Rose Cowles - Illustrator

Rose Cowles

Hamilton-Wentworth Hospital, Ontario.

July 25th.

Where do you live now?
Victoria, British Columbia.

When did you start drawing?
I've been drawing ever since I can remember ... but I didn't start drawing seriously until high school.

What is the thing you like the most about creating kids' books?
I can express myself exactly the way I want to 'cause I'm really a kid at heart ... and I love the finished package. I love the fact that you don't have to be a kid to love kids' books!

What is your favorite book?
Ooh La LA! Max in Love by Maira Kalman.

Do you have any pets?
Josie, a black Labrador/Rottweiler mix.

What are your hobbies?
I like walking, shopping for bargains at Value Village, all sports, reading, taking something old and making it better than before ...

What is your favorite food?
Anything salty and crunchy --- especially chips!

What was your training or schooling?
I completed a three-year diploma in illustration and design at Sheridan College in Ontario.

How did you get involved with children's books?
I was originally going to be a medical illustrator, but I figured book design and illustration would be way more fun.

Do you have any tips for young creators?
Do what your heart tells you to do. If you don't like the results the first time around, then do it again and again until you get it right.

What is your favorite movie?
Anne of Green Gables makes me cry every time.

Where do you work?
I'm a stay-at-home mom and work downstairs in my studio when I find the time. I have a very independent daughter who allows me the time to do what I need to. Also, my husband is a great help. If it weren't for the way he kicks in around the house on a daily basis, I could never do what I do.

How do you research or create your illustrations?
I'm constantly at the library, and when I feel the need to create, I just do it.

Where do you get your ideas?
Books, window displays, funny people who say funny things.

Who is your favorite character from your books?
Cindersmelly from Dog Tales.

What materials do you use when you paint?
I work mostly in acrylics and mixed media.

What's your greatest childhood memory?
Summer camp with crazy counselors and good friends.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A rich lady with a big house and lots of animals to fill it up.

What is the weirdest or most interesting job you've ever had?
Tree-planting in Northern Ontario, with the bears, mosquitoes, locals, ex-convicts and hippies.

Do you have any special secrets or insights about one of your books or characters?
My dog, Josie, is actually Cindersmelly. I had Josie before I got married or even met my husband! I raised her in a small studio apartment in downtown Vancouver. Everyone in the city knew and loved her. Today she is still very much loved and adored, and I thought it would be a great thing to immortalize her in Dog Tales!


2006 - Red Cedar Book Award, Short-listed
2005 - Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award, Short-listed
2004 - Silver Birch Award, Ontario Library Association, Short-listed
2004 - Science in Society Book Award, Canadian Science Writers' Association, Short-listed
2004 - International Book Awards, The Society of School Librarians International, Commended


2003 - Alberta Children's Choice Rocky Mountain Book Award, Short-listed
2003 - Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award, Short-listed
2002 - Information Book Award, Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada, Short-listed
2002 - Our Choice, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner
2002 - Young Adults' Choices, International Reading Association, Short-listed
2002 - Informal Education Product of the Year Award, Museum Tour, Winner

Science Detectives

2007 - Silver Birch Award, Ontario Library Association, Short-listed
2007 - Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award, Short-listed
2007 - Outstanding Science Trade Book, National Science Teachers Association and the Children's Book Council, Winner
2007 - Information Book Award, Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada, Short-listed
2007 - Alberta Children's Rocky Mountain Book Award, Short-listed


Achoo!, 2003
Burp!, 2001