Male; children: Emily, Josh. Education: University of Pennsylvania, B.A. (European history); attended Rhode Island School of Design.
Author, illustrator, and designer.
Carrot Soup, Margaret K. McElderry Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Alistair and Kip's Great Adventure, Margaret K. McElderry Books (New York, NY), 2008.
Nina Jaffe and Steve Zeitlin, While Standing on One Foot: Puzzle Stories and Wisdom Tales from the Jewish Tradition, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 1993.
Margaret Blackstone, This Is Maine, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 1995.
Jane Yolen, reteller, Little Mouse and Elephant: A Tale from Turkey, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 1996.
Jane Yolen, reteller, The Musicians of Bremen: A Tale from Germany, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 1996.
Virginia Mattingly, editor, Good Luck, Running Press (Philadelphia PA), 1997.
Robert D. San Souci, reteller, Kenneth Grahame's The Reluctant Dragon, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Caroline Stutson, Mama Loves You, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2005.
Karma Wilson, Sleepyhead, Margaret K. McElderry Books (New York, NY), 2006.
New York City-based artist and author John Segal has channeled his creativity into a range of mediums, including
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editorial cartoons, award-winning card designs, and illustrations for children's books. His works have been paired with the texts of such well-known authors as Jane Yolen and Robert D. San Souci, and his illustrations often bring to life folktale themes. Among the children's books featuring his artwork are Yolen's retelling The Musicians of Bremen: A Tale from Germany and Caroline Stutson's Mama Loves You, as well as several of Segal's original texts.
Segal's trademark design centers on his miniature watercolor paintings. As an art student he tended to ignore his teacher's instructions to fill the white space; instead he would create miniature drawings centered in the middle of his canvas. Segal's talent as a miniaturist eventually led him to cultivate this skill in creating watercolor stamps. "I guess I always had a fondness or weakness for beautiful, small objects," he noted in an interview for the Pennsylvania Gazette. His fondness for miniaturization and his fascination with detail are also reflected in his illustrations for children's books; San Souci's retelling of a childhood classic in Kenneth Grahame's The Reluctant Dragon includes an example of Segal's miniature water-color creations.
Expanding his role, Segal has created art for several original texts, one being Carrot Soup. This 2006 picture book centers on a skittish rabbit who is also a dedicated gardener. Every year Rabbit meticulously tends his beloved carrots, tilling, watering, and weeding. However, when it is time to harvest his produce and make his carrot soup, Rabbit finds that all of his carrots are missing. Rabbit's search for his prized carrots ultimately leads to a surprise ending. A critic for Kirkus Reviews regarded Segal's first self-illustrated title as "a winner from soup to nuts," and added that the book's softly toned watercolor illustrations "are a perfect extension of the spare text." Be Astengo, reviewing Carrot Soup for School Library Journal, praised Segal's "playful animal caricatures" and commented that young readers will "find this tale satisfying in its predictability."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, June 1, 1995, Kathy Broderick, review of This Is Maine, p. 1774; February 15, 2006, Connie Fletcher, review of Carrot Soup, p. 105.
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2004, review of Kenneth Grahame's The Reluctant Dragon, p. 229; January 1, 2006, review of Carrot Soup, p. 45; September 15, 2006, review of Sleepyhead, p. 970.
Publishers Weekly, April 12, 2004, review of Kenneth Grahame's The Reluctant Dragon, p. 65.
School Library Journal, May, 2004, Grace Oliff, review of Kenneth Grahame's The Reluctant Dragon, p. 122; May, 2006, Be Astengo, review of Carrot Soup, p. 104; October, 2006, Linda Ludke, review of Sleepyhead, p. 130.
John Segal Home Page,http://www.johnsegaldesign.com (March 31, 2007).
Pennsylvania Gazette Online,http://www.upenn.edu/gazette/ (March 31, 2007), "Tiny Illustrations Make a Big Impression."
Simon & Schuster Web site,http://www.simonsays.com/ (March 31, 2007), "John Segal."