Mary Engelbreit

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Mary Engelbreit
Born (1952-06-05) 5 June 1952 (age 69)
Spouse(s)Phil Delano Edit this at Wikidata

Mary Engelbreit (born June 5, 1952)[1] is an artist whose illustrations have been printed in books, cards and calendars.[2]


She was born and lives in St. Louis, Missouri.[3]

Engelbreit attributes her beginnings in art to getting eyeglasses in second grade and being able to see details of the world around her clearly for the first time.[4]: 6  After meeting her first artist, at age 9, she became convinced she needed her own studio space, which her mother helped set up in the family linen closet.[4]: 8–9 


Engelbreit began working for a local advertising company, Hot Buttered Graphics.[4]: 7  Hoping to work as an illustrator of children's books, she shopped her portfolio around New York without success. She began working on greeting card and her first nationally distributed greeting card featured a malapropism that played off an old saying, "Life is just a bowl of cherries", showing a girl looking at a chair piled high with bowls, with the legend: "Life is just a chair of bowlies."[4]: 7–8 

Her company, Mary Engelbreit Co., was founded in 1982.[3] It was located in Webster Groves, Missouri and then was moved to a former Greek Orthodox church in University City, Missouri in 1994.[5] As of 1996, her company reported $86 million in sales per year. Mary Engelbreit stores were located in St. Louis; Schaumberg, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; and Alpharetta, Georgia.[3]

As her card line grew in size and popularity, it drew attention from other companies who licensed her artwork on products including calendars, T-shirts, mugs, gift books, rubber stamps, ceramic figurines, and fabric.[3] She launched a line of "Engeldark" greeting cards in 2016 that feature snarky humor.[6]

Engelbreit was editor-in-chief of a bi-monthly creative lifestyle magazine, Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, starting in 1996.[7][3]

Mary Engelbreit's A Merry Little Christmas received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.[8] Two of her books, Mary Engelbreit's Mother Goose and A Night of Great Joy, received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly.[9] She has had two New York Times children's bestsellers, including an edition of The Night Before Christmas that reached #5 on the New York Times bestseller list[10][11] and Mary Engelbreit's Mother Goose, which debuted at #6 and was on the bestseller list for four weeks.[12][13]

She has designed sets for the St. Louis Muny's production of Matilda in 2019.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Engelbreit married Phil Delano, a social worker, in 1977; in 1986, they formed Mary Engelbreit Studios. The couple had two children: Evan, born in 1980; and Will, born in 1983. Evan died in June 2000; his daughter, Mikayla, was adopted by Engelbreit and her husband.[4]: 7, 9  Engelbreit has a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.[15]

Engelbreit supports Black Lives Matter. She created art inspired by the mother of Michael Brown.[16][17][18][19]

Selected works[edit]


  • Mary Engelbreit's Christmas Companion. Andrews McMeel, 1995. ISBN 978-0-8362-4627-8[20]
  • Mary Engelbreit: The Art and the Artist. By Mary Engelbreit and Patrick T. Regan. Andrews McMeel Publishing, 1996. ISBN 9780836222326[21][22]
  • Mary Engelbreit's Fan Fare Cookbook: 120 Family Favorite Recipes. Andrews McMeel, 2010. ISBN 9780740779695[23]



  1. ^ "St. Louis Walk of Fame". St. Louis Walk of Fame.
  2. ^ Manning, Margie (August 13, 2000). "Mary Engelbreit: Illustrator, entrepreneur Mary Engelbreit Co". Retrieved 2021-01-02.
  3. ^ a b c d e Sandstrom, Karen. "Homefront: Mary Engelbreit's magazine markets domestic manageability." Chicago Tribune. 23 Nov 1996: B12.
  4. ^ a b c d e Mary Engelbreit. "If You Can Dream It," Guideposts, October 1998.
  5. ^ "Former church is new HQ for Mary Engelbreit Co." St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 1 Aug 1994: p. 127. Via Proquest.
  6. ^ Quinonez, Alyssa (2019-10-17). "Mary Engelbreit opens exhibition in Old Webster". Webster Journal. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  7. ^ Hertenstein, Barbara. "Cute is the name of the game." September 29, 1996. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. 154.
  8. ^ a b Mary Engelbreit's A Merry Little Christmas.
  9. ^ a b "Children's Book Review: A Night of Great Joy by Mary Engelbreit". Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  10. ^ "Best Sellers." The New York Times Book Review, vol. 107, no. 49, 8 Dec. 2002, p. 78. Gale Literature Resource Center. Accessed 8 Jan. 2021.
  11. ^ "Best Sellers: December 29, 2002." The New York Times Book Review, 29 Dec. 2002, p. 14. Gale Literature Resource Center.
  12. ^ "Children's Best Sellers." New York Times. 23 Oct 2005: F22.
  13. ^ "Children's Best Sellers." New York Times. 13 Nov 2005: F47.
  14. ^ Kline, Diane. "Take It from Me: Artist Mary Engelbreit". GAZELLE MAGAZINE. Retrieved 2021-01-02.
  15. ^ St. Louis Walk of Fame. "St. Louis Walk of Fame Inductees". Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  16. ^ Sultan, Aisha. "How did Mary Engelbreit get so woke? St. Louis artist known for cute drawings isn't holding back". Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  17. ^ "Mary Engelbreit Riles Fans, Again". artnet News. 2015-08-14. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  18. ^ "Illustrator Mary Engelbreit Gets Called Out For Her Anti-Racist, Michael Brown Anniversary Art, And Her Response Deserves All The Applause". Bustle. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  19. ^ Sultan, Aisha. "On the Beat: A personal side of Mary Engelbreit's outspoken activism". Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  20. ^ "Nonfiction Book Review: Mary Engelbreit's Christmas Companion". Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  21. ^ "Nonfiction Book Review: Mary Engelbreit: The Art and the Artist". Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  22. ^ Cooper, Ilene. "Mary Engelbreit: The Art and the Artist." Booklist, vol. 93, no. 5, 1 Nov. 1996, p. 472. Via Gale.
  23. ^ Carrie, Scarr (September 15, 2010). "Mary Engelbreit's Fan Fare Cookbook". Library Journal. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  24. ^ "Children's Book Review: My Symphony". November 3, 1997. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  25. ^ Hyde, Toni. "Believe: A Christmas Treasury." Booklist, vol. 95, no. 4, 15 Oct. 1998, p. 374. Gale Literature Resource Center. Accessed 8 Jan. 2021.
  26. ^ "Children's Book Review: Baby Booky: Booky by Mary Engelbreit". Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  27. ^ "Children's Book Review: Lovey Dovey by Mary Engelbreit". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  28. ^ "The Night Before Christmas". Kirkus Reviews. November 1, 2002.
  29. ^ "Children's Book Review: Queen of Christmas". Publishers Weekly. 2003-09-22. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  30. ^ "Children's Book Review: Queen of the Class". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  31. ^ "Queen of the Class". Kirkus Reviews. June 1, 2004.
  32. ^ "Queen of Hearts". Kirkus Reviews. December 15, 2004.
  33. ^ "Audio Book Review: Mary Engelbreit's Mother Goose". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  34. ^ "Queen of Easter". Kirkus Reviews. February 1, 2006.
  35. ^ "Children's Book Review: Mary Engelbreit's Nutcracker". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  36. ^ Walter, Virginia (October 1, 2011). "Mary Engelbreit's Nutcracker". School Library Journal. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  37. ^ "Peace on Earth: A Christmas Collection". Kirkus Reviews. October 15, 2013.
  38. ^ "The Blessings of Friendship". Kirkus Reviews. June 15, 2014.
  39. ^ Boles, Jenna (September 1, 2014). "The Blessings of Friendship Treasury". School Library Journal. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  40. ^ "A Night of Great Joy". Kirkus Reviews. September 1, 2016.
  41. ^ Phelan, Carolyn. "A Night of Great Joy." Booklist, vol. 113, no. 2, 15 Sept. 2016, p. 57. Gale Literature Resource Center. Via Gale.
  42. ^ "Mary Engelbreit's A Merry Little Christmas". Kirkus Reviews. November 1, 2006.
  43. ^ "Mary Engelbreit's Little Book of Love". School Library Journal. Retrieved 2021-01-08.

External links[edit]