Mirocha, Paul

views updated

Mirocha, Paul

Personal

Born in St. Paul, MN; married; wife's name Stina; children: Anna, Claire.

Addresses

Home—Tucson, AZ. Office—425 E. 17th St., Tucson, AZ 85701. Agent—The Wiley Group, 1535 Green St., Ste. 301, San Francisco, CA 94123. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Illustrator and designer. Office of Arid Lands Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson, graphic designer for thirteen years; full-time illustrator, 1990—.

Awards, Honors

Illustration prize, National Design Art Marker Contest, Eberhard Faber, 1980; John Burroughs Award for Best Natural History Book of 1986, (with Gary Paul Nabhan), for Gathering the Desert; Certificate of Merit for Illustrations, Art Directors Club of New York, 65th Annual show, 1985; Arizona Humanities Council grant, 1989; Gold Medal for design, Arizona Press Club, 1991; Publication Design Merit Award, American Association of Museums, 1992; Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children, National Science Teachers Association/ Children's Book Council, 1992, for Moon of the Wild Pigs; Bronze Award, Dimensional Illustrators Awards Show, 1995; MPBA/Benjamin Franklin Award for Science and the Environment, 1997, for The Forgotten Pollinators; Artist's Project Award, Arizona Commission on the Arts, 1998; Tucson/Pima Arts Council grant, 1999; Skipping Stones Honor Award for ecological and multicultural awareness, and special recognition for Patterson Prize for Books for Young People, 2008, both for The Bee Tree.

Writings

ILLUSTRATOR

Gary Paul Nabhan, Gathering the Desert, University of Arizona Press (Tucson, AZ) 1985.

Awesome Animal Actions, HarperFestival (New York, NY), 1992.

Freaky Fish Facts, HarperFestival (New York, NY), 1992.

Incredible Insect Instincts, HarperFestival (New York, NY), 1992.

Baffling Bird Behavior, HarperFestival (New York, NY), 1992.

Jean Craighead George, The Moon of the Wild Pigs, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1992.

Molly Marr, I Wonder Where Butterflies Go in Winter and Other Neat Facts about Insects, Western Publishing (Racine, WI), 1992.

R.M. Alexander, Exploring Biomechanics: Animals in Motion, Scientific American Library (New York, NY), 1992.

Annabelle Donati, Unusual Animals, Western Publishing (Racine, WI), 1993.

(With Rhod Lauffer) Back Off!: Animal Defense Behavior, Scientific American Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 1994.

(With Rhod Lauffer) Look Again!: Animal Disguises, Scientific American Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 1994.

Melvin Berger, Oil Spill!, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.

Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tucson: Essay from Now or Never, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Rhod Lauffer) Susan Lowell, The Boy with Paper Wings, Milkweed Editions (Minneapolis, MN), 1995.

Arlene Maguire, Dinosaur Pop-up ABC, Little Simon (New York, NY), 1995.

Jean Craighead George, Acorn Pancakes, Dandelion Salad, and Thirty-eight Other Wild Recipes, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1995.

Cindy Kendall, Butterflies, Dial Books (New York, NY), 1995.

Cindy Kendall, Eagles, Dial Books (New York, NY), 1995.

Annabelle Donati, Animal Camouflage, Western Publishing (Racine, WI), 1995.

Stephen L. Buchmann and Gary Paul Nabhan, The Forgotten Pollinators, Shearwater Books (Washington, DC), 1995.

Roma Gans, How Do Birds Find Their Way?, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.

Aileen Kilgore Henderson, The Monkey Thief, Milkweed Editions (Minneapolis, MN), 1997.

Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld, The Cactus Café: A Story of the Sonoran Desert, Soundprints (Norwalk, CT), 1997.

Barbara Kingsolver, Prodigal Summer, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

Mary Batten, Hungry Plants, Golden Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Barbara Kingsolver, Small Wonder, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

Diana Cohn, Mr. Goethe's Garden, Bell Pond Books (Herndon, VA), 2003.

Ginjer L. Clarke, Platypus!, Random House (New York, NY), 2004.

(With Rhod Lauffer) Do You See What I See?: A Southwest Nature Walk You Read, Western National Parks Association (Tucson, AZ), 2004.

Abby Mogollon, A Desert Hello: Welcome to the Sonoran Desert, Western National Parks Association (Tucson, AZ), 2004.

(With Trudy Nicholson) Sara St. Antoine, editor, The Great North American Prairie: A Literary Field Guide, Milkweed Editions (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

(With Trudy Nicholson) Sara St. Antoine, editor, The Gulf Coast: A Literary Field Guide, Milkweed Editions (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

Stephen Buchmann and Diana Cohn, The Bee Tree, Cinco Puntos Press (El Paso, TX), 2007.

Contributor to The Very Best of Children's Illustration, Society of Illustrators. Also illustrator of book covers, maps, and catalogues.

Sidelights

Paul Mirocha often illustrates children's books that examine environmental themes. "I'm fascinated by the world's infinite detail, so my style is naturally realistic," the artist remarked on his home page. Mirocha provided the illustrations for Melvin Berger's Oil Spill!, which depicts the causes and effects of these ecological disasters. "Subtle in texture and deep in tone, the colorful artwork effectively illustrates marine animals and oil tankers," observed Booklist reviewer Carolyn Phelan. In The Forgotten Pollinators, Stephen L. Buchmann and Gary Paul Nabhan look at one of the key roles that bees, moths, and bats play in the ecosystem. According to a Publishers Weekly critic, "This important addition to the environmental bookshelf is enlivened by Mirocha's delightful drawings."

Diana Cohn examines the life of eighteenth-century German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a man who had a keen interest in the natural world, in Mr. Goethe's Garden. In Childhood Education, Michele Litster praised Mirocha's "breathtaking illustrations," and added, "His vibrant watercolors work beautifully alongside the text." Set in Malayasia, The Bee Tree, an award-winning work by Buchmann and Diana Cohn, focuses on traditional hunters Pak Teh and his grandson, Nizam.

To harvest honeycombs, the pair must climb the tualang, a 120-foot-tall tree in which the bees have nested. A critic in Kirkus Reviews applauded Mirocha's "wondrous double-spread paintings," and Kathy Piehl, writing in School Library Journal, noted that the artist's "illustrations incorporate details of Malaysian culture and the lush landscape of the rainforest."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 1994, Carolyn Phelan, review of Oil Spill!, p. 1824; June 1, 1995, Carolyn Phelan, review of Acorn Pancakes, Dandelion Salad and Thirty-eight Other Wild Recipes, p. 1762; February 1, 1996, Stephanie Zvirin, review of How Do Birds Find Their Way?, p. 934; May 15, 2000, Shelley Townsend-Hudson, review of Hungry Plants, p. 1745; July, 2004, Gillian Engberg, review of Platypus!, p. 1850.

Childhood Education, summer, 2005, Michele Litster, review of Mr. Goethe's Garden, p. 244.

Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2007, review of The Bee Tree.

Publishers Weekly, July 5, 1993, review of I Am Lavina Cumming, p. 74; June 5, 1995, review of Dinosaur Pop-up ABC, p. 62; May 13, 1996, review of The Forgotten Pollinators, p. 63.

School Library Journal, July, 2007, Kathy Piehl, review of The Bee Tree, p. 67.

ONLINE

Paul Mirocha Home Page,http://paulmirocha.com (August 15, 2008).

Paul's Travel Journal Web log,http://paulstraveljournal.blogspot.com/ (August 15, 2008).