gestured art. Oh Kipper! focuses on yet another playful pup, this time a stray named Kipper. Sonja, a painter, befriends the scraggly but endearing dog, but then becomes too absorbed in her work to respond to his antics. After Kipper, wanting some attention, follows a group of children home, Sonja realizes that she misses her canine pal, and goes in search of him. "Wonderful color illustrations enhance the text beautifully and add depth and warmth to a touching storyline," maintained School Librarian contributor Sue Rogers. McLean's ink and crayon drawings, "with their unusual perspective, expand on the disarmingly simple story told "straight from the heart,'" added Magpies critic Joan Zahnleiter.

In addition to illustrating both his own works and the stories written by his wife, McLean also brings the works of other authors to life through his detailed illustrations, which incorporate such diverse media as ink, watercolor, charcoal, colored pencils, pastels, and gouache. Among the authors whose works have benefitted from his talents are Nan McNab, Garry Disher, Richard Tulloch, Emily Rodda (pseudonym of Australian writer Jennifer Rowe), and Odo Hirsch, whose Antonio S. and the Mystery of Theodore Guzman won an Australian Picture Book honor book commendation in 1998 (McLean's illustrations did not appear in the U.S. edition of the book). After illustrating Rodda's popular picture book Squeak Street, McLean rejoined the prolific writer on a chapter-book series based on Squeak Street's rodent characters; titles include Fee-Fee's Holiday, Addy and the Pirates, and Lucky Clive.

Other collaborations between McLean and Hirsch include several books featuring a brave explorer named Bartlett, his hefty sidekick Jacques le Grande, and young page Gozo. Bartlett and the Ice Voyage follows the explorer and le Grande as they undertake a lengthy sea voyage to bring their queen a sample of the fragile but tasty melidrop fruit—despite the fact that refrigerators have not yet been invented. McLean's "small, delicately detailed illustrations reflect the episode's light tone," noted a Kirkus Reviews writer, while in Publishers Weekly a critic deemed the book a "charming fantasy." In addition to other books featuring Bartlett, McLean contributed art for Hirsch's books in the "Hazel Green" novel series, about a feisty girl who takes on the role of amateur sleuth when things go awry in her busy small town.

Biographical and Critical Sources

BOOKS

McVitty, Walter, Authors and Illustrators of Australian Children's Books, Hodder & Stoughton (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1989.

Saxby, Maurice, Proof of the Puddin': Australian Children's Literature 1970–1990, Ashton Scholastic (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1993.

Scobie, Susan, The Dromkeen Book of Australian Children's Illustrators, Ashton Scholastic (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1997.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 15, 1983, p. 1096; March 15, 1995, Hazel Rochman, review of Switch Cat, p. 1334.

Books for Keeps, May, 1994, p. 35.

Growing Point, July, 1979, p. 3554; July, 1982, pp. 3915-3919.

Junior Bookshelf, August, 1979, p. 197; October, 1994, p. 166.

Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2002, review of Bartlett and the Ice Voyage, p. 1694.

Magpies, March, 1991, pp. 26-27; November, 1992, p. 27; November, 1997, review of Josh and Thumper, p. 4; September, 1998, review of Josh and the Ducks, p. 26.

Publishers Weekly, May 17, 1999, review of "Josh" series, p. 81; November 25, 2002, review of Bartlett and the Ice Voyage, p. 68.

School Librarian, August, 1993, p. 110; August, 1996, p. 100.

School Library Journal, May, 1979, p. 54; February, 1984, p. 61; May, 1995, p. 87.

ONLINE

Allen & Unwin Web site, http://www.allen-unwin.com.au/ (July 7, 2006), "Andrea and Janet McLean."

About this article

McLean, Andrew 1946–

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