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