Don’t you just wish you could be teleported places so you could bypass all the checkpoints and airport lines? Barbara McClintock will help take you there, as she pens her children’s books and dreams up those imaginative illustrations. Her most recent book ”Vroom” was published and was released in stores across the country July 2. The noted children’s book artist and author has been writing and drawing since childhood. She lived in Jamestown and as a youngster walked our streets, played in the parks, went to high school and Jamestown College before moving back East.
How wonderful it would be if she still lived here now to inspire others. But she does that anyway with her books. And when she comes back to visit her mom and stepdad, JoAnn and Helmut Albrecht, she usually manages to get in some time with school kids and the University of Jamestown..
If I could be transported on Monday, July 22, I would arrive in Portland, Maine, where at 5:30 to 7 p.m. she will be signing books at the Rines Auditorium in the Portland Public Library. “Vroom” is the most recent book in a list of dozens of publications, illustrations and collaborations she has done since the vivacious Shirley Temple look-a-like left Jamestown.
On her website, one of the quotes given by Michael Cart of “Booklist” says it all: “Award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Barbara McClintock draws like a dream; her beautifully restrained use of color may evoke a long-ago time, but her compositions are so dynamic that there's always something for contemporary children to discover. ... Full of humor and wit and strong characterizations, her books are timeless charmers.”
Her books have won five New York Times Best Books awards, a New York Times Notable Book citation, a Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor award and numerous other awards, recommendations, best book lists and starred reviews. Often asked about early inspiration, her own voice addresses what a young Barbara dreamed for herself.
“I drew constantly as a child,” she said. “By the time I was 7, I knew I would be an artist when I grew up. My older sister recommended I become a children's book illustrator, and this proved to be a rare instance when I followed my sister's advice.” She added: “Two weeks after my 20th birthday, my best friend took me to the airport in Jamestown, N.D., and I flew to New York to begin my career.”
Her first “big” art job was designing characters for television commercials. She worked other venues learning the trade until she met Jim Henson and began illustrating books for his television series “Fraggle Rock.”
Her books number into the dozens. From her most recent “Vroom,” to “Nothing Stopped Sophie,” “The Five Forms,” “Adele and Simon,” all the way back to her earliest, “Waggleby of Fraggle Rock.” Check her website to order or go to your favorite bookstore. Congrats Barbara!!!
If anyone has an item for this column, contact Sharon Cox, PO Box 1559, Jamestown, ND 58402-1559.