The First Snow: Don Tate

When the call went out across the kidlit-blogosphere to highlight Robert's Snow for Cancer Cure Snowflakes, I couldn't wait to put my blog into the ring. After all, I'd witnessed the marvelous talent of several years of snowflakes. I knew whomever I'd get to highlight would be brilliant.

I was right.

As promised yesterday, I am very honored to introduce the immensely talented illustrator, Don Tate! (And he's talented in more ways than one--did you know he was an award winning, drug-free BODYBUILDER??? Wow! If you're kind of nosy like me, you can see his award winning, ahem, body here: bodybuilding) I chose him because I'm an avid reader/fan of his blog, Devas T. Rants and Raves ! I'm one of those wish-I-coulda-been-an-illustrator-but-doggone-it-I-got-no-talent types, so I read lots of illustrator blogs who show how they work. And Don's work amazes me!

As an illustrator of over twenty-five trade and educational books, Don's bold style and deft writing has won him many honors, including, most recently, Lee & Low Books New Voices Honor for a picture book biography that will be coming out in the Fall of 2009.

When I asked him why he wanted to participate in this campaign to rid the world of cancer, he said he understood what it feels like to watch a family member go through a harrowing disease. His two nieces were born with sickle cell anemia--a painful inherited blood disorder that affects mainly African Americans. "Two years ago, one of my nieces underwent a bone marrow transplant which eventually cured her of the disease. It was very expensive, but my family — especially my mother — did a lot of fundraising. Between family contributions and fundraising campaigns, enough money was raised for the procedure. My contribution was small, but collectively, the money added up. Great things can happen when individuals ban together and put their talents to work for them. I feel the same way about the Robert's Snow fundraiser."


And so, here is his snowflake entitled, "You'd better duck!"

Remembering the winter fun he'd had as a kid in his Des Moines, Iowa neighborhood, his design choice was simple. "We took our snowball fights seriously. If you didn't duck, you'd get decked."
Now, if you're like me and you want to witness genius in action, go to his blog to see how he made this snowflake masterpiece: Painting the Snowflake

Wondering where Don's amazing talent comes from? He actually inherited it from his aunt, Eleanora E. Tate, who is a writer of young adult novels. She inspired him to illustrate one of her books entitled, RETOLD AFRICAN MYTHS and he fell in love with children's illustration. Don went on to illustrate his first trade picture book, SAY HEY! A SONG OF WILLIE MAYS by Peter Mandel. "I was honored and excited to work with Andrea Pinkney, then a senior editor at Jump At the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children. I'd been a huge fan of Andrea and Brian Pinkney's works, so getting a chance to work with her was a dream come true."

Some of his other books include, SURE AS SUNRISE (Houghton Mifflin 2004), BLACK ALL AROUND (Lee & Low, 2002), THE HIDDEN FEAST (August House, 2006), and THE LEGEND OF VALENTINE (Zondervan, 2002), which is a Christian Bookseller Association best seller!

If you'd like to own "You'd Better Duck" by this award winning illustrator, the bidding starts on November 19th: Robert's Snow for Cancer Cure Auction.

Oh, and please visit the other blogs today that are highlighting snowflakes. Here's the schedule:

Let it SNOW!

1 comment:

rebecca said...

I love that!