TTLG Author/Illustrator Profiles

Ed Emberley

Ed Emberley

Ed Emberley is a well-known name in the field of children's books. He has been the recipient of the highest awards in the field, including the Caldecott Honor Book Awards. His books have been praised by many: The New York Times over the years has chosen Emberley books among its annual selections for the "Best Illustrated Books of the Year," and many of Mr. Emberley's books have been selected by the American Library Association for the annual Notable Children's Book lists. But the Emberley success story is not limited to the praise of critics or to awards and honors. His work has reached schools, libraries, bookstores, and homes because Ed Emberley can turn anyone into an "artist."

Although most people are aware of the fact that Barbara Emberley, Ed's wife, has frequently joined forces with Ed on book projects, few are aware of the part his children, Michael and Rebecca, have played. They, too, have worked on Ed's books, helping book projects move from the beginning idea to completion. Michael is now writing and publishing books of his own, and Rebecca is working on several book ideas herself. The Emberley family is very much a part of the children's book world.

Ed studied painting and illustration at the Massachusetts School of Art in Boston, where he met Barbara. They were married in 1955. After two years in the Army, Ed completed his formal art training at the Rhode Island School of Design, while his wife worked as a librarian at Brown University. Their daughter, Rebecca, was born in 1958, and their son, Michael, was born two years later.

Barbara, Ed, and Michael Emberley live in a 1690 saltbox house in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Barbara and Ed still jog three times a week, "for our health, not because we like to." And they cross-country ski daily while living in their winter home in North Conway. In the summer, sailing is a major event. As Ed says, "We hope to become more active physically as we grow older rather than less." Michael spends the better part of his time bicycle racing or training for it. Rebecca now lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts.