“Bravery,” says Cynthia Jabar, “is a trait which I have always tried to strive for and which I admire immensely in people.” After majoring in biology and chemistry in college, she was brave enough try being an artist instead—rekindling a passion she traces back to the fourth grade, when her teacher asked the class to make a big book of illustrations and poems. The erstwhile scientist turned her focus to studying illustration at Rhode Island School of Design and the history of the book at the University of Iowa, courses that “remain lasting influences.” And that influence paid off: now the illustrator of more than twenty books for children and the author of three, Cynthia Jabar produces work that Publishers Weekly has praised as “sophisticated, sassy, and spirited.” She also creates stickers, greeting cards, games, and toys.
Cynthia Jabar—who illustrated How Many, How Many, How Many by Rick Walton—lives and works on a little island off the coast of Maine, where she paints and gets to kayak whenever she likes. She also enjoys volunteering with children at risk, because, she says, “I remember what an impact art making had on me as a child. It is a very safe place to go when all else fails you.”