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UBC Reports | Vol. 51 | No. 5 | May 5, 2005

The ABCs of Children’s Literature

Program feeds illustrator’s passion

By Brenda Austin

There are very few Master of Arts programs in children’s literature. For illustrator Kathryn Shoemaker, UBC’s program offered the perfect meld of library science, English, creative writing, language and literacy.

To Shoemaker’s delight, the UBC School of Library Archival and Information Studies developed the new interdisciplinary program in children’s literature with the Faculty of Arts in January 2001.

“I thought it would be wonderful to continue my own illustration work and teaching, yet take time to focus on different aspects of children’s literature amidst a group of like-minded people.”

Shoemaker is a mother of two grown children, an exhibitor of book illustrations, an organizer of book camps and literacy drives, a presenter at academic conferences, and a committee member for various book prizes and awards. She has taught at the Shadbolt Art Centre, Kwantlen University College and Langara Community College.

To this curriculum vitae, she will add a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature from UBC, after she defends her thesis this fall.

Shoemaker was born in Vancouver but moved to California as a child. After attending Occidental College and Otis Art Institute, she completed a fine arts major at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, then worked for a large school district as a learning and art consultant while creating a freelance career in illustration.

Returning to Canada, she developed her career and started her MA in 2001. For her thesis, she created the illustrations and wrote a children’s graphic novel called Crowgirl’s Amazing Adventure Scrapbook. Now, she looks forward to starting a doctoral program in children’s literature at UBC in the fall.

Says Shoemaker, “I love the experience of being at UBC with the range of ages in the classes. It keeps learning a great joy.”

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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