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I was born in 1958 in Boston, MA, the first of Harve and Margot Zemach's four daughters. We grew up with our parents' books, in an intimate way: They worked in the middle of our play area, and we played in the middle of their work area. I was proud of my parents' work, and aware of their commitment to providing high quality writing and illustration for children.
From my mother I learned that a picture book is a period of time upon a stage, in which one is responsible for the script, the cast of characters, the costumes, the stage design, the pacing, the props, the atmosphere, the viewer's experience... everything.
From my father, I learned an economical approach to writing, and to be extremely respectful of the young reader's intelligence.
But for the most part, I am self-taught. I studied briefly at the Academy of Arts College and the Art Institute in San Francisco, but largely resisted being 'taught', preferring to develop alone. Though I wrote, illustrated, and had several books published while still virtually a teenager, it was not until after my mother's death in 1989 that I felt artistically equipped to do serious, high-quality picture book work. Now, I am determined to honor the Zemach legacy by doing so. I re-entered the field in 1998 with The Character In The Book, published by Michael di Capua Books / Harper Collins. In Spring 2003, The Question Song, a book I created using an elaborate theorem painting technique [oil paint, hand cut stencils and fine velvet cloth], will be published by Megan Tingley Books / Little Brown, and I am now working on Just Enough and Not Too Much, to be published by Arthur A. Levine Books.