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32 Fort Hoosac Place
Williamstown, MA 01267
Robin grew up near Washington, DC, where the Smithsonian Institution and the Virginia countryside were a regular inspiration. At Bennington College Robin majored in graphic arts and botany, and over a long career she has specialized in natural science illustrations.
Robin has always experimented with different art techniques, in particular: painting, drawing, printmaking, bookbinding, calligraphy, paper-making and fiber arts. These explorations are a foundation for the sculpted watercolor techniques Robin developed in the 1990's. The books she has illustrated in this method have won her accolades and awards, and the school workshops she leads are a way to introduce others to this fun art technique.
Robin's first illustrated picture book was I Am An Artist, by Pat L. Collins. Created with graphite and watercolor, it is a classic in children's literature, now in print for over twenty years. In 1996, Robin had a true "eureka" moment when she began cutting and hand shaping paper. This technique, of three-dimensional paintings, was used to illustrate Wendy Pfeffer's book, A Log's Life, and subsequent illustrated books. Robin's up-coming book, Leaflets Three, Let It Be, will be published in spring 2015.
Robin is an experienced workshop leader in schools, libraries, and at museums. Her programs are based on the science and art of the books she has illustrated. Adults and children learn her art technique; a technique that is accessible to all ages and abilities.
Awards and Honors
I Am an Artist was a Reading Rainbow Selection (1994 & 1997) and the Child Study Association Children's Book of the Year (1993)
One Night in the Coral Sea was chosen for the John Burroughs List of Nature Books for Young Readers (2006) and the Charlotte Award Nominee (NY State Reading Association) (2008)
A Log's Life received the Giverny Award: The Best Children's Science Book (2000), the Gold Award, 3 Dimensional Art Directors and Illustrators Awards Show (1997) and the John Burroughs List of Nature Books for Young Readers (1997)
Beaks! was an IRA Teachers' Choice (2003) and a Junior Library Guild Selection (2002)
Starfish was a Scholastic Book Club Selection (2002) and Best Children's Books of the Year (2001)
Wings was an Outstanding Science Trade Book (2009), National Science Teachers Association & the Children's Book Council
Robin Brickman has created a unique method of 3-D paintings for children's picture books. Presentations begin with visual examples of research, planning, and then with demonstrations of her 3-D technique. Programs always conclude with hands-on workshops. The result is often a community mural, or a small take home project. In this way the connection between art and science is discovered. Best of all, confidence and morale in all types of learners is the happy result.
Robin is skillfully represented by Janet Zade at: www.authors4kids.com. Janet is happy to explain the specifics of Robin's workshops.
Workshop fees are $1,000 per school day (locally), and $1,400 per school day (when travel away from home is required). Evening, library, or Keynote presentations are also available.
Extended workshops and residencies are negotiable, with a 10% discount offered for three, or more, days. Travel and overnight accommodations are extra.
Leaflets Three, Let it Be! (NEW)
Anita Sanchez (Author), Robin Brickman (Illustrator) Reading level: 4-8 years Hardcover 32 pages Publisher: Boyd's Mills Press (20015) ISBN-10: 162091445X ISBN-13: 978-1620914458
What’s the first thing anyone hears about poison ivy? “Leaflets three, let it be!” But this engaging nonfiction book will surprise readers who fear the itch–inducing plant. Taking us through the year, the narrative introduces the rabbit who nibbles on the tender leaves after a hard winter, the salamander who shelters in the plant’s cool, umbrella–shadows, the fall insects who wrap themselves in poison–ivy blankets, and the birds who feast on its berries in the starving heart of winter. Poison ivy has always seemed mysterious in its danger, but it too has a purpose and it has something to give.
One Night In The Coral Sea
Sneed B. Collard III (Author), Robin Brickman (Illustrator) Reading level: 6-9 years Paperback 32 pages Publisher: Charlesbridge Press (2005) ISBN-10: 1570913900 ISBN-13: 978-1570913907
In 1980, scientists discovered that hundreds of corals on the Great Barrier Reef participate in a mass spawning event. Science author Sneed B. Collard III explains coral reefs, the coral larvae's perilous journey through the sea to their home on the reef, and the animals that depend on this ecosystem for their survival. Intricate cut-paper illustrations capture the eye-catching colors of this underwater world.
From American Library Association– "Children…will be captivated by Brickman's realistic, astonishingly detailed colored-paper collages of the brilliant underwater world. A closing image of a silvery moon illuminating dolphins splashing through a placid sea extends the shivery sense of mysterious, fascinating life teeming beneath the surface. Further information, a glossary and resources are appended. Teachers may want to pair this with Lawrence Pringle's Coral Reefs (1995), which features excellent color photographs that will partner nicely with Brickman's collages." –Gillian Engberg (Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved.)
A Log's Life
Wendy Pfeffer (Author), Robin Brickman (Illustrator), Stephanie Lurie (Editor) Reading level: All Ages 32 pages Publisher: Simon & Schuster (September 1997) Hardcover ISBN: 0689806361 Paperback ISBN 1416934839
One stormy day a strong wind rages through the forest, causing an old oak tree to bend and sway. Lightning strikes; the tree crashes to the ground. Now it's a giant log.
In this fascinating book, author Wendy Pfeffer and illustrator Robin Brickman introduce readers to they life cycle of a tree. The informative, lyrical text is complemented by stunning, three-dimensional paper sculptures that showcase the forest ecosystem, inspiring readers to take a close look at the trees–and logs–in their own backyards.
From School Library Journal– “An attractive introduction to the life, death and decay of an oak tree. The simple, informative text presents the complex cast of characters residing in or on the living tree as well as the decomposing log, from woodpeckers, squirrels and porcupines to carpenter ants, millipedes, slugs and fungi. The verbal descriptions of this rich ecosystem are enhanced by striking illustrations of three-dimensional paper sculptures, often so realistic as to seem to be preserved natural specimens. Kindergarten-Grade 3." —Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY (Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc).
I Am an Artist
Pat Lowery Collins (Author), Robin Brickman (Illustrator) Reading level: All ages Paperback 32 pages Publisher: Millbrook Press (1992), Lerner (2005) ISBN 1-56294-729-x.
Are you an artist? Do you see the world around you in a special way? I Am an Artist shows you how, by simply observing the delights of nature, you can be inspired to create. Can you name the colors inside a seashell? You're an artist!
From Kirkus Reviews– "A gentle, attractive nudge to the creative process..."
From School Library Journal– "This lyrical, almost poetic, text puts forth the idea that art is a process...as well as a manifestation in the form of a finished product."
Sneed B. Collard III (Author), Robin Brickman (Illustrator). Reading level: 4-8 years Paperback 32 pages Publisher: Charlesbridge (2002) ISBN-10: 1570913889 ISBN-13: 978-1570913884
How can a toucan fly with such a large, cumbersome beak? A toucan's beak is actually light as a feather due to its honeycomb construction. And not only is it beautiful, but it's an extremely useful tool in foraging for food. Find out more fascinating facts in this remarkably illustrated study of bird beaks. Learn about several different birds, their habitats and how their beaks are uniquely styled to help them survive. Outstanding 3-D cut-paper illustrations by Robin Brickman create amazingly realistic tableaus of birds in their natural environments with their beaks in action. Back matter includes a comprehensive quiz, a bibliography and a list of related Web sites.
From School Library Journal– “The intricate characteristics of a variety of birds' beaks are presented skillfully through words and vividly painted, cut-and-sculpted-paper illustrations. The habits of birds and the information on how their beaks' composition allows them to eat are truly fascinating. The author explains that beaks can also help birds build nests (bowerbirds) or dig (bee-eaters). Some beaks change colors as the bird ages (seagulls) or during different seasons. The clear text is easy to follow, and students will enjoy hearing it read aloud or find it useful for reports. The lively style will facilitate rich discussion, while teaching the students the scientific facts of these feathered friends. Some of the featured species, such as song sparrows, are common, but others are quite exotic. A worthwhile resource for libraries and classrooms. Kindergarten-Grade 4.” Barbara L. McMullin, Casita Center for Technology, Science & Math, Vista, CA (Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
From Booklist– "This brightly illustrated, large-format volume invites children to consider the varying physical qualities and purposes of different birds' beaks. Each spread spotlights one or two species and how they use their beaks. A brief line of text, printed in large type and conveying an essential idea, is followed by a paragraph of information about the bird shown in the illustration. For instance, the section on macaws begins, "heavy beaks crush," and explains how the macaw's strong beak enables it to eat nuts that other birds cannot crack. This arrangement offers a brief introduction for younger children and a longer one for older ones. Focusing on the narrow topics of beaks allows Collard to be quite specific, but it also offers opportunities to introduce more general principles such as evolution. The term "paper collage" doesn't convey the three-dimensional quality of Brickman's striking pictures. Constructed of painted and cut papers, they give the illusion of depth in the picture plane as well as rounding shapes in the figures of individual birds. Short lists of recommended books and Web sites round out this attractive and informative volume. K-Gr. 3.” –Carolyn Phelan (Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved.)
Edith Thacher Hurd (Author), Robin Brickman (Illustrator) Reading level: Preschool-3 Paperback 40 pages Publisher: Harper Collins (2000) Hardcover ISBN: 0064451984
The second book in Timothy Tocher's series of sports books for girls ages 6-12. Like the Broadway Ballplayer series, this compelling series deals with sports action on the field and emotional issues off the field. Fifth-grader Laurie Bird Preston is no softball player–basketball is her sport. But with practice, patience–and help from Li, Howard, and an eccentric old woman with a mysterious past–she just might overcome her obstacles.
From School Library Journal– “This updated version has retained most of the text and all of the poetry of the original (HarperCollins, 1962; o.p.). The starfish is referred to as "it," instead of "he"; the words "crawl" and "pull" have replaced "hump" to describe how a starfish attacks a clam; and the arrangement has been slightly altered for a more logical flow of ideas. The variety of starfish that one might encounter, their life cycle and how they eat and grow are all included. The most compelling reason to replace your older edition is the beauty of Brickman's illustrations. Lovely cut-paper collages placed on multicolored, watercolor ocean backgrounds make this easy-to-read title a treat for the eye. PreSchool-Grade 2.” –Eunice Weech, M. L. King Elementary School, Urbana, IL. (Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Sneed B. Collard III (Author), Robin Brickman (Illustrator) Reading level: 7 and up Paperback 32 pages Publisher: Charlesbridge (2008) ISBN: 1570916128
Birds aren't the only creatures that have wings–bats and insects have them, too. Sneed B. Collard III explores the diversity of wings, the mechanics of flight and the fascinating abilities and attributes flying animals possess. Intricate, vivid collages show the delicate beauty of each type of wing. Includes a glossary and additional resources.
Swallows In The Birdhouse
Stephen R. Swinburne (Author), Robin Brickman (Illustrator) Reading level: 5-8 Paperback 32 pages Publisher: Boyds Mills Press (2005) ISBN: 1590783298
Hayley and Martin build a birdhouse to attract backyard swallows. Once the new home is in use, the children can watch the swallows collect nesting materials, lay six snowy white eggs, and care for their newly hatched young.
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