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Erica (Van Varick) Wolf (1978-) Biography - Personal, Career, Member, Writings, Sidelights

love bear author illustrator

Born 1978, in Mendham, NJ; daughter of James (a doctor of internal medicine) and Kathleen (a dog groomer) Wolf; Education: Rhode Island School of Design, B.F.A. (illustration), 2000.

Career

Author and illustrator of children's books.

Member

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Writings

(And illustrator) I Love You Just the Same, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2003.

Brave Little Raccoon, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2005.

Sidelights

Illustrator and author Erica Wolf's first published picture book, I Love You Just the Same, documents a year in the life of a young bear cub. Focusing in on the unconditional love between the cub and his mother as Little Bear begins to master the rudiments of fishing, digging roots, and other brown-bear activities, the story is supplemented by the author's colorful acrylic paintings of the bear family and their woodland surroundings. Praising Wolf's illustrations as "lovely [and] naturalistic," Andrea Tarr added in her review for School Library Journal that the paintings "perfectly enhance the narrative in this springboard to nature discussions." A Publishers Weekly critic conveyed mixed feelings for Wolf's book, however, noting that "Little Bear is never seen wondering or asking if his mother's affection is in jeopardy, … and the repetition of the title turns grating." Despite such qualms, the reviewer added that in her illustrations Wolf effectively "captures the steady simplicity" of her forest-dwelling subjects.

Wolf told Something about the Author: "My love and respect for animals inspires my art and my stories. I hope to convey this passion for animals to the children and/or adults who read my books and look at my artwork. Artists such as Arthur Rackham and more recently Jerry Pinkney and Gregory Manchess have influenced my work."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Publishers Weekly, October 6, 2003, review of I Love You Just the Same, p. 82.

School Library Journal, December, 2003, Andrea Tarr, review of I Love You Just the Same, p. 131.

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