Original Wheeler illustrations donated to local bookstore as free "surprise"
to those ordering children's books online from Battenkill Books in Cambridge, NY
Ballston Spa, NY – Original artwork by local children’s book illustrator Jody Wheeler will soon be on its way – for free – to twenty lucky customers buying children’s books online from independent bookstore, Battenkill Books in Cambridge, NY.
As part of an initiative known as Kid Lit Art Surprise, more than 50 of the nation’s top illustrators are sending packages of their original art for free to independent bookstores throughout the country. The small pieces of art are being included as an added “surprise” when customers place online orders for children’s books. Wheeler was paired by the project coordinators to share her work with Battenkill Books in Cambridge, NY and Elliot Bay Book Company in Seattle, WA.
© Jody Wheeler
“I am so excited to be a part of this volunteer project that gets original art in the hands of people who are actively supporting independent book sellers during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Wheeler. “These local bookstores do so much to promote great books for kids, it is nice that the illustrators can do something to assist them when shopping in stores has been restricted.”
Toby Cox – owner of Three Lives & Company bookstore in Greenwich Village, NY came up with the idea and mentioned it to Caldecott Honor artist Elisha Cooper. In two months, Cooper and fellow author-illustrator Ruth Chan started Kid Lit Art Surprise, based on Cox’s idea.
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According to Battenkill Books owner Connie Brooks, “The Kid Lit Art Surprise program has been a shining light in a dark time. The generosity of our illustrator colleagues has overwhelmed us, and we look forward to sharing these “surprises” with our customers. We think they will be as delighted as we have been,” she said.
Wheeler, a children’s book illustrator from Ballston Spa with studios in New York City and in Saratoga County, has created the artwork for more than 75 books, including the Corduroy the Bear and Nate the Great series, as well as Madeline, ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, the Little House on the Prairie picture book series, and other illustrated books.
Editor’s Note: For additional images, contact Jody Wheeler at the email address listed above.
To contatct Connie Brooks, visit battenkillbooks.com or email
Wood Theater Feature Artists
I am being featured in the Wood Theaters local artist directory, in Glens Falls, New York.
As I was born in Glens Falls, and grew up in Ballston Spa, this seemed right up my alley!
Thanks for the support Wood Theater! (Charles R. Wood Theater)
Check the link out to see myself and other local artists being represented!
My Career as a Children's Book Illustrator
Hey All! Check out my interview with Artsy Shark!
"My Career as a Children's Book Illustrator."
They ask how I got into the illustration business, different roles I have had and tips for future illustrators!
Check out the interview here!
Merrry Christmas, Corduroy!
It's official. My latest Corduroy board book "Merry Christmas Corduroy" by Viking Books, will be in stores Fall 2020. Many, many are working on it right now. I just got the cover image and here it is.
I'm trying to get all done for the next one "Happy Easter Corduroy" as fast as I can!
Corduroy in SNL?
It is so fun to see that Corduroy shared the stage with Saturday Night Live host RuPaul! What an honor.
Here's a link to the appearance of Corduroy on SNL with RuPaul.. also highlighted Madeline, my first licensed character, AND while at Simon & Schuster I was the model for Nancy Drew's BFF George for the books they published then. I saw RuPaul many years ago in a popup surprise show at a club in NYC and he looks JUST THE SAME!!, I don't : )
Just sent some books to a very cool program run by Society of Childrens' Book Writers and Illustrators to donate books to worthy organizations. I sent Nate the Greats, Little House on the Prairie Books, and more