Carmel O'Mara (1965–) Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Writings, Sidelights
Born 1965, in San Diego, CA; Education: Long Beach State University, B.F.A., 1991.
Office—2630 Bentley Ave., W. Los Angeles, CA 90064.
Freelance artist and illustrator. Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles, CA, part-time teacher; freelance toy designer for Small World Toys, Lakeshore Learning Materials, and Mattel. Volunteer elementary school teacher and gardener; volunteer at other community organizations.
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
SELF-ILLUSTRATED PICTURE BOOKS
Good Morning, Good Night, Harcourt Brace (San Diego, CA), 1997.
Good Morning, Harcourt Brace (San Diego, CA), 2000.
Good Night, Harcourt Brace (San Diego, CA), 2000.
Rainy Day, Harcourt Brace (San Diego, CA), 2001.
Sunny Day, Harcourt Brace (San Diego, CA), 2001.
Author's works have been translated into Hebrew.
Carmel O'Mara told SATA: "There are few things as wonderful to me as the moment my pictures smile back at me. When the story shows itself from page to page; and the characters emerge from scribbles. Or when the words dance in my mind stumbling and tripping till they waltz right off into the computer.
"I love to illustrate books. I love to write and illustrate books. I love to read books. There never seem to be enough books to keep my son (Julian now seven) and myself satisfied for our night time reading. So lets bring on more and more books.
"In many ways it was my destiny to work on children's books. My mother, Allwyn O'Mara, was a children's book buyer for many wonderful book stores as I grew up; and my father, Michael O'Mara, was an artist who taught me to draw, paint and print.
"I recall there was a moment when I was a child, where I realized I wanted to be a children's book author and illustrator. It was a beautiful summer day, my mother had put together an autograph party for several illustrators and authors at one of her book stores, John Cole's Books in La Jola, California. I was standing on the grass by a folding table watching James Marshall sign my George and Martha book. He drew me a picture next to his signature. It made me smile with awe and I thought 'I want to be able to make magic pictures and write stories like him.'
"Now I work on illustrations and stories everyday. My family still keeps me going. My sister, Kathleen Svetlik, a librarian, helps me research. Her husband, John Svetlik, helped me make a video about myself. My son Julian, husband Charles, cats, and dogs pose for me. My latest project is a pop-up book and what fun I'm having making my pictures move.
"Who knows what will be next, but what I know is there is always room in my life to make more books!"
Biographical and Critical Sources
Magpies, July, 1997, review of Good Morning, Good Night, p. 26.
Publishers Weekly, February 10, 1997, review of Good Morning, Good Night, p. 85; March 12, 2001, review of Sunny Day, p. 93; March 12, 2001, review of Rainy Day, p. 93; March 12, 2001, review of Good Night, p. 93; March 12, 2001, review of Good Morning, p. 93.
School Library Journal, July, 2001, Olga R. Kuharets, review of Sunny Day, p. 86; July, 2001, Olga R. Kuharets, review of Rainy Day, p. 86.
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