Munro, Roxie 1945-
Munro, Roxie 1945-
Born September 5, 1945, in Mineral Wells, TX; daughter of Robert Enoch (an automotive shop owner and boat builder) and Margaret (a librarian) Munro; married Bo Zaunders (a writer and photographer), May 17, 1986. Education: Attended University of Maryland, 1963-65, Maryland Institute College of Art, 1965-66, and Ohio University, 1969-70; University of Hawaii, B.F.A., 1969, graduate work, 1970-71. Hobbies and other interests: Travel, reading.
Roxie (dress company), Washington, DC, dress designer and manufacturer, 1972-76; television courtroom artist in Washington, DC, 1976-81; freelance artist, beginning 1976. Exhibitions: Work included in group shows staged at New York Public Library, New York, NY; Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI; High Museum, Atlanta, GA; Boston Atheneum, Boston, MA; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, and others. Solo shows staged at Foundry Gallery, Washington, DC; Delaware Museum of Art; Zimmerli Museum, Rutgers University, Rutgers, NJ; Gotham Book Mart, New York, NY; Marin-Price Gallery, Chevy Chase, MD; Simie Maryles Gallery, Provincetown, MA; and Michael Ingbar Gallery of Architectural Art, New York, NY. Works included in many private and public collections.
New York Artists' Equity, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Yaddo painting fellowship, 1980; Best Illustrated Children's Books citation, New York Times, and Best Children's Books citation, Time, both 1985, both for The Inside-Outside Book of New York City; Best Book selection, School Library Journal, 1996, for The Inside-Outside Book of Libraries, 2001, for Feathers, Flaps, and Flops; Bank Street College of Education Best Books designation, for Gargoyles, Girders, and Glass Houses, Crocodiles, Camels, and Dugout Canoes, and The Inside-Outside Book of Washington, DC; Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies designation, National Council on the Social Studies/Children's Book Council; other awards.
Color New York, Arbor House (New York, NY), 1985.
The Inside-Outside Book of New York City, Dodd (New York, NY), 1985, revised edition, SeaStar Books (New York, NY), 2001.
The Inside-Outside Book of Washington, DC, Dutton (New York, NY), 1987.
Christmastime in New York City, Dodd (New York, NY), 1987.
Blimps, Dutton (New York, NY), 1989.
The Inside-Outside Book of London, Dutton (New York, NY), 1989.
The Inside-Outside Book of Paris, Dutton (New York, NY), 1992.
The Inside-Outside Book of Texas, SeaStar Books (New York, NY), 2001.
Mazescapes, SeaStar Books (New York, NY), 2001.
Doors, SeaStar Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Amazement Park, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2005.
The Wild West Trail Ride Maze, Bright Sky Press (Albany, TX), 2006.
Circus, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2006.
Mazeways: A to Z, Sterling Publishing (New York, NY), 2007.
Rodeo, Bright Sky Press (Albany, TX), 2007.
Kay D. Weeks, The Great American Landmark Adventure, National Park Service and American Architectural Foundation (Washington, DC), 1982.
Diane Maddex, Architects Make Zigzags: Looking at Architecture from A to Z, Preservation Press (Washington, DC), 1986.
Kay D. Weeks, American Defenders of Land, Sea, and Sky, National Park Service (Washington, DC), 1996.
Julie Cummins, The Inside-Outside Book of Libraries, Dutton (New York, NY), 1996.
Bo Zaunders, Crocodiles, Camels, and Dugout Canoes: Eight Adventurous Episodes, Dutton (New York, NY), 1998.
Bo Zaunders, Feathers, Flaps, and Flops: Fabulous Early Fliers, Dutton (New York, NY), 2001.
Raymond D. Keene, Learn Chess Fast: The Fun Way to Start Smart and Master the Game, Bright Sky Press (Albany, TX), 2001.
Joseph Siano, editor, The New York Times What's Doing around the World, Lebhar-Friedman (New York, NY), 2001.
Bo Zaunders, Gargoyles, Girders, and Glass Houses: Magnificent Master Builders, Dutton (New York, NY), 2003.
Bo Zaunders, The Great Bridge Building Contest, Harry N. Abrams (New York, NY), 2004.
Michael P. Spradlin, Texas Rangers: Legendary Lawmen, Walker & Co. (New York, NY), 2008.
Contributor of illustrations to periodicals, including New Yorker, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Gourmet, Historic Preservation, and New Republic.
Author and illustrator of the popular "Inside-Out" series, which focus on a selection of well-known cityscapes, Roxie Munro is an inveterate city watcher. She is also an artist with a unique visual sensibility, making her illustrations for her "Inside-Outside" series, as well as titles such as Amazement Park, Rodeo, and Circus, unique interactive experiences for young readers. "There's a wonderfully obsessive quality to her views," wrote Sam Swope in a review of The Inside-Outside Book of New York City, "as if she can't stop herself from capturing each water tower and skylight, each arch and colonnade."
Born in Mineral Wells, Texas, in 1945, Munro once told SATA, "Unlike many children's book creators, I don't have a lot of specific memories of my childhood. I remember mainly sensuous impressions: water running across rocks in a ditch, the dried fall leaves, the splash of waves across a boat's bow." Growing up in a small, rural town, much of Munro's spare time was spent "reading and daydreaming." Her parents encouraged their children to engage in independent, creative activities: drawing, making their own toys, and reading. The family also traveled a good deal together, and in annual vacations to the Northeast, South, and West Munro gained a familiarity with urban as well as rural America.
Munro's love of art inspired many early successes. In first grade she won a county art competition; in high school she was editor of the school yearbook and was also named "most talented" in her class. After studying art at the University of Maryland, the Maryland Institute College of Art, the University of Hawaii, and Ohio State University, Munro established a business as a dress designer, marketing her fashions to small boutiques in Washington, DC. She then freelanced for several years as a courtroom artist, working for newspapers and television. In 1981, Munro moved to New York City and continued her career as a freelance illustrator. Among her successes, she created cover art for fourteen issues of the prestigious New Yorker magazine, a periodical known for its distinctive covers.
Approaching book publishers, Munro was asked to come up with ideas for children's books, and The Inside-Outside Book of New York City was born. In this witty pictorial, Munro tells the story of the city visually, taking unique vantage points on well-known sites. For the Statue of Liberty, for instance, she looks not only at its exterior, but also from the inside out at the city. There are views of the inside of the New York Stock Exchange and of busy traffic. Other landmarks, viewed from both outside and inside, include St. Patrick's Cathedral and the animal cages at the Bronx Zoo. Munro looks through windows, behind bars, and even across theater footlights to get an intimate view of the city.
Winner of a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book Award in 1985, The Inside-Outside Book of New York City inaugurated a series of similar books, spanning the globe from London to Paris and also broadening its focus to depict Munro's home state of Texas. The Inside-Outside Book of Texas features pictures "ranging from the dramatic … to the mundane," according to a Publishers Weekly critic. Among the various sites and topics covered are a skyline of Dallas, ranch hands at chow time, the Texas Stadium (home of the Dallas Cowboys football team), the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, and various wildlife scenes. "Bright, cheerful colors invite the eye," noted School Library Journal contributor Ruth Semrau, and a Horn Book reviewer wrote that Munro not only introduces young readers to landmarks of the state, "but also cleverly stretches the definitional boundaries of inside and outside."
Extending her view skyward, Munro's Mazescapes invites readers to find their way through interconnected aerial mazes of cities and the countryside using any of six punch-out cars provided with the book. Alison Kastner, writing in School Library Journal, predicted that older fans of the "Where's Waldo" books who are looking for "something a little more challenging will find it in Munro's brightly colored and intricate paintings." The challenge the illustrator poses here is to find the way to the zoo and back home again through maze-like renderings of towns, cities, and countryside. Peter D. Sieruta observed in a Horn Book review that Mazescapes contains "the kind of dizzyingly detailed artwork that sends adults running for the Dramamine yet almost always entrances kids."
Dirigibles also get the Munro treatment in Blimps, a book done with "accurate and complete detail," according to a reviewer in New Advocate. "The fun thing here was the research," Munro noted in Children's Book Illustration and Design. "I got a three-hour ride in a blimp over Manhattan, and in England visited the biggest blimp-making factory in the world." A group of clowns guide readers through the hide-and seek and lift-the-flap challenges in Circus, and other amusements await readers in Ranch, Rodeo, and Amazement Park. A collection of twelve mazes depicted in "cartoon art [that] is eye-catching and colorful," according to School Library Journal critic Julie Roach, Amazement Park features "intricate, colored-ink illustrations [that] beguile the eye with their exquisite attention to detail," in the opinion of a Kirkus Reviews contributor.
As an illustrator, Munro has also worked with a variety of writers, including her husband, Swedish photographer, artist, and writer Bo Zaunders. Illustrating his Crocodiles, Camels, and Dugout Canoes: Eight Adventurous Episodes, her illustrations add "even more liveliness" to the text, according to Booklist contributor Susan Dove Lempke. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly also commended the book-sized gathering of travelers and explorers, noting that the couple's enthusiasm "shine[s] through the pages of this absorbing picture book." A second husband-and-wife collaboration, Feathers, Flaps, and Flops: Fabulous Early Fliers, depicts
the exploits of some early aviators in seven sketches, while Gargoyles, Girders, and Glass Houses: Magnificent Master Builders focuses on seven architects who tackled building projects in which "enormous obstacles … would have daunted less courageous, less obsessive geniuses," according to Horn Book critic Sally P. Bloom. In School Library Journal, Louise L. Sherman praised Munro's "fine illustrations" in Feathers, Flaps, and Flops, and a Horn Book reviewer wrote that "playful perspective is a Roxie Munro hallmark." Munro's "captivating" illustrations for Gargoyles, Girders, and Glass Houses, in introducing readers to the works of Mimar Koca Sinan, Antoni Gaudi, and others, "provides clear visual reference" and reflect the "grandeur and the subtle details" included in Zaunders' text. Citing the illustrator's "use of unusual perspectives" and "well-chosen details," Carolyn Phelan concluded in her Booklist review that Munro's art depicts monumental works of architecture as "within the scale of human use and understanding."
Characterizing her illustration work as "developing from perception," Munro once explained to SATA that it is also "very visual, spatial. Ideas develop from a kind of active seeing. When I walk down a street, ride a bus, or
go up an escalator, I FEEL the changing space. I see patterns, paintings everywhere. My mind organizes reality. I'll notice two gray cars, a red car, a black car, and two more red cars—aha!—a pattern."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Children's Book Illustration and Design, edited by Julie Cummins, Library of Applied Design (New York, NY), 1992.
Children's Books and Their Creators, edited by Anita Silvey, Houghton Mifflin (New York, NY), 1995.
Booklist, October 15, 1996, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Inside-Outside Book of Libraries, p. 426; October 15, 1998, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Crocodiles, Camels, and Dugout Canoes: Eight Adventurous Episodes, p. 420; April 1, 2001, Gillian Engberg, review of The Inside-Outside Book of Texas, p. 1475; November 1, 2004, Carolyn Phelan, review of Gargoyles, Girders, and Glass Houses: Magnificent Master Builders, p. 498; December 1, 2004, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Great Bridge-Building Contest, p. 672.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 1996, Elizabeth Bush, review of The Inside-Outside Book of Libraries, p. 53; January, 2005, Elizabeth Bush, review of Gargoyles, Girders, and Glass Houses, p. 233.
Horn Book, March-April, 1992, Ellen Fader, review of The Inside-Outside Book of Paris, p. 221; September-October, 1996, Roger Sutton, review of The Inside-Outside Book of Libraries, p. 611; January-February, 1999, review of Crocodiles, Camels, and Dugout Canoes, p. 85; May-June, 2001, review of The Inside-Outside Book of Texas, p. 350; July-August, 2001, review of Feathers, Flaps, and Flops: Fabulous Early Fliers, p. 480; September-October, 2001, Peter D. Sieruta, review of Mazescapes, p. 577; November-December, 2004, Susan P. Bloom, review of Gargoyles, Girders, and Glass Houses, p. 732; May-June, 2005, Peter D. Sieruta, review of Amazement Park, p. 311.
Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2004, review of Gargoyles, Girders, and Glass Houses, p. 1095; April 1, 2005, review of Amazement Park, p. 422; October 15, 2006, review of Circus, p. 1076.
New Advocate, winter, 1990, review of Blimps, p. 69.
New York Times Book Review, May 20, 2001, Sam Swope, "Oz on the Hudson," p. 30.
Publishers Weekly, November 29, 1991, review of The Inside-Outside Book of Paris, p. 50; August 19, 1996, review of The Inside-Outside Book of Libraries, p. 65; August 31, 1998, review of Crocodiles, Camels, and Dugout Canoes, p. 76; February 26, 2001, review of The Inside-Outside Book of Texas, p. 88; July 30, 2001, review of Mazescapes, p. 86.
School Library Journal, August, 1996, Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, review of The Inside-Outside Book of Libraries, p. 134; November, 1998, Patricia Manning, review of Crocodiles, Camels, and Dugout Canoes, p. 144; June, 2001, Ruth Semrau, review of The Inside-Outside Book of Texas, p. 140; July, 2001, Louise L. Sherman, review of Feathers, Flaps, and Flops, p. 101; August, 2001, Alison Kastner, review of Mazescapes, p. 171; September, 2004, John Sigwald, review of Ranch, p. 190; December, 2004, Steven Engelfried, review of Gargoyles, Girders, and Glass Houses, p. 172; March, 2005, Edith Ching, review of The Great Bridge-Building Contest, p. 205; May, 2005, Julie Roach, review of Amazement Park, p. 112; December, 2006, Maryann H. Owen, review of Circus, p. 110.
Time, December 23, 1985, Stefan Kanfer, review of The Inside-Outside Book of New York City, p. 62.
Roxie Munro Home Page,http://www.roxiemunro.com (November 15, 2007).