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Ed Young


Ed Young

Ed Young, winner of the 1990 Caldecott Medal, has illustrated over 40 books for children, four of which he has also written. He cites the philosophy of Chinese painting as his inspiration. “A Chinese painting is often accompanied by words,” explains Young. “They are complementary. There are things that words do that pictures never can, and likewise, there are images that words can never describe.”

Content and the telling of the tale itself provide Young with the initial inspiration for his art and with the motivation for page design and sequence. Accuracy in research is essential to his work — whether he is illustrating fantasy, folk tale, or fact. According to Ed, a strong foundation in credibility must be established in order to create new and exciting images. Through such images, he hopes to capture his readers and ultimately stimulate some sort of awareness in them.

Challenge and growth are central to Ed's role as illustrator, and it is this quest for growth that caused him to move away from advertising in the 1960s. He wanted something more expansive, something more expressive. Ed found what he was looking for in children's books. “I feel the story has to be an exciting and moving experience for a child,” Young explains. “Before I am involved with a project, I must be moved, and as I grow, I try to create something exciting. It is my purpose to stimulate growth in the reader as an active participant.”

Ed Young was born in Tienstin, China. He grew up in Shanghai and later moved to Hong Kong. He came to the United States as a young man on a student visa. A graduate of the Los Angeles Art Center, Young has since taught at the Pratt Institute, Yale University, Naropa Institute, and the University of California at Santa Cruz. He currently lives with his wife in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

Ed Young

Books by Ed Young

written by Gary Golio with illustrations by Ed Young - Biography, Children's 8-12, Children's Nonfiction, Humor, Performing Arts

His dad long gone and his actress mother ailing, five-year-old Charlie found himself onstage one day taking his mum’s place, singing and drawing laughs amid a shower of coins. When Charlie described a wobbly old man he saw in baggy clothes, with turned-out feet and a crooked cane, his mother found it sad, but Charlie knew that funny and sad go hand in hand. Gary Golio and Ed Young interpret Charlie Chaplin’s path from his childhood through his beginnings in silent film and the creation of his iconic Little Tramp. 

by Ed Young - Animals , Children's 4-8, Family
In a place called Hunger Mountain there lives a lord who has everything imaginable yet never has enough. To satisfy his every desire, he hires builders to design the tallest pagoda; a world-famous tailor to make his clothing from silk and gold threads; and a renowned chef to cook him lavish meals with rice from the lord's own fields. What more could he possibly want?
by Ed Young - Fiction, Nature, Poetry
This personally inspired poem by an award-winning author and artist celebrates the trials and triumphs of unconditional love. Using an innovative mix of cut paper, photographs, and calligraphy, SHOULD YOU BE A RIVER takes the reader on a breathtaking visual journey.
Written by Gary Golio with illustrations by Ed Young - Fiction, Music

When sax player Charlie "Bird" Parker and trumpeter John "Dizzy" Gillespie make music together, they toss notes back and forth like a game of tag and chase each other with sounds. As Dizzy’s cheeks puff out like a frog with glasses, the two friends beep and bop and push each other to create a new kind of music --- a thrilling fast jazz full of surprises.

Written by Barbara DaCosta and illustrated by Ed Young

Late at night, when all is quiet and everyone is asleep, a ninja creeps silently through the house in search of treasure. Soon he reaches his ultimate goal...and gets a big surprise! Will the nighttime ninja complete his mission?