Something About the Artist, Diane Stanley

Diane Stanley was born in Abilene, Texas and grew up in New York City, La Jolle, California, and Abilene. She graduated from high school in Abilene and attended Trinity University in San Antonio. Stanley's interests were wide and varied but when she took a drawing course during her senior year, she found her passion. Discovering that she also had talent, she decided to pursue a career as a medical illustrator and earned a degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Fortunately for the children's book world, Stanley quickly abandoned medical illustration in order to illustrate children's books. Her first book was The Farmer in the Dell, published in 1978 by Little, Brown. In 1983, after several years of illustrating other people's stories, Stanley wrote The Conversation Club, which she also illustrated. Although Stanley is best known for her picture book biographies, she has also written or illustrated almost fifty books, including modern retellings of fairy tales.

For her non-fiction biographies, Stanley and her husband, Peter Vennema, often travel to conduct research in the biographee's native land. Peter has co-authored several biographies with Diane. Diane also illustrated The Last Princess, written by her mother, Fay Stanley. She is the recipient of the Washington Post / Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award for the body of her work.

Diane has two daughters and a son. Until recently, Diane lived in Houston.  She and Peter moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2003.

Books written and/or illustrated by Diane Stanley include:

  • All Wet! All Wet! by James Skofield.
  • Goldie And the Three Bears.
  • Good Queen Bess: The Story of Elizabeth I of England.
  • The Last Princess by Fay Stanley.
  • Moe the Dog In Tropical Paradise. Illustrated by Elise Primavera.
  • Saladin: Noble Prince Of Islam.
  • The True Adventure Of Daniel Hall.
  • Woe is Moe.

Web Sites

Diane Stanley

The author's official web site includes a detailed biography, photographs, and information about all of her books.


Texas Reading Club 2007 Programming Manual / Sail Away with Books!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011