BIOGRAPHY, BOOKS, REVEWS & AWARDS
Jane Cabrera is best known as an Author and Illustrator of Children's Books.
She has written and illustrated 57 books which have been translated into over 25 languages and won awards in the US and Europe.
Her books range from picture books to concept board books for babies. Jane designs the whole book, including the novelty aspects and hand typography. Many of her books are based on traditional nursery rhymes, updated with her own modern fun twist. These are published by Holiday House in the US.
Jane's books are popular with pre-schoolers and babies, explained beautifully in this Book Riot review.
Jane studied graphic design at Art college in the mid 1980s. She grew up just outside London and as a child she wanted to be an Artist and a Detective. Both require being very nosey.
Jane came to writing and Illustrating Children's books by first working as a Designer within Children's book publishing. She designed many well loved picture books and also the Winnie-the-Pooh logo for Disney.
Her first book, Cat's Colours was published in 1997. It is still in print today. As her writing and Illustrating work increased Jane chose to stop working as a Graphic Designer. "I just didn't have the time to do both and I also made a conscious decision to not spend my working days on a screen. I wanted to work surrounded by a creative mess."
Jane also does interior murals, signs and blackboard Art. Follow on Instagram.
She lives on the edge of beautiful Dartmoor National Park in south Devon. Nature and especially Dartmoor play a big part in her life. "Dartmoor is my reset button. It keeps me happy and grounded. I believe we need to be connected to nature to keep ourselves healthy on all levels." She also likes to spend time in her small garden. Jane has travelled quite a lot and has a large metal trunk full of sketchbooks from all her travels. Jane still dips her toe into city life, by visiting London regularly. She has 2 teenage children and the worlds friendliest dog.
"I find inspiration everywhere. I know I can never be bored if I have a pencil, paper and my imagination. I keep many sketchbooks. I have far too many ideas to make all into books, I could work flat out to turn them all into books. But I see success as having time for other parts of my life too and enjoying the everyday."
Jane is also developing her Fine Art practice.
Her books are painted in acrylic onto paper, with a little collage.
If you are Interested in writing or Illustrating a Children's book I suggest you buy The Children's Writers' & Artists' Yearbook. Full of info and contacts.
A selection below.
Listed as one of the Guardian Best new children's books Summer 2018
Rainbow and Opposites
School Zone ,“This is a lovely book for nursery settings to start children thinking about opposites and to encourage them to think of their own oppositional pairings.”
Juno Magazine, "I really like the style of this sturdy board book, which is full of surprises."
The Bookworm baby blog,
“Its definitely another lovely board book for little ones to explore.”
Books with Baby Blog, “Bright and bold, with sweet animal illustrations that make him smile.”
Lancashire evening post, “The exciting and pro-active format of these two shiny, stylish books, and Cabrera’s charming, painterly trademark illustrations, make them irresistible to babies and young children.”
There was an Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe
Kirkus Review, "Welcome to a new Old Woman and her little ones, too.”
School Library Journal, “A charming reimagining of an originally more cynical nursery rhyme.”
Rock-a-Bye-Baby Youth services book review,
"I liked everything about this book, especially the variety of animals in the book and the descriptive language that made up each rhyme."
Baa, Baa, Black Sheep Kirkus review,
"Cabrera’s winning style—acrylics with bold, black outlines—is perfect for the preschool audience. Both lap listeners and the audience at story hour will be able to see every detail -Another winner from Cabrera."
The 12 Days of Christmas School Library Journal,
"Lots of appeal for young children."
Angels and Urchins, "a charming, heart warming book"
The book bag,"A sweet little story with adorable illustrations....so attractive for both little ones and their parents too."
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,
Kirkus Review, "A nursery charmer."
The Wheels on the Bus School library Journal,
"A surefire winner...Not to be missed"
Row, Row, Row Your Boat Booklist,
"A fine addition"
Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush Kirkus Review,
"Sure to be successful"
Old MacDonald Had a Farm Booklist,
Cat's Colours Books Magazine,
"Jane Cabrera is one of a number of new picture book illustrators who are breaking the mould in terms of style."
Publishers Weekly,"...her style exudes the joy of creation..."
Vivian French for The Guardian, "...Colours that Zing, my favourite 3 year old (who has great taste) sleeps with it under his pillow."
The Polar Bear and the Snow Cloud BBC Parenting Parenting magazine,
"A Charming Picture book."
Cat's Cuddles The School Librarian Magazine,
"The language is as alive as the pictures."
Snappy Teeth, Twitchy Nose, Floppy Ears, Bright Eyes Junior Magazine,
"Delightfully bold illustrations and a surprise ending provide added entertainment."
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, Kirkus Review,
"A simple Joyous romp."
Old Mother Hubbard
Publishers weekly, "Cabrera's Illustrations always virtually bubble over with high spirits"
Kirkus review, "A real crowd-pleaser"
A WONDERFUL EMAIL
I often receive kind emails from parents and teachers especially from schools and libraries in the USA.
Here is one that touched my heart.
"Ms. Cabrera, People often put things out into the world and never know how it impacts others, so I wanted to take a moment and tell you the impact your book "Twinkle, Twinkle" has made in my classroom. I have a nonverbal autistic student who has been obsessed with your book since joining my class a little over a year ago. No matter where we put it, he finds it:) I have had to tape and staple it back together more times than I can count. We have used it as an incentive to get him to mand for things and to calm him down. He now has 12 words, one of which is Twinkle. The other day he was upset when I put the book away, so he stood up and started to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle little star,up above world so high". I cannot tell you the excitement, applause, and tears that filled my classroom at that moment. He sang it again yesterday and I was able to get it on video for his mother. Due to his classification I can not share the video with you, or I would, or tell you his name, but I can tell you that you have made a huge amazing positive impact on his life, and on mine. I cannot thank you enough! I just thought you should know the effect your book has had on our classroom. Wishing you the best! "
LIST OF BOOKS
All are picture books written and illustrated by Jane Cabrera, first published in the UK, unless stated.
Many have also been printed into co-editions, so far into over 25 countries. And many have also been published as board book edition too. I have also had work in anthologies and other collective publications.
57. The Thank You Letter, Holiday House US, Out Fall 2019
56. Numbers, Templar Publishing, 2018
55.Shapes, Templar Publishing, 2018
54. Opposites, Templar Publishing, 2017
53. Rainbow, Templar Publishing, 2017
52. Rock-a-Bye-Baby, Holiday House, US, 2017
51. Peel-a-boo You! Templar Publishing, 2016
50. Peek-a-boo Zoo! Templar Publishing,
49. Say Hello, Templar Publishing, 2016
48. Kiss Goodnight, Templar Publishing, 2016
47. There was an Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe, Holiday House, US, 2016
46. Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, Holiday House, US, Fall 2015
45. Row, Row, Row, Your Boat, Holiday House, US, 2014
44. Baby Face, Hansol Education, Korea, Illustration only, Board Book, 2015
43. The 12 Days of Christmas, Holiday House, US, 2013
42.Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, Gullane Children's Books, 2012
41. Hello Tiger! D-books, Korea 2012
40. What to wear Little Bear, D-books, Korea 2012
39. Fetch, Orchard Children's Books, 2011
38. The Wheels on the Bus, Gullane Children's Books, 2011,
37. Baby Loves...Chunjae education, Korea, Board Book, 2011
36. Mummy Cat? Chunjae education, Korea, Board Book, 2011
35. Here we ground the Mulberry Bush, Gullane Children's Books, 2010
32-34 Googlie Eyes, Board Books, Illustrations only x 3 Readers Digest Books, US 2010
31. 1,2 Buckle My shoe, Gullane Children's Books, 2009
30. Old Macdonald had a farm, Gullane Children's Books, 2008
29. Cat's Cuddles, Gullane Children's Books, 2007
28. Ten in the Bed, Gullane Children's Books, 2006
27. Buttercup's Baby Bird,
26. Fern's Holiday,
25. Acorn's Bonfire and
24. Willow's Christmas, all by Scholastic, 2006
23. Mummy Carry Me, Gullane Children's Books, 2004
22. The Creaky Noise, Simon and Schuster, 2004
21. The Pram Race, Simon and Schuster, 2004
20. Yellow Circle,
19. Blue Square,
18. Green Star and
17. Red Triangle, All Scholastic, Board Books, 2003
16. If You're Happy and You Know it, Gullane Children's Books, 2003
15. The Polar Bear and the Snow Cloud, MacMillan Children's Books, 2002
14. Bear's Goodnight and
13. Monkey's Playtime, Board Books, Walker Books, 2002
12. Snappy Teeth,
11. Twitchy Nose,
10. Floopy Ears and
9. Bright Eyes, All Board Books, Cambell, 2001
8. Old Mother Hubbard, Gullane Children's Books, 2001
7. My Sister's Hair, Illustrated only Novelty Book, Children's Books, 2001
6. Eggday, written by Joyce Dunbar, Gullane Children's Books, 1999
5. Over in the Meadow, Gullane Children's Books, 1999
4. Rory and the Lion, DK, 1999
3. Panda Big and Panda Small, DK, 1998
2. Dog's Days, Heinemann, 1998
1. Cat's Colours, Heinemann, (Egmont) 1997.
For 5 years I illustrated for the Japanese Magazine 'Oshima'. I was the cover artist for 3 years and had a monthly character based story inside over 6 pages. (Clever Colin, a pink Rabbit who re-cycled) Merchandise was also produced, including sushi lunch boxes, bags, a mug, tea shirts and handkerchiefs.
Many of Jane's books are on library and school recommended reading lists in the USA.
Row, Row, Row Your Boat Bank Street Best Children's Book of the year 2015 & Missouri Building Block Award nominee 2015
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star Bank Street Best Children's Book of the year 2013
If You're Happy and You Know it Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Platinum 2006 & Nick Jr, Best Book Award 2006
Row, Row, Row Your Boat Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Gold 2010
Old Mother Hubbard Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Gold 2002
Over in the Meadow Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Platinum 2001
Cat's Colours Keike Boekprijis, the Netherlands, 2003, shortlisted & The English Association, best children's book, shortlisted, 2003.
BOOK FESTIVALS, SCHOOL VISITS & WORKSHOPS
I've attended most major UK literary festivals, including Hay, Edinburgh and Cheltenham. I bring my books to life by involving the young children as much as possible, through play, dressing up and making Art. At past events there has been, hiding mice, a naughty french dog who did a wee on the Mulberry Bush and a bubble machine Disco.
I've talked at schools across all age groups on the writing, Illustrating and design process and making of a Children's book.
Children can also get to Illustrate and design their own book covers. I've run talks on 'How to write and Illustrate Children's books' for adults too, with a comprehensive worksheet.
I've also run Art workshops in schools. Including making a life size paper-mache cow, hundreds of brightly coloured flower garlands from old plastic bottles and giant splatter art and poetry pieces, which when they were all put together made a huge piece of Art on stage at Dartington Hall for a Poetry festival run by Alice Oswald. I also worked with Alice Oswald creatively decorating for the Tagore poetry festival at Sharpham house, Devon.