Barbara Lanza grew up on the resort island of Wildwood, NJ. She fondly remembers the few winter residents whose children joined in the outdoor adventures enjoyed by Lanza and her sister and two brothers. Influenced by the fabulous animals on the Merry Go Round (carved by the masters of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company) and by nature itself, she felt awed and inspired. Daydreaming about tiny worlds and magical creatures she created worlds of her own imagining that would later populate her art. Lanza acknowledges that her parents and teachers encouraged her art development and after graduating from the Philadelphia College of Art she moved to New York City where she worked as a fashion illustrator, and designer of greeting cards, children’s books, dolls, and collectibles. Her magical art work has been published by Scholastic, Western, Viking, Putnam, Marion Heath Greetings, Shenandoah Designs and The Ashton Drake Galleries. Her own name means “creature lighter than air” in Greek and really seems to reflect her fascination with such creatures as she depicts worlds unseen by the casual observer.

Selected Reviews of Barbara’s Books

Hara Lewis
Illustrated by Barbara Lanza
   Every child learns to read at his or her own pace, and the “Scholastic Reader” books are designed so that children can utilize their individual reading skills. This classic story of the pauper girl turned princess is told in simple words and sentences so that a “Level 2” child will be able to read and comprehend the book. A “Level 2” child can sound out words, so the story has longer sentences and “big” words that the child will want to understand. The pictures beautifully illustrate the classic story, so that a child can guess about the content while still reading the book. The back of the book has a “fluency” test so that children can learn to quickly sound out and recognize larger words. This series of books is designed for a classroom, so that children with all types of interests will find something they want to read. Children will be empowered with the ability to read a book all by themselves. 2004, Cartwheel Books/Scholastic Inc, $3.99. Ages 5 to 7. Reviewer: Nicole Peterson (Children’s Literature).

Great Golden Easter Egg Hunt
Barbara Lanza, Liza Baker
   “…double-spread pages of thick pasteboard are beautifully illustrated with spring and Easter themes, brightly coloured vegetation, small animals and insects.” 2000, Cartwheel Books/Scholastic, $15.99, Ages 4 to 7. Reviewer: Joan Payzant (CM Magazine, November 3, 2000).

Time to Fly: A Fairy Lane Book
Barbara Lanza
   In Time to Fly readers enter the enchanting world of Fairy Lane for the very first time. Readers follow Petals all around Fairy Lane as she searches for the all important pouch of fairy dust–needed to make the baby fairies fly at the annual festival that evening. A magical story, beautifully illustrated. 2005,Moo Press, $19.95, Ages 4 to 8. Moo Press, Incorporated.

Program Details

   Barbara Lanza’s program gives students a close look at the making of an award winning picture book: Time to Fly was written and illustrated by Lanza. She discusses the inspiration for the creatures, both real and imagined, that populate the book. Student participation is encouraged as the wildflowers that surround the drawings are identified as part of the natural environment. The story centers on a strong and willful fairy who has earned a special honor that she may lose due to her carelessness. The last 10 minutes are devoted to drawing a picture that is presented to the school. She also provides a teacher guide for the book.

All ages and grades can be accommodated.

6 (six) presentations per day maximum- made up of up to three classes at a time (auditorium presentations possible but smaller groups are preferable)

Fee: $80.00 to $100.00 per hour (additional expenses for travel and accommodation where applicable)

Additional Information

To learn more about Barbara and her publications please visit