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#11 Women Artists: Christy Hale

By June 17, 2018May 13th, 2021The Kerlan Blog
Christy Hale is an illustrator of children’s books. She is also an art director. As an art director she guides the work of illustrators, photographers, letterers, and creators of info graphics. Illustrator for picture books, cookbooks, jackets, magazines, and greeting cards.That means that she is a designer of art/fine photography books, brochures, catalogs, cookbooks, e-publications, how-to books, jackets, magazines, non-fiction books, novels, picture books, promotional materials, greeting cards, calendars, and identity.
I cannot write about Christy Hale without talking about Elizabeti’s Doll. This Ezra Jack Keats winner is about a young Tanzanian girl named Elizabeti. Upon the arrival of her new baby brother, Elizabeti decides she needs a doll she can care for, the way her mother cares for the new baby. After looking around her village, Elizabeti finds a perfect and unique doll, and names her Eva.  
For me it perfectly exemplifies how a child’s work is play. A delicious read aloud, it gives children a window into other children’s daily life.
Elizabeti’s Doll
by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen, illustrated by Christy Hale
(Lee & Low Books, 1998)


More recent titles include

Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building (Lee and Low, 2012)

A 2013 Boston Globe Hornbook Non-Fiction Honor 

Read her interview in HornBook here

From the Horn Book Guide:
Fifteen childhood building projects are deftly rendered in concrete poems and mixed-media collages, each paired with a photo of an iconic building bearing a resemblance. A toddler’s upside-down stack of graduated plastic doughnuts look like Wright’s Guggenheim Museum; a snowball igloo mirrors a sample shelter for living on Mars. Hale suggests that using what’s at hand to “dream up” new things is vital to creativity.
A Chrystal Kite Winning title read interview here 

Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams, A Life in Nature
by Cindy Jenson-Elliott, illustrated by Christy Hale
(Christy Ottaviano Books/Holt, 2016)
A Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year
From Horn Book
Hale’s collages, a mix of traditional and digital techniques in an earthy palette, make excellent use of textures in depicting the natural world. Orientation and design elements, too, are thoughtfully employed; a vertical spread of Adams hiking the High Sierra, for example, captures its “icy white” and “breathless height” marvelously. 
From School Library Journal
Hale’s collage illustrations (mixing traditional and digital techniques) offer a full palette of blues, greens, browns, and grays, through which Ansel’s jumping, leaping, and running are contrasted with the straight lines of the enclosed spaces he tries to avoid. The visuals are a perfect complement to the text, particularly in the two vertical spreads that turn the book on its ear.
water land
Land and Water Forms Around the World

written and illustrated by Christy Hale
A Neal Porter Book/Roaring Book Press 2018
Hale’s art is playful and appealing but never overwhelming or distracting as she uses the die cuts and precise color to establish unmistakable visual connections.  

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#100 Women Artists

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