Ramá, Sue

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Ramá, Sue

Personal

Female. Education: New York University, studied filmmaking and literature. Hobbies and other interests: Yoga, gardening, dance.

Addresses

Home and office—East Windsor Hill, CT. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Illustrator, artist, and graphic designer. Presenter at workshops.

Awards, Honors

Tomie de Paola Award, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, 2005; International Reading Association/Children's Book Council Children's Choice designation, and Bank Street College Best Book of the Year Outstanding Merit designation, both 2005, both for Super Sam!; CCCB Choice designation, and American Library Association Notable Book designation, both 2006, and Bank Street College Best Book of the Year Outstanding Merit designation, all for Yum! Yuck!; several national awards for design.

Illustrator

Lori Ries, Super Sam!, Charlesbridge (Watertown, MA), 2004.

Linda Sue Park and Julie Durango, Yum! Yuck!: A Foldout Book of People Sounds, Charlesbridge (Watertown, MA), 2005.

Tanya Lee Stone, B Is for Bunny: A Springtime Alphabet Book, Price Stern Sloan (New York, NY), 2006.

Walter Wangerin, Jr, and others, Little Ones Talk with God, Concordia (St. Louis, MO), 2006.

James Haskins, Count Your Way through Egypt, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

Lori Ries, Fix It, Sam, Charlesbridge (Watertown, MA), 2007.

Jan Goldin Fabiyi, Where Shabbat Lives, Kar-Ben Pub. (Minneapolis, MN), 2008.

Also illustrator of Cheer Up (quotations), Andrews McMeel.

Sidelights

Award-winning graphic designer and artist Sue Ramá has focused much of her creative talent on picture-book illustration. Honored with the Society of Children's

Book Writers and Illustrators Tomie de Paola Award in 2005, Ramá's sun-filled watercolor-and-crayon art has been paired with texts by Linda Sue Park and Julie Durango, Lori Ries, and James Haskins.

In Yum! Yuck!: A Foldout Book of People Sounds, with a text jointly written by Park and Durango, Ramá depicts an international cast of children who use different exclamatory phrases to express the same universal human feelings. From fear to sadness to happiness, the many ways of expressing commonly held feelings are illustrated, with the English version hidden under a flap to keep readers in suspense. In her School Library Journal review, Rachel G. Payne dubbed Yum! Yuck! "a fun read-aloud guessing game" in which the characters are depicted "with clear facial expressions and gestures." A Kirkus Reviews writer cited the artist's "vigorously drawn-digitally finished watercolors" for contributing to the "entertaining" volume.

Ramá began her illustration career creating art for Super Sam!, and she has also worked with author Ries on a sequel, Fix It, Sam. In Super Sam! a red-headed boy uses his little brother Petey's blanket as a cape, transforming himself into an amazing superhero … until the cape's magic is required to soothe its injured owner. Fix It, Sam finds Sam and Petey playing together, and devising creative solutions when an indoor tent made from a blanket has structural problems. In Publishers Weekly a reviewer had special praise for "Ramá's buoyant, tightly focused watercolor-and-crayon illustrations," and School Library Journal contributor Gay Lyn Van Vleck called Super Sam! "a cozy tale of brotherly affection." With their "energy and charm," Ramá's cartoon-style images help make Super Sam! an "imaginative and fun" book for the toddler set, according to a Kirkus Reviews writer, while Fix It, Sam features colorful illustrations that "manage to be detailed, emotive, and childlike all at the same time," in the opinion of School Library Journal contributor Catherine Callegari.

Ramá told SATA: "I feel privileged to be able to illustrate books for children. This is a unique role to which one can bring tremendous love and creativity.

"I studied filmmaking and starting with Super Sam!, a book of fifty-three words (most of which are ‘Super Sam!’), I began to realize that an illustrator's job is to make a little movie. We cast the characters, create the sets and costumes, lighting, ‘camera’ angles, and then … we just have to paint the whole thing!

"Children's publishers are a brave bunch! I have been amazed and delighted by the great freedom publishers give illustrators to develop their own vision for each book. Charlesbridge and the authors of Yum! Yuck! completely supported me as a book mostly about words developed into an almost wordless story in an international marketplace. Currently I am working on Subway Ride, also for Charlesbridge. After some initial research, I was astounded by the beauty of subway stations around the world, and now the project seems to have naturally morphed into a fantasy tour of the world via subway.

"When I start a project, I never know how it will end up. Finding out is a bit of a ride, but always fun; the process challenging, rich, and satisfying. It's great work!"

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, January 1, 2007, Shelle Rosenfeld, review of Fix It, Sam, p. 116.

Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2004, review of Super Sam!, p. 540; June 15, 2005, review of Yum! Yuck!: A Foldout Book of People Sounds, p. 688.

Publishers Weekly, July 5, 2004, review of Super Sam!, p. 54.

School Library Journal, September, 2004, Gay Lynn Van Vleck, review of Super Sam!, p. 177; August, 2005, Rachel G. Payne, review of Yum! Yuck!, p. 104; February, 2007, Catherine Callegari, review of Fix It, Sam, p. 94.

ONLINE

Charlesbridge Web site,http://www.charlesbridge.com/ (May 23, 2008), "Sue Ramá."

Sue Ramá Home Page,http://www.suerama.com/ (May 23, 2008).