Roxie Munro

Roxie is the author/illustrator of more than 40 nonfiction and concept books for children, many using “gamification” to encourage reading, learning, and engagement  (including Mazescapes; Amazement Park; the “Inside-Outside” series: New York City [New York Times Best Illustrated Award], Washington DC, Texas, London, Paris, and Libraries; Feathers, Flaps & Flops; Doors; Gargoyles, Girders & Glass Houses; Ranch; Wild West Trail Ride Maze; Circus; Mazeways: A to Z; Rodeo; Go!Go!Go!; Inside-Outside Dinosaurs; and the “KIWi Storybooks” nonfiction series). Her books have been translated into French, Italian, Dutch, Chinese, and Japanese.

Recent books:  Masterpiece Mix; Market Maze; Slithery Snakes; EcoMazes: 12 Earth Adventures (Starred review in School Library Journal; Smithsonian’s Best Science Book for Children);  Desert Days, Desert NightsHatch! (Outstanding Science Trade Book, NSTA & CBC); Society of International Librarians Honor Award; Bank St College Best Books of 2012, with Outstanding Merit); Busy Builders (Bank Street CCLL Cook Prize Honor for STEM), and a series of nine nonfiction giant and fold-out KIWi Jr. Storybooks.  Masterpiece Mix, Holiday House, out August 1, 2017.  Rodent Rascals, Holiday House, Spring 2018.

Recent apps: “Roxie’s Puzzle Adventure” (16-screen multi-player jigsaw puzzle), “Roxie’s a-MAZE-ing Vacation Adventure” (interactive game app), and the 3-D app, “Roxie’s DOORS.”  Nine educational apps for KIWi (Kids Interactive Walk-in) Storybooks.

Roxie was born in Texas, and grew up in southern Maryland, by the Chesapeake Bay. At the age of six,  she won first prize in a county-wide contest for a painting of a bowl of fruit. She has been a working artist all her life, for a while freelancing in Washington DC as a television courtroom artist. It was great training for life drawing, concentration under pressure, and making deadlines. Clients included CBS, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press. Fourteen of her paintings have been published as covers of The New Yorker magazine.

She also creates oils, watercolors, prints, and drawings, primarily cityscapes, which are exhibited widely in the US in galleries and museums. Roxie’s work is in numerous private, public, and corporate collections.

Roxie Munro studied at the University of Maryland, the Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore), earned a BFA in Painting from the University of Hawaii, attended graduate school at Ohio University (Athens), and received a Yaddo Fellowship in Painting. She lectures in museums, schools, libraries, conferences, and teaches in workshops.

Many oils and watercolors are views from the roof of her sky-lighted loft studio in Long Island City, New York, just across the East River from her home in mid-Manhattan. Roxie is married to the Swedish writer/photographer, Bo Zaunders ( www.bozaunders.com).

Selected Reviews of Roxie’s Books

The Inside-Outside of London
Roxie Munro
A sweeping river, two bridges, a leafy esplanade, a huge clock tower looming over all—it must be London! Munro has chosen England’s bustling capital as the latest in her “Inside-Outside” series of world-class cities. Meticulously detailed paintings begin by transporting travelers from a long-distance look at neo-Gothic Tower Bridge to a panoramic view from inside its latticed footbridge. Next comes the British Museum in a wide double-page spread of its columned exterior—turn the page and discover a close-up of its mummies in their patterned splendor. One intriguing exterior is of an umbrella store, established 1830, on New Oxford Street; its specialties include whips, dagger canes, and swordsticks. Many illustrations depict severe architectural fronts, though Munro usually manages to surprise with her lively view of an interior. Especially pleasing is a twilight panorama of Shaftesbury Avenue where patrons hurry to the theater to see Les Misérables as elaborate streetlights glow, as well as a scene of the Queen in her carriage outside Buckingham Palace is colorful with people waving flags and snapping photos. Kids will have fun viewing a forbidding stone façade of the Tower, and then an inside display of tall armored knights as a boy stares fascinated. Flip the page and enjoy his astonishment at someone looking out at him through slits in a helmet. In Munro’s previous book, The Inside-Outside Book of Paris, explanatory notes appeared on the corresponding pages, here, notes have been moved to the end of the book. The notes are worth reading as they offer interesting facts and help orient the reader. Enchanted readers might try Miroslav Sasek’s This Is London for a different tour of the city and its people. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft (Children’s Literature).

Market Maze
Roxie Munro
How do we get our food? City kids may not know, though everyone has a comment on school lunches. Artist Munro—young readers may know her “Inside-Outside” series books, while some adults will recall her New Yorker covers—combines the fun of navigating mazes with detailed market information hidden in their intricate routes. Her vividly colored ink drawings begin at the seaside, where a truck picks up fresh fish and heads for the city. Farms and markets—rural, small town, big city—are sources for fruits (apples), vegetables (corn, carrots), dairy products (milk, ice cream); as well as eggs, flowers, or bread, pies, and cupcakes from a bakery. Each two-page maze, seen from a helicopter’s perspective, offers directions to follow and places or objects to find, including tractors, picnic tables, and chicken coops. Using the roads, readers can have fun following produce trucks through orchards and farms to a bakery and their unloading site in the city. At a school, a class is boarding a bus for their field trip to the busy greenmarket, where readers are directed to visit the gaudy booths and sample the produce they’ve tracked; a group of live musicians adds to the festivities. Munro ends with a note about the best environments for different crops, the value of the finding the freshest foods, and the novelty of being able to chat with local farmers. Answer keys are provided for each maze, along with a list of websites that help find farmers’ markets and tell when regional produce is in season. After examining Munro’s marvelous mazes, kids and teachers may be inspired to start a vegetable garden at school and hold a farmers’ market of their own. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft (Children’s Literature).

Slithery Snakes
Roxie Munro
A double-page spread of an enlarged illustration of a snake’s skin challenges the reader to guess the kind of snake represented. Clues, including hints about the origin of the snake’s name and places where it can be found, are offered in a boxed inset. The next double-page spread shows the entire snake in its natural habitat with the inclusion of four other animals that reside there. The rather dense text provides factual information. Nine four-page sections portray snakes from around the world, such as the Coast Garter Snake in the USA and Canada, The Emerald Tree Boa in South America, and the Spiny Bush Viper in Africa. The first page in the book lists ten “Fun Snake Facts.” A short introductory description of snakes appears on the second page. The last page contains a glossary of “Fun Snake Words” and listings of relevant books and websites. This is an intriguing book for young snake lovers. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D. (Children’s Literature).

Program Details

School Visits: Roxie tailors programs to the particular needs, grade level, and class size of each school –  suggested topics below give an idea of content and possibilities (content is STEM/STEAM aligned). She also does presentations and workshops for adults regarding her career, books, apps, and publishing.

For any size class above 20 she does a Keynote (or Powerpoint) presentation.  Required items include: a projector or SmartBoard (she will bring an iPad w/cable), a room that can be made dark, maybe a microphone (for large groups), and possibly a table.

Roxie will do 3, occasionally 4, presentations in a day. For younger students, 30-35 minutes, and then 15 minutes Q&A. For older grades, 40-45 minutes with 15 minutes Q&A. Roxie will bring a free bookmark for every student. After her visit, she sends the school a limited edition giclee print of one of her book illustrations.

Skype visits: 45 minutes plus Q&A. $300 per visit.

K-Grade 1:

  • Nature Program: Roxie discusses fascinating critters and show dynamic art from Hatch! (about birds and their eggs), Busy Builders (about bugs and the homes they build), Slithery Snakes (skin patterns), and Rodent Rascals (about mice, rats, porcupines, beavers, and more).
  • General Book Program: Roxie discusses and shows art from Inside-Outside Dinosaurs, Hatch!, Busy Builders, Slithery Snakes, Market Maze, and her maze ABC books.
  • How to Draw an Owl: A short program, best done in a workshop environment.

Grades 2-4:

  • Nature Program: Roxie discusses fascinating critters and show dynamic art from Hatch! (about birds and their eggs), Busy Builders (about bugs and the homes they build), Slithery Snakes (skin patterns), and Rodent Rascals (about mice, rats, porcupines, beavers, and more).
  • Art program: Working with Masterpiece Mix, Roxie shows children great art in various genres (portraits, still lifes, landscapes, more). They talk about the interesting stories behind the paintings, and the even more fascinating stories about the artists. It ends with an interactive visual guessing game.
  • Maze Program: Show process and art, and discuss six of her maze books (Mazescapes, Amazement Park, Wild West Trail Ride Maze, Mazeways: A to Z, EcoMazes: 12 Earth Adventures, and Market Maze).
  • Biography Program: Read and talk about (with vibrant visuals) historical real-life characters in Crocodiles, Camels & Dugout Canoes (about explorers); Feathers, Flaps & Flops (early aviators); and Gargoyles, Girders & Glass Houses (great builders).
  • Creating a Nonfiction Picture Book: Using Inside-Outside Dinosaurs and EcoMazes: 12 Earth Adventures, among other books. Discuss research, sources, and critical thinking. Making a book: storyboard, thumbnails, roughs, finished art and text. Designing a cover.

Grades 5 up:

  • Creating a Nonfiction Picture Book: Using Inside-Outside Dinosaurs and EcoMazes: 12 Earth Adventures, among other books. Discuss research, sources, and critical thinking. Making a book: storyboard, thumbnails, roughs, finished art and text. Designing a cover.
  • Art program: Working with Masterpiece Mix, Roxie shows children great art in various genres (portraits, still lifes, landscapes, more). They talk about the interesting stories behind the paintings, and the even more fascinating stories about the artists. It ends with an interactive visual guessing game.
  • Making Masterpiece Mix: Complete process of creating the book–developing it from idea to storyboard; from dummy to roughs; to finishes, text, back matter, and cover. Editorial input, decision making and research, including image acquisition and travel to Washington DC.
  • App Program: How the three interactive animated iPad apps were made (Roxie’s a-MAZE-ing Vacation Adventure, Roxie’s Doors, and Roxie’s Puzzle Adventure) along with the video trailers, and examples of the nine KIWiStorybooks educational interactive apps.
  • Biography Program: Read and talk about (with vibrant visuals) historical real-life characters in Crocodiles, Camels & Dugout Canoes (about explorers); Feathers, Flaps & Flops (early aviators); and Gargoyles, Girders & Glass Houses (great builders).
  • Mastering the Maze: How Roxie’s maze ideas develop, brief overview of mazes and labyrinths (history and geography of mazes), how to make a Geometric Maze and a Random Roxie Reversing Maze, examples of Real Life Mazes, and a discussion of Mazeways: A to Z, EcoMazes: 12 Earth Adventures, and Market Maze. Best in a workshop environment.

Fees: $1,800 a day plus travel expenses if necessary. Can be shared by two schools in the same area.

Adult Programs (conferences, workshops, teachers, librarians, etc):

  • Art program: Working with Masterpiece Mix, Roxie covers dozens of great art masterpieces in various genres (portraits, still lifes, landscapes, more) from the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.  Roxie will talk about the stories behind the paintings, and the even more fascinating stories about the artists!
  • Reinventing Yourself: Surviving & Succeeding in the Publishing Marketplace Maze. Crafting a career, marketing, creating a platform, and branding yourself as an author/illustrator over time, with examples of successes and failures, in the editorial/book/app business. Includes a section on best business practices for working as a freelancer, an app developer, and with publishers. Trends in the 21st Century.
  • App Program/Creating for Children’s Media: The creation and development of interactive children’s apps, including Roxie’s a-MAZE-ing Vacation Adventure (interactive animated maze game app for iPad), Roxie’s Doors (interactive 3-D animated app for iPad, adapted from Doors, a lift-the-flap book), and Roxie’s Puzzle Adventure, plus nine new apps created for KIWi (Kids Interactive Walk-in) Storybooks. Includes understanding devices and platforms, contracts and rights, marketing, apps vs print, Best Practices, COPPA, etc.
  • Making Compelling Nonfiction Picture Books: How to create lively and accessible nonfiction trade books–nature/science, biography, architecture/cities, and concept books. Using original primary sources, research (including going on location, interviews, etc); tricks/techniques/devices for engaging kids. “Gamification” (my books, other authors). Discuss text, graphics (use of illustration, photos, maps), more. Working with editors, getting content vetted, back matter, etc.
  • The Basics of Social Media and Building Your Brand: Using various Social Media platforms Roxie will share her best practices. When, where, and what to post; website requirements (including Privacy Policies and complying with COPPA); establishing a brand, and growing your platform.
  • “Where do you get your ideas?”: This presentation highlights Roxie’s career and the progression from the “Inside-Outside” Books through lift-the-flap, maze, and nature books, discussing how each concept builds upon the others. It also covers how Roxie makes a nonfiction book, from research through storyboards, dummies, rough sketches to finished art and text, as well as how editors and publishing works: the current children’s book world including creative and editorial process through marketing and book publication; trends and publishing tips in today’s market.
  • Seeing Things from a New Perspective: Using perspective techniques to create a sense of volume and space in art works she explains and shows the four major ways (atmospheric/aerial, and 1-, 2-, and 3-point linear perspective) as well as four other lesser-known tricks to make art come alive on a two-dimensional surface and look more “realistic.”

Additional Information

To learn more about Roxie and her publications please visit
www.roxiemunro.com.

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