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Root, Barry

Personal

Married Kimberly Bulcken (an illustrator); children: three children.

Addresses

Home and office—1222 River Rd., Quarryville, PA 17566.

Career

Illustrator.

Awards, Honors

Best Illustrated Children's Book selection, New York Times, for Someplace Else by Carol P. Saul; Notable book designation, Carolyn W. Field Award, 2001, for Brave Potatoes by Toby Speed; Christopher Award, 2006, for Game Day by Tiki and Ronde Barber.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

Gumbrella, Putnam (New York, NY), 2002.

ILLUSTRATOR

Sam Swope, The Araboolies of Liberty Street, Potter (New York, NY), 1989, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 2001.

Roberto Piumini, The Saint and the Circus (translation of Grazie di san Tonio by Olivia Holmes), Tambourine (New York, NY), 1991.

JoAnne Stewart Wetzel, The Christmas Box, Knopf (New York, NY), 1992.

Marti Stone, The Singing Fir Tree: A Swiss Folktale, Putnam (New York, NY), 1992.

Mary Lyn Ray, Pumpkins: A Story for a Field, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1992.

Michael O. Tunnell, Chinook!, Tambourine (New York, NY), 1993.

Bill Martin, Jr., Old Devil Wind, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1993.

Mary Lyn Ray, Alvah and Arvilla, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1994.

Lee Bennett Hopkins, editor, April, Bubbles, Chocolate: An ABC of Poetry, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1994.

M.L. Miller, Those Bottles!, Putnam (New York, NY), 1994.

Jennifer Armstrong, Wan Hu Is in the Stars, Tambourine (New York, NY), 1995.

Toby Speed, Two Cool Cows, Putnam (New York, NY), 1995.

Carol P. Saul, Someplace Else, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1995.

Timothy R. Gaffney, Grandpa Takes Me to the Moon, Tambourine (New York, NY), 1996.

Tony Johnston, Fishing Sunday, Tambourine (New York, NY), 1996.

Toby Speed, Whoosh! Went the Wish, Putnam (New York, NY), 1997.

Jan Peck, The Giant Carrot, Dial (New York, NY), 1998.

Charlotte Towner Graeber, Nobody's Dog, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1998.

Kathi Appelt, Cowboy Dreams, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1999.

Lee Wardlaw, Saturday Night Jamboree, Dial (New York, NY), 2000.

Toby Speed, Brave Potatoes, Putnam (New York, NY), 2000.

Robert Burleigh, Messenger, Messenger, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2000.

Susan Hill, Backyard Bedtime, HarperFestival (New York, NY), 2001.

Laura Godwin, Central Park Serenade, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

Terry Farish, The Cat Who Liked Potato Soup, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 2003.

Tiki and Ronde Barber, with Robert Burleigh, By My Brother's Side, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2004.

Elizabeth Loredo, Giant Steps, Putnam (New York, NY), 2004.

Tiki and Ronde Barber, with Robert Burleigh, Game Day, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2005.

Tiki and Ronde Barber, with Robert Burleigh, Teammates, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2006.

Sarah Martin Busse and Jacqueline Briggs Martin, Banjo Granny, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2006.

Sidelights

Award-winning illustrator Barry Root has provided art for numerous picture books for young readers and he is both illustrator and writer for his original title Gumbrella. Root has worked with such well-known authors as Bill Martin, Jr. and Lee Bennett Hopkins, and has also illustrated picture books by famous football-star siblings Tiki and Ronde Barber. From circuses to football games to fables, Root's illustration projects range widely in subject, gaining him praise from critics. The illustrator's "zany depictions of the portly circus star and his startled menagerie are executed with a panache befitting the big top," wrote a Publishers Weekly critic of Root's contributions to Roberto Piumini's The Saint and the Circus, and in a review of his art for Michael O. Tunnel's Chinook! Nancy Vasilakis concluded in Horn Book that "children will relish the illustrations." Of Jennifer Armstrong's picture book Wan Hu Is in the Stars, a Publishers Weekly critic wrote that Root's "full-bleed gouaches perfectly complements the gentle buoyancy of the narrative," and Jan Peck's retelling of a Russian folk tale in The Giant Carrot benefits from Root's "depiction of the family's dirt farm and ramshackle log cabin [as] … full of sunshine and energy," according to a Publishers Weekly contributor. Writing of Elizabeth Laredo's picture book Giant Steps, Booklist critic Jennifer Mattson wrote that "the real stars" of the picture book "are Root's goofy, snaggle-tooth giants."

Beyond tall tales and fairy stories, Root has also illustrated collections of poetry as well as contemporary titles. In April, Bubbles, Chocolate: An ABC of Poetry, edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins, the collection's "random mix of moods and styles … is expressed in Root's bright, clear watercolor paintings," according to Hazel Rochman in Booklist. Reviewing the illustrator's work for Central Park Serenade, Laura Godwin's celebration of New York City, Horn Book contributor Roger Sutton noted that "Root's bird's-eye vision of Central Park" serves as an invitation "into a beautiful part of the world." A Publishers Weekly critic also complimented the artist's "vibrantly hued, intentionally hazy paintings." According to School Library Journal contributor Susan Marie Pitard, the volume's "verbal images and illustrations … work together seamlessly to present a joyful, busy portrait," while Karla Kushkin wrote in Horn Book that "Root paints … with a skilled

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hand, using a palette so lush you can smell the warmth of summer in it."

Root also gained recognition for his artistic contribution to the football-related tales by the brothers Barber. "Root's sunny watercolors, often accented with lush, green trees, capture action on and off the field," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor of By My Brother's Side, while in Game Day, the illustrator's "earth-toned watercolors capture the speed, action and colors" of the book's autumn setting, according to a Publishers Weekly writer. Carolyn Phelan, in her Booklist review of Teammates, maintained that "Root's vibrant watercolor-and-gouache paintings kick the story over the goalposts."

Root's first self-illustrated title, Gumbrella, is the story of an elephant who creates a hospital for small animals that are injured, but enjoys the company so much that it will not let the creatures go home when they have recovered. "Root cleverly depicts Gumbrella's single-minded altruism with visual winks … coupled with a sly voice," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor. "The tone is light, the pictures are bright," noted a critic for Kirkus Reviews, while Anita L. Burkam maintained in Horn Book that "Root fully exploits the humor inherent in an elephant with a Florence Nightingale complex." Jody McCoy, reviewing Gumbrella for School Library Journal, predicted that "children will enjoy Root's first endeavor as both illustrator and author," and in Booklist Ilene Cooper recommended the book as "a story hour choice that might spark discussion among little ones."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, August, 1992, Hazel Rochman, review of The Christmas Box, p. 2020; October 15, 1992, Ellen Mandel, review of Pumpkins: A Story for a Field, p. 441; December 15, 1992, Janice Del Negro, review of The Singing Fir Tree: A Swiss Folktale, p. 742; April 15, 1993, Deborah Abbott, review of Chinook!, p. 1524; October 1, 1993, Carolyn Phelan, review of Old Devil Wind, p. 353; February 1, 1994, Ilene Cooper, review of Those Bottles!, p. 1010; May 1, 1994, Hazel Rochman, review of April, Bubbles, Chocolate: An ABC of Poems, p. 1603; June 1, 1995, Ilene Cooper, review of Two Cool Cows, p. 1789; June, 1995, Lauren Peterson, review of Wan Hu Is in the Stars, p. 1781; November 15, 1995, Lauren Peterson, review of Someplace Else, p. 565; May 15, 1996, Kay Weisman, review of Fishing Sunday, p. 1592; June 1, 1997, review of The Araboolies of Liberty Street, p. 1675; March 15, 1998, Hazel Rochman, review of The Giant Carrot, p. 1246; August, 1998, Ellen Mandel, review of Nobody's Dog, p. 2004; January 1, 1999, Ilene Cooper, review of Cowboy Dreams, p. 885; September 15, 2000, Shelle Rosenfeld, review of Brave Potatoes, p. 250; December 15, 2000, Amy Brandt, review of Saturday Night Jamboree, p. 829; January 1, 2001, review of Messenger, Messenger, p. 864; February 15, 2001, Hazel Rochman, review of Messenger, Messenger, p. 1152; June 1, 2002, Lauren Peterson, review of Central Park Serenade, p. 1737; November 15, 2002, Ilene Cooper, review of Gumbrella, p. 612; April 15, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Cat Who Liked Potato Soup, p. 1477; February 1, 2004, Jennifer Mattson, review of Giant Steps, p. 981; September 1, 2004, Todd Morning, review of By My Brother's Side, p. 114; September 1, 2005, Ilene Cooper, review of Game Day, p. 119; September 1, 2006, Carolyn Phelan, review of Teammates, p. 116; November 1, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of Banjo Granny, p. 58.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July, 1994, review of April, Bubbles, Chocolate, p. 360; July, 1995, review of Wan Hu Is in the Stars, p. 376; October, 1995, review of Someplace Else, p. 68; October, 1996, review of Grandpa Takes Me to the Moon, p. 58; September, 1997, review of Whoosh! Went the Wish, p. 27; March, 1998, review of The Giant Carrot, p. 255; September, 1998, review of Nobody's Dog, p. 14; June, 2000, review of Brave Potatoes, p. 374; November, 2000, review of Messenger, Messenger, p. 98, review of Saturday Night Jamboree, p. 125; December, 2002, review of Gumbrella, p. 171; June, 2003, review of The Cat Who Liked Potato Soup, p. 387; February, 2004, Janice Del Negro, review of Giant Steps, p. 239; January, 2006, Elizabeth Bush, review of Game Day, p. 218; January, 2007, Deborah Stevenson, review of Banjo Granny, p. 205.

Horn Book, January-February, 1992, Nancy Vasilakis, review of The Saint and the Circus, p. 61; November-December, 1992, Nancy Vasilakis, review of The Christmas Box, p. 714, Ellen Fader, review of Pumpkins, p. 719; July-August, 1993, Nancy Vasilakis, review of Chinook!, p. 451; January-February, 1994, Mary M. Burns, review of Old Devil Wind, p. 65; July-August, 1994, Nancy Vasilakis, review of April, Bubbles, Choclate, p. 467; November-December, 1994, Ellen Fader, review of Alvah and Arvilla, p. 725; November-December, 1995, Nancy Vasilakis, review of Someplace Else, p. 737; May, 2000, review of Brave Potatoes, p. 300; September-October, 2002, Roger Sutton, "Not Just a Walk in the Park," p. 499, Karla Kuskin, review of Central Park Serenade, p. 552, Anita L. Burkham, review of Gumbrella, p. 559.

Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2002, review of Central Park Serenade, p. 411; September 15, 2002, review of Central Park Serenade, p. 1399; May 1, 2003, review of The Cat Who Liked Potato Soup, p. 676; January 1, 2004, review of Giant Steps, p. 38; September 15, 2004, review of By My Brother's Side, p. 909; September 15, 2005, review of Game Day, p. 1020; September 15, 2006, review of Teammates, p. 946; November 1, 2006, review of Banjo Granny, p. 1121.

New York Times Book Review, November 12, 1989, Carol Muske, review of The Araboolies of Liberty Street, p. 38; October 25, 1992, review of Pumpkins, p. 28; May 22, 1994, Julie Zuckerman, review of Those Bottles!, p. 29; May 14, 2000, review of Messenger, Messenger, p. 26; September 21, 2003, review of The Cat Who Liked Potato Soup, p. 26.

Publishers Weekly, August 11, 1989, review of The Araboolies of Liberty Street, p. 457; November 1, 1991, review of The Saint and the Circus, p. 80; September 7, 1992, review of The Christmas Box, p. 66, review of Pumpkins, p. 92; October 12, 1992, review of The Singing Fir Tree, p. 78; March 15, 1993, review of Chinook!, p. 87; September 20, 1993, review of Old Devil Wind, p. 29; March 7, 1994, review of Those Bottles!, p. 69; September 5, 1994, review of Alvah and Arvilla, p. 109; May 8, 1995, review of Two Cool Cows, p. 294, review of Wan Hu Is in the Stars, p. 295; August 14, 1995, review of Someplace Else, p. 82; April 21, 1997, review of Whoosh! Went the Wish, p. 71; July 22, 1996, review of Grandpa Takes Me to the Moon, p. 241; December 8, 1997, review of Two Cool Cows, p. 74; December 22, 1997, review of Someplace Else, p. 61; February 16, 1998, review of The Giant Carrot, p. 210; June 15, 1998, review of Nobody's Dog, p. 59; January 18, 1999, review of Cowboy Dreams, p. 338; May 22, 2000, review of Brave Potatoes, p. 92; June 19, 2000, review of Messenger, Messenger, p. 79; April 30, 2001, review of The Araboolies of Liberty Street, p. 80; February 25, 2002, review of Central Park Serenade, p. 64; September 9, 2002, review of Gumbrella, p. 67; May 5, 2003, review of The Cat Who Liked Potato Soup, p. 221; February 23, 2004, review of Giant Steps, p. 76; August 30, 2004, review of By My Brother's Side, p. 55; October 3, 2005, review of Game Day, p. 70; October 30, 2006, review of Banjo Granny, p. 60.

Quill and Quire, December, 1994, review of Alvah and Arvilla, p. 35.

School Library Journal, December, 1989, Shirley Wilton, review of The Araboolies of Liberty Street, p. 90; November, 1991, Karen James, review of The Saint and the Circus, p. 106; October, 1992, review of The Christmas Box, p. 45; February, 1993, Cyrisse Jaffee, review of The Singing Fir Tree, p. 91; March, 1993, Susan Scheps, review of Pumpkins, p. 184; June, 1993, Lisa Dennis, review of Chinook!, p. 91; November, 1993, Joy Fleishhacker, review of Old Devil Wind, p. 86; April, 1994, Susan Scheps, review of Those Bottles!, p. 110; September, 1994, Sally R. Dow, review of April, Bubbles, Chocolate, p. 208; January, 1995, Martha Rosen, review of Alvah and Arvilla, p. 92; June, 1995, Kathy Piehl, review of Two Cool Cows, p. 95; July, 1995, Margaret A. Chang, review of Wan Hu Is in the Stars, p. 54; January, 1996, Betty Teague, review of Someplace Else, p. 95; April, 1996, review of April, Bubbles, Chocolate, p. 39; June, 1996, Virginia Golodetz, review of Fishing Sunday, p. 102; September, 1996, Kathy East, review of Grandpa Takes Me to the Moon, p. 178; September, 1997, Judith Constantinides, review of Whoosh! Went the Wish, p. 195; February, 1998, Beth Tegart, review of The Giant Carrot, p. 103; June, 1998, Lisa Dennis, review of Nobody's Dog, p. 106; February, 1999, Steven Engelfried, review of Cowboy Dreams, p. 77; June, 2000, Nina Lindsay, review of Messenger, Messenger, p. 102; July, 2000, Ruth Semrau, review of Brave Potatoes, p. 88; September, 2000, Jody McCoy, review of Saturday Night Jamboree, p. 211; May, 2002, Susan Marie Pitard, review of Central Park Serenade, p. 114; November, 2002, Jody McCoy, review of Gumbrella, p. 134; July, 2003, Steven Engelfried, review of The Cat Who Liked Potato Soup, p. 95; March, 2004, Eve Ortega, review of Giant Steps, p. 176; November, 2004, Ann M. Holcomb, review of By My Brother's Side, p. 122; January, 2006, Mary Hazelton, review of Game Day, p. 116; November, 2006, Rachel G. Payne, review of Teammates, p. 117; December, 2006, Tamara E. Richman, review of Banjo Granny, p. 95.

Science Books & Films, August, 1997, review of Grandpa Takes Me to the Moon, p. 163.

Smithsonian, November, 1992, review of Pumpkins, p. 201.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), June 23, 2002, review of Central Park Serenade, p. 5; May 18, 2003, review of The Cat Who Liked Potato Soup, p. 5.

Wilson Library Bulletin, April, 1992, Donnarae MacCann and Olga Richard, review of The Saint and the Circus, p. 94; December, 1993, Donnarae MacCann and Olga Richard, review of Old Devil Wind, p. 112.

ONLINE

HarperCollins Web site,http://www.harperacademic.com/ (August 6, 2007), "Barry Root."

Simon & Schuster Web site,http://www.simonsays.com/ (August 6, 2007), "Barry Root."

Root, Barry

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