Stower, Adam

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Stower, Adam

Personal

Male. Education: Norwich School of Art, B.A. (with honors); University of Brighton, M.A.

Addresses

Home—Brighton, England. Agent—Arena Agency, 31 Eleanor Rd., London E15 4AB, England. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Illustrator and author.

Awards, Honors

Norfolk Library Silver Award for Children's Books, 2005, for Slam!: A Tale of Consequences.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

Two Left Feet, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2004.

The Den, Bloomsbury (London, England), 2005.

Slam!: A Tale of Consequences, Templar (Dorking, England), 2005.

(With Nick Denchfield) The Diary of a Monster Catcher (pop-up book), Alison Green/Scholastic (London, England), 2008.

ILLUSTRATOR

(With Jonathon Heap) Robert Hull, reteller, Norse Stories, Thomson Learning (New York, NY), 1993.

(With Claire Robinson) Robert Hull, reteller, Greek Stories, Thomson Learning (New York, NY), 1994.

Chris Culshaw, A Bit of a Drip, and The Letter, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1995.

Roger Norman, Treetime, Faber (London, England), 1997.

Honor Head, Ed Mouse Finds out about Size and Shape, Belitha (London, England), 1997, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1999.

Honor Head, Ed Mouse Finds out about Direction, Belitha (London, England), 1997, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1999.

Honor Head, Ed Mouse Finds out about Opposites, Belitha (London, England), 1998, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1999.

Honor Head, Ed Mouse Finds out about Times of Day, Belitha (London, England), 1998, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1999.

(With Tim Hayward and Robin Carter) Steve Parker, It's an Ant's Life, Reader's Digest Children's Books (Pleasantville, NY), 1999.

Emily Moore, The Monarchy, Hodder (London, England), 2000.

Sue Arengo, reteller, The Shoemaker and the Elves, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2000.

Gillian Clements, Romans Go Home!, Pearson Education (Harlow, England), 2001.

Diane Mowat, reteller, A Pair of Ghostly Hands and Other Stories, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2002.

John Escott, reteller, William Tell and Other Stories, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2002.

Terence Blacker, You Have Ghost Mail, Macmillan (London, England), 2002.

Kate Saunders, Cat and the Stinkwater War, Macmillan (London, England), 2003.

Roger McGough, compiler, Favourite Funny Stories, Kingfisher (London, England), 2003, published as More Funny Stories, Kingfisher (Boston, MA), 2003.

Alan Temperley, The Magician of Samarkand, Macmillan (London, England), 2003.

Jane Bingham, adapter, Around the World in Eighty Days, Usborne (London, England), 2004.

Jimmy Fallon, Snowball Fight!, Dutton (New York, NY), 2005.

Roger McGough, compiler, Comic Stories, Kingfisher (London, England), 2005.

Timothy Knapman, Mungo and the Picture Book Pirates, Puffin (London, England), 2005.

Heather Vogel Frederick, For Your Paws Only ("Spy Mice" series), Puffin (London, England), 2006.

Heather Vogel Frederick, The Black Paw ("Spy Mice" series), Puffin (London, England), 2006.

Jane Johnson, The Secret Country ("Eidolon Chronicles"), Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2006.

Jane Johnson, The Shadow World ("Eidolon Chronicles"), Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2007.

Lucy Bowman, Antarctica, Usborne (London, England), 2007.

Heather Vogel Frederick, Goldwhiskers ("Spy Mice" series), Puffin (London, England), 2007.

Timothy Knapman, Mungo and the Spiders from Space, Puffin (London, England), 2007.

Timothy Knapman, Mungo and the Dinosaur Island!, Puffin (London, England), 2008.

Sidelights

Adam Stower is a British illustrator whose work has been influenced by such well-known picture-book artists as Heath Robinson, Edmund Dulac, and Arthur Rackham. A graduate of the Norwich School of Art and the University of Brighton, Stower has provided artwork for texts by Honor Head, Roger McGough, Timothy Knapman, Heather Vogel Frederick, and other authors. He has also written and illustrated his own titles, among them Two Left Feet.

Stower introduces Rufus, a cheerful, blue-skinned monster, in Two Left Feet, his debut self-illustrated work. Although Rufus loves to dance with his friends, he inevitably winds up on the floor after tripping over his own feet, both of which are, quite literally, left ones. When a messenger from the Glittering Palace invites the monsters to attend a ballroom dancing competition, Rufus cannot find a partner who wants to pair off with him. A dejected Rufus prepares to sit out the contest, until he is approached by Maddie, a boggart with her own anatomical quirk: she has two right feet. "The subtle humor of Rufus's predicament leads to a predictable conclusion," Bethany L.W. Hankinson stated in School Library Journal. Other reviewers also complimented Stower's book, a critic in Publishers Weekly remarking that "the delicate ink lines and golden, shimmery colors at times give the artwork the appearance of classic hand-tinted etchings." A Kirkus Reviews contributor dubbed Two Left Feet "a terpsichorean triumph that will send even younger readers into a twirl."

Stower has also illustrated Snowball Fight!, a story by Jimmy Fallon, an actor best known for his work on Saturday Night Live. Inspired by a track from The Bathroom Wall, Fallon's comedy album, Snowball Fight! follows a young boy as he dashes outside on a wintry day to construct a fort that will withstand a snowy onslaught from his playful neighbors. Just when he runs out of ammunition and appears to be overrun, the protagonist receives such much-needed assistance from his younger sister. "Stower's watercolors, featuring pugnosed, wide-eyed kids, exude an old-fashioned winter friskiness," remarked a contributor in Publishers Weekly, and Sally R. Dow similarly noted in School Library Journal that Stower's "energetic cartoon-style illustrations capture the action and humor."

Stower collaborates with Jane Johnson on The Secret Country and The Shadow World, a pair of adventure tales from Johnson's "Eidolon Chronicles." After purchasing a talking cat named Iggy from Mr. Dodds' Pet Emporium, young Ben Arnold learns that his ailing mother is the rightful queen of Eidolon, a mythic world, in The Secret Country. Ben and his sisters must now prevent Dodd, who has joined forces with their evil Uncle Aleister, from kidnapping the magical animals that inhabit Eidolon and restore order to that realm. In The Shadow World, Ben encounters a host of creatures, including a centaur, a mermaid, and selkies, when he crosses into Eidolon to rescue his older sister who has been captured by the nefarious Dodman. Praising Stower's contributions to The Shadow World, School Library Journal reviewer Sharon Grover remarked that "a whimsical black-and-white drawing opens each chapter."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 2006, Sally Estes, review of The Secret Country, p. 71; December 1, 2007, Sally Estes, review of The Shadow World, p. 42.

Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2004, review of Two Left Feet, p. 638; April 15, 2006, review of The Secret Country, p. 408.

Publishers Weekly, August 9, 2004, review of Two Left Feet, p. 250; April 15, 2005, review of Snowball Fight!, p. 58.

School Library Journal, October, 2004, Bethany L.W. Hankinson, review of Two Left Feet, p. 135; November, 2005, Sally R. Dow, review of Snowball Fight!, p. 90; April, 2006, Margaret A. Chang, review of The Secret Country, p. 141; November, 2007, Sharon Grover, review of The Shadow World, p. 126.

ONLINE

Adam Stower Home Page,http://www.worldofadam.com (November 10, 2008).