Joan Waites is the illustrator of nearly 40 books for the educational and trade markets, as well as several children’s magazines, posters, and greeting card art. Illustrated works have won the following awards: IRA/CBC Children’s Choice Award; IRA/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book, and Benjamin Franklin Award. The artist is an adjunct faculty member of The Corcoran Museum School of Art and Design in Washington DC, where she teaches various children’s programs in drawing, painting, sculpture, and story book illustration. The Artist lives and works from her home studio in Silver
Spring Maryland.

Selected Reviews of Joan’s Books

Moon’s Cloud Blanket
Rose Anne St Romain
Illustrated by Joan C. Waites
   This traditional story begins with a woman working in the fields with her two children near-by. As the rain began to fall, the water rose, and the woman became worried about the safety of her children. She was forced to take her two children and seek refuge in the limbs of a cypress tree. Eventually the rain stopped, but the wind continued to blow. She prayed to the moon to help her find a way to keep her children warm. As she and her children slept, the moon spoke to stars, which spoke to clouds, which spoke to wind. The wind stopped, and the moon wove a blanket from the clouds. When the woman awoke, she and her children were covered by the moon’s gift, Spanish moss. This Native American story is colorfully illustrated and suitable to be read aloud to children. The author has also provided a brief personal antidote about hearing the story for the first time and her experiences as a child collecting Spanish moss near her childhood home. 2003, Pelican, 14.95. Ages 3 to 9. Reviewer: Danielle Williams (Children’s Literature).

F Is for Firefighting
Dori Hillestad Butler
Illustrated by Joan C. Waites
   More than just showcasing letters, this alphabet text introduces a blend of traditional firefighting terms and lesser known and more advanced elements like intersection control devices. . . Bold full-page primary color illustrations bring realistic details to various fire equipment, personnel and scenes. (Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2007 (Vol. 75, No. 4).

Program Details

   Each hour long session will provide students with an overview of how an
illustrator creates art to accompany a picture book manuscript. A hands-on
art activity will follow the presentation using basic art materials.
Presentations work best for individual classrooms or smaller groups. Several
presentations can be scheduled for a one day visit to your school.

  • Art Projects to tie-in to selected books (for example: construction lighthouse made from basic art supplies to reflect lighthouse described in The Waving Girl)
  • Students constructed “pop up” book or simple 8 page student illustrated book
  • Character development exercise using sketch pad and/or foam core board that class will use to create a memorable character

   Joan will present 2 – 3 times in a day. Her target grade range is kindergarten thru grade 4 and she is flexible regarding the number of students in each group, however, her accompanying art activities do necessitate smaller groups. Each session lasts approximately one hour and Joan will negotiate her booking fee. Travel and lodging costs are required for bookings outside of the immediate Washington, DC area–anything more than a 2 hour drive.

Additional Information

To learn more about Joan and her publications please visit