Susan Stockdale is the author and illustrator of nonfiction picture books such as Fantastic Flowers, Stripes of All Types and Fabulous Fishes. Her books celebrate nature with exuberance and charm and have won awards including the ALA Notable Picture Book, NCTE Notable Picture Book, NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book, Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book and Parents' Choice Silver Award. Susan’s engaging rhymes and artwork elicit praise. The Washington Post wrote, "If the paintings are the feast, Stockdale's words are the dessert."
She began her art career in 1976 as a painter of fantasy landscapes, which she exhibited in galleries and juried shows. Susan also freelanced as a textile designer for the apparel industry, designing fabric for clothing sold at Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus and other retail stores. Her work with textiles gave her an opportunity to express her love of pattern and color, which remain distinctive features of her artwork today.
Susan researches her books extensively, working closely with scientists to vet her text and illustrations for factual accuracy. She travels to see her subjects, as well. To create Bring On the Birds, she visited the Galapagos Islands, where she watched Blue-footed Boobies perform their lively mating dance. She snorkeled in the waters of Belize to see many of the fishes featured in Fabulous Fishes, and explored the rainforests of Costa Rica to research animals featured in other books. Called "a feast for the eyes" by Kirkus Reviews, her distinctive imagery has been exhibited in the Society of Illlustrators Original Art Show and is featured on puzzles, notecards and other products.
Susan received a B.A. in Studio Art from Occidental College in Los Angeles, graduating cum laude. She also studied art with illustrator Luis de Horna in Salamanca, Spain and Ansei Uchima at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. A former National Book Festival speaker and ambassador for the Pennsylvania One Book, Every Young Child literacy initiative, Susan presents frequent programs about her bookmaking process at schools, libraries and conferences. She lives with her husband in Chevy Chase, Maryland, where she is working on a new picture book.
For a hi-resolution publicity headshot of Susan, click here.
For hi-resolution covers of Susan’s books, click here.