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Lee J(udah) (Jonathan David) Ames (1921-) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Writings, Sidelights

draw york fifty doubleday

Name legally changed; born 1921, in New York, NY; Education: Attended Columbia University.

Agent—c/o Author Mail, Broadway Books, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.

Lee J. Ames

Walt Disney Studios, Burbank, CA, artist for animated films, 1939; ran one-man advertising agency, 1947-48; taught vocational art, 1947-48; children's book illustrator, 1948—; Doubleday & Co., Inc., Garden City, NY, artist-in-residence, 1956-61. Has also written magazine comic strips and illustrated covers for numerous books. President of Northpoint Civic Association, Commack, NY, 1962-63. Military service: U.S. Army, 1942-44, became second lieutenant.

Berndt Toast Gang (New York Chapter of the National Cartoonists' Society); Adoptive Parents Committee (founding president, 1955-60).

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

Draw, Draw, Draw, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1962.

(With wife, Jocelyn Green Ames) City Street Games, Holt (New York, NY), 1963.

Draw Fifty Animals, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1974.

Draw Fifty Boats, Ships, Trucks, and Trains, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1976.

Draw Fifty Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1977.

Draw Fifty Airplanes, Aircraft, and Spacecraft, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1977.

Draw Fifty Famous Faces, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1978.

Draw Fifty Vehicles, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1978.

Draw Fifty Famous Cartoons, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1979.

Draw Fifty Buildings and Other Structures, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1980.

Make Twenty-five Crayon Drawings of the Circus, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1980.

Make Twenty-five Felt-Tip Drawings Out West, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1980.

Draw Fifty Dogs, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1981.

My Animal Friends, edited by Leslie Lawrence and Ronald Weingartner, Milton Bradley (East Longmeadow, MA), 1982.

Sprouting About, edited by Leslie Lawrence and Ronald Weingartner, Milton Bradley (East Longmeadow, MA), 1982.

Under the Big Top, edited by Leslie Lawrence and Ronald Weingartner, Milton Bradley (East Longmeadow, MA), 1982.

Draw Fifty Famous Stars: As Selected by Rona Barrett's Hollywood Magazine, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1982.

The Dot, Line, and Shape Connection: How to Be Driven to Abstraction, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1982.

Draw Fifty Monsters, Creepy Creatures, Superheroes, Demons, Dragons, Nerds, Dirts, Ghouls, Giants, Vampires, Zombies, and Other Curiosa, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1983.

How to Draw Star Wars Heroes, Creatures, Spaceships, and Other Fantastic Things, Random House (New York, NY), 1984.

Draw Fifty Horses, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1984.

Draw Fifty Athletes, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1985.

Draw Fifty Cars, Trucks, and Motorcycles, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1986.

Draw Fifty Cats, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1986.

(With Ray Burns) Draw Fifty Holiday Decorations, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1987.

Draw Fifty Beasties and Yugglies and Turnover Uglies and Things that Go Bump In the Night, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1988.

(With Warren Budd) Draw Fifty Sharks, Whales, and Other Sea Creatures, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1989.

Drawing with Lee Ames, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1990.

(With Mort Drucker) Draw Fifty Famous Caricatures, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1990.

(With Warren Budd) Draw Fifty Endangered Animals, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1992.

(With Creig Flessel) Draw Fifty People, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1993.

(With P. Lee Ames) Draw Fifty Flowers, Trees, and Other Plants, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1994.

(With Andre Le Blanc) Draw Fifty People of the Bible, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Tony D'Adamo) Draw Fifty Birds, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1996.

(With Ric Estrada) Draw Fifty Aliens, UFOs, Galaxy Ghouls, Milky Way Marauders, and Other Extraterrestrial Creatures, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1998.

(With Bob Singer) Draw Fifty Animal 'Toons, Doubleday (New York, NY), 2000.

Draw Fifty Baby Animals: The Step-by-Step Way to Draw Kittens, Lambs, Chicks, and Other Adorable Offspring, Broadway Books (New York, NY), 2003.

ILLUSTRATOR

Shannon Garst, Three Conquistadors, Messner (New York, NY), 1948.

Jeannette Covert Nolan, Andrew Jackson, Messner (New York, NY), 1949.

Jim Kjelgaard, Irish Red, Son of the Big Red, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1951.

Shannon Garst, Big Foot Wallace of the Texas Rangers, Messner (New York, NY), 1951.

Samuel Hopkins Adams, The Santa Fe Trail, Random House (New York, NY), 1951.

Julilly H. Kohler, The Boy Who Stole the Elephant, Knopf (New York, NY), 1952.

Helen D. Olds, Christmas-Tree Sam, Messner (New York, NY), 1952.

Jim Kjelgaard, Outlaw Red, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1953.

Jeannette Covert Nolan, Abraham Lincoln, Messner (New York, NY), 1953.

(Under pseudonym Jonathan David) M. G. Bonner, Dugout Mystery, Knopf (New York, NY), 1953.

Richard Neuberger, The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Random House (New York, NY), 1953.

Jeannette Covert Nolan, George Rogers Clark, Messner (New York, NY), 1954.

Phyllis R. Fenner, Circus Parade, Knopf (New York, NY), 1954.

Julilly H. Kohler, Crazy as You Look, Knopf (New York, NY), 1954.

Ralph Nading Hill, Robert Fulton, Random House (New York, NY), 1954.

Fletcher Pratt, The Civil War, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1955.

Madge Haines and Leslie Morrill, Wright Brothers, First to Fly, Abingdon (Nashville, TN), 1955.

Harold McCracken, Winning of the West, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1955.

Ann Colver, Yankee Doodle Painter, Knopf (New York, NY), 1955.

Ed Stoddard, The Story of Power, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1956.

Sterling North, Abe Lincoln, Random House (New York, NY), 1956.

Sterling North, George Washington, Random House (New York, NY), 1957.

Millicent Ellis Selsam, Exploring the Animal Kingdom, Garden City Books (Garden City, NY), 1957.

Bruce Lancaster, The American Revolution, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1957.

Harold McCracken, Hoofs, Claws, and Antlers, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1958.

Roy Gallant, Exploring Chemistry, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1958.

Raymond Holden, All about Famous Scientific Expeditions, Random House (New York, NY), 1958.

Pat Lauber, The Quest of Louis Pasteur, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1960.

Phyllis Fenner, Kick-Off, Knopf (New York, NY), 1960.

Benjamin and Sidonie Gruenberg, The Wonderful Story of You, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1960.

Glenn Balch, Horse in Danger, Crowell (New York, NY), 1960.

Willard Manus, Sea Treasure, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1961.

Pat Lauber, All about the Planet Earth, Random House (New York, NY), 1962.

Tad Harvey, Exploring Biology, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1963.

George Selden, Sir Arthur Evans, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1964.

Anthony Rowley, Tool Chest, L. W. Singer (Syracuse, NY), 1967.

Enid LaMonte Meadowcroft, Silver for General Washington, Crowell (New York, NY), 1967.

Alvin and Virginia B. Silverstein, Life in the Universe, Van Nostrand (Princeton, NJ), 1967.

Sam Elkin, Search for a Lost City, Putnam (New York, NY), 1967.

John H. Woodburn, Know Your Skin, Putnam (New York, NY), 1967.

John McNeel, Brain of Man, Putnam (New York, NY), 1968.

Alvin and Virginia B. Silverstein, Origin of Life, Van Nostrand (Princeton, NJ), 1968.

Frank X. Ross, Stories of the States, Crowell (New York, NY), 1969.

Alvin and Virginia B. Silverstein, Carl Linnaeus, John Day (New York, NY), 1969.

Isaac Asimov, Great Ideas of Science, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1969.

Jerome E. Leavitt, By Land, by Sea, by Air: The Story of Transportation, Putnam (New York, NY), 1969.

Alvin and Virginia B. Silverstein, Harold Urey: The Man Who Explored from Earth to Moon, John Day (New York, NY), 1970.

Adelaide Holl, Hide and Seek ABC Book, Platt (New York, NY), 1971.

Mae and Ira Freeman, You Will Go to the Moon, Beginner Books (New York, NY), 1971.

Barbara Klimowicz, My Sister the Horse, Abingdon (Nashville, TN), 1971.

Alvin and Virginia B. Silverstein, The Reproductive System; How Living Creatures Multiply, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1971.

Herbert S. Zim and James R. Skelly, Telephone Systems, Morrow (New York, NY), 1971.

Alvin and Virginia B. Silverstein, The Excretory System; How Living Creatures Get Rid of Wastes, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1972.

Alvin and Virginia B. Silverstein, The Muscular System; How Living Creatures Move, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1972.

Alvin and Virginia B. Silverstein, The Skin: Coverings and Linings of Living Things, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1972.

Herbert S. Zim and James R. Skelly, Tractors, Morrow (New York, NY), 1972.

Barbara Klimowicz, The Great Green Apple War, Abingdon (Nashville, TN), 1973.

Herbert S. Zim and Lucretia Krantz, Commercial Fishing, Morrow (New York, NY), 1973.

(With Mel Erikson) Herbert S. Zim and James R. Skelly, Pipes and Plumbing Systems, Morrow (New York, NY), 1974.

Walter A. Thurber, Robert E. Kilburn, and Peter S. Howell, Exploring Earth Science, Allyn & Bacon (Boston, MA), 1976.

David C. Knight, The Battle of the Dinosaurs, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1982.

David C. Knight, Dinosaurs that Swam and Flew, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1985.

Mary Blocksma, Amazing Mouths and Menus, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1986.

Also illustrator of numerous other children's books and textbooks.

Lee J. Ames, author of the "Draw Fifty" series of how-to books, is one of the most prolific artists of his generation. He began his career, only months after his high school graduation, working on animated films for the Walt Disney Company. However, the native New Yorker was homesick in California, and a few months later, he returned to New York. After serving in World War II, working in advertising, and teaching art, Ames finally found the calling that he would follow for the rest of his life: illustrating books.

Ames began writing the "Draw Fifty" series at the suggestion of an editor at the Doubleday publishing company, where Ames was an in-house artist. "Lee, I have an idea," Hall said one day, as Ames recalled on the Draw Fifty Web site. "Since we've temporarily run out of artwork for you, you might fill the time writing a book … on drawing." The result was Draw Draw Draw. The book was moderately successful, but Ames returned to illustrating others' work for another decade. Not until 1974 did Ames launch the "Draw Fifty" series with Draw Fifty Animals. The book offers step-by-step sketches of how to draw various animals, from the ovals, triangles, and other random shapes that create the animal's frame to shading and other finishing touches.

Later books in the "Draw Fifty" series provide similar guides to sketching a wide variety of objects, including modes of transportation, plants, famous people, and even aliens. The series is still growing, and the "Draw Fifty" books are some of the most checked-out works in school libraries across the country. Ames was "thrilled" when he was informed of this fact, he wrote on the Draw Fifty Web site. "In this era of visual entertainment and education," he continued, "my nonthreatening, minimal text books … have brought many kids and young adults back into using the libraries and liking books."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 15, 1994, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Draw Fifty Flowers, Trees, and Other Plants, p. 592; January 1, 1999, Carolyn Phelan, review of Draw Fifty Aliens, UFO's Galaxy Ghouls, Milky Way Marauders, and Other Extraterrestrial Creatures, p. 858.

Publishers Weekly, January 21, 1983, review of Battle of the Dinosaurs, p. 84.

School Library Journal, March, 1981, Dana Whitney Pinizzotto, reviews of Make Twenty-five Crayon Drawings of the Circus and Make Twenty-five Felt-Tip Drawings Out West, p. 139; December, 1982, review of The Dot, Line, and Shape Connection: How to Be Driven to Abstraction, p. 69; May, 1984, Naomi J. Rhodes, review of How to Draw Star Wars Heroes, Creatures, Spaceships, and Other Fantastic Things, p. 75; February, 1985, review of Draw Fifty Horses, p. 69; February, 1986, Sandra L. Ricker, review of Draw Fifty Athletes, p. 79; September, 1986, Catherine Wood, review of Amazing Mouths and Menus, p. 116; October, 1986, Eleanor K. MacDonald, review of Draw Fifty Cars, Trucks, and Motorcycles, p. 169; January, 1987, Patricia Homer, review of Draw Fifty Cats, p. 70; January, 1988, Patricia Homer, review of Draw Fifty Holiday Decorations, p. 78; February, 1989, Patricia Homer, review of Draw Fifty Beasties and Yugglies and Turnover Uglies and Things that Go Bump In the Night, p. 77; March, 1990, Patricia Homer, review of Draw Fifty Sharks, Whales, and Other Sea Creatures, p. 222; February, 1991, Fran Powell, review of Draw Fifty Famous Caricatures, p. 84; June, 1999, Michele Snyder, review of Draw Fifty Aliens, UFO's Galaxy Ghouls, Milky Way Marauders, and Other Extraterrestrial Creatures, p. 110; November, 2003, Lynda Ritterman, review of Draw Fifty Baby Animals: The Step-by-Step Way to Draw Kittens, Lambs, Chicks, and Other Adorable Offspring, p. 122.

ONLINE

Draw Fifty Web site, http://www.draw50.com/ (September 24, 2003).

Lee Ames Home Page, http://www.leeames.com/ (November 20, 2001).

[back] Amerie Biography - Moved from Military Bases to Center Stage, Earned Degree before Recording a Demo

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