links image map Newbery Books Caldecott Books C.S. King Books Ages 9 Up  Tweens Young Adult Baby / Pre K Picture Books Special Collection / Poetry Fairy Tales Bully Books History / Social Studies Black History Women in History Native American Science and Math Nature Nature Links Educational / Homework Language Arts Art and Games Music and Dance ETC Outreach News I Want to Contribute ETC Newsletter Home Page Search Site Email ETC Welcome to Embracing the Child
Betsy Lewin [Author Site]
Iíve always loved to draw and can't remember ever wanting to be anything but an artist, but my mother (a kindergarten teacher) is responsible for my love of children's books. She read to my brother and me every night: Winnie the Pooh, The Adventures of Babar, Uncle Remus, and all the fairy-tale books. The illustrators Ernest Shepard and A. B. Frost were among my earliest heroes. Later on, when I started illustrating for children, I realized how strongly I'd been influenced by the gentle watercolors of Beatrix Potter and the ener-getic line and zany humor of James Stevenson and of Quentin Blake.

"I grew up in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, a little town nestled in an Allegheny valley, and the wooded hills near my home were fertile ground for a child's imagination, full of magic and mystery. There in those woods I played with all of my book friends, from Winnie the Pooh to Robin Hood. I even found the exact tree where Pooh lived under the name of Sanders!

"My father was Irish and a natural storyteller. His wonderful stories of his own childhood in a Pennsylvania mining town were filled with hilarious turns and wacky accents. I inherited his sense of humor, and I hope it's evident in my art.

"After graduating from Pratt Institute where I studied illustration, I took a job as an assistant art director at a greeting card company in New York, which led to freelance work doing illustrations for several card companies. Then I began to write and illustrate stories for childrenís, magazines. When an editor at Dodd, Mead & Company asked me to expand one of those stories into a picture book, I jumped at the chance. I've been doing picture books ever since and loving every moment.

"My art is usually humorous, drawn in pen with watercolor washes as in Yo, Hungry Wolf!, and What if the Shark Wears Tennis Shoes?. But I also paint in a naturalistic style as in Walk a Green. Path, in which I express my love for the natural world through paintings and poetry. The lush garden landscapes of Childe Hassam, the inti-mate flower portraits of John La Farge, and the magical woods of my childhood all inspire me.

Betsy and Ted Lewin"When not at work on our books, my husband, artist Ted Lewin, and I love to travel to exotic places around the world gathering material for new books and paintings. At home we each work in our own studio. Ted's is on the top floor and mine is on the second floor of our brownstone house in Brooklyn. Besides the usual clutter of pencils and pens, paint tubes and brushes, draw-ing paper, and, of course, books, we surround ourselves with mementos of our travels: peacock feathers from India, Herero dolls from Botswana, galimoto toys from Namibia and Brazil, brass pots from Egypt, postcards and snapshots, and count-less stones and seashells and bits of cloth that transport us back to lands we've visited. Our two cats, Slick and Chopper, can usually be found napping on our drawing tables."

Walk a Green Path

"A round-the-world tour of forests and -plants, familiar and exotic. From her houseplants to giant lily pads in the Amazon River, from Brooklyn to Australia, Lewin transports viewers through lush watercolor paintings to an appreciation of the green world. The illustrations strikingly portray the variety and grandeur of plants and encourage readers to view their own surroundings with renewed attention."
-School Library Journal

"Lewin draws readers into a celebration of the green path with brief poetic- reflections and full page watercolors of growing things encountered around the world. She ably demonstrates the range of her medium. Watery brushstrokes of heavy, muted, overlapping bluegreen evoke a tropical vista, accompanied by her comment, 'The rain forest holds its breath, waking for the downpour.'... Regardless of the visual focus, however, most of the writing is intensely, compactly personal, giving readers the impression that they are tagging along Lewin's trail.... An invitation to the flora of the world, wherever it may be found, for artists, poets, and naturalists."
-Kirkus Reviews

Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books
A division of William Morrow & Company, Inc.
135OAvenue of the Americas
New York, N.Y 10019

Gorilla Walk
Gorilla Walk

Elephant Quest
Elephant Quest

Ted and Betsy Lewin arrive in the Okavango Delta of Botswana in February--the rainy season. Because there is always water in the delta, it is rich in animal life: hippos, Cape buffalo, lions, leopards, wildebeest, lechwe, giraffes, and some seventy thousand elephants! It is the elephants that Ted and Betsy have especially come to see. As they
make their way through the flooded grasslands, they encounter impalas, baboons, wild
dogs, and a huge crocodile--but where are the elephants hiding?

In Elephant Quest, Ted's realistic paintings and Betsy's field sketches illuminate the real-life adventure story of this exhilarating and often dangerous trip to the Moremi Reserve.