By Peggy S. Rice and Ally Hauptman on behalf of the Ways and Means Committee
Paola Escobar, award winning illustrator of picture books such as the Pura Belpré winner, Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, is also a graphic designer. As a child, she enjoyed illustrating stories about her family and culture that were told by her Columbian grandmother. This inspired her to become a children’s book illustrator. She collaborates with publishers all over the world to celebrate cultural diversity.
Illustration for Auction: This detailed, double-page spread illustration from Queen of Tejano Music: Selena by Silvia Lopez (2020) depicts the cultural diversity of Lake Jackson, Texas, the Southwest town the Quintellas moved to when Selena was a young child in the 1970s. This picture book biography includes a thorough narrative of the singer’s life for children. Paola’s detailed, double-page expressionistic illustrations provide the reader with insights into the family’s immersion in music and their hard work ethic.
Deborah Freedman, noted author-illustrator, creates connections to nature through the creation of lovable personified characters.
Illustration for Auction: This heartwarming matted illustration from Carl and the Meaning of Life depicts the field mouse asking Carl the question that sets him on his adventure, meeting creatures of the forest and discovering that everyone can make a difference by being themselves with even the smallest creature. Freedman presents a worm’s eye view of the web of life through the perspective of lovable Carl, providing children an opportunity to understand the wonder and interconnectedness of nature and develop a love for worms or overcome a fear of worms.
Aaliya Jaleel, a Sri-Lankan American illustrator who illustrates fiction and nonfiction texts that depict perspectives of Muslims, uses bright pastel colors and flowers to create hope and inspiration.
Illustration for Auction: This vibrant, matted and framed illustration from Muslim Girls Rise (Mir, 2019) depicts one of the nineteen Muslim women leaders of the 21st century featured in this collection of brief, information-rich biographies. Jaleel’s vibrant illustrations add inspiration and create hope, encouraging readers to “find their passion” while providing Muslim women role models.
Tim Miller, imaginative author-illustrator of hilarious animal fantasy, written by himself and other authors, uses a cartoon style to capture readers’ attention.
Illustration for Auction: This illustration from Tiny Kitty, Big City depicts a tiny, brave, playful kitty on her adventure through the big city that ends with her finding her forever home. An advocate for animal rescue, the story was inspired by the author-illustrator’s experience rescuing a litter of kittens in New York City and finding them homes.
Pete Oswald, talented author-illustrator of fiction, is also an award-winning production designer of animated films such as The Angry Birds Movie. Many of the books he has illustrated are modern fantasy with delightful personified characters, such as a cookie, providing young readers with opportunities to laugh as they develop understandings of important themes (truth in fantasy).
Illustration for Auction: Although Pete created this original specifically for the CLA auction, this delightful frog could be discovered by the characters in his wordless book, Hike (2020). This adventure of a father and child experiencing the beauty of the natural world includes detail-rich panels and textured panoramas that create opportunities for readers to be immersed in nature.
Melissa Sweet, award-winning American author-illustrator, not only illustrates stories she writes, but also collaborates with other authors. With fiction and biographies, she captures readers’ attention through the use of watercolor, mixed media and collage.
Illustration for Auction: This mixed media illustration from A River of Words depicts the poet, William Carlos Williams, looking out his window for inspiration from nature. Williams earned his living as a physician, but writing poetry was his passion. This picture book biography is the 2009 Caldecott Honor Book, an ALA Notable Book, A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book, A Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book and an NCTE Notable Children’s Book.
As you can see, there are some striking pieces of art in this year’s auction. A special thank you to all of the illustrators who so generously donated their work and to Patty Rosati at HarperCollins Children’s Books, our publisher liaison. See you at the auction!
2021 Art Auction Details
Peggy S. Rice is an associate professor in the Department of Elementary Education at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. She is a member of the Ways and Means Committee for CLA.
Ally Hauptman is an associate professor at Lipscomb University. She is the chair of the Ways and Means Committee for CLA and a serving CLA board member.