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Home > Children's Authors > Beatriz Vidal

Beatriz Vidal
Photo of Beatriz Vidal

Beatriz Vidal is an internationally known artist and a prize-winning illustrator of children’s books. Her most recent book for Wisdom Tales Press is Story of the Mongolian Tent House, written by Anne Pellowski. Before that, Ms. Vidal illustrated Little Lek Longtail Learns to Sleep, which was written by Bette Killion. Little Lek Longtail was an award-winning Finalist in the 2016 USA “Best Book” Awards. For her first book for Wisdom Tales, Ms. Vidal collaborated with author Alexis York Lumbard on the Wisdom Tales book Pine and the Winter Sparrow, a retelling of an American Indian tale. Pine and the Winter Sparrow won a Gold Medal in the “Illustration – Graphic” category of the 2015 Midwest Book Awards.

Among Ms. Vidal’s best-known previous books are the best- selling Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain, Rainbow Crow, The Legend of El Dorado, A Library for Juana” (winner of the prestigious Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award), Federico and the Magi’s Gift (which she both wrote and illustrated), A Gift of Gracias, and many others.  

Beatriz Vidal’s work has appeared on several PBS programs and she has given design and illustration workshops in Argentina, Cyprus, China and Mongolia. There have been many exhibitions of her paintings in the United States and abroad. She divides her time between Argentina, New York and France.  

Below, Ms. Vidal shares with us some of her personal history and thoughts as they relate to her illustrations and art in general:

It was in my native Argentina, where I enjoyed an idyllic childhood, that I first heard from my father the stories and poems that would shape my life. He was a wonderful storyteller and a voracious reader. We used to  gather in the evenings, my brother and I, to hear him recite poems and tell us stories of ancient heroes and extraordinary peoples, especially the fabulous tales from the One Thousand and One Nights. His gentle manner and his teachings left a strong mark in our lives and encouraged the development of poetic images and high ideals in us.

From very early on I felt at home with drawing, but I also loved music and wanted to take piano lessons, which my parents decided to put off until I was older.
photo of Beatriz Vidal with some of her illustrations for Pine and Winter SparrowBeatriz Vidal with some of her illustrations for
Pine and the Winter Sparrow
Since I was a very determined little girl and was eager to start, I built my own little piano. It was a device made with cardboard which I painted, trying to make it look like a real one, and I began practicing silently in a corner with a book I borrowed from my friends. This pitiable sight convinced my dear parents of my true desire to learn. Soon after, I was sent to study at the Beaux Arts Conservatory.

I got my degree from the Conservatory many years later. After I graduated from university, where I studied literature, I felt the need to clarify my ideas as to the direction I would take in order to find my real profession in life. It was then that I decided to travel to New York.

Soon after I arrived in the city my lucky star guided me to Ilonka Karasz (b. 1896), a Hungarian artist who worked in the style of the Wiener Werkstatte movement. She became my beloved teacher, a relationship that lasted until her death in 1981. Under her guidance I began studying painting and design and soon I was contributing to several different magazines.

However, since my favorite subjects were legends and folktales, I chose to illustrate children’s books, which I find enormously rewarding and which continues to be a source of great joy, as much as playing the piano and painting.

In painting, I like to experiment in a more abstract style, using geometric forms.

I have long taken on Paul Klee’s words as if they were my own: “First of all, the art of living, then as my ideal profession, poetry… and as my real profession, the plastic arts, and…to make a living, [drawing] illustrations.”

Awards for this Author’s Wisdom Tales Books

  • Story of the Mongolian Tent House, retold by Anne Pellowski:
    • Winner in the “Multicultural & International Books” category of the 2021 Skipping Stones Honor Awards
  • Little Lek Longtail Learns to Sleep (written by Bette Killion):
    • Award-Winning Finalist in the “Children's Picture Book: Hardcover Fiction” category of the 2016 USA “Best Book” Awards
    • Honorable Mention in the “Children’s” category of the 2017 Eric Hoffer Book Awards
    • Silver Medal in the “Interior Design” category of the 2016 Midwest Book Awards
  • Pine and the Winter Sparrow (written by Alexis York Lumbard):
    • Gold Medal in the “Illustration – Graphic” category of the 2015 Midwest Book Awards

More on Artist and Illustrator Beatriz Vidal:

diamond bullet pointBeatriz Vidal has her own web site, which has more on her past books, including some beautiful illustrations, as well as more biographical information. Click here to go to the web site of Beatriz Vidal in a new tab or window.

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