About Michael Dooling, Author and Illustrator of Children's Books

Michael is always putting on a costume and posing for a character in a book. One day, he is posing in costume as an O. Henry character and the next he is pretending to be a fossil hunter. Michael has modeled as a pirate, pilgrim, patriot, inventor, explorer, and sometimes, even a bit of a rogue. Each book is a new adventure.

His family and friends also pose in costume for his paintings. The covers and pages of his books are adorned with illustrations of his daughters Rachel and Lisa, and the neighborhood children. He and his wife Jane have acquired a collection of vintage clothes and costumes, which they may cut, shape, or sew into something suitable for a seventeenth, eighteenth, or nineteenth century character.

Born in 1958, Michael grew up in the small town of Marlton, New Jersey surrounded by peach and apple orchards. He played baseball, built tree houses, and had snowball fights. He also loved to read and draw-a combination that eventually led to illustrating children's books. His mother Patricia always encouraged him to draw and he could always be found "doodling" away. He even had a dog named, Doodles.

Today, Michael can still be found "doodling" away. He is the illustrator of over sixty books-many on historic subjects. He has illustrated picture books, chapter books and many Middle Grade Novels. His clients over the past twenty years include Reader's Digest, The United States Post Office, Scholastic, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, HarperCollins, Philomel, Puffin Books, McElderry Books, Henry Holt, Holiday House, Beechtree, Atheneum, Disney and many others. Michael graduated in 1988 with a Master's Degree in Illustration from Syracuse University and is a member of the Society of Illustrators in New York.

Although his daughters have grown up and moved away, Michael and his wife Jane still live in the same old Victorian house in Audubon, New Jersey. But, if you knock on his door he will probably not answer. Most likely, he will be lost in an adventure posing as a character for his next book. If he does answer the door, he will probably be wearing a costume.