Urbanovic, Jackie

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Urbanovic, Jackie


Female. Hobbies and other interests: Collecting antique toys, books, and graphic novels; swimming; bicycling; cooking; supporting animal rights causes; being with friends.


Home—Silver Springs, MD. Agent—Marcia Wernick, Sheldon Fogelman Agency, 10 E. 40th St., Ste. 3205, New York, NY 10016. E-mail—[email protected]


Illustrator and author of books for children. Cartoonist at Large, Inc., design and public-relations firm; creator of comic strip "Maggie, Inc."

Awards, Honors

Bank Street College of Education Best Book designation, 2003, for Horace the Horrible by Jackie French Koller.



Duck at the Door, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2007.

Duck Soup, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2008.

Duck and Cover, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2009.


Nina Bourque, The Best Trade of All, Raintree Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1983.

Emmett Davis, Only in Dreams, Raintree Publishers (Milwaukee, WI), 1983.

Susan L. Barrett, It's All in Your Head: A Guide to Understanding Your Brain and Boosting Your Brain Power, Free Spirit (Minneapolis, MN), 1985.

Gary L. Fisher and Rhoda Woods Cummings, The Survival Guide for Kids with LD*: *Learning Differences, Free Spirit (Minneapolis, MN), 1990, revised and updated, 2002.

Deborah Dennard, Do Cats Have Nine Lives?: The Strange Things People Say about Animals around the House, Carolrhoda Books (Minneapolis, MN), 1993.

Arlene Erlbach, Peanut Butter, Lerner Publications (Minneapolis, MN), 1994.

Jean Betschart, A Magic Ride in Foozbah-Land: An Inside Look at Diabetes, CHRONIMED (Minneapolis, MN), 1995.

Juliet Martin, Mr. and Mrs. Murphy and Bernard, Celebration Press (Glenview, IL), 1996.

Robin West, My Very Own Birthday: A Book of Cooking and Crafts, photographs by Robert L. and Diane Wolfe, Carolrhoda Books (Minneapolis, MN), 1996.

Robin West, My Very Own Mother's Day: A Book of Cooking and Crafts, photographs by Robert L. and Diane Wolfe, Carolrhoda Books (Minneapolis, MN), 1996.

Arlene Erlbach, T-Shirts, Lerner Publications (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.

Alison McDonough, Do the Hokey Pokey, Front Street/Cricket Books (Chicago, IL), 2001.

Ryan SanAngelo, Spaghetti Eddie, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 2002.

Jackie French Koller, Horace the Horrible: A Knight Meets His Match, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2003.

Christine Loomis, The Ten Best Things about My Dad, Cartwheel Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Teresa Bateman, The Bully Blockers Club, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 2004.

Denia Lewis Hester, Grandma Lena's Big Ol' Turnip, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 2005.

Rachel Lisberg, adaptor, Do Your Ears Hang Low?, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2005.

Jeanie Franz Ransom, Don't Squeal Unless It's a Big Deal: A Tale of Tattletales, Magination Press (Washington, DC), 2006.

Elizabeth Cody Kimmel, Glamsters, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2008.


An illustrator of dozens of picture-book texts, Jackie Urbanovic added "writer" to her credits when she created her first original self-illustrated book, Duck at the Door. In Duck at the Door a duck named Maxwell stays behind when his flock heads south, and when winter arrives he is relieved when a friendly woman provides him an indoor home for the winter. Although living with a duck proves challenging to the other animals that share the woman's house, by the time spring comes Max has made some fast friends. Calling Duck at the Door a "very promising start" for Urbanovic, Carolyn Phelan added in her Booklist review that "the story is simple, the expressive pictures are pleasing, and both work well together." In School Library Journal Catherine Threadgill had special praise for the illustrator's animal characters, writing that, "with their expressive, engaging facial features," they "take center stage in the [book's] open, cheery illustrations.

Also featuring what a Kirkus Reviews writer characterized as Urbanovic's "fluidly drawn cartoon scenes," Duck Soup recounts the further adventures of Maxwell the duck. Here Max decides to cook up a very special soup that his three best friends will remember. When he leaves the kitchen to track down a special ingredient, his dinner guests arrive early and worry when they find what looks like a feather floating on the soup's surface. Worried that Maxwell may have fallen into his own soup pot, they quickly strain out the broth, ruining Max's dinner but cementing their friendship through their concern. Urbanovic's "comical illustrations spice up the clever story," concluded a Kirkus Reviews contributor, dubbing Duck Soup "as silly and funny as the Marx Brothers movie of the same title."

In her contributions to books by other authors, Urbanovic's illustrations have consistently been acknowledged for their kid-pleasing effect. Reviewing her contribution to Teresa Bateman's easy reader The Bully Blockers Club, School Library Journal contributor Elaine Lesh Morgan dubbed Urbanovic's art "colorful and engaging," while in Booklist Lauren Peterson credited the artist's "humorous black-and-white drawings" for making Alison McDonough's middle-grade novel Do the Hokey Pokey a "fast-paced, entertaining read." Noting the ethnic-inspired, "humorous watercolors" Urbanovic creates for Denia Lewis Hester's Grandma Lena's Big Ol' Turnip, Mary Hazelton added in her School Library Journal review that the characters as brought to life by the artist "are delightful" and full of "individual expression and personality." While calling the story in Ryan SanAngelo's Spaghetti Eddie "a bit odd," Booklist contributor GraceAnne A. DeCandido cited the "terrific pictures" Urbanovic contributes. Here her use of "thick black lines and curves and angles … delineate shapes and surfaces," the critic added, and the story's humor is enhanced by characters whose "faces are mobile and exaggerated." In School Library Journal, Laurie von Mehren wrote of the same book that Urbanovic's "thickly lined drawings capture the lighthearted spirit of ingenuity and neighborliness" at the core of SanAngelo's tale.

Noting her interest in sequential art that tells a story, Urbanovic explained on her home page that, "although I work in a range of styles, my illustration is primarily characterized by a sense of humor and whimsy. My primary medium is watercolor with pencil or brush/ink but I also work with papercuts, acrylics, scratchboard, Photoshop, and Painter. After a lifetime of studying and practicing art, I am still fascinated by what is possible and I'm always experimenting." In addition to book illustration, she has also created art for posters, magazines, and flash animations. In addition, she is the creator of the comic strip "Maggie, Inc.," which highlights the life of a modern career woman.

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, April 1, 2001, Lauren Peterson, review of Do the Hokey Pokey, p. 1469; August, 2002, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Spaghetti Eddie, p. 1976; April 1, 2007, Carolyn Phelan, review of Duck at the Door, p. 61.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, December, 2003, Hope Morrison, review of Horace the Horrible: A Knight Meets His Match, p. 154.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2002, review of Spaghetti Eddie, p. 1142; October 1, 2003, review of Horace the Horrible, p. 1226; February 15, 2005, review of Grandma Lena's Big Ol' Turnip, p. 229; December 15, 2006, review of Duck at the Door, p. 1273; December 1, 2007, review of Duck Soup.

School Library Journal, May, 2001, Kate McLean, review of Do the Hokey Pokey, p. 129; September, 2002, Laurie von Mehren, review of Spaghetti Eddie, p. 205; November, 2003, Laurie Edwards, review of Horace the Horrible, p. 104; November, 2004, Elaine Lesh Morgan, review of The Bully Blockers Club, p. 90; May, 2005, Mary Hazelton, review of Grandma Lena's Big Ol' Turnip, p. 85; February, 2007, Martha Simpson, review of Don't Squeal Unless It's a Big Deal: A Tale of Tattletales, p. 94; March, 2007, Catherine Threadgill, review of Duck at the Door, p. 187.


Jackie Urbanovic Home Page,http://www.jackieurbanovic.com (May 13, 2009).

Maggie, Inc. Web site,http://www.maggieinc.com/ (May 15, 2008), "Jackie Urbanovic."