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Julie Fortenberry has an MFA from Hunter College. Her abstract paintings have been in the Whitney Museum of American Art. But for the last 16 years she’s been painting for preschoolers and kindergarteners. Her first illustrations were for High Five and Ladybug magazines. She illustrated Eve Bunting’s Pirate Boy, and a series of books by Rabbi Jamie Korngold, three of which are Sydney Taylor Notable Books.

She both illustrated and authored The Artist and the King, published in 2014 by Alazar Press, and Lily’s Cat Mask, published in 2017 by Viking. Lily’s Cat Mask received a Kirkus starred review and was added to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Her next book, Pearl Goes to Preschool, will be published in June of 2020 by Candlewick Press, and in 2021 Darcy's First Sleepover will be published by Macmillan/Ottaviano.

Read about Julie's creative process at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. And watch her painting process below.

My studio (and cat)


  • For Bonjour * Hola * Privet * Nǐ hǎo * Ciao * Yā * Hallo * Olá

Up Next:

Pearl Goes to Preschool is available for Pre-order!