Children's Authors/Marcus Pfister

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Marcus Pfister[edit | edit source]

Biographical Information[edit | edit source]

On July 30th, 1960, in Bern, Switzerland Marcus Pfister[1] was born. Pfister has become a world renowned children's author, but he started as a graphic designer. He attended the Art School of Bern and completed an apprenticeship as a graphic designer. After this, Marcus took off for six months traveling through the continent of North America and upon his return he began work as an independent graphic designer. From this work, Pfister began creating sketches for his first book that was published in 1986 and titled ''The Sleepy Owl. This work did not sky rocket Marcus onto the children's author scene, in fact it wasn't until 1992 that he became a well known author. In 1992 Marcus Pfister published Rainbow Fish. He is currently living in Bern with his family, and since 1992, he has published 49 books. His book tours have taken him all over the world, and his books have been translated into more than 50 languages.

Illustrating Styles[edit | edit source]

Marcus Pfister has been known for creating vibrant illustrations. The majority of his illustrations are done with watercolors. Like most illustrators, Marcus creates his rough sketches before he begins the illustrations on the final paper. When preparing for a piece, he stretches a paper over a wooden board so the paper does not shrink up when finished. From there, Marcus draws the illustrations in pencil from the rough sketches. He then begins the painting process. When it is finished and dried, the picture is cut off of the board. Another technique Marcus Pfister is known for is using foil stamping. Several of his books feature this technique, specifically the Rainbow Fish series. The foil stamping is completed as the final step of an illustration. Marcus leaves one part of the picture traced with a black marker and covered with a transparent film. This part of the picture is then stamped with the holographic foil after the pages are printed and before they are bound together.

Books of Interest[edit | edit source]

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The Rainbow Fish[2] was the first book by Marcus Pfister that gained him recognition in the realm of children's authors. First published in 1992, The Rainbow Fish [3]is a great example of a multimodal piece of literature. The illustrations of this book expand the meaning of the text. The pictures provide the reader with more information that is necessary to the story, creating a very enjoyable reading experience. Since being published, The Rainbow Fish has remained on bestseller lists throughout the United States and has been translated into over 50 different languages.

Rainbow Fish to the Rescue is the sequel to the national bestseller, The Rainbow Fish. In this book, Marcus Pfister continues his excellence in illustrations with the same water color and foil stamping techniques. Again, his illustrations speak as loud as the words and offer more insight to the stories. The pictures could stand alone and the reader would still know the plot of the story. The words however do offer a multimodal aspect of literature. Marcus Pfister uses typesetting to have some words in the story express more meaning. By doing this, it excites the reader and keeps them entertained and engaged as they finish reading the story.

Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale comes third in the Rainbow FIsh series. This story has similar features to the first two books in the series that make it a good book. The pictures offer insight to the story and are very visually appealing. Another feature this story offers that is also similar to the first two is musical language. The water colors and foil stamps of the illustrations bring the readers in, and so does the musical language that the story starts with. It establishes a pattern on the first page. While the pattern does not continue throughout the entire book, it starts with this musical language to engage the reader.

Hopper is the first of it's series. In this book, the illustrations are very similar to those in the Rainbow Fish series. This book has the same color tones as the pages of the Rainbow Fish books and also uses watercolors. The big difference in the pictures is the lack of foil stamping in Hopper. Hidden on one of the pages is an owl that is painted the same way as the owl in his first book, The Sleepy Owl. That is a nice touch that connects the reader to the author's other works. Having this in the book rouses the reader to look into other collections by Marcus Pfister.

Holey Moley is a wonderful story about two brothers that couldn't be more opposite. One mole brother wants to live the traditional mole life, while the other would prefer to build a hill instead of dig a hole. This story has the same great water color illustrations as most of Pfister's books do. It also has very engaging dialogue. During a fight between the two brothers, they both use dialogue that is trying to hurt the other ones feelings, and the reader is able to tell they do not mean it. This shows their feelings for each other even during a fight.

Rainbow Fish Discovers the Deep Sea brings back all the characters you have grown to love from the Rainbow Fish series. In this story, Rainbow Fish sets off on another adventure, this time to the depths of the ocean. The illustrations alone are enough to pull in a reader. They add so much more to the story and they could stand alone and the reader would still know what is going on. However, the words of the story start out using musical language that draws in the reader even more. The language used repeated tones and provided a cadence for the reader to get into the story. This book was a great addition to the acclaimed Rainbow Fish series.

References[edit | edit source]

Pfister, M. (1992). The rainbow fish. New York, NY: North-South Books Inc. Pfister, M. (1995). Rainbow fish to the rescue. New York, NY: North-South Books Inc. Pfister, M. (1998). Rainbow fish and the big blue whale. New York, NY: North-South Books Inc. Pfister, M. (2001). Rainbow fish and the sea monster's cave. New York, NY: North-South Books Inc. Pfister, M. (2006). Rainbow fish finds his way. New York, NY: North-South Books Inc. Pfister, M. (2009). Rainbow fish discovers the deep sea. New York, NY: North-South Books Inc. Pfister, M. (1991). Hopper. New York, NY: North-South Books Inc. Pfister, M. (2006). Holey moley. New York, NY: North-South Books Inc. Media:Pfister, M. (n.d.). Marcus pfister . Retrieved from Media:Baker, K. (n.d.). Ken baker children's author. Retrieved from