Monroy, Manuel 1970-

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Monroy, Manuel 1970-


Born 1970, in Mexico City, Mexico.


Home—Mexico. E-mail—[email protected].


Graphic designer, illustrator, and author. Creator of short animated films for Mexican television. Exhibitions: Work has been exhibited in Cuba, the Czech Republic, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and the Netherlands.

Awards, Honors

A la Orilla del Viento Award, Fondo de Cultura Económica, for Rabieta trebejos; Noma Concours Encouragement Prize; International Board on Books for Young People Honor designation, 2006, for Un hombre de mar; Gold World Medal, New York Film Festival, for Imaginantes (animated film).


(Self-illustrated) Rabieta trebejos, Fondo de Cultura Ecónómica (Mexico City, Mexico), 1999.


Jorge Luján, Alba y ocaso, translation by John Oliver Simon and Rebecca Parfitt published as Daybreak, Nightfall, Groundwood Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003.

Jorge Luján, Rooster/Gallo, translation by Elisa Amado, Groundwood Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2004.

Rodolfo Castro, Un hombre de mar, Fondo de Cultura Ecónómica (Mexico City, Mexico), 2004.

Poli Délano, When I Was a Boy Neruda Called Me Policarpo, translation by Sean Higgins, Groundwood Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2006.

Sarah Withrow, Be a Baby, Groundwood Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals.


Manuel Monroy is an editorial illustrator and animator who has provided the artwork for a number of children's books, including Daybreak, Nightfall by Jorge Luján and Be a Baby by Sarah Withrow. A native of Mexico, Monroy also has a self-illustrated title to his credit, the award-winning Rabieta trebejos. Monroy is often cited for his use of rich colors and vivid imagery.

A young girl learns the true value of her possessions in Rabieta trebejos. After Rabieta's grandmother, the owner of a curiosity shop, gives the youngster an empty sock in which to store her belongings, Rabieta develops a passion for collecting and sorting objects. When the hobby spins out of control, however, the girl's mother helps her daughter recognize what is really meaningful in life. Reviewing the work in Library Journal, Maria Otero-Boisvert complimented Monroy's use of pastels, fabric, and paper in his illustrations, stating that his "narrative style is complemented by the skewed perspective of the collage art."

Originally published in Spanish, Luján's Daybreak, Nightfall contains two haunting, free-verse poems by the Argentinean author. "An Apple in the Orchard," which takes place during the morning, concerns the friendship between a young boy and an enigmatic girl. In "Pale-as-Bone," which occurs later in the day, an ominous figure named Lady-as-Pale-as-a-Bone approaches the children as they ride on a merry-go-round. Although critics noted that Luján's text may be too intense for younger readers, they offered praise for Monroy's illustrations. According to a critic in Publishers Weekly, in Daybreak, Nightfall the artist "translates Lujan's elliptical imagery as a surreal sequence of scenes rendered in a deceptively childlike style."

Monroy also collaborated with Luján on Rooster/Gallo, a bilingual edition of the writer's nine-line poem celebrating the sunrise and sunset, "a cycle [that is] beautifully realized in … Monroy's midnight blues and earthy browns and golds," observed Horn Book contributor Joanna Rudge Long. A critic in Kirkus Reviews remarked that the poem's "brevity makes the artwork the real star of this gorgeous offering," and Ann Welton concluded in School Library Journal that Monroy's "primitive acrylic paintings" for Rooster/Gallo "are deep hued and utterly engaging."

When I Was a Boy Neruda Called Me Policarpo, a memoir by Chilean writer Poli Délano, contains several visual vignettes by Monroy. The autobiographical work describes Délano's childhood experiences with Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda, whom he called "Tio Pablo." Neruda invited the youngster and his parents, who served as Chilean diplomats, to live with him while the family was stationed in Mexico during World War II. "Monroy's pen-and-sepia-toned drawings at the head of each chapter capture the innocence of Delano and the adventuresome spirit of his tio," remarked Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan in School Library Journal, and a Kirkus Reviews critic concluded of When I Was a Boy Neruda Called Me Policarpo that the artist's "deceptively simple tan-and-grey illustrations evoke the wartime era."

In Withrow's Be a Baby, a mother offers a soothing lullaby to her infant as she rocks the young one to sleep. "The mild colors and gentle, soft-focus illustrations of a wide-eyed baby are pleasant," Susan Moorhead wrote in School Library Journal, and a contributor in Kirkus Reviews similarly noted that Monroy's "muted blues, browns and greens provide background settings for a pink-skinned baby girl with wide curious eyes."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, May 15, 2004, Ilene Cooper, review of Rooster/Gallo, p. 1625; July 1, 2006, Carolyn Phelan, review of When I Was a Boy Neruda Called Me Policarpo, p. 53.

Horn Book, March-April, 2004, Joanna Rudge Long, review of Rooster/Gallo, p. 173.

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2004, review of Rooster/Gallo, p. 226; May 1, 2006, review of When I Was a Boy Neruda Called Me Policarpo, p. 455; August 1, 2007, review of Be a Baby.

Library Journal, August, 2001, Maria Otero-Boisvert, review of Rabieta trebejos, p. S57.

Resource Links, October, 2003, Antonia Gisler, review of Daybreak, Nightfall, p. 6; October, 2004, Denise Parrott, review of Rooster/Gallo, p. 6.

School Library Journal, April, 2003, Judith Constantinides, review of Daybreak, Nightfall, p. 152; September 9, 2004, Ann Welton, review of Rooster/Gallo, p. 197; May, 2006, Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, review of When I Was a Boy Neruda Called Me Policarpo, p. 144; September, 2007, Susan Moorhead, review of Be a Baby, p. 188.


Groundwood Books Web site, (December 15, 2008), "Manuel Monroy."

Manual Monroy Home Page, (December 15, 2008).

PaperTigers Web site, (December 15, 2008), "Manuel Monroy."