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Joel Stewart Biography - Sidelights

nose review adventures illustrations

Illustrator Joel Stewart may be best known for his mixed-media illustrations for two surreal works, The Adventures of a Nose by Viviane Schwarz and the classic Joel Stewart's imaginative and whimsical mixed-media illustrations depict the nasal protagonist of Viviane Schwarz's funny story about finding a place for oneself in the world. (From The Adventures of a Nose. ) poem Jabberwocky by Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll. The Adventures of a Nose is the tale of a gigantic, anthropomorphized nose who wanders around the world on his gray-flannel-clad legs (which grow out of his nostrils), searching for a place where he "can fit in, and stick out." The joke, which observant readers will quickly notice, is that the Nose does fit in wherever he goes: in each illustration, objects around the Nose combine to create the illusion of a face. When the nose sits in a library, two green-glass-shaded table lights form eyes, and the book on his lap creates a large white mustache; when the nose lies down on a psychiatrist's couch to explain his problems, the headrest creates his brow. Finally, the psychiatrist is able to explain to the nose what readers have already figured out: "The whole world fits perfectly around you … because you are a Nose!" A Publishers Weekly contributor called Stewart's illustrations "ingenious," while Sunday Times reviewer Nicolette Jones thought that the team of Stewart and Schwarz "clearly has a promising future."

Stewart's illustrations for Jabberwocky were also highly praised by many critics, including a Kirkus Reviews contributor who called them "brilliantly original" and commented that they "suit the wry humor of this nonsense poem … perfectly." Similarly, Nancy Palmer wrote in School Library Journal that Stewart's "almost cartoonish" illustrations "nicely convey the lighthearted mysteriousness of the poem."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Schwarz, Viviane, The Adventures of a Nose, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2002.


Booklist, October 15, 2002, Gillian Engberg, review of Sea Dream: Poems from under the Waves, p. 402.

Daily Telegraph (London, England), May 24, 2003, Toby Clements, review of The Magic Paintbrush.

Evening Standard (London, England), April 10, 2003, Damian Kelleher, review of Underwater Farmyard, p. 46.

Guardian (London, England), July 16, 2003, review of The Adventures of a Nose, p. 17.

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2003, review of Jabberwocky, pp. 226-227.

Publishers Weekly, February 25, 2002, review of The Adventures of a Nose, pp. 66-67.

School Library Journal, May, 2002, Sally R. Dow, review of The Adventures of a Nose, p. 126; December, 2002, Margaret Bush, review of Sea Dream, p. 170; July, 2003, Nancy Palmer, review of Jabberwocky, pp. 111-112.

Sunday Times (London, England), March 24, 2002, review of The Adventures of a Nose, p. 46.


Moonsheep Studio Web Site, http://www.moonsheep.co.uk/ (March 16, 2004).*

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