Christopher Manson

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Christopher Manson is a children's book author and illustrator noted for his use of traditional hand tools to painstakingly make the pine woodcuts that fill his several highly acclaimed works.

Background[edit]

Born in Buffalo, New York, Manson graduated in 1975 from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia, having specialized in printmaking.[1] He also obtained a Master of Fine Arts from the State University of New York at New Paltz (SUNY New Paltz).[2]

He returned to Buffalo, where he took a job at a local arts council in arts management, a position that required fundraising skills. "It wasn't for me," he later recalled. "I figured out that I was tired of helping others make their art."[1]

Career[edit]

The cover of Christopher Manson's Over the River and through the Wood exhibits his distinctive colored woodcut style of illustration.

After illustrating a friend's cookbook, he published the phenomenally popular children's book, MAZE: Solve the World's Most Challenging Puzzle (1985), issued by the major publishing house Henry Holt and Company.[1] The book promised a $10,000 award to whoever solved the book's many visual puzzles, and even though the contest has long since ended, the book remains in print, and eventually was reissued in a CD-ROM format.

His other books include A Farmyard Song (1992), The Tree in the Wood (1993), Over the River and through the Wood (1998), Good King Wenceslas (1994).[1] He has also illustrated books for other authors, including J. Patrick Lewis' Black Swan/White Crow (2007), W. Nikola-Lisa's Till Year's Good End (1997), and Delno C. West and Jean M. West's Uncle Sam and Old Glory (2000).[1]

Manson summed up his approach to his authoring and illustrating children's books like so: "What I'm really after is the perfect book. The kind where you just can't imagine the words without the pictures, or the pictures without the words . . . like [Winnie-the-Pooh author A. A.] Milne. But there aren't that many out there to point to as perfect. I'm constantly working toward it." He added, "Even if I won the 40 million dollar lottery, I'd still do this — I'd have a fancier studio, but I'd still do this."[1]

Manson lives in Rockville, Maryland.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Diana L. Winarski, An 'Enormous good time' with Christopher Manson," Teaching Pre K-8, March 1995, accessed 4 July 2008.
  2. ^ a b Biographical sketch of Christopher Manson, book jacket, Delno C. West and Jean M. West, Uncle Sam and Old Glory (New York: Atheneum Books, 2000.)