Meet the Illustrator

Wendell Minor

Portrait of Wendell Minor

Wendell Minor, who grew up in Aurora, Illinois, has loved the outdoors since he was a child. As an adult, he continues to foster this love by exploring the United States and by creating realistic illustrations of the places he visits. After he finished his studies at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, he began to illustrate books. He has also designed covers for more than 2000 books.

Wendell Minor's concern for the environment has led him to illustrate many children's books. In doing this, he combines his love for the outdoors with his artistic skills by painting landscapes that inspire and teach readers. His greatest wish is that the children who see his illustrations will be encouraged to love and protect the natural resources of the world.

He prepares for his illustrations by taking photographs, drawing sketches, and taking notes. He says that when he has finished, his work becomes "not just a visual interpretation of a story, but a story on its own."

Look again at Wendell Minor's illustrations for Cliff Hanger. How does his art show his love of nature? How does it help you understand the way the characters in the story feel? Discuss your thoughts with a partner.

Photography Credit


Other Books Written and Illustrated by Wendell Minor

  • Pumpkin Heads

Other Books Illustrated by Wendell Minor

  • To Kill a Mockingbird
    (written by Harper Lee)
  • Julie's Wolf Pack
    (written by Jean Craighead George)
  • Give Her the River
    (written by Michael Dennis Browne)
  • Into the Woods
    (written by Robert Burleigh)
  • Firestorm
    (written by Jean Craighead George)
  • To Fly Beyond the Sky: My Journey to the Moon
    (written by Buzz Aldrin)
  • America the Beautiful
    (written by Katharine Lee Bates)
  • Snow Bear
    (written by Jean Craighead George)
  • We Were There
    (written by Eve Bunting)