Julie Baer (1960–) Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights
Born 1960, in New Brunswick, NJ; Ethnicity: "Jewish." Education: Attended Rhode Island School of Design, 1978–80; New School University, B.A., 1983. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: Skiing, tennis, hiking, birding.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Bollix Books, 1609 West Callender Ave., Peoria, IL 61606.
Artist and children's book author/illustrator. Exhibitions: Work included in private collections, exhibited in corporate offices throughout greater Boston, and included in public collections at Yeshiva University Museum, Dora Teitelboim Center for Yiddish Culture, and Family Service of Greater Boston.
National Writers Union, PEN-New England, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Graphic Artists Guild, Boston Authors Club.
Don Freeman memorial grant, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, 1997; fellowships from Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, for "Souls" portrait series, 1998, 1999; Notable Children's Book of Jewish Content designation, Association of Jewish Libraries, 2003, for I Only Like What I Like.
I Only Like What I Like, Bollix Books (Peoria, IL), 2003.
Love Me Later, Bollix Books (Peoria, IL), 2005.
Work in Progress
The picture books Faces of Friends, Lilly Looking, Maybe, World Here I Am, Ruby Tonight, Condition One, and Hello Person; the young-adult novel Long Drink of Water.
New Jersey-born children's book author and illustrator Julie Baer is also a portrait and landscape painter, and has exhibited her work in galleries, museums, and non-profit institutions. Baer's books for children include I Only Like What I Like and Love Me Later, both of which feature young boys attempting to assert their growing independence under the watchful eyes of loving parents.
In I Only Like What I Like, Dewey Jackson Braintree-Berg goes through each day sticking with the things he knows and likes. However, as the change-adverse toddler becomes more experienced, he bravely tests new shapes of macaroni, new babysitters, and numerous other things, and Dewey's list of what he likes begins to grow. As with her other picture books, Baer creates illustrations using cut-paper collage, acrylic, and gouache; her bold and graphic style includes abstract borders and dark contrasts. Among the many honors Baer has received for her illustrations and works is an award from the Association of Jewish Libraries, commending I Only Like What I Like.
Reviewing I Only Like What I Like for School Library Journal, Marianne Saccardi thoroughly enjoyed Baer's "extraordinary" collage illustrations, stating that the au-thor "uses found images to create cut-paper pictures, achieving a panoply of designs that calls for hours of perusal." A Publishers Weekly critic was also impressed with Baer's "elaborate cut-paper mosaics," but added that they "draw so much attention to themselves that they don't support the story they accompany." Linda R. Silver praised the debut picture book in Jewish Book World, noting that Baer's story effectively draws "the reader into a young chld's imaginative perceptions of his small world."
In School Library Journal, Rachel Kamin praised the author/illustrator's "creative and experimental artistic approach" to her story about a day in the life of a young boy in Love Me Later. In the Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter, Silver wrote that "a child's excited exclamation … sets the stage for a story that celebrates the practical magic that happens within families," adding that Baer's cut-paper collages "invite the close observation through which nature itself is revealed to the human eye."
Baer told Something about the Author: "I think kids are smarter and deeper and more open than adults, and I revere their intelligence. It's an honor to make books that kids will open, maybe drool on or spill juice on, and spend time with. A book is held in a child's hands, opened, and studied with intention and a developing consciousness. A book is a living experience in a child's life. I take that seriously."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter, September-October, 2003, Linda R. Silver, review of I Only Like What I Like; May-June, 2005, Linda R. Silver, review of Love Me Later.
Jewish Book World, fall, 2003, review of I Only Like What I Like.
Publishers Weekly, August 11, 2003, review of I Only Like What I Like, p. 279.
School Library Journal, September, 2003, Marianne Saccardi, review of I Only Like What I Like, p. 168; July, 2005, Rachel Kamin, review of Love Me Later, p. 64.
Bollix Books Web site, http://www.bollixbooks.com/ (May 3, 2005), "Julie Baer."
Julier Baer Home page, http://www.juliebaer.com (February 9, 2005).