Stage designer and artist Ian Falconer didn't initially set out to write books for children, but an impromptu gift for his young niece became the adored Olivia series. "She's not really a bratty character, but she does get away with a lot," Ian Falconer admits in our video interview when describing the precocious piglet that stars in his bestselling books.
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Exclusive: See our video interview with Falconer (4:14)
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Studied art history at New York University and painting at Parsons School of Design and Otis Art Institute
Caldecott Honor for Olivia, 2000; BookSense Illustrated Children's Book of the Year for Olivia Saves the Circus, 2002
|A Strange Story from Falconer and Friend|
|Little Lit: Strange Stories for Strange Kids|
Art Spiegelman (Editor), Francoise Mouly (Editor)
Geared toward pre-teens (rather than the pre-school audience of the Olivia board books), Little Lit draws together several writers and artists (including Maurice Sendak, Paul Auster and Jules Feiffer) for some bizarre vignettes. Falconer, who designed the sets for a 1996 production of David Sedaris's Santaland Diaries, reteamed with the humorist to illustrate "Pretty Ugly," the account of Anna Van Ogre's penchant for unattractive expressions.
|Next: Home Decorating?|
|Not surprisingly for a set designer and artist, Falconer has paid meticulous attention to the interior of his Greenwich Village apartment, as evidenced by a feature in the New York Times in 2001. One of his obsessions is collecting Chinese decorative stones, or gongshi. "I like them because no artist is involved, so you have to judge them by your own eye," Falconer said. "You can't say it's a van Gogh, and have everyone say, 'Ooooh, van Gogh.' All that matters is the rock. Which means everyone looking at it has to become the artist."|