Betsy Lewin grew up in Clearfield, Pennsylvania. She always loved to draw and can’t remember wanting to be anything but an artist. Her mother, a kindergarten teacher, is responsible for her love of children’s books. She read to Betsy and her brother every night: Winnie The Pooh, The Adventures of Babar, Uncle Remus, and all the fairy tale books. The illustrators A.B. Frost and Ernest Shepard were among her earliest heros. Later on when she started illustrating for children, Betsy realized how strongly she’d been influenced by James Stevenson and Quentin Blake.

After graduating from Pratt Institute where she studied illustration, Betsy designed greeting cards. Then she began to write and illustrate stories for children’s magazines. When an editor at Dodd, Mead & Company asked her to expand one of those stories into a picture book, Betsy says, “I jumped at the chance. I’ve been doing picture books ever since and loving every moment.”

Betsy’s art is usually humorous, drawn in pen or brush with watercolor washes, as in Click, Clack, Moo; Cows That Type, but she also paints in a naturalistic style as in Chubbo’s Pool. Gorilla Walk is her first collaboration with her husband Ted and is about their trek to see the mountain gorillas in Uganda. This was followed by five more collaborations; Elephant Quest, set in the Okavango Delta, Top To Bottom Down Under, about their adventures in Australia, Horse Song; A Story of the Naadam, set in Mongolia, Balarama; A Royal Elephant, set in India, and Puffling Patrol, about the puffins of Iceland.


 





Ted and Betsy Lewin with Laura Bush, 2006 National Book Festival

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Betsy's presentation at the
2006 National Book Festival


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