Emberley family invades Ireland

The Emberley family make their way to the National Library of Ireland on Kildare street in Dublin this weekend for the Children’s Books Ireland /Weaving a Shared Story conference. The family will be part of a large two day conference open to anyone interested in children’s literature.

From the program:

In what is sure to be one of the highlights of this year’s programme, CBI have brought together picture books’ premier family! We are delighted to be joined by Caldecott Medal winner Ed Emberley, the man who inspired a generation to draw, including his own children Rebecca and Michael. Today Ed and Rebecca join us from the USA, while Michael Emberley and his wife Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick join us from closer to home.  As this impressively creative extended family sit down together, be prepared for a lively debate about working practices, inspiration and collaboration. Illustrator and designer Steve Simpson chairs this session.”

Creative clans are not unique, there even are several in American children’s books, but this one goes on for longer and involves more family members than most. Ed, Rebecca, Barbara and Michael and Marie-Louise have all produced books over the years, Rebecca’s daughter Adrian and husband Peter Black are both professional singer/songwriter/musicians.

Ed has been writing, designing and illustrating books since 1962 with well over 100 books to date and no signs of stopping. He is known for picturebooks, as well as his classic drawing series including the “drawing alphabet” that some consider the only new insight into visual learning since the invention of the pencil…and the classic Go Away Big Green Monster.

Barbara has adapted or written several titles as well as “built’ many of Ed’s best known drawing books by creating thousands of pages of mechanical artwork.

Rebecca has been involved with children’s books since the 70’s, at one point creating her own publishing company, and has recently collaborated on an explosion of wildly creative picturebook titles with Ed and Adrian as well as the world of new media – animation and apps.

Marie-Louise is a well known icon in Irish children’s literature, having won the coveted Irish Bisto bestbook award 3 times. She has written and illustrated many picturebooks, as well as three novels.

Michael has been writing and/or illustrating children’s books since the age of 18.  His first book was published in 1980, and with a few breaks, continues to this day with collaborations with several award winning American authors such as Barbara Bottner, US Children’s laureate Mary Ann Hoberman, and Robie Harris. He is currently busy exploring new ideas by writing longer books and novels, demonstrating the creative drive never stops.

Ed and Barbara met at Art school back in the 50’s in Boston Mass., and Michael and Marie-Louise met at a Children’s literature conference, not unlike this one, in Maryland, USA. Proving all kinds of creative unions and collaborations can occur these events. Join us!