Joseph Daniel Fiedler Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Illustrator, Sidelights
Born in Pittsburgh, PA. Education: Attended Ivy School of Professional Art and Carnegie-Mellon University.
Office—1415 Parker, No. 756, Detroit, MI 48214.
Artist and illustrator. College for Creative Studies, Detroit, MI, associate professor.
Society of Illustrators.
Silver Medal, Society of Illustrators.
Aaron Shepard, The Crystal Heart: A Vietnamese Legend, Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 1998.
Joe Hayes, Juan Verdades: The Man Who Could Not Tell a Lie, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 2001.
Catherine M. Andronik, Hatshepsut, His Majesty, Herself, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2001.
Carol Matas, The War Within: A Novel of the Civil War, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2001.
Patricia C. McKissack and Frederick L. McKissack, Jr., Hard Labor: The First African Americans, 1619, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2004.
A Detroit-based illustrator whose clients have included major corporations and newspapers throughout the United States, Joseph Daniel Fiedler is the illustrator of several books for young readers, including The Crystal Heart: A Vietnamese Legend, by Aaron Shepard, Hatshepsut: His Majesty, Herself, by Catherine M. Andronik, and Juan Verdades: The Man Who Couldn't Tell a Lie, a folk story from the southwest retold by Joe Hayes. Reviewing Juan Verdades in Childhood Education, Eileen L. Shultz dubbed Fiedler's illustrations "exquisite."
The Crystal Heart is a story of unrequited love in which Mi Nuong, the spoiled young daughter of a wealthy mandarin, hears a young man singing and, in typical romantic schoolgirl fashion, falls in love with the singer, sight unseen. When the singer, a poor fisherman named Truong Chi, is brought to her, she spurns him due to his ragged appearance, but soon learns the hurt her foolish words can cause when he dies of unrequited love at her feet. Reviewing the picture book, a Publishers Weekly critic commented that "debut artist Fiedler reinforces the weight of the prose with densely hued paintings of almost theatrical tableaux." In Booklist Kay Weisman praised Fiedler's "dramatic artwork" and added that the traditional-styled paintings make The Crystal Heart "a good choice for storytellers."
Reviewers have also praised Fiedler's illustrations for Hatshepsut, His Majesty, Herself. This picture-book biography follows the life of the strong-willed woman who became ruler of all Egypt while serving as regent of her nephew, Tuthmosis III. Adopting the clothing and artificial beard worn by male pharaohs, Hatshepsut ruled during a prosperous, stable period of Egyptian history. Despite her accomplishments, after assuming the throne Hatshepsut's nephew worked to erase all mentions of her rule from his country's historical record, right down to her name on her tomb. Beth Tegart, writing in School Library Journal, noted that "Fiedler's rich-toned alkyd paintings," with their "stylized renderings of Egyptian life, artwork, and scenery," combine with Andronik's text to "offer a complete and detailed life story." A Publishers Weekly critic also had a positive response to Hatshepsut, His Majesty, Herself, writing that Fiedler's "stately" oil paintings "make this historical figure all the more real and intriguing."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, October 1, 1998, Kay Weisman, review of The Crystal Heart: A Vietnamese Legend, p. 333.
Childhood Education, mid-summer, 2002, Eileen L. Shultz, review of Juan Verdades: The Man Who Couldn't Tell a Lie, p. 306.
Horn Book, March, 2001, review of Hatshepsut, His Majesty, Herself, p. 223.
Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2001, review of Juan Verdades, p. 1550.
Publishers Weekly, July 6, 1998, review of The Crystal Heart, p. 61; January 29, 2001, review of Hatshepsut, His Majesty, Herself, p. 89.
School Library Journal, March, 2001, Beth Tegart, review of Hatshepsut, His Majesty, Herself, p. 259.
Joseph Daniel Fiedler Web site, http://www.scaryjoey.com (February 27, 2005).
Simon Says Web site, http://www.simonsays.com/ (February 27, 2005).