Spiegel, Beth 1957-

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Spiegel, Beth 1957-


Born 1957. Education: California Institute of the Arts, B.F.A. (film graphics and film); attended Academy for Applied Art (Vienna, Austria).


Home and office—Altadena, CA. E-mail—[email protected]


Film editor, artist, and illustrator. Editor of documentary and animated films for producers including National Geographic, Turner Productions, Nature, Disney, and Wonderworks, including Wolf: Return of a Legend, 1993; Patagonia: To the End of the World; The Dragons of Galapagos, 1998; Lost World of the Holyland, 2003; In the Land of Milk and Honey, 2004; Strange Days on Planet Earth: Invaders, 2005; and Arctic Tale, 2007. Exhibitions: Paintings exhibited at Barnsdall, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Sun Valley Center for the Humanities, and Museum of Tolerance.


Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.


Barbara Bottner, Rosa's Room, Peachtree (Atlanta, GA), 2004.

Mary Ann Rodman, First Grade Stinks!, Peachtree (Atlanta, GA), 2006.

Julie Kaplow and Donna Pincus, Samantha Jane's Missing Smile: A Story about Coping with the Loss of a Parent, Magination Press (Washington, DC), 2007.


As a college student, Beth Spiegel studied film graphics at the California Institute of the Arts in preparation for embarking on what has become a successful career as an award-winning documentary film editor. In her job, she has traveled frequently, spending time in many U.S. cities as well as in the Yucatan and South Africa. As a child, Spiegel was fond of drawing and painting, and these creative interests have inspired her second career as a children's-book illustrator. Beginning with Barbara Bottner's 2004 picture book Rosa's Room, she has contributed illustrations to books by Mary Ann Rodman and collaborators Julie Kaplow and Donna Pincus. In addition to her work as a book illustrator, Spiegel has also exhibited her paintings at galleries and institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Spiegel's illustrations for Rodman's humorous First Grade Stinks! focus on a young girl who is none too pleased with the day-to-day realities of life as an elementary-school student. From the very first day of first grade Haley is disappointed by the things her school lacks. For instance, there is only one recess, her classroom seems dull and undecorated, and her teacher is not nearly as affectionate as her own mom. However, when Haley tests the limits by throwing a temper tantrum, she learns to appreciate her new teacher and the opportunities that await her in first grade. In a review of First Grade Stinks! in Booklist, Stephanie Zvirin wrote that Spiegel's pen-and-ink illustrations, with their incorporation of "splashy" water color, "perfectly convey" the worries of Rodman's young heroine. Also praising the illustrator's work, a Publishers Weekly critic concluded of the book that "Spiegel's winsome watercolors keeps this lively tale on track."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, April 1, 2004, Connie Fletcher, review of Rosa's Room, p. 1368; August 1, 2006, Stephanie Zvirin, review of First Grade Stinks!, p. 96.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September, 2006, Deborah Stevenson, review of First Grade Stinks!, p. 31.

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2004, review of Rosa's Room, p. 219; September 1, 2006, Mary Ann Rodman, review of First Grade Stinks!, p. 912.

Library Media Connection, February, 2007, Gregory A. Martin, review of First Grade Stinks!, p. 70.

Publishers Weekly, March 1, 2004, review of Rosa's Room, p. 68; June 12, 2006, review of First Grade Stinks!, p. 50.

School Library Journal, May, 2004, Linda Staskus, review of Rosa's Room, p. 102; August, 2006, Marge Loch-Wouters, review of First Grade Stinks!, p. 96.


Beth Spiegel Editing Web site, (November 7, 2007).

Beth Spiegel Home Page, (November 7, 2007).

Children's Bookwatch Web site, (August, 2007), review of Samantha Jane's Missing Smile: A Story about Coping with the Loss of a Parent.