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Ted Dewan (born 1961) is an American-born British writer and illustrator of children's books who resides in England. He is married to illustrator Helen Cooper with a daughter Pandora Dewan. He is the brother of musician and artist Brian Dewan.
Dewan was born in Boston and raised in Lexington, Massachusetts, and had musical and artistic aspirations from a young age. He studied engineering and electronic music at Brown University, Rhode Island where he studied with his mentor, author/illustrator David Macaulay, before working for five years as a Physics teacher at Milton Academy. As well as his science-teaching duties at Milton Academy, Dewan directed various musical shows including a touring satirical student pop band that launched the musical career of jazz singer Titi Ngwenya.
In 1988, he relocated to London to continue a relationship with a Scottish girlfriend, where he began to make a living as a full-time illustrator and cartoonist, drawing for British newspapers including The Times (and Times Educational Supplement), The Guardian, The Independent and The Daily Telegraph. In his spare time, he performed a solo accordion act on London's comedy circuit, to mixed and "misunderstood" reviews at such ferocious venues as The Comedy Store and the Hackney Empire. Within a few years of moving to London, his relationship ended, whereupon he met Cooper, another children's illustrator and writer. They married in 1994.
Dewan began his book-illustrating career with science-writer Steve Parker on a number of highly praised and award-winning children's non-fiction books. Dewan's pen and ink and watercolor artwork complimented "Parker's examination of the morphology of the world's largest mammals" (and also Inside dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures). For Inside the Whale and Other Animals he won the 1992 Mother Goose Award from Books for Children as "the most exciting newcomer to British children's book illustration". Concurrently he illustrated a couple of adult non-fiction tomes by Dr. Robert Ornstein.
Dewan next turned his hand to writing as well as illustrating, producing in 1994 a baseball version of The Three Billy Goats Gruff (Scholastic), which Books for Keeps' Pam Harwood praised both for Dewan's "'cool' language" and "bright, lively pictures." A number of other solo writing/illustrating projects have followed since, in particular the Bing Bunny series, which has been adapted into a TV series.
Becoming a father in 1998 (to daughter Pandora), he decided to focus his time more thoroughly to writing and illustrating books. For many of his books, he produced "soundtracks", including a professionally produced recording of electronic music to accompany his 20th century robot version of The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
The first of three Crispin picture books was a commended runner-up for the 2000 Kate Greenaway Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's best children's book illustration by a British subject.[a] Cooper had won the 1996 and 1998 Medals.
Dewan and Cooper moved from London to Oxford in 2001, where they live "a short bike ride" away from one of his publishers, David Fickling Books, with whom Dewan works closely. He received a gift from Oxford-based author Philip Pullman:
- "... [Pullman's] famous shed in 2002, with the covenant agreed that only creative work in it, and that the shed was to be passed on to another artist, writer, or musician when the time came, if it hadn't turned to dust in the meantime."
More recently still, his work has featured in books related to the BBC comedy panel game television quiz show QI (Quite Interesting), created and produced by John Lloyd, hosted by Stephen Fry, and featuring permanent panelist Alan Davies. In particular, he contributed "400 diagrams and cartoons" to The Book of Animal Ignorance, and various illustrations to The QI "E" Annual (or The QI Annual 2007), both published by Faber and Faber in 2007.
His latest picture book with Orchard Books is about a courageous teddy bear charged with warming the heart of a troublesome boy. One True Bear (2009) was noted for its daring inclusion of actual young boys' drawings, including the "violent" ones not normally reproduced, especially in young children's literature.
In 2014 a television series called Bing based on his books began.
3D artwork and machines
Recently Dewan has experimented with three-dimensional artwork, including 2004's Cyclemas Tree, "a 20-foot 1.5 tonne illuminated Christmas Tree made of derelict bicycles and scaffolding. In 2007, he was appointed lead artist for Oxford's Millennial celebration's extravaganza, Luminox, which featured his 70-foot bamboo spire pendulum sculpture with a flaming pendulum bob. The sculpture formed the centrepiece of a large-scale fire installation by the renowned French group Carabosse. In 2007, he made a public offer to donate his head to Oxford University's Pitt-Rivers Museum for shrinking and inclusion in the museum's collection, in the event that the existing collection of similar exhibits was repatriated or removed from public view. The Museum politely declined the offer.
Awards and honors
- 1992, Mother Goose Award, best new illustrator, for Inside the Whale and Other Animals, written by Steve Parker
- 2002, Blue Peter Book Award, Best Book to Read Aloud, the picture book Crispin, the Pig Who Had It All
- Runners-up, etc.
2004, named one of the Publisher's Weekly Books of the Year, the Bing Bunny series of books for toddlers
As writer and illustrator
- 3 Billy Goats Gruff (André Deutsch, 1994)
- Top Secret (André Deutsch/Scholastic 1996)
- The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Corgi/Transworld 1997)
- The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Music of Magic and Electricity (Corgi Audio Tape, 1997)
- The Weatherbirds (Puffin Books/Penguin, 1999)
- Crispin, the Pig Who Had It All (Transworld, 2000)
- Baby Gets the Zapper (Transworld, 2001)
- Crispin and the 3 Little Piglets (Transworld, 2002)
- Crispin and the Best Birthday Surprise Ever (Transworld, 2007)
- One True Bear (London:Orchard and New York:Walker/Bloomsbury, 2009)
- Bing Bunny: Bing Get Dressed (David Fickling Books, 2003)
- Bing Bunny: Bing Paint Day (Fickling, 2003)
- Bing Bunny: Bing Bed Time (Fickling, 2003)
- Bing Bunny: Bing Something for Daddy (Fickling, 2003)
- Bing Bunny: Bing Go Picnic (Fickling, 2004)
- Bing Bunny: Bing Make Music (Fickling, 2004)
- Bing Bunny: Bing Swing (Fickling, 2004)
- Bing Bunny: Bing Yuk (Fickling, 2004)
- Inside the Whale and Other Animals (Dorling Kindersley/Doubleday, 1992), written by Dewan and Steve Parker
- Inside Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals (Kindersley, 1993), Dewan and Parker
- Rumpelstiltskin (Scholastic, 1998), written by Kit Wright
- Sandmare (Corgi/Transworld, 2001), Helen Cooper
- The Divide (Chicken House, 2005), Elizabeth Kay
- The Ice Cream Swipe (Oxford University Press, 2003), Elizabeth Laird
- Back to the Divide (Scholastic, 2007), Elizabeth Kay
- Jinx on the Divide (Scholastic, 2007), Elizabeth Kay
- The Thomas Trew Series (Hodder & Stoughton, 2006–2008), Sophie Masson
- Book 1: Thomas Trew and the Hidden People HB (2006); PB (2007)
- Book 2: Thomas Trew and the Horns of Pan PB (2007)
- Book 3: Thomas Trew and the Klint-King's Gold PB (2007)
- Book 4: Thomas Trew and the Selkie's Curse PB (2007)
- Book 5: Thomas Trew and the Flying Huntsman PB (2007)
- Book 6: Thomas Trew and the Island of Ghosts PB (2008)
- A Midsummer Night's Dream (Hodder & Stoughton, 2006), the 1590s Shakespeare classic retold by Beverly Birch
- The Evolution of Consciousness (Prentice-Hall, US 1991), written by Dr. Robert Ornstein,
- The Roots of the Self (HarperCollins, US 1993), by Ornstein
- The Axemaker's Gift (G. P. Putnam's Sons, US 1995), James Burke and Ornstein
- Wild Minds (Henry Holt, New York 1999), Marc Hauser
- The Book of Animal Ignorance (Faber and Faber, UK Oct 2007) (ISBN 978-0-571-23370-0), John Lloyd and John Mitchinson, designed and illus. by Dewan
- The QI "E" Annual (alternate title, The QI Annual 2007) (Faber and Faber, UK Nov 2007), by the QI Elves with some illustrations by Dewan
- The QI "F" Annual (alt. title, The QI Annual 2008) (Faber and Faber, UK Nov 2008), by the QI Elves, some illus. by Dewan
- Mindreal (Malor Books, US 2008), Ornstein
- Since 1995 there are usually eight books on the Greenaway shortlist. According to CCSU, some runners-up through 2002 were Commended (from 1959) or Highly Commended (from 1974). There were 99 commendations of both kinds in 44 years including Anthony Browne's high commendation and Dewan's commendation for 2000.
- "Cyclemas Artist: Ted Dewan". WormWorks.
- "Ted Dewan". Images of Delight: Original artwork from children's book illustrators. Archived 30 October 2007. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
- "Helen Cooper: Biography". Wormworks. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
- "Mother Goose Award". The Children's Literature Web Guide. 1994–2001 [this page 1996]. David K. Brown. Doucette Library of Teaching Resources. University of Calgary. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Ted Dewan bibliography. WormWorks. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
- "Ted Dewan". Gale Biographies of Children's Authors. Reprint at Answers.com. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
- "Kate Greenaway Medal". 2007(?). Curriculum Lab. Elihu Burritt Library. Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). Retrieved 2 July 2012.
- Animal Ignorance. The QI Shop. Retrieved 5 February 2008. Archived 21 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- Faber and Faber's new books catalogue, July - December 2007, page 18. Retrieved 6 February 2008.
- The Sorcerer's Apprentice WormWorks. Retrieved 7 February 2008.