Jan Brett

One of the best loved authors and illustrators of all time


From the time that Jan Brett was in kindergarten she knew that she wanted to be an illustrator. She also knew that she wanted to create illustrations where the pictures came alive, and she could walk right onto the page.

Jan Brett was born in Hingham, Massachusetts on December 1, 1949 to George and Jean Brett. Growing up her mother, who was a teacher, encouraged her to be creative.

She went the local public schools in Hingham, where she grew up. After she finished high school, she went to Colby Junior College, where she studied that. She then took classes at the Boston Museum Fine Arts School.

Once she was completely done with school, she began trying to make her living by selling her drawings. She drew restaurant menus, pictures for greeting cards, and sometimes even science books.

In 1978 Jan Brett illustrated her first book. This book was called Woodland Crossings and was written by Stephen Kensky. The first book that she illustrated and wrote was called Fritz and the Wild Horses. It was very popular. After this first success she went on to went many other widely selling books including, The Mitten, Trouble with Trolls, Annie and the Wild Animals, Gingerbread Baby, and Christmas Trolls. Her books have won countless awards including the Boston-Globe Horn Book Award,and the Parents' Choice Award. Jan Brett's books have also been New York Times Bestseller many times.

Jan Brett's husband Joseph Hearne, who is a musician in the Boston Symphony Orchestra, sometimes helps do the airbrushing in Jan Brett's paintings.

One of the special characteristics about Jan Brett's books is that she adds special borders to each two-page drawing. These borders add extra details to the story and often foreshadow what's to come.

Another unique thing that Jan Brett does is she travels to different places for inspiration for her books. Norway and Ukraine are two of the places that she visited for inspiration for two of her books with winter settings.

Jan Brett's books are widely selling and loved by all. She will be a favorite author of many readers of years to come.