Yang, James 1960–
Yang, James 1960–
Born 1960; married Abby Chan (a performance artist). Education: Virginia Commonwealth University, degree, 1983. Hobbies and other interests: Golf, tennis.
Editorial artist and author and illustrator of books for children. Sculptor. Exhibitions: Yang's sculpture "Clockman" was exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of History, 1999.
Recipient of over 200 awards for design and illustration excellence.
Joey and Jet, Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2004.
Joey and Jet in Space, Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2006.
Tom Hunter, Build It Up and Knock It Down, HarperFestival (New York, NY), 2002.
Contributor of illustrations to periodicals, including Print, Graphis, Time, Newsweek, Forbes, Communication Arts, and Sports Illustrated.
In addition to the acclaim he has received as an editorial artist, James Yang has also established a reputation in the children's book field with his self-illustrated picture books featuring the adventures of a boy and his dog. With a retro feel, Joey and Jet and its sequel, Joey and Jet in Space present simple concepts in an engaging and animated story highlighted by Yang's simply drawn digital pen-and-ink art. Citing Yang for his focus on prepositions such as "over," "across," and "between," a Kirkus Reviews critic praised Joey and Jet as "an excellent introduction to what can usually be a difficult concept for youngsters," while Booklist critic Ilene Cooper praised the "simple yet intriguing landscapes" that set the stage for Yang's "clever, energetic romp." Dubbing Joey and Jet a "visually enticing pseudo-primer," a Publishers Weekly critic also noted that Yang's "artwork harks back to a 1950s aesthetic with its patterns and palette," a retro-inspired combination of orange and lime green.
Yang's "point is more subtle" in Joey and Jet in Space, according to a Kirkus Reviews writer, the critic describing the story as a "much-needed … push for imaginative play." As the simple text plays out, Joey and his pup are outside, pretending that they are exploring outer space. When Jet runs off to find his bone, Joey is left to search for the missing pup, until a welcome voice beckons the two space travelers home for lunch. In her School Library Journal review of Joey and Jet in Space, JoAnn Jonas wrote that Yang's "clever story is visually engaging" due to the "humorous retro imagery" and a story that is "on target for the intended audience."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, January 1, 2005, Ilene Cooper, review of Joey and Jet, p. 876.
Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2004, review of Joey and Jet, p. 751; May 15, 2006, review of Joey and Jet in Space, p. 525.
Publishers Weekly, October 4, 2004, review of Joey and Jet, p. 86.
School Library Journal, October, 2004, Lisa Gangemi Kropp, review of Joey and Jet, p. 137; June, 2006, JoAnn Jonas, review of Joey and Jet in Space, p. 130.
James Yang Home Page,http://www.jamesyang.com (June 28, 2008).
James Yang Web log,http://yangblogworld.blogspot.com (June 28, 2008).