Something About the Artist, Janet Stevens
Janet Stevens was born in 1953 in Dallas, Texas, the youngest of three children. Because her father was in the Navy, Janet and her family moved a great deal. They returned to Texas and lived in Austin while Janet attended second grade. Janet lives with her husband, two dogs, and a cat. She and Ted have two grown children.
Janet began drawing as a child and drew pictures for her book reports, math assignments, and everything else. While this didn’t always sit well with her teachers, it did begin her art career. After graduating from high school in Hawaii, Janet worked for a company that printed Hawaiian fabrics, painting designs for aloha shirts.
She began compiling a portfolio of “characters” after she graduated from the University of Colorado in Fine Arts: bears in tutus, rhinos in sneakers, and walruses in Hawaiian shirts. In 1977, Janet attended “The Illustrator’s Workshop” in New York City, where it was suggested that her characters might find a home in a children’s book. Luckily for libraries (and children’s book readers in general), publishers agreed and her first book was published in 1978.
Ms. Stevens uses a variety of artistic mediums, including pastel crayon, pencil, color pencil, and watercolor. Best known for her retellings of folktales and fables that feature her trademark quirky animals, Janet is also the author and illustrator of many original stories and frequently collaborates with her sister, Susan Stevens Crummel.
Janet has received numerous awards, including a Caldecott Honor Award for Tops and Bottoms in 1995 and the Texas Bluebonnet Award for Cook-a-Doodle-Doo! in 2001.
Books written and/or illustrated by Janet Stevens include:
- The Anansi books by Eric Kimmel.
- And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel.
- Cook-a-Doodle-Doo! by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel.
- Coyote Steals the Blanket retold by Janet Stevens.
- The Dog Who Had Kittens by Polly M. Robertus.
- The Epposumondas books by Coleen Salley.
- From Pictures to Words: A Book about Making a Book by Janet Stevens.
- The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel.
- Jackalope by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel.
- Not Like That, Armadillo by Ida Lutrell.
- Old Bag of Bones, A Coyote Tale retold by Janet Stevens
- Plaidypus Lost by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel.
- To Market, To Market by Anne Miranda.
- Tops and Bottoms retold by Janet Stevens.
- Tumbleweed Stew by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel.