Riki Levinson had a long, successful career as a graphic artist and calligrapher, starting as an assistant to Herbert Binder, a Bauhaus-trained graphic artist. After a year she opened her own studio, mainly designing book jackets, including those for important works such as John F. Kennedy's Profiles In Courage and William Faulkner's A Fable. In 1970, Riki became Art Director for Western Publishing Company's Education Division. Two years later, she moved to E.P. Dutton as Art Director for Children's Books and was later also Associate Publisher. She retired from full-time work at Dutton in 1991, continuing as a consultant on picture books until 1999. Riki wrote her first children's book, Watch the Stars Come Out, while still at Dutton. Based on her mother's trip to America as a young girl, it was a Reading Rainbow feature on PBS, one of Redbook's "Top Ten Picture Books," plus many other awards Ten more award-winning children's books followed. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nhregister/obituary.aspx?pid=163536605#sthash.9ciabTWQ.dpuf
As a child, Diane Goode loved books and art. She has been drawing ever since she can remember.Of Italian and French descent, she enjoyed the richness of both cultures and traveled to Europeevery summer visiting family as well as cathedrals and museums. She feels that these earlyimpressions helped shape her appreciation of art and life. She studied art history at QueensCollege, but switched to fine arts, in which she earned her degree.
Her love for Europe shows in the setting of many of her books Paris in particular, where two ofher recent picture books, Where's Our Mama? and Mama's PerfectPresent. take place. She drewon her experience of living for a short time in Pennsylvania, to do the art work for CynthiaRylant's story of Appalachia, When I Was Young in the Mountains, for which shewas awarded aCaldecott Honor Medal. Diane Goode has illustrated 27 books for children, including anthologiesand stories she has written herself. She has always been drawn to the classics and has illustratedmany of the traditional fairy tales. Of her process, she says:
"I always begin with a rough dummy and then work on the individual pages, sketching veryloosely and quickly to establish movement and composition. I do these dozens of times,repositioning enlarging, reducing, adding and omitting. There are always hundreds of sketches foreach book. It sounds tedious, but it is the most exciting part of creating a book. When I msatisfied with these, I do the final art. All of my work is done on opaline parchment, a thin butstrong paper. I sketch lightly in pencil and use water colors applied with very fine sable brushes.Sometimes I use color pencils with the paint to soften the atmosphere."
Diane Goode now lives in Watchung, New Jersey, with her husband David, an author and collegeprofessor. Their son, Peter, attends Rhode Island School of Design.