All About Jane Cabrera
Jane Cabrera is best known as an Author and Illustrator of young Children’s Books.
She has written and illustrated 57 books which have been published worldwide and translated into over 25 languages and won awards in the US and Europe.
Her books range from picture books to board books for babies and toddlers.
Jane designs the whole book, including any novelty aspects and hand typography.
Many of her books are based on traditional nursery rhymes, updated with her own modern fun twist. Great for younger children to sing a-long and do actions to.
She is passionate about creativity and the imagination and keeping that alive in young people and reconnecting it to those who think they are not Artistic, big or small.
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 loved drawing from an early age.
She worked as a Graphic designer within Children’s book publishing for many years so has a good working knowledge of this industry.
She lives in beautiful Devon between the Moor and Sea with her 2 teenage children. She loves sketching, walking in nature, animals, dancing, gardening and pottery. She also has a fine art practice and paints large murals and signs.
Jane has attended most major UK literary festivals, where she brings her books to life by involving the young children as much as possible. Be it through play, dressing up or 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!
She has run Art workshops in schools. Most based around her children’s books but also making large display Art with children of all ages. (including a life size paper mache cow and huge plastic bottle flower garlands at the entrance to the school) She has also curated a primary school’s Art exhibition at the local gallery.
Jane’s School Visits
Jane can be flexible for your visit. She can work with children and young people of all ages. Working in communication with your school she can tailor make a class to fit. Jane will bring some of her books for the students to handle, plus sketchbooks and original Artwork. Her classes are more Illustrative based but she will show the link between words and pictures.
Jane also loves sketching. She has a large collection of sketchbooks and has travelled the world sketching its people and places. Longer workshops could involve this too. Taking students out to do observational sketching.
A full list of materials required by the school would be sent in advance. Jane would provide a few bits and pieces herself. Cover up clothes are recommended for more messy Art creations.
If the weather permits, she loves working outside, where creating large works of Art gives the children a chance to be freer to make a creative ‘mess’.
Questions are encouraged throughout. Books can be purchased and signed.
ROUGH IDEA OF A SCHOOL DAY WORKSHOPS
The day could start with a short talk to the whole school on being an Author and Illustrator. Showing original Artwork, working rough drawings and books.
If there is time she could possibly doing some live drawing. (A flip chart/overhead projector would be needed.)
Classes can be tailored for each year group. (see below)
Please note, Class sizes to be standard class size or smaller.
Or for select students from different age groups across a school working together for a longer period.
They could create their own picture books or a large communal display.
This could be themed to tie in with the national curriculum.
Jane is also a Mural Artist, which she could organise to create one in your school.
Jane would do a little intro and then read some of her books including her versions of sing-a-long, join in action Nursery Rhymes. She’d get the students to join in with noises, actions or maybe dressing up. Then they would settle to make some Art based on her books. This is about 30-40 mins.
KS1 and KS2
As above to start, KS1 would a join in with the action and song books.
For KS2 they would do a warm up large loose drawing or collage.
The students would then create a simple picture book character, maybe design the cover and if time over a few days, write a simple illustrated story of their own. It would be more complex for the older children.
Lessons should ideally be 60-90 mins to get maximum benefit. (with breaks as necessary)
This would involve a more in-depth talk into the process of writing and Illustrating children’s books. Covering briefly the publishing business, typography, page layout, discussing digital vs non digital illustration etc.
A large drawing/collage would be great as a warm up and then they can design a children’s book character and build a short sentenced ‘story’ of their character
As above but with more talk on the focus and passion that is needed to be an author/Illustrator as a Career. Also the different jobs involved in publishing a children’s book.
An honest look at the ups and downs of being a self employed creative. Jane has some great tales on rejection!
Pupils could come with an interest in Art and not necessarily writing.
Jane has written over 57 books, a full list can be found on her website. Please see a selection below.
Listed as one of the Guardian Best new children’s books Summer 2018
Rainbow and Opposites
“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.” School Zone
“I really like the style of this sturdy board book, which is full of surprises.” Juno Magazine
“Its definitely another lovely board book for little ones to explore.” The Bookworm baby blog
“Bright and bold, with sweet animal illustrations that make him smile.” Books with Baby Blog
“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.” Lancashire evening post
There was an Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe
“Welcome to a new Old Woman and her little ones, too.” Kirkus Review
“A charming reimagining of an originally more cynical nursery rhyme.” School Library Journal
“I liked everything about this book, especially the variety of animals in the book and the descriptive language that made up each rhyme.” Youth services book review
Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
“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.” Kirkus review
The 12 Days of Christmas
“Lots of appeal for young children.” School Library Journal
“a charming, heart warming book”Angels and Urchins
“A sweet little story with adorable illustrations….so attractive for both little ones and their parents too.” The book bag
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
“A nursery charmer.” Kirkus Review
The Wheels on the Bus
“A surefire winner…Not to be missed” School library Journal
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
“A fine addition” Booklist
Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
“Sure to be successful” Kirkus Review
Old MacDonald Had a Farm
“Jane Cabrera is one of a number of new picture book illustrators who are breaking the mould in terms of style.” Books Magazine
“…her style exudes the joy of creation…”Publishers Weekly
“…Colours that Zing, my favourite 3 year old (who has great taste) sleeps with it under his pillow.” Vivian French for The Guardian,
The Polar Bear and the Snow Cloud
“A Charming Picture book.”BBC Parenting Parenting magazine
“The language is as alive as the pictures.” The School Librarian Magazine
Snappy Teeth, Twitchy Nose, Floppy Ears, Bright Eyes
“Delightfully bold illustrations and a surprise ending provide added entertainment.” Junior Magazine
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe,
“A simple Joyous romp.” Kirkus Review
Old Mother Hubbard
“Cabrera’s Illustrations always virtually bubble over with high spirits“ Publishers weekly
“A real crowd-pleaser” Kirkus review
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.
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Jane, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org