Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group

Gene Barretta

Gene Barretta

Gene Barretta is the author and illustrator of Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin; Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci and Timeless Thomas: How Thomas Edison Changed Our Lives. He is also author and illustrator of Dear Deer, which was a Notable Children’s Book in the Language Arts and listed on the Parenting Magazine Mom-Tested Books of the Year List. He holds a B.F.A. in Film Studies from New York University, and has worked for many years in film and television production. He lives in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania with his son.

Q & A

Where did you grow up? Yardley, PA

What is your earliest memory of writing/drawing?
Drawing a purple elephant in crayon on the wall next to my crib.

What inspired you to write/illustrate your first book?
My love for telling stories. I have done it through filmmaking, songwriting and now illustrating and writing.

Do you use your childhood as inspiration?
All the time - but its more about trying to keep that same sense of innocence and discovery than the actual experiences.

What books from your childhood have most influenced your work? What about adult titles?
Mainly Dr. Suess titles. My main inspirations were movies and TV shows.

What are your hobbies and interests besides reading and books?
Movies, reading, visiting historical sites, guitar, museums,

Who are a couple of your favorite author/illustrators? What is it about their work that inspires and interests you?
I love illustrators from the early 1900s like N.C. Wyeth, Howard Pyle, Arthur Rackham & Rose O'Neill, plus contemporary ones like David Christiana, Nicoletta Ceccoli and Peter de Seve to name only a few.

What one or two words of advice would you give for young authors/illustrators?
Learn the value of collaboration. And when developing your subjects try to find ones that will satisfy your personal passions and people unlike yourself.

Books by the Author

The Bat Can Bat: A Book of True Homonyms

The Bat Can Bat: A Book of True Homonyms

Gene Barretta
Holt Books for Young Readers
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

A picture book about homonyms starring a silly cast of animal athletes.

What is a homonym? It's a word that has different meanings but is always spelled the same.
This informative...

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Available 02/13/2018

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Timeless Thomas
g rating

Timeless Thomas

Gene Barretta; illustrations by Gene Barretta
Square Fish
Square Fish

A companion to Gene Barretta's books on famous inventors.

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Neo Leo
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Neo Leo

Gene Barretta; illustrations by Gene Barretta
Square Fish
Square Fish

An introduction to Leonardo da Vinci's genius focusing on his famous notebook sketches and the modern inventions they predicted.

In 1781, Thomas Paine came up with a model for a single-span...

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Lincoln and Kennedy
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Lincoln and Kennedy

Gene Barretta
Holt Books for Young Readers
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

President Abraham Lincoln grew up in a one-room log cabin. President John F. Kennedy was raised in the lap of luxury. One was a Republican and one a Democrat. They lived and served a hundred years...

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Zoola Palooza
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Zoola Palooza

Gene Barretta
Holt Books for Young Readers
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

The all-animal touring concert group Zoola Palooza has come to town. With a motley crew of animals playing a variety of instruments, homographs abound (homographs are words that are spelled the same...

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Dear Deer
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Dear Deer

Gene Barretta; Illustrated by the author
Square Fish
Square Fish

Aunt Ant goes on a tour of the zoo and describes it all using clever and hilarious word play.

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Now & Ben
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Now & Ben

Gene Barretta; illustrations by Gene Barretta
Square Fish
Square Fish

Biography and history come to life in this celebration of the inventions and ideas of Benjamin Franklin and how they've stood the test of time.

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