HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-8Illustration Inspiration: Pamela Zagarenski, Illustrator of Zola’s Elephant
Interview Pamela Zagarenski

Illustration Inspiration: Pamela Zagarenski, Illustrator of Zola’s Elephant

The Children’s Book Review | November 13, 2018

Pamela Zagarenski is the winner of two Caldecott Honors. The books she has illustrated have also been Booklist Editor’s Choices, Horn Book Fanfare and Bulletin Blue Ribbon books, winners of Bank Street’s Claudia Lewis Award, and translated into many languages. As well as illustrating picture books, she creates paintings and has a gift card line. Her work is exquisite!

I make art because …

It is like taking my next breath – or  the next beat of my heart – I have to…

My latest published book is …


Art medium used …


Artistic process …

It is very hard to describe my process. I paint intuitively … and try not to let my ego get in its way.

I am inspired by …

I’m inspired by words, poetry literature and children. The moon and the sun and the stars and the rocks and moss and trees and the birds and the oceans and the whales and lions and and and alchemy and —- life and all of its awesome mystery.

My favorite place to create & illustrate is …

In my barn with my dog Basho by my side.

My most used art supply or tool is …

A paint brush.

Illustrator idols …

Marc Chagall   Beatrix Potter  Maurice Sendak

All-time favorite children’s book I didn’t illustrate…


A literary character to create art with …

The Little Prince

Currently working on …

It’s a secret – I prefer not to talk about chicken’s before they hatch 🙂

To learn more about Pamela Zagarenski, visit: www.sacredbee.comwww.pamelazagarenski.etsy.com and Twitter

Zolas ElephantZola’s Elephant

Written by Randall de Sève

Illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski

Publisher’s Synopsis: Illustrated by two-time Caldecott-honor winning artist Pamela Zagarenski, this tender, witty friendship story of imagination gone wild, by New York Times bestselling author Randall de Sève, shows how assumptions often cause us to misjudge—and miss out. But with a little courage, new opportunities and new friendships can be made.

When Zola moves into the neighborhood, her new next-door neighbor is too shy to go over and introduce herself. Plus, Zola already has a friend to play with—an elephant!

What we imagine is not always true, as the little girl discovers. Luckily, she also discovers that being brave can lead to new friendships—and even richer imaginary worlds—in this heartwarming book about friendship, moving, and the power of imagination by New York Times best-selling author Randall de Sève and Caldecott Honor–winning illustrator Pamela Zagarenski.

Ages 4-7 | Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | October 9, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1328886293

Available Here: 

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Discover more picture book illustration inspiration and books like Zola’s Elephant, written by Randall de Sève and Illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, on The Children’s Book Review by following along with our Illustration Inspiration series and articles tagged with , , and .

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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