Married; children: two. Education: Moore College of Art for Women (illustration).
Home and office—New York, NY.
Children's Theater Company, art instructor.
Together, illustrated by Jennifer Gwynne Oliver, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2005.
The Sound of Kwanzaa, illustrated by Lisa Cohen, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2008.
Carole Boston Weatherford, Sidewalk Chalk: Poems of the City, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 2001.
G. Francis Johnson, Has Anybody Lost a Glove?, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 2004.
Dimitrea Tokunbo has illustrated several pictures books for authors that include Carole Boston Weatherford and G. Francis Johnson. In addition to her work as an illustrator, Tokunbo has also written original stories, producing the children's books Together, which focuses on the bond between people and working animals, as well as the holiday-themed The Sound of Kwanzaa.
As an artist, Tokunbo has been acknowledged by critics for her ability to portray city life and her talent in capturing realistic expressions on the faces of her young characters. Reviewing Sidewalk Chalk: Poems of the City, Lee Bock wrote in School Library Journal that the collaboration between Tokunbo and author Weatherford results in a book wherein "the joys of living in a city from a child's point of view are jubilantly expressed." Bock also cited the illustrator's "remarkable textured watercolor paintings" for their ability to "reflect the diversity and richness of a big-city neighborhood."
In Tokunbo's artwork for Has Anybody Lost a Glove?, the inner-city streets of New York are again brought to life, providing an engaging setting for Johnson's story about a little boy who goes on a quest to find the owner of a single blue glove found during a trek to the subway. In Booklist Ilene Cooper wrote that Tokunbo's illustrations for the title are animated and "capture a city setting." Corrina Austin, in her critique of Has Anybody Lost a Glove? for School Library Journal, noted Tokunbo's ability to detail the city landscape and stated that her illustrations for the book "capture quite well the big-city flavor of the story." A Kirkus Reviews critic commented on Tokunbo's talent for portraying characters young children can identify with, writing that the "lively illustrations [in Has Anybody Lost a Glove?] alternate between textured details and stunningly realistic faces."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklinks, March, 2007, Angela Leeper, review of Sidewalk Chalk: Poems of the City, p. 32.
Booklist, September 15, 2001, Kathy Broderick, review of Sidewalk Chalk, p. 224; December 15, 2004, Ilene Cooper, review of Has Anybody Lost a Glove?, p. 746.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 2001, review of Sidewalk Chalk, p. 81.
Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2004, review of Has Anybody Lost a Glove?, p. 1008.
Publishers Weekly, September 17, 2001, review of Sidewalk Chalk, p. 82.
School Library Journal, January, 2002, Lee Bock, review of Sidewalk Chalk, p. 127; November, 2004, Corrina Austin, review of Has Anybody Lost a Glove?, p. 108; October, 2006, Cynde Suite, review of Together, p. 129.
Boyds Mill Press Web site,http://www.boydsmillspress.com/ (January 8, 2008), "Dimitrea Tokunbo."
Children's Theatre Company Web site,http://www.childrenstheatrecompany.org/ (January 8, 2008), "Dimitrea Tokunbo."
Scholastic Web site,http://www2.scholastic.com/ (January 8, 2008), "Dimitrea Tokunbo."