Reed, Lynn Rowe
Reed, Lynn Rowe
Author and illustrator of children's books.
Rattlesnake Stew, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 1990.
Pedro, His Perro, and the Alphabet Sombrero, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1995.
Julius Anteater, Misunderstood, Roaring Brook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2005.
Thelonius Turkey Lives! (on Felicia Ferguson's Farm), Alfred A. Knopf (New York, NY), 2005.
Please Don't Upset P.U. Zorilla!, Alfred A. Knopf (New York, NY), 2006.
Eileen Ross, The Halloween Showdown, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1999.
Robin Pulver, Punctuation Takes a Vacation, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2003.
Robin Pulver, Nouns and Verbs Have a Field Day, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2006.
Debora Pearson, Big City Song!, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2006.
Lynn Rowe Reed is an illustrator and graphic designer whose work for children's books include creating art for Eileen Ross's The Halloween Showdown and Robin Pulver's Punctuation Takes a Vacation and Nouns and Verbs Have a Field Day, among others. An author as well as artist, Reed has also created several original self-illustrated picture books, each of which reflects her quirky humor. Reed, who makes her home in Fort Wayne, Indiana, makes school presentations in which she explains the process of making a book and encourages young students in their own creative efforts. Praising her abstract art in School Library Journal, Grace Oliff noted of Punctuation Takes a Vacation that Reed's illustrations are "rich in color and texture, and add to the amusement" of Pulver's "lighthearted" story, while in Publishers Weekly a reviewer dubbed the artwork in the lighthearted grammar lesson "eye-popping" and "funky" due to the artist's use of "zippy oranges, teals, purples and cobalt blues."
Reed's first picture original book, Rattlesnake Stew, features a Western theme as the stylized artwork and alliterative text finds singing cowboys dancing with grizzly bears in a young boy's day dreams. In Pedro, His Perro, and the Alphabet Sombrero another young boy receives an unusually talented dog for his birthday and together the two new friends decorate a giant sombrero with objects representing every letter of the Spanish alphabet. Noting the book's value for both Spanish-speaking students and those starting to learn the language, Booklist contributor Annie Ayres dubbed the book "exuberant," and cited the "cubist quality" of Reed's abstract illustrations.
Animal characters take center stage in a pair of the author/illustrator's creations: Julius Anteater, Misunderstood follows a misdirected anteater whose search for lunch leads to an act of heroism, while in Thelonius Turkey Lives! (on Felicia Ferguson's Farm) the last remaining turkey on the farm resorts to desperate measures in order to avert an ugly fate as Thanksgiving day nears. "Anyone with a healthy appetite for nonsense … will relish this rhyming madcap adventure," wrote a Kirkus Reviews contributor in reviewing Julius Ant-eater, Misunderstood, while in School Library Journal Jane Barrer praised Reed's collage and acrylic illustrations for the book "bold and witty." The "lighthearted story" told in Thelonius Turkey Lives! was praised by Roxanne Burg as "a nice holiday treat" in another School Library Journal review, while in Kirkus Reviews a critic noted that Reed's "whimsical illustrations … suit this holiday tale perfectly." As an added bonus, Thelonius Turkey Lives! ends with two recipes perfect for a Thanksgiving feast.
Reed told SATA: "My picture book career began sixteen years ago when I wrote and illustrated a book in its entirety, then naively took it to New York and walked it around the city. My last visit was with a young editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux who miraculously fell in love with the project and offered me a contract on the spot.
"Since that initial success, the road has been challenging, frustrating and, ultimately, deeply rewarding. It took thirteen years to publish my first four books, two of which I wrote and illustrated, and two that I only illustrated. Since then in a period of three years I have finished work on five more books and am presently under contract to illustrate another (my tenth). The recent acceleration of my career is directly due, I believe, to the huge success of the brilliantly written Punctuation Takes a Vacation by Robin Pulver. I often say that the luckiest day of my career was the day I was offered the opportunity to illustrate that one!
"It has taken the entirety of this journey to begin to realize my genuine voice as an author as well an illustrator. It is a quirky, whimsical, crazy voice that I"m beginning to listen to more and more as it tries to penetrate the surface of my mundane, serious, adult self!"
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, April 15, 1995, Annie Ayres, review of Pedro, His Perro, and the Alphabet Sombrero, p. 1507.
Horn Book, May-June, 2003, Peter D. Sieruta, review of Punctuation Takes a Vacation, p. 335.
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2005, review of Julius Anteater, Misunderstood, p. 594; August 15, 2005, review of Thelonius Turkey Lives! (on Felicia Ferguson's Farm), p. 921.
Publishers Weekly, November 2, 1990, review of Rattlesnake Stew, p. 73; September 27, 1999, review of The Halloween Showdown, p. 47; January 20, 2003, review of Punctuation Takes a Vacation, p. 82; September 26, 2005, review of Thelonius Turkey Lives!, p. 84.
School Library Journal, February, 1991, Carolyn Noah, review of Rattlesnake Stew, p. 73; April, 1995, Maria Redburn, review of Pedro, His Perro, and the Alphabet Sombrero, p. 114; September, 1999, Olga R. Barnes, review of The Halloween Showdown, p. 201; April, 2003, Grace Oliff, review of Punctuation Takes a Vacation, p. 136; July, 2005, Jane Barrer, review of Julius Anteater, Misunderstood, p. 81; August, 2005, Roxanne Burg, review of Thelonius Turkey Lives!, p. 104.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), Elizabeth Ward, review of Thelonius Turkey Lives!, p. 11.
Lynn Rowe Reed Home Page, http://www.lynnrowereed.com (June 15, 2006).