Jean Gralley is a writer / illustrator who’s won recognition for her picture books and for her innovative work in digital literature. Once a student of Maurice Sendak and Staff Artist of Cricket Magazine, she has won the Don Freeman grant for book illustration and the Ezra Jack Keats fellowship to study at the University of Minnesota’s Kerlan Collection. She has also been a commentator and essayist on picture books for NPR’s “LooseLeaf Notebook,” a program for adults about children’s literature. Among the picture books she wrote and illustrated for Holt Books for Young Readers are Very Boring Alligator (a CBC “Best Book”), The Moon Came Down on Milk Street, Yonderfel’s Castle, and Hogula, Dread Pig of Night which was included in the Society of Illustrators’ Annual “Original Art” show. Her first illustrated book was And Twelve Chinese Acrobats, written by Jane Yolen (Philomel).
Most recently, she has been having fun creating comic books for S.T.E.M. curricula, creating the dynamic “Water Ninja” team whose mission is to understand, protect, and defend the waters of Planet Earth.
Jean has been very interested in the digital future of the picture book. Before the advent of e-books, she created Books Unbound, an animation that demonstrated what a book not based on a paper model might look like. Some of the many articles she wrote about these “brave new books,” as well as Books Unbound are found in the WHAT’S A BOOK section of this website.