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Interesting Personal WWW Sites of Authors and Illustrators
There are many children's book author and illustrator WWW sites. I'm interested in personal sites that go beyond being just a list of books and a biography, but that an individual, perhaps with a designer's help, can hope to create. This list is not comprehensive, more a sampling of possibilities. See below for more comprehensive lists. Please read my criteria for inclusion below before making a suggestion, which you can do via my Contact page.
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- Haemi's Page
- Created with Windows Notepad Text Editor by Haemi Balgassi, showing what can be done with a minimum of tools. This highly personal site includes lots of stuff: links, author info., curriculum ideas for the author's first published book, Peacebound Trains, etc.
- Judy Blume's Official Web Site
- Judy is a big name, of course, but this site, which she and her husband created, has a great personal feel to it, and includes books, "favorite questions," and her comments on censorship.
- Children's Author James M. Deem's Museum, Haunted House, & Tombs
- A good site created by the author, with kid-friendly design, and information and links that go beyond just promoting his books.
- Charles Ghigna. aka Father Goose
- A functional and informative site for the children's poet, with quirky touches such as a recipe for Emily Dickinson's cookies.
- Robin Michal Koontz's Home Page
- This cartoon-style illustrator's site includes a variety of resources.
- Buck Lewis, aka HB
- Very attractive illustrator's site, with some surprising depth. I particularly liked an exploration of the composition process of one of his picture books.
- Grace Lin's Home(page)
- A fun site from an up-and-coming young illustrator (whose first book I happened to publish at Charlesbridge).
- Michael McCurdy
- An exhaustive and well-organized guide to the books and other endeavors of a busy illustrator.
- Cyd Moore
- A quicky and visually distinctive site.
- Kenneth Oppel
- Fantasy/SF writer Oppel has a gallery of art suggested by his "Silverwing" series--an interesting idea.
- Dian Curtis Regan - Children's Book Author
- Friendly site with lots of material, including photos of the author's walrus collection.
- Robert Sabuda
- It would be enough if this noted pop-up illustrator showcased his own work, but he's also developed an International Pop-Up Gallery, and more.
- J. Otto Seibold
- Offbeat site promotes Space Monkey and Mr. Lunch. Full of large graphics but fun and an effective introduction to a quirky style.
- Aaron Shepard--Author Online!
- Aaron Shepard's growing site includes reader's theater scripts based on the author's published and some unpublished books, posters, advice for writers (including the amusing Dangerous Myths and Terrible Truths), and much more. A good resource and an effective personal site.
- Phoebe Stone-her children's books and art
- Art and Words
- Kris Waldherr's website showcases her illustrations effectively, brings people back with changing content, and has helped her cross over into new markets.
- April Wayland: Homepage
- Personal and rather quirky home page, with poetry, activities, readers' theater, etc.
- Elizabeth Winthrop Online
- An attractive and easy-to-use site with material ranging from children's submissions to teaching suggestions.
- Don and Audrey Wood's online Clubhouse
- Colorful, busy, but that's to be expected from this team.
I do not list many of the hundreds of sites, so for more extensive and inclusive lists, head to these sites:
- Fairrosa Cyber Library's Authors & Illustrators
- A general index of author and illustrator sites
- Children's and YA Book Authors and Illustrators from Cynthia Leitich Smith's fantastic site.
I hope you have found this page and this site useful. Please visit The Purple Crayon Bookstores page to find some recommended bookstores and to learn how to support this site while doing your usual online shopping. Thank you.
My criteria: Sites I list here generally conform to what I consider to be good "web design." I have not had time to write an essay on just what I think that is; fortunately, Aaron Shepard has already done that. Please read his Designing Your Web Site. I do not include sites produced by publishers. Such sites are useful but I am focusing on the most interesting examples of work done by authors and illustrators themselves (or designers they have worked with directly).
And in the end, of course, there is the "Harold factor." If I like a site, I list it, and if I don't, I don't.
- Clear organization
- Materials for teachers and parents
- Interactive features
- Personal feel
- Sample chapters or other texts
- Links related to the books
- Pervasive ads
- Slow-to-download images or pages
- Generic graphics
- Relying on plug-ins
- No contact information
- Sections "under construction"
- Site not updated regularly
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