Born in California in 1986, children’s book illustrator Christian Robinson graduated from the California Institute of the Arts in 2008 with a bachelor of fine arts. He subsequently worked for Pixar Studios and the Sesame Street Workshop, among others. His earliest memories of drawing are inextricably linked to the movies and animations he grew up with. Immediately after seeing »Jurassic Park«, »Beetlejuice« or »The Lion King«, Robinson would grab his sketchbook to recount what he had just seen.
Robinson’s style is primarily inspired by art and music, children’s illustrations and graphics of the 1950s and 60s, and by observing rural and urban environments. He also uses different illustration techniques: whereas the illustrations for the »Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade« (2014) are drawn in crayon, »Leo: a Ghost Story« (2015) mixes collage and painting. Although his composition and flat, block-like illustrations seem deceptively simple at first, they bristle with a multitude of tiny, vibrant details. Books illustrated by Robinson are mostly aimed at pre-school and elementary school children. For »Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker« (2014), aimed at readers aged 10 to 13, Robinson researched the world-famous dancer’s life extensively, consulting various sources in the process. Together with the writer Patricia Hruby Powell, Robinson has created an extraordinary visual and lyrical portrait of the rise of this passionate performer, from the slums of St. Louis to the most prestigious stages in the world. Intended for children between 4 and 8 years of age, Margaret Wise Brown’s »The Dead Bird«, reissued in 2016 with Robinson’s illustrations, is about a group of children who discover a dead bird, give it a burial and sing a farewell song together. His most recent work »School’s First Day of School« (2016) is about expectations and excitement on the first day of school.
Robinson is the recipient of the 2014 Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award and 2016 Caldecott Medal, and was also given the Coretta Scott King Award Illustration Honor for his art in the New York Times bestselling »Last Stop on Market Street« (2015) by Matt de la Peña. »Leo: a Ghost Story« was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2015. Robinson lives in San Francisco.