Born in Colombia; married; children: two daughters. Education: Attended art school and law school in Colombia; attended University of California, Berkeley; Lesley University, enrolled in M.F.A. program (creative writing).
Author, illustrator, and graphic designer. Has worked as a political cartoonist.
Tres ciegos y un elefante (title means "Three Blind Men and an Elephant"), Imaginarium Press (Spain), 2002.
La suerte de Ozu (title means "Ozu's Luck"), Fondo de Cultura Economica (Mexico City, Mexico), 2004.
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Piggy Toes Press (Los Angeles, CA), 2004.
Mientras se enfría el pastel (title means "While the Cake Cools"), Ediciones Serres (Barcelona, Spain), 2005.
Vaya apetito tiene el zorrito (title means "What a Hungry Little Fox"), Ediciones Serres (Barcelona, Spain), 2006.
Let's Play in the Forest while the Wolf Is Not Around, Scholastic Press (New York, NY), 2006.
Also author of educational books for UNICEF.
Betsy Franco, Going to Grandma's Farm, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.
Pam Muñnoz Ryan, Nacho and Lolita, Scholastic Press (New York, NY), 2005.
Margaret Wang, Eency Weency Spider, Piggy Toes Press (Los Angeles, CA), 2005.
Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, Celebra el día de Acción de Gracias con Beto y Gaby/Celebrate Thanksgiving Day with Daniel and Christina, Santillana (Miami, FL), 2006.
Claudia Rueda is an author and illustrator of picture books for young readers whose works include Nacho and Lolita and Let's Play in the Forest while the Wolf Is Not Around. After attending law school and art school in her native Colombia, Rueda worked as a political cartoonist and an illustrator of educational books. She moved to the United States in 1997 and began taking courses at the University of California, Berkeley. Her self-illustrated debut, Tres ciegos y un elefante—a version of the Indian folktale "Three Blind Men and an Elephant"—was done in graphite pencil. Began as a class project, the book was published in Spain in 2002.
In 2003 Rueda provided the artwork for Going to Grandma's Farm, a title by Betsy Franco. In the tale, a family arrives in the country after a long journey that included a taxi ride, an airplane flight, and a boat trip. Reviewing the Spanish edition of the book for Críticas, Ann Welton commented that Rueda's "softly shaded colored-pencil illustrations extend the simple story." In Pam Muñoz Ryan's award-winning, Mexican-inspired folktale Nacho and Lolita, Rueda "achieve[s] a vibrancy that is unusual in colored-pencil illustrations," as Booklist critic Jennifer Mattson observed. The story concerns the love between Nacho, a magnificently colored pitacoche bird, and Lolita, a migratory swallow. When Lolita and her flock prepare to leave San Juan Capistrano for South America, the ungainly Nacho cannot follow; instead, he scatters his feathers across the dusty landscape, creating an assortment of flowers and fruit trees to surprise and delight the swallows upon their return. "Rueda's wordless spreads pay tribute to the enormity of Nacho's offering, which transforms the valley," a Publishers Weekly reviewer noted.
In Rueda's self-illustrated counting book Mientras se enfría el pastel a mother hen prepares for a birthday party, unaware that one of her chicks is devouring a slice of cake every hour. "Colored-pencil drawings capture the often comical gestures of the chicken family," according to Anat Shenker in Críticas. Rueda's picture book Let's Play in the Forest while the Wolf Is Not Around was inspired by a game she played as a child in Colombia. In "Juguemos en el Bosque," a group of children form a circle and chant as another child dresses in a costume and then chases the other participants. "My fondness for this game led me to research its origins and to turn it into this book," Rueda noted on her home page, adding that "Juguemos en el Bosque" began with a group of monks in sixteen-century France.
In Let's Play in the Forest While the Wolf Is Not Around, a group of animals frolicking in the woods ensure their safety by calling out to a wolf, whose strenuous efforts to dress himself in a costume only serve to increase his appetite. Writing in Booklist, Hazel Rochman praised "the angular, minimally detailed but colorful digital images, enhanced with a few light pencil strokes," and School Library Journal reviewer Linda Zeilstra Sawyer remarked that the "clean" pages "focus … attention on the simply drawn but wildly expressive animals." Rueda's "bright, bold cartoon-style artwork with dialogue balloons and expressive characters is well composed," a contributor in Kirkus Reviews similarly noted of Let's Play in the Forest While the Wolf Is Not Around.
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, October 1, 2005, Jennifer Mattson, review of Nacho and Lolita, p. 66; November 15, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of Let's Play in the Forest while the Wolf Is Not Around, p. 51.
Críticas, November 1, 2003, Ann Welton, review of Going to Grandma's Farm; February 23, 2006, Anat Shenker, review of Mientras se enfría el pastel; October 1, 2006, Veronica Covington, review of Celebra el día de Acción de Gracias con Beto y Gaby/Celebrate Thanksgiving Day with Daniel and Christina.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2005, review of Nacho and Lolita, p. 1088; October 1, 2006, review of Let's Play in the Forest while the Wolf Is Not Around, p. 1023.
Publishers Weekly, August 22, 2005, review of Nacho and Lolita, p. 63.
School Library Journal, October, 2005, Rosalyn Pierini, review of Nacho and Lolita, p. 144; October, 2006, Linda Zeilstra Sawyer, review of Let's Play in the Forest while the Wolf Is Not Around, p. 1125.
Claudia Rueda Home Page,http://www.claudiarueda.com (October 17, 2007).