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The Children's Book Council named James E. Ransome as one of seventy-five authors and illustrators everyone should know. Currently a member of the Society of Illustrators, Ransome has received both the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration and the IBBY Honor Award for his book, The Creation. He has also received a Coretta Scott King Honor Award for Illustration for Uncle Jed's Barbershop, which was also selected as an ALA Notable Book. Uncle Jed's Barbershop as well as How Many Stars in the Sky? and Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt are all Reading Reading Rainbow selections. PBS's Storytime featured his book, The Old Dog. Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building, written by Deborah Hopkinson was among the 2007 Notable Children's Books.

Ransome has exhibited works in group and solo shows throughout the country and received The Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance award for his book, The Wagon. In 1999, Let My People Go received the NAACP Image Award for Illustration and Satchel Paige was reviewed in Bank Street College of Education's "The Best Children's Books of the Year." He has completed a mural for the Children's Museum in Indianapolis and a historical painting commissioned by a jury for the Paterson, NJ Library. His work is part of both private and public children's book art collections. For the body of his work, James received the 2001 Rip Van Winkle Award from the School Library Media Specialists of Southeast New York.

"What makes illustrating books so exciting," Ransome has said, "is that because each book has a special voice, my approach toward each is different. Whether it be through my choice of palette, design or perspective, there is always a desire to experiment and explore what makes each book unique."

Born in Rich Square, North Carolina, James Ransome earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Pratt Institute, where he met his mentor, Jerry Pinkney. Ransome went on to teach at Pratt Institute himself, even as he continues his work as an illustrator. He also frequently lectures at elementary schools, libraries and book conferences.

Born in Malden, MA, Lesa Cline-Ransom also graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute, where she met James. She received my M.A. from NYU in Elementary Education. Her book, Young Pele, was nominated for an NAACP award.

James and Lesa not live in upstate New York with their St. Bernard, Nola. They have four children: Jaime, Maya, Malcolm and Leila.

Here is the studio that James works in:

And Lesa in her office: