Native to upstate New York, Erin Bennett Banks is an oil-based illustrator focused primarily on multicultural themes.
Her illustrated children’s book, The Patchwork Path (Candlewick Press, 2005), earned recognition as one of New York Times “Best Children’s Books 2005,” for its portrayal of the use of quilts in the Underground Railroad. The Patchwork Path was also named as one of School Library Journal’s “Hot Reads 2006;” recipient of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award, Comstock Book Award and Gustavus Myers Book Award honorable mention; and reviewed in Washington Post, Booklist, Parents Magazine, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution and Fox’s “Good Day Atlanta.”
Carrying on her tradition of rich oils, vibrant colors and African-themed stories, Banks illustrated The First Music (August House, 2006), a folktale authored by storyteller Dylan Pritchett. The First Music also earned strong reviews from Booklist, School Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews, and was honored by the 2006 National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) Children's Products competition.
Her latest children’s book, Hush Harbor (authored by Freddi Williams Evans), was published in 2008 by CarolRhoda, a division of Lerner Publishing. Following its fall debut, Hush Harbor earned reviews in Booklist, Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal, as well as The Times-Picayne of New Orleans. Banks’ illustrations have also been printed in publications such as Highlights for Children Magazine, McGraw-Hill, Harvard Business Review, Atlanta Magazine, Charleston Magazine and Focus on the Family periodicals.
In addition, she has licensed select oil paintings that are distributed to vendors such as JCPenney, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Art & Artifacts catalogue. Banks holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA), and a Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art and graphic design from Houghton College (Houghton, NY).
Banks lives in Charleston, South Carolina with husband, illustrator Timothy Banks, and pugs Fiona and Grace.
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