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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 Sydney Taylor Notable books by Rabbi Jamie Korngold.

She is the author and illustrator of The Artist and the King, and Lily’s Cat Mask. 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 Walker Books. 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)

You can order Pearl Goes to Preschool, Lily's Cat Mask, or Pirate Boy directly from Penguin Random House at 800-733-3000.


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

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