Born in England. Education: Attended Camberwell College of Arts.
Home—London, England. E-mail—[email protected]
Author and illustrator.
Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist, 2008, for Banana!
Everyone's Hungry, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2000.
Everyone's Sleepy, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2000.
Everyone's Little, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2001.
Everyone's Noisy, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2001.
It's Raining, Campbell Books (London, England), 2001.
It's Snowing, Campbell Books (London, England), 2001.
It's Sunny, Campbell Books (London, England), 2002.
It's Windy, Campbell Books (London, England), 2002.
The Getaway, Puffin (London, England), 2006, Margaret K. McElderry Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Banana!, Puffin (London, England), 2007.
Mr. Big, Puffin (London, England), 2007.
Lisa Lawston, Can You Hop?, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1999.
Lisa Lawston, Can You Sing?, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1999.
Will Grace, Red Train, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.
Will Grace, Five Little Dinosaurs, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2004.
Ed Vere is a British artist and author known for his unconventional and slightly subversive children's books, including The Getaway, a self-illustrated title. "When I write I try to think about what would have entertained me when I was younger," Vere remarked in an interview for Little Big online. "I do sometimes think there's not much out there for small boys, so I try to appeal to that section of the market."
Vere, who grew up in the Peak District of central and northern England, developed an interest in art at a young age. He cites Maurice Sendak, Tomi Ungerer, and Richard Scarry as his first influences and describes E.H. Shepard, the original illustrator of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, as "one of my absolute heroes." Vere also developed a relationship with acclaimed author and illustrator Jan Pienkowski, a family friend and winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal. As Vere stated in his Little Big interview, "Visiting his [Pienkowki's] studio was always inspirational, to know someone whose job was to draw all day long—incredible!"
Vere studied fine art at the Camberwell College of Arts before launching his literary career; he now works from a studio in London, England. "My books, so far, are completely character driven," he noted. "I start the process of creating a book with a character rather than a plot. I need to find a compelling character who feels like they have a life of some kind, and then I'll try to find out what their story/motivation is."
The Getaway, a spoof of hard-boiled detective stories, centers on Fingers McGraw, a clever and notorious mouse with a penchant for pilfering cheese, and Jumbo Wayne, Jr., the no-nonsense elephant detective assigned to bring Fingers to justice. As he speeds through the city aboard his yellow moped, Fingers appeals directly to the reader to help him avoid capture. The jumbo-sized lawman is not the only creature in hot pursuit, however; Fingers must also avoid some treacherous rats, an alert anteater, and a money-hungry rhino that plans to nab the cheese-pilfering rodent and claim the reward money. Vere uses mixed-media illustrations to depict the chase, with cartoon characters superimposed over photographs of urban areas. "Expository captions, printed in an uneven typewriter font, chart the crime Dragnet-style," noted a critic in Publishers Weekly, the reviewer comparing Vere's tale to the works of Mo Willems and Lauren Child.
Shelley B. Sutherland, reviewing The Getaway for School Library Journal, remarked that "the sheer energy and playfulness that are packed into every page will surely delight kids." In Booklist Randall Enos predicted that young readers "who like offbeat stories with quirky illustrations will enjoy this one." Other critics also praised the humorous deadpan dialogue in Vere's book, as well as his sly references to such classic noir films as To Have and Have Not starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. "There's terrific humour and surging energy in the wise-cracking text," observed Julia Eccleshare in the London Guardian, and London Sunday Times contributor Nicolette Jones wrote that, "verbally playful and visually stimulating, [The Getaway] … creates a complete world of its own."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, November 15, 2007, Randall Enos, review of The Getaway, p. 48.
Guardian (London, England), October 28, 2006, Julia Eccleshare, review of The Getaway, p. 20.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2007, review of The Getaway.
Publishers Weekly, March 1, 1999, review of Can You Hop?, p. 71; September 4, 2000, review of Everyone's Hungry, p. 110; June 11, 2001, review of Everyone's Noisy, p. 87; September 17, 2007, review of The Getaway, p. 53.
School Library Journal, January, 2008, Shelley B. Sutherland, review of The Getaway, p. 100.
Sunday Times (London, England), October 22, 2006, Nicolette Jones, review of The Getaway.
Ed Vere Home Page,http://www.edvere.com (January 20, 2009).
Little Big Online,http://www.littlebigmagazine.com/ (October 1, 2008), "Bookish Type: Ed Vere."